Extreme Couponing: Don’t call me a hoarder

by Angela Davis on April 20, 2011

On Monday, I shared my initial thoughts on TLC’s new reality show, Extreme Couponing. The show spends quite a bit of time showing each participant’s stockpile and viewers tend to be intrigued and sometimes downright horrified about the stockpile situation. Oh, the judgement just pours out of people’s fingers (because they are typing, right?).

“No one needs that much mustard.”

“It’s just wasteful to store that much toothpaste.”

“It looks like an episode of Hoarders.”

Errk. (That’s the sound of me putting on the brakes.) Stop. Let me make one thing perfectly clear. Stockpiling and hoarding are two very different things.

Stockpiling vs. Hoarding

I’ve watched the television show Hoarders. Hoarding is a mental illness and watching people unable to get rid of things, live in filth and choose their possessions over relationships with people is completely heart-breaking to me. I ache for people who struggle with hoarding as much as people who struggle with other mental illnesses.

Stockpiling is completely different. Most of the stockpiles featured in Extreme Couponing and the real-life stockpiles I have seen (including my own) are the following:

  • organized and orderly
  • clean
  • out-of-the-way — either in the basement or a closet or under a bed or in a shelving unit

Hoarding items keeps the business of life from happening. Homes are unlivable, smelly and unsanitary. Family members can’t freely move throughout their own home due to the junk and usually have strong negative feelings and reactions about the “stuff” they have to live with. The hoarder hangs on to items regardless of if it has real value or if someone else needs it.

In contrast, stockpiles are stored out of the way and do not keep the family from functioning normally (walking through the living room, sleeping in bed, eating at the dining room table). While people may “live” along side of a stockpile (for instance, my kids’ toys and books share a closet with our toiletry stockpile), it’s not “in the way.” The stockpiler’s family is by-in-large supportive of the presence of the stockpile because they see the value in it and they are willing to give away excess to those in need.

Here’s a quick and easy way to know if you’re a hoarder or a stockpiler:

Your girlfriend is at your house and mentions that she needs to stop by the grocery store on the way home to pick up frozen spinach for dinner. You have spinach stockpiled in your freezer that you got for free with coupons. If you’re a hoarder, you keep your mouth shut and let her take her three kids into Safeway to buy the spinach.

If you’re a stockpiler, you will give her the box of frozen spinach.

Pretty simple, huh?

Here’s the other thing I want to make super clear: I do not believe it is my place to determine how extensive one’s stockpile should be. It really isn’t. If you want a three-year supply of toothpaste and your husband (or wife or mom or partner or roommate) is cool with it, then do it. As long as you’re not acting in greed — clearing shelves, taking all the store coupons, using coupons unethically – I don’t care how you play the game.

If you want my advice about how much to stockpile, I suggest you start with a 3-6 month supply of items your family regularly uses depending on the space you have available in your home. But if you want more, go for it.

There’s much more to say about how to build and maintain a stockpile so I’ll save it for another day.

Now it’s your turn: How do you build a stockpile without entering the “crazy” zone?

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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. Pinkey March 31, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I am all for couponing as I do some of that myself, but my concern with extreme couponers is that they stockpile things that they may never use. Extreme couponers also do not necessarily give a box of this or that to someone in need. Really, what is the point of over running the house with a bunch of collectibles that are not being used. In addition, the food may not be used before the expiration date and could be a health issue if consumed a considerable time after the expiration date. There is a slim line distinguishing hoarders from stockpilers; stockpilers do organize their items but I do think there is a psychological connection that leads people to build arsenals of foodstuffs and things that they really don’t need that many of and may never be able to use it all.

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Ashley January 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Couponing is an excellent money saver; however, when a financially strapped single mother heads to the grocery store with her coupon for diapers or formula only to find that some financially well-off, non-mother has cleared the shelves just to fulfill some diabolical obsessive need to get free groceries, things have gone too far.

