Alright, we've all seen or heard about the TLC show, "Extreme Couponing". At first, I thought it was an amazing idea. People buy $1,000 or more in groceries and walk out paying less than $50 in most cases. Seems like a great idea, right? Here is the premise behind most of the extreme couponers:
They have come from sad/poor/lonely/broken backgrounds and because of their tight budgets and family of 35 1/2 to feed, they spend the equivalent of a full-time job cutting, printing, clipping, dumpster-diving, stealing, and begging for coupons.
Here are the listed reasons why this started out being a great idea to me... and later-on, i will explain why i want to run these people over with a concrete truck.
There are tons of great reasons to save on your grocery bill using coupons. The main one being to save money when you're just not making enough to cover your weekly/monthly grocery bill. I get it... toilet paper is $2.50 for a 4 pack with a $1.00 coupon that doubles at the register for a total of .50 cents per 4 pack. Great deal! Go you for hitting that one.
Moving on! Couponing gives stay-at-moms a job to do. I know some moms have a group of little ones and they don't need the extra job, but those mothers (or dads) that have older kids who can keep themselves busy, usually have some free time to clip coupons to help out at home. Good for you. You're being productive.
Couponing can also "stick it to the man". We all get pissed for having to pay $6.00 for a gallon of milk. If you're not from Hawaii, consider yourself lucky. I pay $8.00. It feels good to give the proverbial "middle finger" to food manufacturers who think charging $7.00 for a pack of cheese is a fun time.
But that is where the good in couponing reaches it's limit. There are more hazards to your health than not when you cross that line from decent couponing to extreme couponing. Mainly, my wrath.
Let me explain my aversion to these extremists of the coupon clippers:
Yesterday (May 20, 2011), I went to my local Safeway grocery store in search of some garlic and herb Brie cheese and a box of Wheat Thins. I wasn't asking for much, just a light snack before bedtime. I found the cheese in my refrigerated section and made my way to the 2nd aisle that houses the cookies, crackers, and other crispy treats. I find myself staring at Keebler, Tollhouse, and Graham crackers, as well as a giant gaping black hole of empty shelf space. I stare confused for a few minutes and walk the aisle once, twice, thrice! and still, i do not see them. I then make my way to customer service to inquire as to the location of the Wheat Thins. The lady follows me to the shelf when i ask about the missing crackers. As we draw close, she stops and exclaims, "Oh! I'm so sorry hun, a lady came in and cleaned out half the store with her coupons earlier today." I calmly thank her for her help, put my cheese back, walk to my car, put my windows up, and scream obscenities that would make the devil's toenails curl. I am in the middle of a PMS- meltdown that only Brie and Wheat Thins will cure and i have been DENIED!
I began an internet search on "Extreme Couponing", the show, just to get tips, ideas, and coupon locations in an attempt to be a light couponer since i am the only one living at my house right now. I found great ideas, great sites, and wonderful forums for the beginner couponer. After yesterday, however, i changed my search criteria to include the words: "bad", "annoying", and "hoarder". I found more information on how annoying these extreme couponers are than i did on how wonderful it is to save $400 on 200 containers of laundry soap.
Let me give you another example of why i think these crazy, newspaper-cutters are rude as a pack of deranged, plague rats that is taken directly from the TV show:
This very large woman and her just-as-large husband were shopping for a party. One of the items was not related to the party, but she wanted it because it was "free" after her coupons. She took every. single. one of them. When her husband asked her ,"What if someone else wants one?", she replied, "Oh well, the early bird gets the worm." Are you freaking kidding me?!?!
1. Your giant butt does not need 50 bottles of anything!
2. Way to be a b*tch on national television.
3. You have just taken my last straw of patience with the extreme couponers of America.
Let's focus on this, now. You just bought 100 tubes of toothpaste because they retail for $3.00 a tube. With your frequent shoppers card, they're on sale for $1.99. You have a coupon for $1.00 that your store will double at the register, meaning that you have just paid -.01. Which means you have just been "paid" to take that toothpaste out of the store. Why can't you grab 10 tubes? Hell, grab 20, but for the love of every woman named Nancy, LEAVE SOME FOR THE REST OF US! I cannot take my Lord's name in vain on blogspot, but you bet your sweet tushie, someone else, somewhere else is cussing some deity out over your selfish and unnecessary act of douche-baggery. And the sad part about this? The nutjobs who clean the shelves laugh about it! They're standing there making jokes at our expense because we didn't "beat them" to the savings. They're lucky i wasn't there while they were doing it! I would beat them... just not with savings. By all means, if you're at a shoe sale and there's only one pair of Steve Maddens left in that size, throw a brick in a pillow case and start swinging, but if it's the last 300 bottles of Mellow Yellow, LEAVE SOME!
Reason number two, i want to make them a permanent decoration in the sidewalk:
Do not, I REPEAT, do not claim that it was by the grace of the Lord God and Jesus Christ that led you to be a borderline hoarder and inconsiderate jerk-ass at the grocery store. Anti-Christians already have enough ammo against us without you adding to the idea that we're all out of our minds. I'm sure Harold Camping did enough damage this week, you don't need to help him. Jesus did not tell you to quit your job and spend 80 hours a week clipping coupons. And if he did, you should spend your savings getting those voices in your head checked out. Jesus did say that anything in excess is bad. The word "extreme" should never be an adjective applied to you unless you're extremely awesome. Like me. And onward we go...
So you've got 16 carts stuffed to the brim with hundreds of items that other people will not be able to buy. What now? You're going to clog up some poor girl's register for 3 hours (more than likely 15 minutes before her quitting time). Let's discuss the store's limits that will make this transaction that much harder. Most stores have a coupon limit of 250 coupons per transaction. So you now have to break your insane load into 14 different groups.
