It's pathetic and embarrassing and I love it.
If you have not yet had the pleasure, the show basically follows an "Extreme Couponer" as they prepare and execute a massive shopping trip armed with a folder or box crate full of neatly clipped and itemised coupons. The aim of the game is to get as much as they can, for very little out of pocket expense. It doesn't really go into how these people are able to amass such large numbers of coupons, although some have been known to climb into recyling waste bins...
You also get to see their personal "stock pile" of free or heavily discounted items lining the walls of their homes. Paper towel seems to be a popular item, as is deodarant, sports drinks, tooth paste and cereal. Obviously items with a long shelf life are the most desirable.
But its the suspense of the checkout that really has me sucked in, the whole process is rife with potential hiccups.
Did they count out exactly 700 toothbrushes?
Will all of their coupons scan correctly?
Is the checkout chick going to lose her shit at having to spend 3 hours serving 1 anxious, hyperventilating tightarse?
Edge of your seat stuff I tell you.
I find myself cheering for the reductions and marvelling at the savings.
How on earth do they do it?
How did they just buy $1,000 worth of groceries and the store owes them money?
What the hell are they going to do with 94 packets of croutons?
Most importantly, why don't we have couponing in Australia?
I think I would be good at it. I have couponing nerd written all over me. Nothing gets me more excited than a spreadsheet of promised savings. I have even put one together to track our spending before. Not to mention the meticulously labeled and ordered folders that you need to keep it all organised.
Yep, I was made for couponing. Get me in there!
As much as the show amuses me, if I let myself think about it too long it actually is a little bit depressing. I think it's great that families are able to recover from financial hardship using this system, but I can't help but worry about the sheer compulsive consumerism of a 16 year old boy proudly displaying his shelf of feminine hygiene products that he just had to get because they were free. The same kid that complained he had to go 5 weeks without couponing because his inconsiderate bastard family took him to Mexico for a holiday.
And I don't care how good the sale was, I cannot see a reason why I would need a 50 year supply of the same crappy roll on deodarant sitting in my garage. Variety is the spice of life people!
Still, it kinda leaves our 2 Helga loaves for $6 for dead doesn't it?