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Kate January 17, 2013 at 10:29 pm

That’s a big assumption to make based on cleared shelves. If diapers were free you bet I’d be the first in line. I’ve been buying diapers for over 7 years. That never happens :)

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Miss Kitty October 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm

@stone cottage mama: In some areas of the country, tap water is undrinkable. We have to buy bottled drinking water here in West Texas because you can actually get ill from drinking the tap water here. So, in a sense, we stockpile some items, such as bottled water and other beverages. We also have a well-stocked pantry because we live out in the country and it’s costly to make frequent trips into town. But we are nothing like the extreme couponers shown on the show. All the items in our pantry are items we actually use and only enough to get us by until the next monthly shopping trip. We have cases of canned goods, boxed pasta, buckets of staples like flour, sugar, rice and dried beans etc. Occasionally we purchase multiples of an item if it’s on sale, have coupons for it and it’s something we frequently use anyway. I would never buy something just BECAUSE it’s on sale or I have coupons. Of course these extreme couponers get a thrill out of getting a bunch of stuff for free or having saved alot of money, who wouldn’t get excited over some great savings? But, as the name implies, the go to extremes. Some of them are working 40 – 60 hours a week sorting through newspaper ads, clipping coupons, printing online coupons and organizing everything into folders to prepare for the “big event” shopping trip. That sounds like a full time job to me, who has the time for this? Not me! Some of them even resort to dumpster diving just to get their hands on those precious pieces of printed paper. I can’t help but think that this is bordering the mental illness that causes hoarding.

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Miss Kitty October 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I use coupons off and on, when it’s for a product I would buy anyways. I am impressed by the great deals the extreme couponers get, but it would never work for my family and I. The members of my family are an extremely picky bunch, they only eat certain types of cereal, due to allergies we can only use certain types of detergents and soaps etc. Why waste my time buying stuff that will never be used? Just because it’s free or cheap? Wasting my time just to get stuff to give away? I often go to the store with a manufacturers coupon for a product that costs more than the store brand, even without a coupon. So I usually leave the unused coupon on the store shelf for someone else to use and buy the store brand (unless it’s something we tried before and definitely doesn’t live up to the taste/quality of the name brand). I honestly don’t know how these extreme couponers even get away with doubling and tripling coupons or using several coupons for the same items. Most of the stores I have ever been to only allow one coupon per item per visit and often have limits on how many of the same item you can purchase when it’s on sale. None of these stores allow doubling or tripling of coupons. Where do these people shop?

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Stone Cottage Mama August 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I am unimpressed watching the Extreme Couponing show. People who are hoarders and stockpilers have similar mindsets in term of “I might need it later, etc”. Yes, one is organized and the other isn’t. But being organized is a separate skill-set altogether. It is not even related. It is interesting watching the “high” people get on Extreme Couponing and you can see some similar addiction traits with the people who have shopping addictions, etc.

For me, I just see so much waste when I see someone buying 400 bottle of gatorade or 40 boxes of cake. What’s wrong with tap water and making cake from scratch? What’s wrong with cloth diapers and making your own bread (can cost less than 10 cents). Practically free and so much healthier for the body and the planet. Why would you stockpile toothpaste and laundry detergent when you can make your own for next to nothing and with no waste? It still just blatant overconsumerism no matter how you dice it. All that time obsessing over coupons and deals could be spent on making healthier foods from scratch that cost next to nothing and takes up less space in your home.

I love couponing but not to the detriment of our planet. We grow our own food and when we do buy food, it is always FRESH food. I use coupons for frozen veggies, toilet paper, and a few essentials. As for meat, we skip the grocery store and go straight to the farmer and buy half a cow every six months. Less packaging, grass-fed and I cut out the middle man altogether. Top Ramen, frosting and sugar laden ketchup is not allowed in my house. I watched my grandmother die at a young age due to eating this stuff. I don’t care if it’s free, I want to live an extra 20 years.

