Pardon me while I rant incessantly: Extreme Couponing

This is not a neatly stocked grocery shelf. It's a stockpile of canned goods in someone's home. (image courtesy of google images)

From TLC, the network that brought us Hoarding: Buried Alive, Four Weddings, I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant, Toddlers and Tiaras and other reality shows that make me either want to scream obscenities at my television or gouge my eyes out with a fork, comes a show about something called Extreme Couponing. Here’s the promo:

I don’t want to sound too flippant about this. I realize people are hurting financially, and I don’t begrudge anyone who is trying to save money where they can. I wish I were more disciplined when it came to grocery shopping. I can barely bring myself to go to the grocery store, let alone spend hours clipping coupons and planning meals to coincide with sale items. I admire people who do this. But some of the extreme savers go way beyond saving money on the household budget. Check out Nathan’s Six-figure stockpile:

Did you catch the part about having a 150 year supply of deodorant? And is it just me, or was this man just a little too giddy about possessing more things than he could possibly use in his lifetime? I don’t know who these people are. Chances are they’re great folks who happen to share a passion for saving money. But there’s something very unnerving to me about devoting entire rooms of your house to stockpiling groceries. I get the impression that what may have started out as a means to save money has become something very different. Dare I say an acceptable if not celebrated means of hoarding and idolatry?

What I would love to see, and have seen in some instances, is for people to take what they’ve learned to help others: homeless shelters, food pantries, victims of natural disasters. Can you imagine what an impact these folks could have on their local communities? It’s sort of mind boggling when you think about it.

If you or someone you know is an extreme couponer, please enlighten me. Am I wrong to feel repulsed by this? I just don’t understand how having 50 boxes of cake mix and 300 bottles of salad dressing is a good thing, even if you got it for free. There comes a point when the things we thought we owned begin to own us. And that’s not just true of these folks. We’re all in danger of this.

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