Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lessons Learned From TLC's Extreme Couponing Part 1: Amanda

Being a newbie in the Couponing World, I had no idea, when I decided to record TLC's "Extreme Couponing" Special that it would be such a hot topic!

I was so overwhelmed when I watched it the first time, that I jumped on Twitter and started to see all of the "chatter" and mixed opinions about the highlighted 4 "Coupon Masters".

Trying to contain my own thoughts, I decided to watch it again- and this time I took notes!

There are lots of lessons learned in 60 minutes! I am writing my thoughts in a 4 part blog post, starting with Amanda!

To me, she was the most extreme of the couponers- the most emotionally involved with her shopping.

While I can appreciate her efforts, I felt the least connected with her. My list of lessons from Amanda are more of what NOT to do:

* Don't sacrifice time with family and friends, for shopping! Expensing human connection for the sake of a bargain does not make any sense to me. (It was apparent that her husband finds this as disturbing as I do from his remarks at the end of her segment)

* Stockpiling for the next 40 years is not realistic! Who says we're going to be using toilet paper in the same way 40 years from now? If in 20 years we are using some new "cleaning system" for our personal needs, that would mean she'd be stuck with a pile of unused TP for the following 20!

* Spending $70 in coupons, almost seems counter productive to me, in terms of trying to "save money". While I realize we have to spend money to "make" (or save) money, I have a hard time wrapping my head around spending $70 to get "free" product!

* I don't know anyone who has time to spend 6 hours walking through the store "preparing" for their shopping trip.

* Obviously, we are seeing only a "snip-it" (no pun intended) of how she shops, but from what I saw in her cart, they might have been great deals, but were not realistic, healthy choices for a typical family. I mean really, who needs 150 candy bars?

While I can appreciate her dedication, it just seems to me, that Amanda has more of an addiction, than a money-saving strategy!

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