I am mostly unimpressed because the quality of the items brought into the home is just terrible. You couldn’t even PAY me to eat it. As for donating it to food banks, most of the stuff not bought gets donated anyway. I used to work at grocery stores. Why are you working so hard and wasting time you will never get back? Your own personal time has value too.

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nancy June 19, 2012 at 8:47 am

I have trouble watching the show Extreme Couponing, since I have been losing weight by eating more whole foods. I read an article that showed how most of the foods “bought” with coupons are overprocessed, high fat/salt/sugar/calorie items. One women started couponing and she, and her family, started gaining a lot of weight based on eating more coupon foods. She came to her senses and started eating healthier, and they all lost the weight. Usually eating heathier will save you money and heartache in the long run. It may not be hoarding, but more like OCD, gambling or any other addictive behaviors. If something “free or cheap” isn’t good for you what’s the point? It’s the “high”. Many of these poverty family’s time would be better spent doing some basic financial planning education (free at the library/bank), family planning (if you’re in poverty why are you having more children?) and using the time to learn about basic nutrition, read books also free. Use your couponing timeto get a part time job or volunteer- go help out someone else. Barter and learn to use your simplicity/thrift skills- preserve your own food, grow your own (we do on our little city lot) and learn what’s important…

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Diane September 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

There’s a reason why this show is called “EXTREME couponing”. These people are extreme. I think there’s quite a difference between someone who coupons and has five or ten tubes of toothpaste at home because it was a great sale, and the type of behavior that is seen on this show.

And make no mistake, the people they portray in this show are not showing normal behavior. Packing up their own clothing and personal items so they can store 60 bottles of mustard and 150 bottles of laundry detergent, buying things they don’t need or will never use just because they are free, talking about thinking about couponing “all the time”, say that they “wake up thinking about couponing all the time!”, saying that if they had to get rid of their stockpiles it would be like “getting rid of a member of the family” is not normal stuff.

The behavior on display here is, frankly, pretty disturbing. Whether it’s OCD, hoarding, or something else, it’s quite clear that the “high” these people get from couponing is filling some type of need in their life.

I would most couponers don’t come anywhere near the behavior shown here, but I also wonder how many that are on this forum that have a significant stockpile find that stockpile getting larger and larger and find couponing taking up more and more of their time, energy and thoughts. I would imagine it’s pretty easy to go over the edge.

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Miss Kitty October 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I would hate to be in a checkout line behind someone like this. I’m sure the cashiers aren’t exactly thrilled either. Sure, on the show they smile and act happy, but that’s because they know they are on camera for a reality show. In real life, when there are no cameras, the cashiers don’t like dealing with a bunch of coupons and rather than cheer, other shoppers are mostly annoyed by extreme couponers taking up so much time. And also, sometimes extreme couponers DO grab all the products off the shelf because they think they have to buy as many items as they have coupons for, whether they need those items or not. Nevermind the fact that other shoppers might want one or two of those products. That is why many stores have a limit on how many units of one item can be purchased by one person per shopping trip, often even per day, to prevent greedy hoarders from clearing store shelves. I would liken the high these extreme couponers get to the high a cleptomaniac gets from shoplifting items they don’t need or want. I know of a woman who was a clepto. It started with small items, then the thrill of getting away with it lead to bigger and more expensive items, until finally she got caught and banned from the store for life. I know there isn’t anything illegal about extreme couponing but the symptoms of addiction seem to be the same as those of cleptomaniacs, they don’t do it out of necessity, they do it for the thrill of getting away with it.

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Jerkov May 29, 2011 at 3:33 pm

It’s hoarding, it’s a mental illness because the people that do it are mentally retarded. Besides, it doesn’t matter because the shows being moved to a new network, where this show along with all the LMN movies aka “pick a flick ” night features, and also the programming featuring midgets, blind babies, retarded kid stories, all these and the extreme couponers, (yes, the double saving divas) are all going to be on CUN-TV.

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ashley c May 19, 2011 at 8:30 am

I think the biggest thing to remember is you don’t know anyone’s real deal with hoarding/stockpiling so let it go and don’t let it ruin your day. I have been watching the show, AND several have been shown graciously donating their stockpiles. I also want to reiterate the fact that most of those people have large families over 4+ people, so while their stockpile may seem ridiculous, their grocery bill may also if you saw it without coupons. Not to mention several of them have grocery budgets of 60-100 a month. Try feeding 6 people on that. I’m pretty sure their budget is so small because they live on a very very very fixed budget.
I am currently a family of 5, about to be 6, with 6 mos old twins, and a new baby on the way. We seriously live on a tight tight tight budget. Way beyond poverty level. Unfortunately, it’s just the way it is right now. My husband has been unable to find a full time job after going back to school and graduating. So, he works 2 jobs part-time.
With twins, my extended family and I couponed massively for diapers for the 10 mos and got them next to free. I had preplanned how many I would need in each size. I have yet to need to go to the store and buy some and have given out the 1 package left that was too small to friends. We recently stocked up on formula as well. Our twins use so much, we would need to spend over $300 a month in formula just to meet their needs. I thought my stockpile was huge and I had several friends comment on how I’d never run out, but the reality is that large stockpile dwindled to nothing in 6 weeks. Additionally, a family our size does approximately 3 loads of laundry a day to keep up on it (I rarely have time for that many, but in a perfect world) to have enough laundry detergent on hand for a month I’d need roughly 5-10 bottles and that would be minimal. So when I see it go on sale and I have the right coupons, you bet, I stock pile for 1-2 mos or more.

My stockpile of diapers and formula may have seemed huge to a person with 1 baby, but for us, it just had to be or we would’ve been relying on food banks and the generosity of others to be able to provide the necessities our family needs.

Our home not only “Stockpiles” or as many refer to as hoarding (unfortunately) there have been weeks and weeks where we were unable to go to the store and have thankfully never gone hungry. We also give and give and give generously. Our friends and family and neighbors know they are always welcome to stop by and are always fed. We make meals for several people each month who we know need it and always bring food and snacks to church on sundays because they have a tight budget.
Call me a hoarder, call me prepared, I don’t really care, just stop judging people when you know nothing about their lives other than they have a stockpile.
p.s. I have only ever seen a shelf cleared once, my stores always have enough plus some in stock, the one time it was out i asked for a raincheck and got it the next week. The trick is to shop in areas where you know their aren’t a lot of coupons being used either in high end areas or low income areas.

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Susanne May 14, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Ummm, close your legs?

Another example of people breeding who can’t afford to. If you are BELOW poverty level, why the hell are you STILL having kids???

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LeAnne April 23, 2011 at 2:11 am

Sorry, but the truth hurts. I am a coupon-er, if you will, and I save my family an average of anywhere between 20 to 100 a month. I am not shy to saving . I am also a cashier, so I am not rich, and I am the one who is pleadin for you to stop! You just don’t know how bad we a talk about you in the break room, and how bad we cry to ourselves when we see you come in the door.
Anyways, because I am a coupon lover at one point though, I had to say to myself that enough was enough. 18 bottles of body wash was more then enough to last me for awhile. You have to ask yourself why are you doing this. If you have 72 bottles or mustard and shelves of laundry soap you have to ask yourself why? Is it because you want to be prepared in case of a tragic situation such as a loss of a major income, natural disaster, or something to that effect? Well perhaps you should watch another TLC show then a little more called Hoarding: Buried Alive because that is just what they say they are doing it for. They all started out saying they were organized at first and then it took over theirs homes and then their lives. Leading to the resentment of their children, and in some cases even divorce by thier spouses.
So once again, the truth hurts sometimes, and if the shoe fits wear it then. This “Extreme Couponing show is just pre-hoarding in about 98% of all its showcased families. If it offends you to hear this then perhaps it is worth soul searching. Things that people say about me that are not true do not upset me. I just overlook their comments, but it
s the one comment that hits home that makes me so mad, and has me trying to defend myself.

