Looking back, nearly 30 years ago when my kids were very small, my mother in law and I spent maybe an hour a week together clipping coupons, planning meals and shopping trips. Back then one of the attractions besides redeeming coupons for immediate savings was to cut bar codes from these same products and mail them in for free gifts and samples. Occasionally these might result in items such as a small stuffed animal, or perhaps a package of diapers, etc.
We even paid a very small fee for a Coupon Exchange Newsletter which enabled us to trade coupons with subscribers all over the United States via snail mail. Hey, it worked! We saved money on our groceries, sampled new products and received "free gifts" via redemption. I think our biggest week we may have saved $20 on our grocery bill (a big deal back then and this in a location where I've NEVER seen double coupons offered anywhere). However, we actually purchased items we needed, we didn't wipe out entire shelves and hoard 93 boxes of croutons or 142 bottles of cough medicine like some consumers recently showcased on TLC's Extreme Couponing.
This overzealous practice by some people shown on Extreme Couponing, makes me question whether coupons themselves will become extinct? To be fair, I applaud a couple of good Samaritans represented that have donated to food banks and charities, but on the show it appears they are vastly outnumbered by greedy basement-shelving-hoarders. (Which of course, makes for what is considered "good entertainment" in the cheap reality show genre.)
One things for sure, extreme couponing has got people talking. Don't take my word for it though. You may be interested to read a few comments on extreme couponing to see what others have to say. And just to stir the pot a little more, let me leave you with a few words attributed to the infamous, Donald Trump....."The point is that you can't be too greedy."
And my response to that is......................."huh?!"