OK, I have to admit that I have seen the show “Extreme Couponing” from TLC. I watched it at a friend’s house, who actually has cable. Since I get my shows from an antenna and from Netflix, I don’t get many shows like this. After watching this show once, I realized that I was OK with how I watch TV. If you haven’t seen this show, then let me break it down for you really quickly. People on this show are obsessed with coupons. It doesn’t matter if they are printable or online coupon codes, they just love them. They spend a lot of time finding coupons, doubling them, tripling them, and then paying almost nothing for the items they buy. Now, I do think using coupons has its place. I use coupons when I shop online or need certain items from the grocery store. The difference between myself and those on the show is that I don’t take my couponing to the extreme. Here is why extreme couponing irks me.
How I Coupon
I can tell you that I am not a dedicated coupon clipper. I don’t take a lot of time to find coupons, but when I want certain things, I will search for them. This is especially the case online. When I am buying stuff online, I like to search around to find a coupon or two. It is super easy these days with so many coupon sites out there. You can either go to google and type in “store name + coupons” or “store name + free shipping coupons.” There are a wide range of ways to search for awesome coupons online. It doesn’t take but a few minutes. Whatever your favorite coupon site you use will work just fine.
If I am going to a store and know what I need before hand, which is most of the time, I will try to find a newspaper. I also check the circulars that most stores put in the front. I can usually find good coupons in there, but I don’t take a lot of time doing so. I have better things to be doing than using my time to find coupons.
Why I Don’t Like Extreme Couponing
Don’t get me wrong about those people on “Extreme Couponing,” they do have dedication to saving money with coupons. The issue that I have with the practice is that it isn’t very practical at all. Most of these people have spent hours upon hours learning how to coupon to the extreme. Not only that, but they spend more time working our their coupons for their next shopping trip. I find this to be a total waste of time. Time even wrote an article about how extreme couponing has ruined coupons in general. The issue is that most coupons are for products from big manufacturers. A coupon is only good if you use the product and you planned on buying it in the first place. If you have to stock your shelves with crap food or excess in order to use a coupon, I consider that a waste. I am not getting ready for the zombie apocalypse. I am just trying to buy food that I enjoy each week or products that I need to use.
I have said before that you can only cut expenses so much before you have to look at alternatives. Do you want to know how I like to spend my time? Making More Money! I am an advocate of making more money on top of saving as much as you can. When you dedicate your time to couponing to the extreme, there is only so much you can save. The number becomes finite. There is only so much we buy. When you dedicate your time to learning a skill that will earn you extra income, then you have infinite possibilities to earn more money. For those people that spend six hours to coupon and shop just to save $300, I wish you would think of alternatives.
If I could dedicate six hours of my time to one task, I would make sure it would produce income for me. There are times when I am freelancing that I earn over $100 an hour. If I dedicated six hours to this task, then I would surpass your $300, and then doubled it. Now, this is not all of the time, but think of the possibilities of using time to learn a skill instead of wasting it to cut coupons. Couponers cut money they spend, but I choose to grow the money that I make. The choice is yours. Extreme couponing will never be done in my household. I like to do some things in moderation.
What about you? What do you think of couponing to the extreme? Does it have its place?
Photo courtesy of OOingle.com
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