Your transaction begins: The cost goes up and you stand there with your heart beating talking about how much you're going to save and how wonderful your life is because you spend all this time couponing. The cashier is rolling her eyes and wishing a piano to fall on your head.
Halfway through the transaction: The cashier's arm is losing feeling and there is zero space to move stuff out of the way because half of the store's inventory is on her belt. Out of nowhere comes the dreaded *Bee--- silence*. Congratulations, jerk. You just froze the register. Almost all stores have a cap on the number of lines allotted per transaction. You have reached the 1,500 line maximum and now the supervisor has to go into the system and manually re-enter the line to allow your 23,000 line grocery list + coupons.
Nearing the end: The cashier sees the light at the end of the tunnel until the couponer says those dreaded words, "Wait... That coupon isn't scanning correctly." At this point, the poor soul who got in line behind you wants to break your face open with a can of Campbell's and the cashier wants to cry. After the head cashier, the store manager, and the district manager have all been called in to fix this 45 minute and $.25 mistake, the transaction finally ends.
The End: 13 Stock boys have to carry your crap out to your car while you roll up what used to be 7 baby trees of receipts and the cashier's arm finally falls off when she goes to wake up the guy behind you who has decided to nap in his cart while you robbed the manufacturers blind. Do you feel good about yourself?! DO YOU!?
On the show, we get a sneak peak at the couponer's house to see their "stockpile". When i say "stockpile", i literally mean a pile of stock that could last a family of eight 20-years during a nuclear holocaust. Some people are responsible about their stockpiles. It's stored in the basement, garage, or an empty bedroom. Then there are the people who have no space AT ALL, ANYWHERE and they continue to buy in excess.
A stay-at-home mom who coupons for her family of 5. Her spare shower is filled to the ceiling with toilet paper. Her personal walk-in closet is 20% clothes and 80% cereal. I don't have a problem with you sacrificing your personal space for your crazy habit, but when your psychotic shopping problem intrudes on your child's space and they don't know any better to complain, i have an issue. Her little girl had an adorable room with a princess bed, and underneath in the little storage section?... You guessed it! Barbeque sauce and Ketchup. In her closet, more crap that should not be in a little girl's room.
Another woman put a storage shelf in her bedroom. Yeah, that's romantic.
"Hey baby, move that stack of pasta out of the way and we'll get to some real lovin'."
"Do you have a coupon for that?" Ugh... it's sick
Ok, so they've now got all the junk and have, by the miracle of physics, found somewhere to stuff it that's not up their butt. What in the holy mother are they going to do with it?! REALLY?!? 400 boxes of cereal and 65 lbs. of meat. Please tell me how they're going to make all of that go away before the expiration date. I would love to see it happen. They have just taken all of the Wheat Thins off the shelf effectively ruining my night and now they're going to sit in someone's closet until the date goes bad and they throw it out. No donating, no sharing with me, they're just going to throw it out. EFF YOU!
There has not been one person on that show... Not one!... who has not said they do it for "The Rush". What is this "Rush"? If it's the kind of rush that crackheads get, i'd say you have a small problem. You know, there was recently a show on TLC this week called, "Addictions". On this show was a man who had what was diagnosed as a shopping addiction. He got a "Rush" from spending money on things. He had to see a therapist and take pills for it. The same thing was done for the woman addicted to sex. I'd say by all definitions of the word "Rush", you have a diagnosable problem that requires therapy and medication. Why is this being glorified and not addressed?
By now, you either partially agree with me or you're ready to find my house and burn it to the ground with me trapped inside.
If you're an extreme couponer, your argument is probably something along the lines of:
"Aside from beating you to the Wheat Thins, i'm not hurting you."
"It's none of your business! I can do what i want as long as it's good for my family."
"I think you smell bad and you're a poopface!"
The third comment aside, let's discuss the first. Couponers are hurting the rest of us. And they're doing it without even caring. Stores now have "policies" regarding coupon usage. Some places don't double coupons because they were being taken advantage of and most (if not all) stores have a limit on the number of items on which you can use a coupon. This means that because of these extremists, if i decide to throw a family gathering and I need 10 bags of chips, there is a good possibility that i will not be able to utilize 10 coupons to get them discounted. One too many couponers have done it and angered the manufacturers enough to cause a cap. That hurts me. Deep. This is just an example. It's actually much bigger and hurtful than my chips.
And what about your missing newspaper? Ever stop to think one of these coupon-zombies is creeping up on your Sunday paper at the ass-crack of dawn to steal your inserts and ads? I'm not accusing, I'm just throwing it out there. Take it as you will.
Onto the second comment. Yes, we already discussed your piggish ways of clearing off the shelves, but really? How can i not come back and revisit it. It's just fricken rude! I know toddlers with temper tantrums that aren't that rude. WWJD?
I cannot end this blog without mentioning my favorite couponer. He's been on the show 2 or 3 times. He goes by the nickname of Mr. Coupon. His most memorable quote was, "I'm not your grandma that clips coupons. She clips one, I clip twenty." and "Instead of a hunter hunting deer, I'm hunting deodorant." O_o
This guy has a separate room he built onto his already obscene stockpile that holds a table stacked 4-feet wide with over 1,000 tubes of "free" toothpaste. What makes this guy a bit different from all the other nutjobs on the show is that, aside from his stockpile for his family, he donates a massive chunk of his shopping to care packages for troops. I might be biased in my opinion, but hey, i know those guys stink and get hungry. He's helping.
We have reached the end. I hope you got some enjoyment out of my rant. It was rather long, but thank you for sticking to it. If you made it to the end and are so angry with me that you want to kill my first-born via paper cuts from your coupons, then maybe you're the person about whom this page was written.
Quit being a douche. Save a few boxes of Wheat Thins for the rest of us!