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Jestgar

Extreme Couponing And Hoarders (Shows)

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I don't have a TV, but I was pet sitting for a friend and saw these on the listing. After watching one couponer show off her ENTIRE SHED full of stuff while explaining that she had 1000 bottles of mouthwash, I wondered if these two types of people are really different.

Is one "being thrifty" because you are getting stuff (you don't need) for free, and storing it in cupboards, and one a disorder because your stuff (you don't need) is piled throughout the house?

Two very very odd types of people.... :blink:

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These couponers that keep 1000 bottles of mouthwash are hoarders, too. I saw an episode where a guy had to have the Chex cereal delivered by a truck on pallets to his house. He got it for $200. Then, he and his friends loaded into their cars & took it to a food pantry! That was a good one.

Got called away while posting.

I notice these couponers come home with a truck full but no real food. You can't fix dinner with 100 boxes of Mac & cheese and no milk or fruit or meat.

Edited by kareng

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Oh, I dunno. 30 boxes of cake mix must be good for something.

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I don't know if it is exactly the same thing and here's why. Hoarders often have some bad event in their life that triggers the hoarding. They can't get rid of anything, including garbage. And they can't seem to see the filth. Or sometimes they do but don't seem to know what to do about it. Something inside of them makes them seem to think it is normal but clearly on some level they know it is not. I have watched episodes where people keep things, intending to give them to other people. But then they never do this! Like the woman who found a bunch of canes in the trash and said that disabled people could use them. Yeah, sure. But did she know a bunch of disabled people in need of canes? Probably not. Or they save a magazine or a newspaper article to give it to someone. But never do. They also often see some sort of value in what others would consder trash. Like plastic soda bottles. They won't even bother to recycle them because they feel that they have a use. And while they can be used for other things... How hard is it to get a soda bottle? And if you're not actually going to *do* something with those things, then get rid of them! But they can't.

Then there are compulsive shoppers. There's a show about that but on another channel. I think this can overlap both conditions. Often some event in their life triggers this too. They will buy things that they already have because they have sooo many things that they don't even know what they have. And they always say that they get a high from shopping. I can kind of understand this. I just ordered two pairs of shoes for myself that I do not need. I have pairs of shoes that I have never worn or only worn once. And right now I'm not even wearing shoes but boots. Because it's cold. I got an e-mail from the New Balance outlet telling me of new markdowns. And my shoes are almost always markdown items. I do love a bargain and I do love getting new shoes. Especially bright colored ones like these are. I also don't think that my shoe collection is all that excessive. I do have enough different colors that I can usually match my shoes to my outfit. I do own 5 pairs of boots. But...

I only have one purse that I use. I get a new one only if my old one is looking ratty or something breaks on it or I realize that it just won't work for me. Too small, too heavy. They're never too big. Heh! I might keep the old one if it is just looking ratty but still servicable just in case I have some sort of hideous purse accident. I did have that happen. Strap broke off and I had no spare purse. I also have a cheap purple tote with a couple of pockets in it that I could use for other things (but haven't). I bought it just in case my purse did break and I needed something to use until the new one came. I get most all of my shoes and purses online and they can take a few days to come.

Now the couponers... Well... Many of the ones you see on that show are doing illegal things. I won't say they all are but it is documented and on the Internet. If you do a search of coupon fraud, you'll see who they were. I can't say whether or not the show knew about this, told them to do this, gave them bogus coupons or a tip as to where to get them or what. On the earlier episodes a woman used coupons for products she didn't buy. Since then they have changed the coupons and the coupon readers to try to stop this. Used to be that a person could take a $10 off coupon and buy some sort of travel sized item from the same company that sells for 99 cents and attempt to buy that item with said coupon. Now if the cashier was on the ball and/or was going to follow the rules, this wouldn't be allowed. But if the store bent the rules (as they have admitted to doing for the show) or the cashier didn't care or wasn't bright or whatever, this could have happened. And some stores would give what they call overage. Meaning that they would pay the customer back a whopping $9.01 each time they did this. And of course the people who were going to do this would do this as often as they could, even buying such coupons from various sources so that they could make a lot of money. I am not going to say that this happened every time but it was clearly found out in one case and suspected in another. So they changed the way coupons scan and are scanned to hopefully prevent this from happening. Some couponers and some store employees figure that if the coupon scans, it's all good.

Now the other thing they were doing was using bogus coupons. These can be bought from various sources or made at home. Don't ask me how. Not into that. But three women were arrested last year for making and distributing them. And as a person who has bought coupons from Ebay, I now know how easy it is to buy such things. I do not know that any of the coupons I bought were bogus. And if they were surely I didn't use them. Bogus coupons are usually for large dollar amounts. And although I did get some of those, they were not for products I would buy or for products that are not in this area. So being afraid of this possibly happening to me, I will no longer buy coupons. You may ask why I did this to begin with but... When daughter saw this show, she wanted to do like they did. And I couldn't get very many coupons from my newspaper so I bought some. I also wrote to the manufacturers in praise of the products we like and use and this is a legitimate way of getting high value coupons. They won't always send you coupons and if they do, they won't always be for what you are expecting or even high value. But I digress. We soon learned that we could not do what they were doing because they were not doing right. And our stores do not give overage.

