Pin It

Extreme Couponing 

There's a fine between couponers and those other reality-show stars: hoarders.

click to enlarge There’s a fine line between couponers and those other reality-show stars: hoarders
  • There‚Äôs a fine line between couponers and those other reality-show stars: hoarders

"Couponing is totally sexy,” claims Kristie, the selfemployed mother of two with the street name “Treasure Hunter of Maine.” She’s referring to the fact that she’s purchased 14 tubes of lipstick for less than two cents.

But ask Joanie’s husband how sexy his wife is after her latest coupon haul. “So, you had yourself, our son and your pregnant friend in a dumpster today?” “Absolutely,” she proclaims, beaming. Desiree, one of many obsessive shoppers profiled in TLC’s Extreme Couponing, says she is “never gonna stink,” in spite of the fact that she, too, spends several hours a week dumpster-diving. You see, among her cache of 2,400 household and grocery items are 105 deodorants and 125 bottles of hair and body wash. Seems excessive, but she got them for free. All she spent was hours of research, planning and labor.

These shoppers’ loaded kitchen cabinets and basements — bursting with toilet paper, canned soup and detergent — look like those of highly organized hoarders. But TLC disagrees.

“These folks don’t have mental issues,” says Publicity Coordinator Niki Kazalos. “They coupon because they want to save money for their families. Some of them have stockpiles and all of them donate.”

Americans reportedly throw away about $57 billion worth of coupons every year, so there are plenty of deals up for grabs, if you’re willing to dig (both figuratively and literally).

Some of these hardcore bargain shoppers spend up to 30 hours a week number-crunching and combining print, online and in-store deals “If people are throwing away coupons, they’re throwing away cash,” says Desiree.

Couponers aren’t just “crazy fat ladies,” says Kristie, an attractive 27-year-old with two sons who help her clip newspaper inserts. “There’s a whole new generation of moms saving money.”

After the adrenaline rush that comes with watching a nearly $600 total subtract to less than $3, Kristie experiences momentary guilt.

“I feel like I just robbed that store,” she admits. Extreme Couponers is a bargain-hunting Olympics, and the competitors warn you can’t just walk off the sidelines and play.

Loading $1,000 dollars’ worth of power bars and energy drinks from nine carts (for which he paid just one large envelope of coupons), Chris says, “You’ve got to be in shape.”

“It’s free,” he grunts, “but it’s not easy.”

(TLC, Wednesdays, 9:30 pm)


So You Think You Can Dance?
Judges for this Emmy-winning reality show don’t care if the performers dance hip-hop, salsa, merengue, cha-cha, waltz or ballet. They’re looking for “the It factor.” This battle of superhuman flexibility begins with a two-hour premiere on Thursday May 26. (FOX, Thursdays, 8pm)

America’s Got Talent
I can’t imagine what could be as outrageous as the final performance last season of “Prince Poppycock” (he set the bar high for drag queens), but expect at least one child prodigy and hopefully no more ventriloquists. The two-hour premiere of America’s Got Talent, Season 6, begins at 8 pm on May 31. (NBC, Tuesdays, 8pm)

Basketball Wives
“Lifestyles of rich, bored, too-intense women who may have been married to professional basketball players” was too long. Basketball Wives, which has little to do with actual wives or basketball, is filmed in upscale Miami: all the foul-mouthed fighting of Jersey Shore but with designer clothes and better beaches.
(VH-1, Mondays, 8 pm)


  • Pin It

Latest in Film

  • A Load of Scrat
  • A Load of Scrat

    Ice Age: Collision Course continues a franchise that keeps going only because it can
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Cats and Dogs
  • Cats and Dogs

    The Secret Life of Pets is a pure joy of the imagination
    • Jul 14, 2016
  • Ain't Afraid of 
No Feminism
  • Ain't Afraid of No Feminism

    The Ghostbusters reboot dishes out laughs with a new team of ghoul chasers
    • Jul 14, 2016
  • More »

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Buffalo Jones, Bryan John Appleby, the Backups

Buffalo Jones, Bryan John Appleby, the Backups @ The Big Dipper

Wed., July 27, 9 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks


More by Lisa Fairbanks-Rossi

Most Commented On

Readers also liked…

  • Where Are the Women?
  • Where Are the Women?

    A critic's year-long deep dive into the way movies portray half of humanity
    • May 12, 2016
  • The One Who Knocks
  • The One Who Knocks

    Why an Australian indie called The Babadook became one of 2014's creepiest films
    • Dec 17, 2014

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation