Monday, April 25, 2011

Extreme Couponing & Why it hurts the Environment

Ok I get it.
People want to save money so bad and we like reality type shows.

Usher in the new show on TLC "Extreme Couponing" and people are going crazy over it.

I can see why its popular - we are blown away at how people are able to buy things for pennies or less! We can't comprehend it and don't understand why we can't duplicate how they do it! So we watch this show in hopes that we can maybe do the same.

There have been a lot of great articles written about what they don't tell you on the show so I figured why not?! I'll put in my thoughts about this too.

Now I have only seen about 4 little bit parts from that show and have never seen an entire show but even seeing 4 min of one show was enough for me to form an opinion.
Here's my thoughts:

Most of the items the people get on the show are things not good for you such as crappy food like on one episode where a lady bought over 100 Butterfinger bars. Ok I'm all for getting a good deal but who needs 100 candy bars? Obviously you are going to eat them sooner then later because they will go bad and get stale, but watching her count all those bars made me a little sick. Yes she was overweight which only made watching it feel worse. Its like watching a drug addict scramble for a hit or something. it was truly sad. She loaded up NINE carts full of junk and highly processed foods like Poweraid, over 100+ boxes of pasta, the candy and the carts were bursting with more and more junk. (the above picture is just one of her carts)

Clearly getting a good deal on those items were more important then her health.....or she's like most Americans who just buy whatever is the cheapest on the shelf regardless of the crap that's in most of those foods.

Not to mention all the deals they snag on products for your body like deodorants or lotions, shampoos, makeup, etc. Nearly all of what they get none of us should be slathering all over ourselves! Or the cleaning supplies! Oh don't even get me started on that. Considering how toxic most cleaners are, can you imagine how polluted their homes are inside?? I can't even fathom it. But I guess getting a good deal on things like Glade Plug In's is more important then their families health. That might sound mean to say but having this show televised is only hurting the issue's above - not helping them. ( I encourage you to read some of the links to learn more about my rant)

By showing people how cheap they can get these items for, its making people want to go out and try it themselves. which brings in toxic items into the homes of millions.
It also shows manufactures that they need to make MORE of these items to meet the demand which brings more chemicals into homes around us and brings more waste into the landfills.
Nearly every product purchased on the show has a ton of packaging that in most cases cannot be recycled.

And it almost glorifies hoarding. Extreme Couponing is encouraging people to take pictures of their stock piles or their "hauls" that people bring home. Hoarding is literally a sickness that many people struggle with and cannot get over. The show Hoarders on A&E is incredibly sad and depressing - yet on TLC its FUN to hoard and we applaud it. Why? Because we think that watching someone save money is not as "bad" as those who Hoard? I'm afraid I don't see the difference.

Now before you start shooting me down by saying, "but they donate most stuff to food banks for charities" .....let's be honest, most of those people do not donate their haul because they got such a high from getting it in the first place. Parting with it would deplete their giant store room of stuff that is some sort of tourist attraction AND a TV show.

If you have 9 people living in your house and you have no other options because you are out of work or struggling financially - then USE COUPONS and buy what you need. I'm not speaking to you in this post, not at all. As someone who is and has been living the unemployed lifestyle for nearly 2 years - I get it.

I'm saying we need to be cautious. And really look at what we are doing with our money and how we spend it. By purchasing products that not only hurt the environment but also ourselves we are telling Manufacturers to keep it coming! And we drown out the little guys like Seventh Generation or Method for example and scoff at spending what they charge. Of course they are charging more! They are putting out a premium product and cannot compete with companies like P&G who are happy to put out thousands of coupons to get us to buy and keep buying. Hook 'em and reel 'em in....but at what cost?

I'll stick with my savings and coupons I can use for products I support. I can't even shop the way those do on that show anyway. I live in WA state where tripling coupons isn't allowed in my grocery stores. maybe its a good thing.

And can I mention that Seventh Generation offers some great coupons on occasion and you CAN stack their coupons with Target Coupons. Which equals great savings and supports the little guys. Method sometimes has great coupons too.

So those are my thoughts. Obviously the show is controversial no matter what your stance on the subject is. Sadly I don't think the show is going anywhere.

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