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Amber H April 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I don’t have an actual stockpile yet. At least not one that needs any specific area dedicated to it. Then again, I’m pretty new to couponing.
Regarding the stockpile vs. hoarding thing, though… totally agree with everything except one particular instance.
In the extreme couponing show, I heard that one of the ladies had moved their child into another’s bedroom to share their room because the child’s room was needed for more of their stockpile. Now, this is hearsay, so it may not be the case. I would say, however, that if that is true, that one person is getting dangerously close to borderline hoarding, because it is affecting your family if you have to move someone out of their room. It may not be to the extent of the show, “Hoarders” but it’s right there. There are different levels.
As a general rule, though, you’re completely right. Two totally different animals! :P

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stephenie April 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Hoarding is not in any way like functional and rational stockpiling, but I believe some people who stockpile do so for similar emotional reasons. Their house might not need to be condemned, but there is an emotional element to stockpiling that I can totally see how some people may feed off of. Who’s to say that it’s necessarily about greed or wrong? That’s like saying mental illness is wrong…we all have our hangups, emotional pain spots, triggers and other imperfections, big and small. If it makes someone feel secure to have an exorbitant amount of toothpaste, then ‘leave it be’ unless they snatched it out of your cart! Go worry about something else…

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Betsy April 21, 2011 at 12:52 am

I’m curious….if you have a $1 off of an item and you buy say 5 of them and have 5 coupons for $1 off…..can you use them ALL at once? If so, I will start printing more coupons.

Thanks!

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Angela April 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

Yes, if your coupon is $1 off 1 item and you buy 5 items, you can use (5) $1 off coupons unless there is a “per transaction” or “per customer” limit stated on the coupon.

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Amber April 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Ha! This is a very entertaining day reading all these comments. Angela as always you are fabulous!

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WhoMe??? April 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm

My friends and family have what is called PANTRY SHOPPING at my house…when they come over, if there is something I have in excess, and they want or need, it is there’s they don’t have to go to the store then….

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shelly April 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

It seems to me that maybe some people are just addicted to getting a great deal, which I totally understand b/c I can get pretty excited about it too. But if a person already has enough, do they really need to keep getting more, even if it’s to donate, if that means they are taking it away from someone else who would like to get a good deal too? Is it ok for a person to “hoard” (hog), all the good deals, as long as they give some away, if they leave nothing for someone like me who just wants to get a good deal for her family?

I only coupon with what I get in 1 newspaper, and printables, so I’m not talking about large quantities, even though I have a family of 7, so could probably use a larger stockpile than most. It’s frustrating when I can’t even get 1, or have to drive around to different stores to find the one that’s not sold out. It’s probably not even worth the drive, since I’m only buying in such small quantities.

On a positive note, even w/ the hoarders out there, I have still managed to get some great deals in the past 2 months or so since I’ve started couponing, so I really want to thank the people of this blog for all the helpful information.

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Tiffany April 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm

