There is a hit new reality show called Extreme Couponing. If you have not seen it and you live a frugal lifestyle, the show is definitely worth a watch, since you’ll probably find it pretty intriguing. The gist of the show is this: a few “extreme couponers” are profiled during every episode. These couponers spend untold hours of their time scouring the internet or even local dumpsters for the best, unused coupons out there. Then they spend more hours mapping out their shopping trip and combining coupons with other in store specials such as buy one, get one free type deals.
The result? When these extreme couponers go to check out they end up paying literally little to nothing for usually what adds up to be thousands of dollars of household products. If you live a frugal lifestyle then you’ve probably thought to yourself – what an amazing way to save! However, after looking into it just a little, it’s easy to conclude that extreme couponing is not worth the hassle for the vast majority of people.
Time Really Does Equal Money
That is if you have a marketable skill. If you have gone through any amount of post secondary schooling or vocational training or have simply established yourself in a career field, then your time is valuable. Extreme couponing takes a lot of time and if you notice, most of the extreme couponers profiled on the show do not seem to possess a real, marketable skill of any kind.
Coupons For Nonessential Items
If you notice, most of the best coupons are for nonessential items. For instance, one woman on the show was able to combine two very good coupons to get nearly 1,000 candy bars for free. While this is impressive, how many candy bars do you really need? You can’t live off candy bars and in general there are no extreme coupons for fresh produce, meats, milk and bread, the staples of nutrition.
Extreme Couponing Requires Space
I noticed that many of the extreme couponers have no choice but to hoard the goods they purchase in bulk for next to nothing. Many of them actually have an extra loft, room over the garage or other livable space they use to store their purchased items. It actually makes a lot more financial sense to rent this livable space out then to use it as a warehouse of sorts.
Extreme Couponing Will Not Make You Wealthy
Living a frugal lifestyle will help you become wealthy, along with earning a decent, consistent income and saving. However, extreme couponing is not how you build wealth. In fact, depending on your earning capacity, extreme couponing can detract for building wealth.
written by: Jessica Drew
Jessica Drew is a freelance writer and editor who blogs about a variety of money making and finance topics such as private student loans.