Thursday, April 14, 2011

Extreme Couponing FAIL

I have watched a couple of episodes from the new TLC show, Extreme Couponing. Is it just me or is this example of using coupons sort of obsessive compulsive with a side order of hoarding? If you have not watched the show, I apologize in advance for the rant.

Basically, the featured folks are obsessed with shopping with coupons and they meticulously plan their lists accordingly. Some of the people admit they spend 25 hours a week sorting, clipping, filing and researching the deals with coupons. Sure, their savings are astronomical, but when you look closely at what they are buying, it is a little sickening.

Does it really matter if you save 96% off the bill if what you take home is not a necessary purchase. Or even worse, what if you are stock piling stuff for the sake of just having it?

These extreme couponers buy in mass quantities and stock pile their finds. I am all for buying in bulk, especially when there is a deal, but why in the hell would someone buy 4200 diapers if they did not have a baby, or weren't planning on donating the diapers to a charity? One featured guest has 1500 tubes of toothpaste stockpiled in his garage. Even when the stores pay me to take something after the discounts and coupons, I only buy what we will use and need. Anything more is hoarding.

Some of the people admit that a typical couponing shopping trip takes 4 hours including the check out process. It seems like a huge waste of time to me. Being organized and shopping as a sport is fun, but who has the time?

I am all for a deal and bargain. No one loves a deal more than me. I use coupons on the products I buy for the family. You have seen my brags on the whole coupon/discount/Giant Eagle runs. Here is the difference between the TLC examples of extreme couponing and me: I do not buy crap like canned ravioli, or MSG laced soups, even if they are free. I use coupons to purchase ingredients to make our meals, regardless of the coupon.

When I see some of the pure junk these people are eating it grosses me out. Nasty nitrate hot dogs, food dye applesauce, and HFCS sodas- ewwww, so disgusting. No wonder Americans are so fat. I never realized how many people do not cook with whole food products. Even when the store ends up paying me to take items home, I would not buy some of the merchandise featured, ever.

It makes it worse when they are stockpiling this crap in mass. As if having a mini grocery store full of shit is supposed to make you feel better?

I have re-thought the whole couponing experience after watching these episodes. I realize I am small potatoes in the game of getting groceries for less. While I love a deal, I know that it is not a bargain if you don't need it.

To me the extreme couponing examples are a big, fat, FAIL.


Dawn said...

I agree with you - I watched the show once and it's another type of hoarding!! I'll use coupons on things I will use but, why buy things you may never use because you had a great coupon?? And how is something a deal if you have to build an extra room to store all of it?? HUH?? Makes NO sense! These people need help....

jessica said...

I love how the twins justify their shopping list.. "Maalox is too good a deal to skip.. even if you don't have heartburn!" or " building the stockpile for our future families"
Ok maybe FREE diapers would not go bad in a few years.. but I would love to know WHY they are purchasing Pedia- Sure like it is going out of style?
As a heavy coupon user these new shows irritate the crap out of me!

Kirsten said...

my thoughts exactly when I watched the show last week. I don't want a life time supply of mustard or toilet paper in my house!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you. I rarely use coupons because it just isn't stuff I buy.

"When I see some of the pure junk these people are eating it grosses me out. Nasty nitrate hot dogs, food dye applesauce, and HFCS sodas- ewwww, so disgusting. No wonder Americans are so fat."

So if eating gluten free and all natural/organic makes you skinny..I take it you two don't own mirrors? Buying your husband all those 2 liter soda was ok? ...Pot, meet kettle?

Or how about all the money for those matching outfits and photoshoots..but your oldest has to get financial aid to go on a field trip. How sad and embarassing for him. I take it if it were the triplets needing that $250 it wouldn't be a problem.

Helene Eichenwald Slutsky said...

Hey now, settle down Anon- I have never, ever called myself skinny-ever. Okay, well maybe in second grade? But seriously, CJ eats gluten free because he has Celiac disease and it is medically necessary. He can't process dyes so to support him I keep our house as a safe haven for food- but if you think for one second that I am preaching the healthy eating lifestyle because I am skinny, you are mistaken. I own a mirror and I know I am not thin, although I have a spectacular rack.

I am a diet coke enabler for Jeff and I own that too. Do I like that he guzzles that poison, no I do not. It is his only vice and I can live with that. If he drank, smoked and went out to titty bars every night I would be concerned, but the fact that he drinks diet coke by the 2liter bottle does not bother me at all. I have never stated otherwise.

As for the matching clothes costing me a fortune- again, you have no clue. I have been scoring the CHEZ AMI matching outfits ever since I repped the line and got a major discount and perks, and I still have a stock pile of the stuff I bought at the outlet sale in Raleigh. To put it in perspective for you, check out the cute matching things I got today, for 33 cents an item, AT GOODWILL. Yes, that goodwill. There is no shame in my game. I own it.

With regard to the triplets getting special treatment over Mitchell, you have crossed the line. Ask Mitchell himself if he feels slighted, he is so secure in our family dynamic that he has created a video documentary about a day in the life of our crazy family. I think he is proud of how we all manage.

I am sure you did not own the negative comment because you do not know me in real life- if you did, you would understand how dire our financial situation is right now. For starters, I believe it is a responsible parent who tells an 18 year old boy that we need to pay our utilities, mortgage and health insurance premium before we can shell out $400 for a vacation or field trip. This is basic math. It is common sense.

I am sure you meant that I was the kettle in an all black outfit, right. Please. This blog is mine and when I fuck up I admit it. This is not one of those times.

