If you’ve watched Extreme Couponing at all, then you probably have a very strong opinion one way or the other. It’s a love-it-or-hate-it type of show, especially for those of us who put in some effort into saving money for our families.
In a reality-television inundated society, what does Extreme Couponing show us about ourselves?
Let me start on a positive note, the show reveals the growing desire to save money. Some families have been able to enjoy the blessing of stay-at-home motherhood because of the money saved through couponing. Even without that kind of family dynamic, saving money is always a good thing!
However, Extreme Couponing also touches on the apparent “voyerism” trend inherent in reality television. Make no mistake about it, Extreme Couponing is reality television. Just because people aren’t getting drunk, performing on a stage or trying to survive in the wilderness doesn’t make it any less reality TV. I have to confess that when I have watched the program, I always want to see what it is that these extreme couponers are buying to feed their families. I also have to confess that I have felt judgmental and self-righteous when I’ve seen grocery carts full of boxed, sugary cereals, sugary drinks and other processed junk food. I don’t feel so bad about not saving 99% on my grocery bill. Of course, it you do purchase the products in the Extreme Couponers carts, you may not feel the same way 😉
In addition to the personal curiosity, Extreme Couponing may be hitting a nerve relative to the economic fears and challenges we face as a nation right now. Other shows like “Doomsday Preppers” and “Hoarders” are, perhaps, another take on the “hoarding” mentality that we see on Extreme Couponing. While most seem happy to let their children and neighbors “shop” in their stockpile basements, I can’t help but wonder how many people want stockpiles like that “just in case…”
Maybe I’m wrong. What do you think? What does Extreme Couponing tell us, not about the couponers on the show but about our society?
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