Extreme Couponing: Thrifty or Mentally Ill?

The Freak Show Network’s latest foray into reality TV is about shopaholics -mostly women- that collect enough coupons to buy bulk quantities of food at the supermarket for deeply discounted prices. Now, on the surface, this may sound appealing.  Admittedly, it is pretty cool to rack up a thousand dollar food bill and be able to take it all home for under $100 bucks.

Upon further consideration, I have to say that for anyone who wants extreme couponing to be worth his while, it would be appealing provided that the food was nutritional and worth the time & effort of collecting enough coupons to make it happen.  But the thing is, that is not the case at all. In fact, if you watch the show, then you know that the kind of food these women are bringing home to their families consists exclusively of processed junk food.

Potato chips, sugary cereals & carbonated beverages, flavored water, cookies, candy, cheese spread & frozen dinners equals a nutritious meal only if  you want to be a circus sideshow featured on fattertainment TV.  Hello? Where is the fresh produce?  I don’t see anyone buying anything except foodstuffs with enough fat, sodium & high fructose corn syrup to kill a brontosaurus with heart disease & diabetes several times over. No wonder this country has an obesity epidemic! All the time in the world spent at the gym isn’t going to make up for the fact that you’re experiencing a slow death by eating fast food.

Making off with a thousand dollars worth of groceries may seem like you’re getting something for nothing, but not if the food you’re bringing home is devoid of nutrition! But let’s address the reality of the situation here.  Notwithstanding the prospect that eating a junk food diet is the quickest path to having a physique like this, the fact is, all that extreme couponing and subsequent scrambling around to make room for all the shit you bring home afterwards is indicative of mental illness.

Oh yes! Make no mistake. The women and their families featured on the show are not only obese & unemployed, but they’re also mentally ill.  Let me count the pathologies for you:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

By their own admission, the women spend ungodly amounts of time hunting down and printing coupons from the web.  In fact, if all the money spent on buying newspapers for the necessary coupons and ink to print them out from the Internet were factored in, I strongly suspect that the alleged great savings from couponing would not be so great.

Delusions of Grandeur & Addiction

Many of the women refer to themselves as “divas” and otherwise freely admit to a “rush” of adrenaline each time they make off with thousands of dollars worth of groceries. Now I’m not a shrink, but any time you start thinking of yourself in terms of deification, or you get a “rush” from some activity (not associated with physical exercise) then it’s a pretty safe bet you’re experiencing an unhealthy addiction.


In case after case, a significant amount of time is spent making room for and constructing shelves in the home for the multiple jars of condiments, boxes of cereal, sports drinks and other foodstuffs.  Now lest you think I’m being too harsh, let’s consider for a moment something overlooked on the show.  Let me ask you –When the HELL was the last time you ate 35 jars of mustard? Or 85 boxes of cereal? Or drank 75 cases of soda?

Anyone? Anyone at all?

The bottom line is that unless you’re donating the crap you know you won’t use to a soup kitchen or some other charity to help stock the increasingly stressed food pantries in this country due to the Second Great Depression, you don’t need to turn your living space into a general store and otherwise be storing 85 boxes of cereal or any other processed shit in bulk quantity that you won’t be eating in this lifetime or any other. Your time would be better spent on other endeavors besides the idiotic stockpiling of unhealthy foods and extreme hoarding.

©2009-2011 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


5 Responses to Extreme Couponing: Thrifty or Mentally Ill?

  1. Dawn says:

    I have to disagree w/ you to an extent, as I’ve watched this show several times since it came on cable TV. Not every single family on that show is populated by obese people. Nor is every single person spotlighted on that show a woman, unemployed, obese or otherwise. In fact, several of these families are trim, active, healthy people living in very nice neighborhoods who do this as a hobby & donate a large portion of the food to local foodbanks and churches, so the food and products that they’re able to get with couponing are going to a good cause. I found that particular part of it to be a wonderful thing.

    It does takes more discipline than I’ll ever have to do this type of coupon savings, but my hat is off to people who are able to figure the whole system out and benefit from it. I use coupons on a way less aggressive level, but agree w/ you that a large portion of them do encourage poor eating habits and purchasing of junk food. The coupons I tend to use are for cleaning and laundry products. As for the disorders you mentioned, I tend to go with the “live and let live” philosophy. If it makes these people happy to do their epic couponing, more power to them. 🙂

    Btw, I’ve shared several of your other blog articles w/ friends – the tech related ones. Good, informative stuff!

    ~ Dawn

    • Hi Dawn! As to the household cleaning supplies, I have to agree, but I still think that extreme couponing is a form of mental illness. Thx for sharing Prattle 🙂

      • Dawn says:

        No problem! I really enjoy your blog. I also appreciate that you don’t get all bent out of shape if someone voices a difference of opinion (in a respectful manner) here. I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind having a back-up supply of cleaning stuff – it would be handy. And I cheerfully admit to having a borderline hoarding gene; it runs in our family! I get jittery if I don’t have back-ups of canned and dry goods. I just never seem to be able to stay on top of that same concept w/ cleaning supplies. Perhaps I should befriend some extreme couponers!

      • Eh, thx for the vote of confidence. A difference of opinion promotes a lively discussion, IMO. I have been known to approve comments that do not necessarily agree with my POV provided that the comment is constructive and not an ad hominem attack. I’ve seen far too many websites that have heavy handed moderators whose function is little more than to operate as thought police. I enjoy a drama free environment, but I won’t enable censorship on my blog simply because someone disagrees with the premise of my content. As in life, it’s all about tact. Thx for the constructive commentary!

  2. Lae says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Completely agree with Prattle. Glad to see there is some coherent people that believe this is indeed insane an points to both a highly toxic behaviour and unhealthy, inmoral western consumism.
    For the record, i have been watching this show for a year now and yes, i agree most of the participants are obese and/or looking psychologically unstable.
    Any idea of what Dr Phil thinks about this?
    Best regards from Berlin (Germany) and thanks for your blog 😉

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