I don’t normally comment and especially on the TLC topic as we were on the show. But you wrote an wonderful and thoughtful post.
We opened up our home to them as my husband and I have always taught coupon classes and both write money saving blogs. The new series was to be, as we were told, a more educational series. We were the first to be filmed and on the first episode, they had 20 hours of footage and made it into a 9 minute show. We were in the middle of moving and had to actually unpack to let them film.
Angela had a great quote and that is exactly the way to do it.
In a 9 minute Extreme TV program it is impossible to assess and make judgement on another person or families situation. The email that I have gotten regarding the show is comical. I have gotten over 2,000 emails since the show aired, I got 1 ugly comment and 2 negative emails. Both emails accused me of being selfish and taking up all the space in the house, and that my children didn’t have any toys. Huh?
Now, if you had a TV crew coming to your house, would you have toys laying all around? I guess some people would. In 9 minutes they didn’t show my gorgeous playroom and gameroom my 7 kids and their friends play in everyday. The one wall that I keep my can storage on is the wall they featured, because that is what the show was about, not my kids toys. They showed 1 of the 8 beds we have in our home, the one that is a captains bed ( so WAAAYYYY up off the ground) that I keep toilet paper and paper towels under. The other 7 beds have dust, probably socks and lost toys under them.
My biggest complaint is that they did not show the details of our shopping trip.
~ We did not purchase more then 10 of any item.
~ We did not double or triple more than 1 of any coupon
~ We did not preorder anything
~ I had 4 days to plan my trip, I was only able to use coupons I had on hand.
~ I wanted to buy 10 reach toothbrushes (for example) they only had 8, so we bought 5.
We would not do this show again for many reasons.
I think you were right on about how easy it is to hide behind a computer and type out all your judgements. When you do something to put yourself in the public eye you can expect to not have that privilege of not being judged. I am totally O.K. with the size of my stockpile, and so is anyone who has the right to judge it. Like my husband and children.
The only problem where it affects anyone else is when it comes to clearing the shelves. But that can be a tackled a different day ;)
Thanks again for the great post!
Tiffany and Paul Ivanovsky

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Heather April 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Tiffany- I love your blog and I watched the episode of E.C. that you were in so I could see you and your cute family. I admire how you are always making emergency kits from your stockpile and donating them. Anyone that reads your blog can see what an ethical couponer that you are.

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Melissa W. April 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I loved watching your episode and watching how it was a family event … I have only been couponing since the beginning of the year, but I found it inspiring and nice that it was a family mindset. I check both your and Paul’s blogs daily (or more like 2 or 3 times a day … before the little one wakes up, at nap time and after he’s down for the night!

Thanks for all you do!

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kirsten April 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I agree with Leslie – ECs are addicts and not hoarders.

Yes I stockpile when I find a deal. I can also turn around 3 months later and give half to charity or someone in need without feeling any pain in doing so – a hoarder feels pain when their stuff is disposed of.

Like many things in life there is a fine line we walk between normal and the extreme.

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Leslie April 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I don’t look at the “Extreme Couponers” as hoarders – I look at them as addicts.

They are addicted to the rush of a good buy. They are addicted to the chase, to the game so to speak.

Which we all are to an extend I’m sure…….but we must be recreational couponers hahaha!

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Angela R April 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Wow – such a lively discussion! There are so many variables when it comes to this topic – aren’t there? Number of family members, desired/needed depth of stockpile (a week, several weeks, a month, etc.), and space. My stockpile might look very different from yours, and that is A OK in my book.

I recently came up with the following definition of stockpiling vs. hoarding that I’d like to share. Here it is:

Stockpiling is aquiring items your family needs in quantities you can reasonably store and use before they expire. Hoarding is acquiring items regardless of whether or not your family will use them and in quantities you won’t reasonably be able to use before they go bad. (Quote: Angela Russell – that’s me).

Doesn’t it really just boil down to that?

How it will play out, as you have suggested, will depend on those variables. As some of the other commentors have mentioned, I would agree that a stockpile, however neat, can verge on hoarding if it’s in excess. However I’d venture to say that most of your readers who follow your sensible approach would not fall into this category, nor should the newbie couponer fear the process of stockpiling.

Angela, I applaud you for writing this and the other post on Extreme Couponing. Pretty gutsy to offer up a less commonly held opinion on this show IMHO.

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cathy April 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Great definition!