Michele S said...

Anon- you are harsh. I agree with Helene that the couponing for the sake of couponing is silly. I wouldn't brung all that crap home if it were free.

As far as treating Mitchell unfair? Spare me. The kid has gone to a luxury country club school which will almost certainly be out of reach for the triplets unless Helene wins the lottery. He's had an extraordinary opportunity to go there and quite frankly at his age, he should have a JOB and have some money put aside for such an expensive trip. He should also know and understand that times are tough right now and everyone should be pitching in.

Finally, your snide remark seems like you actually know Helene and are making a judgement call regarding their financial decisions. Why nit use your name? You sound like someone from the kids' school to me. Chicken shit!

Michele S said...

Oops. Thumb typing here.

Michele S said...

Okay. I can't let this go. Anon. Are you a grown up? I have never heard such a pile of crap and sense of entitlement from a grown up. I change my position. Anon is either one of Mitchell's friends or one if their parents.

Helene Eichenwald Slutsky said...

Michele, I was thinking the same thing. If you are gonna dump a load of crap at least sign your name to it.

Mitchell (the oldest) said...

anon- this is the oldeest and in no way do i agree with what you are saying. Helene and my father have always been fantastic to me and I have nothing but the most respect for them. They work hard for everything they get and just because financially its hard to support me, they offer way more than that. Also a lot of the stuff that is given to the kids are gifts and such. If you are going to come on here and bash Helene you should have you facts right. Like I said Helene has been nothing but amazing to me since she came into my life and although you may have thought what you said was in some odd way sticking up for me you are wrong. It insults me that you would insult her. I hope reading this allows you to have a better understanding for my family and not to leave rude comments when not knowing the whole story. Douche.

Larry Winget said...

Helene, I have preached about savings and even written a #1 bestseller about it. I'm all for spending less when possible. But this show is NOT about that. This show is about people who have traded one obsession for another. Some folks are obsessed with spending (a disorder) and these folks are obsessed with extreme couponing (also a disorder.) In fact, anything when taken to the EXTREME should be a clue for all of us. The title alone tells us that. Extreme sports are extremely dangerous. And extreme couponing is extremely unrealistic. This stuff will not work for the average person who plans on having any kind of real life. And watching these people IS like watching an episode of Hoarders, that's because we are watching people with a disorder. I'm hoping that the couponers will soon be on Intervention! Now, to Anon: Harsh is not what I would call you. Coward is what I would call you. I get about as much trash talk as anyone on the internet because of the opinions I express. But if there is one thing I've learned from years of posting and writing and speaking controversial opinions, it's this: When someone is so insecure as to post personal attacks without giving their name it means they are a coward and that their opinion holds no relevance, nor is it to be considered on any level simply because they are too insecure to let the world know who they are. They are hiding behind the anonymity of the internet. Pretty much making them an internet bully. Also, when someone talks trash about me personally, attacking me instead of my ideas or my opinions, it's shows they aren't smart enough to take on the issue but must stoop to personal attacks. You, Anon, are a coward. That's not a personal attack by the way, it is me basing my opinion on the fact that you won't tell us all who you are. You are to be ignored. I hope that is what happens here by Helene and others. Helene has never claimed perfection at anything as far as I can tell. I've known her for years and she is honest and opinionated and completely open about herself and her family. Something you certainly have not been. Shame on you!

Melanie said...

1. The couponing thing is crazy! I will admit that I "liked" on facebook the Krazy Coupon Lady. But it's so I can score deals on the things I like, not the things that are free or really cheap. I will buy multiples of some things, but we use them quickly. For example, I bought four boxes of cheerios today and used four .55 cent off coupons tht were doubled to a dollar. We go through cheerios like crazy, it makes sense. And I got a $5 Kroger coupon for buying 4. I have a coupon binder and I search out deals, and I worry that shows like this are going to make manufacturers rethink their coupon policies and screw us all over.

2. To Anon, man up, grow a pair, put your big girl panties on and let Helene know who you are. I have had the pleasure of "knowing" Helene since our triplets have been born within a few weeks of each other and have met her personally. She spoke so highly of Mitchell and Amanda that you would never suspect that they were her step children. She and Jeff have worked hard at making their family work and all their kids have had to sacrifice at one point or another, but you can bet that Helene and Jeff have sacrificed things for themselves more than anyone else. Yes, she posts about some things that I would love to be able to have (child watch at the grocery store), but I also know that everything she does is done with the bottom line in mind.
Also, if you are lucky enough to pay for everything for your kids, that is great. However, I hope that you are also teaching them that they have to work hard for things they want too. I work with several entitled kids who over spend and go back to their parents for help. And we wonder why America is in a financial crisis and home forclosures are at an all time high. But judging by your comments, you are not teaching your kids that lesson and I hope when Mitchell or any of Helene's kids are successful because they understand the value of hard work and saving that they will be kind enough to give your child an entry level job and hold them accountable for their work. Someone has to.

Anonymous said...

My sister has 3 teenage daughters. She is big into Rite Aids "free after rebate stuff". Need shampoo or conditioner? Check one of the totes in the basement. How about toothpaste or lotion? Check the totes. Hair spray, eye shadow, mascara, hair color? Yep it's in the totes too. Yet her daughter's complain they don't like the free stuff. IT IS ALL NAME BRAND PRODUCTS Me...I only have one daughter. Suave is fine with us!, Love, Love, Love your blog!

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