Coupon much?


It is not that often that Old Mamasan is watching the «stupid-box», as I am more of a streaming-service fan. But there is one show that has caught my eye for some time now: Extreme Couponing.  This whole concept is quite foreign to me, the fine art of couponing is not possible in Norway or Denmark to the same extent as it is showcased in the TV-show from the USA.

In the episode I saw today, three expert couponers were flown to Las Vegas to participate in a contest.  I do realize that what the contenders did there is not normal practice for couponers in general – as the winner walked out of the store with 14 carts full of products. The retail value was 6358 USD, and he got it all for free. Say what? Yes, FOR FREE! This is absolutely nuts!

I see that the couponers get products that they don’t need/like/use, because the coupon will give an “overage” (is that even a word?) – meaning that an item on sale might cost less than the value of the coupon, and the prize difference will somehow be payd out to the customer, often in the form of store credit. This money can then go towards items that you do not have a coupon for, so the coupons actually pay for your apples. The products that they don’t need/want/use can then be donated to charity. I am all for that! Actually it sounds like a sweet melody in my ears!

I also notice that some of these extreme couponers have to add on to their house, kick the hubby out of the garage, build sheds in the garden etc. to store all their free and/or dirt cheap products. Now, to me that is taking it a tad far. Why would you want to store 3000 bars of soap? “Stock up when it’s free”, they say – and I get that. But that does not explain the excess. Give it away! Give the excess to friends, neighbors, homeless shelters, whatever!

I am so intrigued by the concept of couponing that given the chance, I am sure I would hit the floor running and it would definitely turn into a sport for me (mind you – I do draw the line at dumpster-diving). I would learn this in a jiffy! I now have to convince Sir Nerdalot that we need to move to the states for a couple of years, to a state that allows doubling of coupons. I just have to do my research and find the most coupon-friendly states. (And I do hope Alaska, Hawaii, and the New England states are coupon-friendly)

How’s that for a life goal for ya – relocate to a different continent to coupon? That’s a good a reason as any, don’t you think? (Unless Trump wins the election, then he can keep both the country and the coupons!)

Clip ya later!

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26 comments on “Coupon much?

  1. hi / I have seen the show a handful of times – and it is greed that i see – in many of the shows people are consumed with this in a way that can be really off- for example – one lady in an episode I saw had a ton of diapers and was not married or even thinking of having kids – ?
    and when I see the basement make shift shelves and all the stuff – well I again sense something amiss –
    but the real thing I think gets missed is the extreme time it takes to coupon at that level – one lady had her son’s make her a coupon retriever gadget – another lady paid the news guy to swipe extra coupons for her – because where do you think they get all those extras from ? nor easy! and then the mental acuity it takes to remember what coupons are stored and then what sales are going – exhausting and time consuming to aquire packaged and processed goods – and so much of certain items –
    I did not see the Vegas show – but I do find it interesting that in many of the shows we watched (we recorded season reruns last year sometime and deleted what was left ) but so many of these people are not in good shape and my my my – the time spent gathering – cutting – sorting – planning – using – and then accumulating – arranging – and using somewhat – to do it all again – it borderlines on hoarding and maybe they would be better off spending time on things that give more long term health –
    just my thoughts – even tho apples are Good – the couple dozen shows we saw also had anxiety at the checkout and well – sense some greed

    Likt av 1 person

    • I wholehearted agree with you, it is greed! As European I see the American need for a years worth of stockpile as weird.

      Of course I’ll take a bargain when I can get one, and to get freebe’s is fun. But I settle for 2 bottles of shampoo, I don’t drag home 400 of them.

      And to clear the shelves of products I dont even like or use at all? Well, if they are going to pay me to walk out of the store with 100 whatevers, then I’ll stop by the nearest homeless shelter and give it to someone who does have a use for it. And I do see alot of the people on the show do donate to charity.

      I think that in addition to greed there is also a degree of manic traits there. It is almost like they go into panic mode when they run low on an item in their stock.

      The hard work and stresslevels you mention, yes for extreme hauls that we see on the show, I am sure it is true. Then again, I do put in the same amount of hours in my job, and frequently experience very high stresslevels. Also, what we see in the show is not representative for how they shop normally, almost every one of them say that «this will be the biggest haul I have ever done»

      I would love to try, but at a way smaller scale than depicted in the show. I do love a good bargain 😀

      Likt av 2 personer

      • thanks for the reply!
        and I used to like a good bargain – and in the 80s – as a child – my mother gave us a portion of money at a store and they triple coupons (twenty five cents) but it was fun and all – yet even then I realized I was buying stuff just cos I had the coupon – it was nice to try stuff and sometimes there were coupons for things I actually liked – but later as an adult I had a short season of using a couple coupons and it was annoying – love a good deal too – but there was something «off» with it for me – anyhow – nowadays I do not even use most of the stuff that comes processed and packaged like that – and prefer stores like trader joes or even the online prices can be huge discounts –
        anyhow – I noticed in your grocery bags you have s lot of healthy food!

