Friday, April 15, 2011

Coupon Crazed

I would like to discuss with you my thoughts on a new show on TLC called Extreme Couponing.  The shows premise is this:   You love to coupon?  And you're crazy?  Write to TLC and we will put you on the air!  Now, to be fair, I've only watched two episodes thus far but I'm pretty sure the story line stays consistent... 

Meet Sally. Sally clearly has OCD but is not medicated because, well, what's wrong with being obsessively thrifty these days?  It's a bad economy you know.  And since couponing is considered a noble pursuit, who on earth is going to throw a wet blanket on that penny-pinching pony ride into discount hell? 

Why else do you even come here? Honestly.

Read on. 
  • See Sally get up at 3:30 am to ambush the paper boy at the end of her driveway.  She's armed.  
  • See Sally run into the house dragging paper boy's bloody satchel behind her.  
  • See Sally spend 6 hours in her dank basement with a pair of scissors, a swinging light bulb suspended from the ceiling and stacks of shiny coupon inserts.  She is breathing heavy.
  • See Sally race her Chrysler Town and Country minivan across town and pull into Kroger on two wheels.  Canned peaches are on sale. She will buy every last can on the shelf (42 to be exact) simply because...
the. coupons. tell. her. she. can.

  • See Sally's marriage disintegrate and CPS make a house call.  

A few of the husbands on the show have the "deer caught in the headlight'' look about them. Sure, they're saving a few thousand dollars a year but if polled in secret, my guess is that they hate their lives and wish for death. Their whole world it seems is cataloged, controlled and shelved.  One scene had a mother proudly showcasing a drawer stocked with rows of various household cleaner, evenly spaced and categorized by size. This particular drawer was found under her young sons bunk bed.  You know, that drawer. The one normally filled with books about insects, GI Joes, silly bands, dirty tube socks and rubber snakes.  Her bedside bargain buys had no choice but to bleed over from brimming pantries, closets and basements.

What else do we call that but a maladaptive obsession?  Cuponing's spend-thrift underpinnings make it a culturally acceptable phenom yet, given its extreme nature, there's a slight element of crazy to it.   

Let me bring it home for you:  You see a carnie working in the circus.  They appear to be having all kinds of fun operating that Tilt-A-Whirl or rickety ferris wheel or making balloon animals for excited little children.  Why then won't you concede that you too should become a carnie?  Because, reader, deep down you know it's not for you.  You'll never be a carnie.  You're too busy blowing your money on chai lattes at Starbucks and TJ Maxx handbags to consider it an option.  And that's okay because carnies are weird.  But let's say you just checked your online bank account and now you are thinking that being a carnie wouldn't be so bad after all.  In fact, in order to make next months rent and keep the lights flickering, you are going to need to channel a lot more carnie and a lot less Kohl's.  Know what I am saying?  No? Okay.  


  1. Boy, you brought that home. I feel for Sally. Perhaps we should offer her a good, home-cooked meal and some Tuscan wine? And perhaps put Sally in a Ferrari and tell her to use her lead foot ... Brava, AKB!

  2. Feel sad for her, I mean sure it is nice to save some money here and there so life can be manageable-especially if you are trying to get a head in life to build up that nest egg. But money is not what makes happiness.

  3. I am open that I miss understood the reason for the post. lol. :).

  4. My "Carnie" moment was the sidewalk cleaning job I took that one summer that we all hung around Isabellas. Desperate times... How else were we to pay for those wings at Mudpuppies though?

    Target has never seen cleaner sidewalks. Your welcome, Lynchburg. And your welcome Mudpuppies (RIP)

    Coupons, organic dog food, Trump for President... We've gone mad.

  5. Yes, Joe! Yes! Don't get me started on organic dog food...

    My "Carnie" moment was when I organized kitchen cabinets in peoples' homes. Yes, I even labeled the spaces for dishes, glasses, etc. Gladly sharing my 16-year-old OCD with them is not one of my prouder moments. But, I needed money. Oh, my heavens...