Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Extreme Couponing... Not So Much

Ever since this new show came out on TLC called Extreme Couponing, people have been talking nonstop about coupons. I have been flattered by the amount of people who have said they think of me when they watch the show, but it also made me want to write a blog about it. I am so the opposite of the people that are on this show, and realistically, you probably will never be like them either.

The people who are on the show Extreme Couponing make me cringe. For every one person who stockpiles 20 cereals for their six kids, there is someone who has 40 cereals for herself and her husband. And doesn't share. It just makes me sick to think how many people go hungry every day, and the amount of food that may be expiring before it is put to use, all because these people want to get a good deal.

There are people on the show who have cried because they have left dinner dates to go get a good deal from the grocery store. Left dinner dates to go to the grocery store. What is wrong with this picture?? At what point do you say, "Okay, I have a problem."!!!!

People consider me "extreme" because I know how to find a bargain, and I know how to buy a lot of groceries for a small amount of money - mainly during big sales events like Super Doubles at Harris Teeter. When I find something we use all the time at my buying price, I will stock up on it. But I cannot remember the last time I bought several of one item and kept all of them for myself.

A year and a half ago, I started a ministry at church called Fed By Faith. The purpose of this ministry is to help out those in our community who need money for groceries, bills, gas, etc. but don't have the money. My thought was that if I could provide the groceries for them, their grocery money could go towards the other bills. There are tons and tons of scripture that talk about helping the poor and needy - I won't even go there because I'm trying not to make this blog so long that you lose interest - and I personally feel the urge to help those in need.

So. All that to say... I am unveiling my "stockpile".

Alright, you get a couple of guesses as to what my stockpile looks like. Is it:




Yep, you guessed it. Mine is the piddly little "C." Well, of course, that's just part of it. I went through my different categories to tell you how many of each item we have stockpiled. I really don't think any of it is overboard. But you tell me.

Shaving cream: We have 5 cans of shaving cream at the moment.
Razors: We have 8 razors at the moment.

Oral care products (pictured above for picture "C."
Mouthwash: We have 5 bottles of mouthwash at the moment.
Toothpaste: We have 10 tubes of toothpaste at the moment. (Honestly, I can't remember the last time I kept a tube of toothpaste for our family though!)
Toothbrushes: We have 9 toothbrushes at the moment. (And trust me, this comes in handy when family comes to visit and someone forgets their toothbrush!!
Floss: We have 6 containers of floss at the moment.

Toilet Paper: No, I don't really even stockpile toilet paper or paper towels. At the time this picture was taken I had five rolls of toilet paper. Since then (one month ago) I bought some and I now have 11 rolls. I think I have about 8 rolls of paper towels.

Shampoo: We have 7 bottles of shampoo at the moment. (Another good idea to have extra when you have family visiting - sometimes someone likes a particular brand!)
Conditioner: We have 4 bottles of conditioner at the moment. (I am the only person in the household who uses conditioner.)
Body wash: We have 10 bottles of body wash at the moment. (Okay, this is the only one that seems a little excessive but I LOVE body wash and I use it all the time, so I am keeping these!! Trust me, I donate enough body wash to make up for it!)

Lotion: We have 18 bottles of lotion at the moment. Okay, so that seems a little excessive too, but we go through lotion very quickly around here. Sometimes we use it twice or more a day (we're all blessed with very dry skin) and 7 of those bottles of lotion are specifically for our children who have very sensitive skin and use a specific type of lotion.

Facial cleanser: We have 4 bottles of facial cleanser at the moment.
Deodorant: We have 14 sticks of deodorant at the moment. I realize that sounds like a lot as well, but the last time I got a great deal on deodorant (free) I was buying them in sets of four, donating three, and keeping one. And then I went through them again and donated some more. But I do like to be well-stocked on deodorant because it is hard to find at a good price!

And last but not least, the pantry.

Well, of course, that's just one pantry. Here's my completely redone basement for my overflow of food:

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

Nope, it's just the pantry after all.

I don't have more than one freezer. I don't have more than one refrigerator. I haven't turned my guest room into a stockpile room (actually, we turned it into a nursery, but that's another story.) Basically, I have made it a point to tell myself if I can't fit it into this one pantry, we don't need it. I looked through the pantry and wrote down the items that I have 5+ of and it is all stuff that we use constantly - rice, pasta, soup, ketchup, and canned vegetables.

I do realize I don't have a huge household. It's basically me, my husband and my 2-year old because my 8-month old really doesn't eat a whole bunch at this point. But there are people on that Extreme Couponing that just have a two-person household who are going way overboard.

I wanted to show you my reality. My stockpile for the average person who doesn't have time to go out at 11pm to get a deal before someone else gets it. For the person who can't go to the store five times a week. For the person who would rather spend time with her family than match coupons to sales.

So, no, I am not an extreme couponer. I am an average couponer. But this average couponer has been so blessed by God to be able to stay at home with my kids, afford all the groceries we need, and still be able to bless others by buying groceries for them as well. Tell me how I could do that without God's help! (And my Mom's couponing lessons!)

So don't get discouraged when you see these shows on TV. It's really not a competition. All you need is to meet the needs of your family, and thank God when you can actually do that!!

What are your thoughts on the Extreme Couponing? Are you one of those people??

1 comment:

Now an Air Force Wife and Mommy!! said...

ohmygosh I had to go online to see an episode its insane!