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via: couponmom.com

Have you watched TLC’s new show: Extreme Couponing?

If not, you definitely should. It’s fascinating.

When I’m watching it I’m torn between feelings of sadness, shock, envy, and absolute amusement by each individual’s story.

It’s sad because these people are consumed by this couponing addiction. Their houses look like stores and you know they are not done, and are just going back to get more the next day.

It’s shocking that stores actually allow this, and in some cases end up paying the individual money back, due to specials and coupons, after purchasing over a thousand dollars worth of items.

It makes me a little envious because clearly I’m not doing a good job managing my money and saving on every day grocery needs. There is a woman who hasn’t paid for toothpaste, toilet paper, and soap for 34 years!

And finally I’m just plain amused because these people are so funny about it. For them it’s a huge adrenaline rush to see what the outcome is after all their coupons are used. They carry around these neatly organized binders, and spend hours doing the research and math, strategizing on when to stock up on what items. Tip I learned today from watching: Apparently certain items (by brand) are on sale only every 3 months.

One of the Extreme Couponing guys on the show said, “Shopping is like chess you’re trying to beat your opponent, which is the store.” and “if you go in without a strategy, you lose every time.”

via: poptower.com

Some of the people go dumpster diving (with their kids) in search of coupons, others go door to door. One woman claims that if anyone thinks this is crazy, then they must have never been broke before. Good point… but some of these couponers are decked out in designer clothes; it’s a hobby, they are not only trying to survive, they know what they are doing.

After hours of strategizing and hitting the right store at the right time, they come out with 9 carts, hundreds of dollars worth of food, and only spend a couple dollars. Crazy or smart? Definitely crazy in the extreme form… but they are onto something.

It’s great recession TV. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing your fellow customers stock piling 4 carts at a time, and holding huge coupon binders.

I’m a couponer myself. Not extreme (even though some may think so, Jen).

I started getting the Sunday paper only because I wanted the coupons. I use them 2-5 at a time, definitely nothing like this. But it does make me want to rethink my shopping strategy.

via: poptower.com

Don’t worry, I’m not going to start buying 158 boxes of pasta at a time. But maybe I should start organizing my coupons better, doing some research into what’s on sale where, and planning out my shopping trips to take advantage of double savings. Isn’t that why my work has every other Friday off? So we can have time for things like this?

There is something gratifying about knowing I could save some money on groceries, and put that money towards something more fun. Like clothes and travel. 🙂

AK’s reaction to this show was: “Stop blogging and let’s start saving some money.”

We will see about that…

If you haven’t watched the show, the new ones are Wednesdays at 9:00PM on TLC. Let me know what you think!

Is this crazy? smart? intriguing? Do you cut coupons?