There’s a new television reality show on TLC called Extreme Couponing which chronicles the trials and tribulations of individuals hellbent on saving as much money as possible by using coupons:
Enter the world of bargain shoppers who have mastered the art of saving! In Extreme Couponing, meet the everyday people who save hundreds of dollars in a single trip to the store.
Some of these people spend up to 60 hours each week researching, collecting and collating coupons obtained from a variety of sources (newspapers, internet, direct mail and even dumpster diving). Fully armed with coupons they head for the grocery store where they’ll purchase cart after cart of products, often times owing just a fraction of the true cost of the items after checkout.
This is all well and good, but I’m trying to put this into real life perspective here. What I’m seeing when watching this show are junkies out of control. Some people like smack, some like horse, some hit the bottle, and still others spend every waking moment compulsively collecting coupons.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for using coupons to save on the weekly shopping bill, but it’s not as if these people are finding great deals on weekly staples such as dairy, meat, grains, fruits and vegetables. No. They’re buying 24 packages of cream cheese, cases of laundry detergent, fifty bottles of carbonated water, 100 bottles of multi-vitamins, dozens of bars of soap, cases of tabasco sauce, and any other product that they really don’t require. They even convert rooms in their homes into storage lockers where they keep their vast collection of shampoo, toilet paper and body wash.
I think these people are simply feeding their monkey, getting high off of buying a gross of Q-Tips for fifty cents in their weekly quest for the holy grail of “$1000 worth of groceries for free”, then looking forward to next week when they can get their next couponing fix.
Now, I understand that some of these people give to needy causes, but I’m of the belief that they use the “I’m donating to charity” bit as an excuse to justify their obsessive behavior. This is nothing more than an addiction where victims are always looking forward to their next high, and will stop at nothing in their hunt for the ultimate bargain.
Now, I’m not a doctor (but I do play one on this blog). It seems to me as if the behavior of these individuals rivals those of those poor bastards on the television show Hoarders. Their aberrant passion for coupons is akin to uncle Joe who can’t bear to part with his used underwear collection. I think Dr. Drew needs to call an intervention, gather up each one of these ailing individuals, and get them the help that they need.