Extreme Couponing or Organized Hoarding?

On a rare free evening last week, I sat in front of the TV looking for something interesting to watch. I came upon a show I’ve watched a number of times before called “Hoarders”. I’d come in at the last half of the show, but not too late to see images of the hoarder’s home full of items they were unable to part with. The homes were nothing short of a disaster area with junk piled high on the floors, furniture and virtually every surface available.

When that show ended a new show began. This one was called “Extreme Couponing”. The show featured people who use manufacturer’s coupons and store specials to amass stockpiles of free or very inexpensive food. I watched in horrified fascination as one shopper cleared the shelves of 77 jars of mustard because she was paying 26 cents for each container. I wondered why on God’s green earth anyone would need 77 jars of mustard, even if they WERE free. Later in the show they had a “tour” of the person’s stockpile. One of the people featured had shelves of groceries in every room in the house, the garage was so full of items they could not park their cars inside. Each person was proud of their stockpile, but it struck me as nothing more than organized hoarding.

I thought it interesting that the hoarders were all ashamed of their hoarding behavior (I wonder if this was because their “hoard” was messy) and the extreme coupon people were all inordinately proud of their hoard.

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