But the excess of stuff? That's the part that's weird. Or getting stuff just because it is free. These people have admitted that they get a high from getting free stuff or in seeing their huge stock piles. And that's the part that's not normal. Yeah, I like getting stuff for free. But if it's not something I want or can use, then I don't want it and I won't get it. I do give things to the food bank. And if I can get stuff for free or for cheap using coupons, I will do that. Like regular pasta that we don't eat. But tons of boxes of pain reliever? Various OTC medicines? Hair color in color that isn't my own? I actually heard a couponer talking about all the free hair color she got and how she was going around looking for people with that color of hair to give it to! I was thinking... Get a new hobby! But the whole thing just consumes their life.

Now I'm no expert but in my mind, all of these people have some sort of mental illness. They have said on the Hoarding show that it is a form of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) but also along with it can be depression and other things that cause disordered thinking.

I did have a touch of a problem when I got my first full time job at K Mart. In those days we had a clearance aisle. And I was in charge of it. Every week that stuff got marked down more and more and I was in charge of doing that. And also in charge of doing the blue light specials and here's where I swooped in for the bargains. I got stuff for 10 and 25 cents. Plant fertilizer, washcloths and towels, pillow cases, kitchen stuff, baby clothes! I had no baby but I surmised that if I stocked up on this stuff, then I would have gifts at the ready for my many cousins who might have a baby. And then they didn't. And after two years of keeping those clothes, I finally gave them to a friend whose church was collecting clothes for charity. And then of course someone I knew had a baby.

But... I realized my problem when... I had to buy a shelving unit to hold all of these things. I had more of these things than I could use. And nobody I knew wanted any of these things. I was like... Whoa! Gotta stop doing that.

But the people on that show did not stop doing that. They just keep buying stuff or getting it for free and praising themselves for doing it. And sometimes building sheds, bigger sheds, or even stuffing things under beds and in bathtubs to store it all. It's a wonder that their houses are not running over in bugs. They stockpile cereal, rice, pasta, cookies, crackers, chips. All things that go bad and all things that can get buggy.

So... Yeah. Mental problem I think. I could go on and on with this but I won't. I grew up in a house with parents that have some of these sorts of issues. It wasn't a dirty/cluttered house like on the hoarding shows. In fact they sort of went to the other extreme in that department. But building all sorts of new storage areas and stockpiling way more of some things than anyone needs. He does have OCD and some other problems. Like fearing that he would run out of things and there would be a shortage and he couldn't buy whatever it was any more. And my mom was the same way. So it's hard for me to determine just what is a reasonable amount of stuff to keep. And I probably keep more of some things than I should. But not to the extremes like you see on those shows. Not even close.

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Julie - I always wondered how they did some of this. I have never seen a store that would give you money back. If it was a coupon for 50 cents off and the item was on a special for 40 cents, they don't give the difference back to you. Lots of stores don't let you use more than 1 coupon on an item, either.

I have been guilty of going thru the Walmart left-overs/extreme markdowns. I got fuzzy baby onsies for $1. I bought 10. Saved them until the next Christmas for our church's baby item collection. I have bought other stuff this way but for a specific charity. I wouldn't want to keep it too long!

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A friend of a friend uses $10 a month and coupons to donate to food pantries. (Usually she turns it into a $300 donation) She has the bug to do this and found a positive way to help the community.

It has to be illegal to get a huge stack of coupons like they have on that show.

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Interesting all that, Julie. I had no idea there were such a thing as illegal coupons but it makes sense.

I agree that anything to that extreme has to be some form of a mental illness. Couponing (or sales) for charity seems more like a sport thing.

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Julie - I always wondered how they did some of this. I have never seen a store that would give you money back. If it was a coupon for 50 cents off and the item was on a special for 40 cents, they don't give the difference back to you. Lots of stores don't let you use more than 1 coupon on an item, either.

I have been guilty of going thru the Walmart left-overs/extreme markdowns. I got fuzzy baby onsies for $1. I bought 10. Saved them until the next Christmas for our church's baby item collection. I have bought other stuff this way but for a specific charity. I wouldn't want to keep it too long!

Apparently Walmart *will* give you overages but I have also heard that many of their stores will pull the coupon items off the shelf so you can't eve buy them. Our Walmart doesn't have a full grocery so we rarely buy food there. I think I have used a couple of coupons but there was no overage.

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A friend of a friend uses $10 a month and coupons to donate to food pantries. (Usually she turns it into a $300 donation) She has the bug to do this and found a positive way to help the community.

It has to be illegal to get a huge stack of coupons like they have on that show.

Some people do dumpster diving to get them but that is illegal here. Some also know people who will give them the extra inserts. There was one lady in one town who said she was the only place where you could buy papers. I can't remember what her business was. That left her with all the extra inserts. And of course you can buy the coupons which some of them do but that seems pretty silly to me. Yes, I did do it but... You have to factor in the money you are spending plus the postage. And then some people trade coupons. They trade ones they don't want for ones they do. I haven't figured this out because there are really so few I can use. And I'm not about to store up the ones I can't use and pay postage to send them to someone on the chance that I will get something back in return. Also used to be that people held couponing parties. I don't know if they do any more. They bring all the coupons they don't want to some location and trade them with others.

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