Thursday, April 7, 2011

Extreme Couponing...and Food Issues

So I saw one of the TLC extreme couponing shows last night (and a part of another one too). While the whole concept of couponing is actually pretty interesting to me, a thought struck me: as a person who has proclivities toward eating a lot, is stockpiling food like the couponers do a good thing...even if it's free food?

In one case, I know the answer is a definite, "NO!" One lady was able to secure 150 free Butterfingers and other chocolate candy. What a great deal...except for its impact on your health!

But there were also some other types of snack foods the couponers bought that might not be so blatantly bad as the Butterfinger train wreck (Nutrigrain bars, granola bars, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.....I could keep these etc.'s going, but I'll stop there). These folks had some MASSIVE STOCKPILED quantities of each of their snacks. They pretty much have mini-grocery stores in their homes. For instance, one husband's man cave was being heavily invaded (despite his understandable disgruntlement with the situation) as the third stockpile center (with two other large centers) in the home. Another lady had stockpiles in her bedroom closet, under her baby's bed, and in every other possible nook and cranny. Just FYI, garages seem to be the usual desired locales for the initial stockpiles...before they take over the rest of the home.

But back to the subject, everything I know about snacking points to the notion of keeping bad snacks out of the house as the best tact. It seems to be a good first line of defense when combatting cravings. Only some of the time will you actually propel yourself out of your layabout state to go out and get a snack. This typically relegates you to eating what's lying around the abode (unless your significant other is really needing to secure some literal brownie-getting points :) ).

My personal concern, since my own eating 'Off' switch has oft seemed broken over the years, is what happens when you have mounds of food...even relatively healthy food...lying around? Could having a stockpile with some fairly healthy options help? Could it make things better because your famine mentality (or squirrel mentality as my sister and I call it) is not in as high a gear? In other words, are you not irrationally worried about starving to death if you have your own Publix extending from the back porch to the spare bathroom? Or do you more easily ignore your satiation senses since you have a bigger supply (does the bigger plate equalling more in the mouth also translate to the greater stockpile of food causing the same result)? Do you perhaps even treat your body like the garbage can and eat more so as to not waste food that will soon expire (expiration of items was an issue the couponers discussed)?

What do you think about stockpiling and food issues?

Has anyone else caught the series? The pictures below are of the Butterfinger broad herself and another couponer who went dumpster diving for coupons with her son and pregnant friend.


  1. Wow. That lady is either turning Butterfinger color or needs to lay off the tanning booth! :) As for stockpiling, living in an NYC apartment, there's a limit to how much I can do that. I don't stockpile food, though I do keep a stock of extra shaving cream, paper towels, laundry detergent, toothpaste, toothbrushes and toilet paper in the house! I just hate running out of any of those things!

    I do usually keep the bad snacks (my trigger foods) out of the house. That's my best defense. Post-band, I won't overdo it no matter how much healthy food is in the house. This does make me think though -- I sure do waste a lot of food these days!

  2. I have seen that show and was really struck by the selfishness of those people. I think it's great to use coupons and get free groceries, but to store that much stuff...that food could do so much good for hungry Americans. It made me sad. And it made me nervous, I don't like clutter or anything that is not in it's place, I couldn't handle that!

  3. One thing that struck me was that a majority of the super couponers had weight issues and they were stockpiling very unhealthy food, as well. Also a majority who were interviewed were couples or couples with small families...Could they possibly eat/use all those products by their deadline dates?

  4. Catherine, LOL about the Butterfinger color...that reminded me of Violet (the blueberry girl who had to be de-juiced) in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    Tessie Rose, I'm with you on the clutter...makes me nervous too.

    Rachel, I noticed that too about the couples and small families. And you are right--there was plenty of unhealthy food in the mix.

  5. I was thinking she looked like an Oppalumpa (or however you spell it) from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    I think they have some hoarding issues going on with a host of other issues!

  6. Totally agree with all the observations you made!!

    As someone living on a very small budget I had considered couponing before, however after researching things further I realized it wouldn't work well for me because you're usually buying brand name snack foods, a lot of packaged snack-type foods or just generally unhealthy items. Either way I try to stick with healthy fresh foods for the most part so I figured out it wouldn't help me. I've watched segments of the show you are talking about before and I also noted that the people usually had a weight problem....likely because of all the reasons you pointed out!

  7. i caught a wee bit of one of those shows last night too and was amazed at the amount of time these women spend in order to save the money they do. i can't see myself ever couponing (besides the fact that you can't redeem them down here). I managed to waste a whole lot of food by having a well-stocked pantry BEFORE i got banded and now.... let's just say i, like catherine, waste an awful lot of food these days simply because I CAN'T eat it!

  8. I will say the show got me into using coupons when it first aired a few months ago. But what I have found since starting is that all of the sale items are gone because of people like this on the show. They take 62 bottles of mustard and then there is none left for me to buy the one or two I wanted. I mean do you need 300 toothbrushes? It just gets me so angry that they buy these things week after week, adding to piles of stuff they can't possibly use.
    And most of the coupons are for processed food. I went on this one site where people talk about their couponing and they said they buy stuff they don't need or will ever use just becuase they get it for free or next to nothing. Why I ask, Why?

  9. The stockpiling and couponing is weird. In my view, its a time issue. Who the hell has time for researching and organizing the coupons and all the rest? I hate stockpiling. Instead, I have Amazon auto-ship our detergent, TP, etc. That way, it doesn't have to take up space in my house, but I don't really run out either.

    I've only watched it once, and it was a guy who donated a bunch of his stockpiling. That might be a good endeavor.

    Meanwhile, I just discovered the OWN channel. Love all the twisted reality t.v.! Did you see that food addiction show? Very interesting...Right now I'm watching My Strange Addiction on Discovery Fit & Health. Excellent. ;)