        Likt av 1 person

      • We cook everything from scratch in my house. Well, the occational frozen pizza has been spotted in my kitchen, but processed and freeze dried foods are not the norm. Besically because homemade tastes so much better 🙂 And even though I do use alot of heavy cream and real butter in my cooking, I still do believe it is generally healthier than the processed, card board tasting stuff. In my neck of the woods it is generally also cheaper to cook from scratch than to get the processed stuffs 🙂

        To continue my bragging rant here, I am also trying to grow my own carrots and beets! I am failing miserably, but I take credit for trying! *giggles*

        Likt av 1 person

      • oh I agree with the creams and butters – and hope I did not sound snooty – I just did not always realize that boxed stuff is so good of life stuff !
        and freeze dried can actually be good – but I guess when I was thinking of coupon hauls – boxed and lacked food seemed the norm – or chemical deodorant- ha!
        and good for you on the garden – I grew beets one year and they were small a but delicious -but have failed with mots other veggies – 😉
        enjoyed blog sharing today – have a nice day

        Likt av 1 person

  2. While it may seem intriguing from a distance, might I suggest that there is little more annoying than getting in queue at the grocery or any other store, having the person in front of you wait for their bill to be compiled, and then see them pull out a giant sheaf of coupons, which they then profer to the cashier one at a time so the ultra-patient recipient of these last-minute cash substitutes must (as it is their job) scan each one (some of which don’t scan and have to be hand-entered) while you’re on line wondering if you’ve entered purgatory and no one let you know.
    I’m not sure how economies are measured in other countries but in the U.S., a significant factor in the degree of success month-to-month is «consumer spending.» Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were «consumer thoughtfulness» or «consumer books-of-serious-value-read» or «consumer-exercise-per-day» — something/anything else?!?
    Anyway, what you are seeing is a type of illness, a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder that values obtaining deals (and the objects therein) over rational behavior or charitable behavior. Why oh why would anyone want to store all of the stuff they obtained at really good prices (or for nothing, ultimately) when they could help those less fortunate? I have no idea but think it is a good, if unanswered, question.
    By the way, both Norway and Denmark have MUCH to love, give or take a Trump or so….
    Kind regards, MSOC

    Likt av 1 person

    • Thank you for this, you make many fair points here!

      I agree, it would be hell to have to wait in line behind these extremists. I will however admit that getting behind me on my weekly shopping trip is not the most enjoyable either (even without coupons…) I always let people with only a few items cut in front of me in line though, A couple more minutes spent at the chek out is no biggie for me – Im there for the long haul anyways… Quite peculiar actually – while letting people cut in front of you in Norway is quite normal, in Denmark they look at me in disbelief and say «Really???»

      Both Norway and Denmark score very high on the consumer spending ratings. And we also score high on the «happiness»-barometer the UN puts out yearly. Yea, we’re not doing half bad over here. But we don’t coupon! (Not in the same way as in that TV show)

      I absolutely agree that there is something manic about the stock pilers, and to me the only diffrence between a stock piler and a hoarder is the neatness. Stock pilers dont have dust on their canned tomatoes. The underlying desease may well be the same though. And yes, that is what baffles me too: who in their right mind would want to store 500 tubes of toothpaste? Why? Yes, there is something manic about that.

      You are right, both Norway and Denmark have much to love – and we do. Sometimes we just have to scratch our innate wanderlust and experience foreign countries to value the things we take for granted. I am very proud of my homecountry Norway, but living abroad also lets me realize that we are quite spoiled in many ways.

      Wishing you a fun filled and lovely weekend!

      Likt av 1 person

  3. The UK is nowhere near as good as the UK, but the year before last, here in the UK, the supermarkets were really trying to compete with each other over coupons. With the vouchers, I would buy anything was cheap because it was near the sell-by date and put it in the freezer.I stocked up on alcohol and chocolates etc for Christmas with the vouchers. I have stopped going to supermarkets altogether this year except for fresh essentials. I have just thrown out the empty freezer (we are dejunking to move), nearly used up the year’s supply from last year and still have plenty of toilet rolls and washing powder. For the two of us and daughter and boyfriend who stay the weekend, we spent just £35 a week last year (including Xmas food and some gifts) and just £15 a week this year – not bad and we eat really well. Another tip in the UK is that if you do not use up all your vouchers – you can go online and reclaim them.

    Likt av 1 person

    • Oooooo! It will be so much easier to convince Sir Nerdalot that we need to move to the UK than the US! (Actually the UK was in the cards before the Brexit vote, then we kind of said «Sod it»)

      I will (couponless) go to the store and buy my proteine when its on sale, and here in Denmark we do get good deals. On meats and poultry anyways. Seafood is expensive and quite poor quality (compared to Norway) – which baffles me as I know they fish in Denmark too. Actually Norway gained a very productive oilfield in exchange for some fishing rights and a bottle of Whiskey with the Danish foreign minister back in the late 60s 🙂

      It is where you are I want to get. I want to coupon for own consumption, thus freing up money for travels and charities. I do not want to do the excessive stock piling some of the extreme couponers do.

      Thank you for weighing in from the UK, highly appreciated. Wishing you a fab weekend! And all the best with the upcoming move!

      Likt av 1 person

      • Perhaps we could swap? I would love to live in Denmark – it scores top of the charts for health, education, satisfaction with life etc. Interesting about the seafood. But the French fish off our coast and sell it to us at about 4 times the price they sell it in their own country. The EU states that we are only allowed to fish seafood such as crab. Brexit would mean we would definitely be eating healthier.

        Likt av 1 person

      • Ok I sent that one by mistake LOL.

        I really do hope the Brexit turns out fine for both the UK, the EU and the EEC. Right now I feel its all up in the air, and noone seems to know how this will go down. Hard for us to invest in the UK right now.

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      • People are worrying too much. I used to live and work in Portugal before the EU without any problems. It will only a problem for the very seriously rich who may not be as very seriously rich when we exit in a few years time.

        Likt av 1 person

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  5. I don’t have the patience or the inclination to coupon. Besides I always wonder about the money they spend on periodicals in order to clip the coupons. You have to be able to find them and finding them isn’t free. Unless you had a coupon, I guess. LOL!

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