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Extreme Couponing: Is it the new addiction?

June 3, 2011
Our View

Extreme couponing seems to be taking on a life of its own. The best way to describe this newer phenomenon is that shoppers watch for sales and clip coupons. They get as many coupons as they can and go to a place that doubles or triples coupons or add manufacturer's coupons to store coupons . Sometimes they walk away without having to pay anything for a cart full of food and toiletries.

This is not your mother's couponing. People that participate, clip coupons for at least 2-3 hours per week (average) and they go online and print coupons, as well. They need and use extra storage, garages, whatever they have and they are organized. They organize all the coupons so they can find what they need when they need it. The foods are all organized, too. People have cut coupons from the Sunday paper for as long as coupons have been available. However, extreme couponing has picked up steam the last couple of years. With the use of internet free coupon sites and a fairly new television show called Extreme Couponing on the TLC network on Wednesday nights, couponing has been taken to a whole new level.

It is like a part-time job with the consumer using time management and organizational skills while being resourceful and efficient. With a rocky economy, it has become a necessity for some.

While extreme couponing is a boost for the consumer, how does it affect the businesses where the coupons are used? As far as Rugby goes, not many people use coupons much less extreme couponing, according to the assistant manager, Leevers Foods. The coupon policy at Leevers in Rugby is to accept only store flyer coupons. Double couponing hasn't been done there for at least 15 years, according to the assistant manager.

Sometimes extreme couponers take all that they can get, which leaves little or nothing for customers coming after them.

Extreme couponers vary. Some take all items they don't specifically use and donate it to a good cause, (local food pantries, cities hit by natural disasters, etc.). Others use all the items they buy to take care of their families and extended families.

As in any new fad, a few extreme users go too far. Greed, hoarding, obsession, stinginess, and false expectations can be consequences. However, for those who balance their lives, extreme couponing is just one part and shows good management of resources.

Extreme couponers sometimes describe a "high" they get from saving so much money.

Is this a trend that will last or catch on to a larger degree or will it go the way of many other trends and last a few years and die out? Time will tell.

 
 

 

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