Extreme Couponing…too extreme?

I’ve been watching this show religiously since its premiere, and while I happily admit I’m obsessed and daydream about getting deals like these people do, (I told hubby that for my bday, I wanted to do one shopping trip and save what they do), I don’t know realistic their purchases really are.

In the Sunday papers, the coupons I get are mostly for non-perishable items – drugstore items, personal care/hygiene, makeup, canned goods, etc.  Those, potentially stacked with a sale, store coupon, and manufacturer’s coupon, I understand.  Easy to figure out how to save 30-60% or more on the item.  I was wandering around Vons last week with a ton of coupons in hand, when I suddenly remembered that I needed to pick up some carrots, and realized that not only had I never seen any coupons for produce, but I hardly see the Extreme Couponing people buy fresh food.

It seems strange, but it does make sense.  You don’t need to offer coupons and other incentives to purchase fresh food, it’s a necessity. How often have you seen milk go on sale or a huge coupon offered? And they’re all so proud of their stockpile, but I don’t think that at this point in my life (or ever), would I need to have 100 tubes of toothpaste or bags of cat food treats (when they don’t even have a cat).  And what is their ultimate intention for their stockpile?  There was a set of twins from Chicago, one of whom had a huge stockpile of babywipes or diapers.  Absolutely huge pile.  But she doesn’t have any kids yet.

I admire that they are saving so much money and are genius at finding these deals, but I don’t like being wasteful about buying items I don’t need or unhealthy foods, even if they’re free. I did like the one where the guy purchased everything and donated it though, that would be fun to try. Overall, I think I’m going to shoot for 40-50% off items we actually use, purchased on an as-needed basis or maybe stocked up only a little bit if a great deal, and go from there.


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