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If you follow current events, I am sure you have seen the hype surrounding TLC’s Extreme Couponing. Like anything else, there are fans and haters and those who simply don’t care. I fall in the don’t care category, with one exception; I learned that I may be bearing the financial burden for extreme couponing.
My wife and I were watching the show one night and the story featured two people that caught our attention. The first was a woman who claimed to have a full time job and spend 70 hours per week “couponing.” Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to point out that this is not about saving money, but more about addiction. If you paid this lady $10 per hour, I am sure she would do better than her alleged savings, which really amounts to stockpiling stuff she may never use in her basement.
The second was a guy who “gamed the system” to allow himself to pick up a pallet of cereal which he had to tow home on a trailer behind his car. Sure he said was going to give the extra to charity, but the question that someone recently posed was “who is paying for this?” And it is a very valid question.
Here is what I know.
1. Manufacturers and retailers are in business to make money.
2. They won’t stop making money because someone is gaming the system and getting free stuff with coupons.
3. If these profitable companies see (or even detect) losses from coupons, those who don’t use coupons will ultimately pay the difference because they will raise their prices.
That is pretty simple economics.
So now I ask you… are you a fan of extreme couponing now that you know you are paying for it?