My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Happy Thursday guys!

The sun finally decided to make a much welcomed appearance today 🙂

But alas,  it is sadly going to be short lived…later on today and all the way through the weekend, the rain and clouds are packing their gloomy bags and moving back in. I’m seriously thinking about investing in a rain poncho–I thought about getting an umbrella but walking around downtown Milwaukee with one is nearly impossible because of the wind. I saw a poor girl just yesterday fighting a battle she was not going to win against an umbrella that kept flipping inside out and all around. I really don’t feel like waging that war–plus, imagine how uber chic I will look strolling down the city streets in my electric-yellow accessory. Cute, right? I’ll look like I just got off the Jurassic Park water ride at Universal Studios. I’m bringing plastic back, baby! But enough about my new fashion venture. Let’s get to the important things…like crazy coupon clipping? 

I would like to introduce you to the very first installment of what I would like to call “Things that make me go ‘hmm'”. Do you ever hear about, see, or do something that makes you stop for a second and literally question what in the world people (or things) are thinking and/or doing? I find myself doing this constantly on a daily basis, maybe because I am naturally curious about the world around me and everything in it, but also maybe because the world around me and everything in it is absolutely bonkers sometimes.

To start off this new segment, I would like to talk to you about crazy coupon clippers (or CCC’s for short). Last night while I was waiting for  my frozen enchilada dinner to heat in the microwave, I aimlessly started to flip through the channels on my tv (the Brewers had played earlier in the day which left my viewing options open for the evening–which by the way, if anyone did not happen to catch the game, they KILLED the poor Phillies, taking the complete game series!). I heard the timer go off on my food, so I dropped the remote, left the channel on where it was, and went to get my 4-star meal ready. When I came back into the living room, a new episode of ‘Extreme Couponing’ was just beginning on TLC. To go off topic here for a second, have you ever watched the programming on TLC? I know it is supposed to stand for The Learning Channel but it should really be called TCC, or The Crazy Channel. It seems like all they show on that network are programs that are (or depict people who are), well, to put it lightly, kind of crazy (Sister Wives, I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant, Little People-Big World, Toddlers and Tiaras, 19 Kids and Counting? I rest my case.) ‘Extrememe Couponing’ most definitley fits into TLC’s programming nicely.

Now may I please preface this by saying that I had every intention of turning the channel. I mean, there was SO much more high-quality TV that I could have been entertained by (Survivor–that’s still on?–, American Idol–that’s still on?–, The Real World–that’s still on?–Gosh, I guess people never get tired of the same old hat when it comes to TV). I did have every intention of turning the channel, I promise, but I became sucked in the minute I started watching this captivating (and by captivating, I mean slightly disturbing) show about crazy coupon clippers.

In a somewhat documentary style, the show tells stories of people who go to extreme lengths and measures to save a buck (or thousand) when shopping. Hard-core couponers are in it to win it — for free, if at all humanly possible. They plot their grocery-store trips with the precision of military commanders. They load up three or four shopping carts at a time. They test the mettle — and the congeniality — of cashiers by having them tally dozens of discounts on their behalf. Whatever you do, do NOT get in line behind this kind of shopper at a checkout line unless you have a week to kill.And what do they get in exchange? Hundreds of dollars’ worth of merchandise for as little as $5 to $10, the applause of onlookers — and a surge of adrenaline that can be downright addicting. Now I use coupons from time to time, especially now that I am living on  my own and have to foot the bill for my own groceries, but I have never and will never go to the unbelievable lengths that the people whose stories were told on this show have done. In many ways, I commend them for being so dedicated and committed to saving money–many started out clipping coupons because they simply needed to in order to survive, having lost a job or a steady means of income. What started out for some as a necessity however, turned into an obsession for most; an obsession that can be really unhealthy. To be an extreme coupon clipper, one must almost devote their entire day, their life to salvaging coupons. Yes you can save hundreds of dollars, but is it worth neglecting your life, your loved ones, your sanity over it?

One woman shared how she and her daughter would spend quality mother-daughter time every weekend dumpster diving for coupons. Dumpster diving! The only thing I might even consider going into garbage for would be Brewers tickets, right behind home plate, first row, close enough that you could feel the wind blow every time the bat was swung. But for coupons?Another lady would walk seven miles every day around her neighborhood, collecting coupons from friends and neighbors. There was also a man featured on the show who had to rearrange his home, garage, vehicle and entire life to make room for the mountains of toilet paper, razors, shampoo, jarred peanuts and canned corn they’re stockpiling. I have heard of shopping in bulk — but this is more like shopping in anticipation of a coming apocalypse. This particular man had a wall in his garage completely devoted to mustard. Personally, I don’t see how anyone could or would ever NEED 400 bottles of mustard. Or diapers for that matter. He wasn’t even married or had any kids, but his whole spare closet was filled to the brim with Huggies…or was it Pampers? I don’t know. All I do know is that he was counting his merchandise eggs before they hatched. I will give it to him though, in all of this madness, he will be prepared if and when the world goes into a panick-stricken depletion of mustard.  And as far as the diapers go, he could possibly use them himself one day, but that Depends (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

Like I said  before, I commend those who coupon-clip, especially those people who have done so, or are doing so, to support a family or themselves in a time of hardship. In these economic times, you have to be a bit more careful in where and how you spend your dollars. It is important though to not get so focused on money, that you miss out on life around you. Like my mom always said, moderation is key. You can have your chocolate-chip double fudge cookie dough ice cream, but you should also have a veg or two. I guess that same methodology can be applied to coupon clipping as well. Clip if you  must, but make sure that you allow yourself an indulgence every once in a while, whether that be eating out one night at a nice restaurant, going to a movie with friends, purchasing a uber cute pair of jeans or simply buying a can of beans, dare I say  it, full price! Life is too short to sweat the coupons 🙂

Case in point: Does this make me go hmmm? You bet your overflowing grocery cart it does!

Question of the day: Do you coupon?

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