Definition of Hubbub: Noise, Uproar (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). There is no better way to describe the commotion surrounding the show Extreme Couponing in the online world right now than a whole lot of hubbub.
If you’ve been anywhere near the internet in the last two weeks, chances are you’ve heard about Extreme Couponing. This new television show, which premiered on December 29, 2010, airs on TLC and features some of the country’s most extreme couponers and deal seekers. This week we got to see profiles and shopping trips of 4 fellow frugal shoppers: Amanda Ostrowski, Joyce House, Joanie Demer, and Nathan Engels.
Joyce boasted proudly that she hasn’t paid for a toothbrush, toothpaste or deodorant in 34 years. Back in 2008, I told you that you didn’t have to pay for those things! In case you forgot (or never got a chance to read it then), you can read it now: Top 13 Free Things to Stop Paying For Now! Joanie’s husband seemed a little annoyed that she was dumpster diving for newspaper coupon inserts. Of course, we got to see her do it, and she was not IN the dumpster. She was in a “newspapers only” recycling bin with gloves on. Not glamorous, but hardly gross!
I’m also reminded of the article I wrote 2 years ago called How to Save Money by Getting Almost Everything for Free. These extreme savers have discovered something that all frugal deal-lovers do sooner or later: once you realize you can get the things you want and need for free, why in the world would you want to pay for them?
It goes one step further than that. Once you realize you can get things for free, why wouldn’t you teach other people to do the same thing? In Extreme Couponing, Joyce has the sharing bug too, as she walks through the store educating all the other shoppers about how much they can be saving on their purchases!
It’s true that a lot of people just don’t want to spend the time or energy on couponing or deal seeking. Striking a balance between the cost of your time and the cost of your shopping savings is a tough job. If you can navigate this delicate distinction, the savings from couponing can be tremendous.
It was really nice to see that there was quite a bit of frugal education going on for the viewers in Extreme Couponing. The coupon shoppers talked about making donations, living off their stockpiles, organizing and rotating their stock, using reusable shopping bags for extra discounts, and more.
But is there really anything crazy about what these fellow frugalites are doing? Not if you ask me. Let me take you back a few years to when the recession was hitting everyone HARD… We were doing some pretty crazy things to save money in the scare of a full-blown depression. Our neighbors, friends and families were losing their jobs right and left. Needless to say, the frugal movement got quite a large following – quickly.
Not only did we (as a nation of frugal moms and dads) start extreme couponing, we at Home Ever After also:
- Turned off our cars at stoplights
- Walked and biked to work in below zero temperatures
- Learned to thrift store shop in How to Save 90% on Kids Clothes
- Switched to using only free samples in the shower
- Turned down the thermometer 3 degrees to save on heating fuel
- Saved rubber bands from vegetables
- Used milk jugs for kitchen utensils
- Used peanut butter jars to store bathroom items
If you love frugal living, make sure you catch Extreme Couponing next week on TLC (it airs Tuesday nights). If you’re new to the saving world and would like to learn more about how you can get started saving money like the shoppers in Extreme Couponing, read my free guide here: Transform Yourself from a Money Waster into a Money Saver – A Complete Frugal Makeover. This article is linked to Frugal Friday.