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Lori April 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Not so great a definition. An important element of hoarding is that you are unable and unwilling to part with any of it. I order the large quantities I buy, but if you saw me purchasing it you would not know that, you would just assume I was a hoarder or shelf clearer. For example, when Albertsons had the Purex Crystals for free after coupons my Mom and I ordered 20 total (10 each). We went to the store to get it and it had not been held, but we were then told to go take it off the shelves and they would restock. I am sure we looked like shelf clearers, but we had done everything correctly.

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Angela R April 20, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I still stand behind my definition. It encompasses the primary points I want my readers to know, which is a focus more on stockpiling. I guess it didn’t suit you.

For a complete definition of hoarding, one should perhaps consult the DSM-IV, not a coupon blog.

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charolyn April 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I liked it because it focuses on what you can use before it will go to waste & I think that is the main point. Anything beyond that really needs to be donated.

Kelly April 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I am only keeping a 3 month rotating stock unless I have been waiting for a certain item to go on sale for over a year and the stars finally align, then I will order coupons and buy a 6 month to 1 year stock.If I find a non perishable item that is too good of a deal to pass up, then I will make several smaller trips for the item getting only 4 or 5 at a time to make sure I am not depriving anyone of the opportunity to get in on the sale.

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Diana April 20, 2011 at 11:32 am

I think the thing for all of us to keep in mind is that we do not know the unique situations that others are in and so cannot fairly judge how much is too much to be considered a stockpile rather than hoarding. I am a single female with one dependent so to an outsider my stockpile of 20 tubes of toothpaste may seem excessive. But what they don’t know is that I have several relatives that are struggling and I can often help them with my “excessive” stockpile.

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charolyn April 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm

That seems great to me! My family is the same size as yours. I have my own storage areas, and another one that is extra that goes to others. It is also great when you hear of people that are struggling to know you have several bags you can give to them to help.

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Jennifer April 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

The twin with all the diapers and no children was pretty crazy. While it makes sense to be prepared you also must be realistic. How fast will her future baby grow? How big will it be at birth? When will they need what size of diaper and for how long?

When you can’t use common sense any more or when getting good deals becomes a bigger priority in your life than the people you love, then it is a problem.

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julene April 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm

This is the one that bothered me the most!!

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Shirley April 20, 2011 at 11:15 am

Definitely agree that stockpiling can be hoarding. Unless the twin is engaged or at least seriously involved with someone, I was appalled by her stock of diapers. And I definitely think those who clear the shelves just because they can are being rude at the very least, if not downright greedy. If you’re going to clear the store out, order ahead of time.

I grew up hearing the admonition from our church leaders that we should live debt-free as much as possible, and have a year’s supply of food & essentials in case of emergency. (Anyone else have 50# bags of wheat or rice stored under your bed as a kid?) I didn’t follow in my parents’ footsteps with the wheat and rice because A.) I wouldn’t know how to turn un-ground wheat into something edible and B.) I have a hard time spending money on something I hope I never need.

Strategic couponing, however, has opened up a way for me to stock up on non-perishables my family WILL eat and use, while still spending less on those items overall. We just have to make sure we rotate our stock. The last time we had a bad snow storm we stayed home for two weeks and ate from our pantry, and watched all the panicked grocery shoppers on the news rather than being one of them.

I do have about 60# of wheat, in 10# cans. Next winter storm, we’ll grind some and make bread — for fun and to learn something new, not because we need it for survival.

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Abigal April 20, 2011 at 10:51 am

There is absolutely no way a family is going to use 100’s of deodorants 100’s of toothpaste and body washes before they expire. These people buy them because they have an obsession to getting things for free.
Stockpiling more than a years worth of things like that, is a sickness, it’s sad! My Family of 5 needs no more than 20 boxes of toothpaste and thats on a high estimate, but when I go to the store and cant even buy 1 box with a coupon because Mrs. Buy100 boxes was there before me loading her cart, to put the boxes on her shelf to collect dust and admire her collection. It just makes me SICK!

I use coupons, but I usually don’t buy more than 2 or 3 of an item. It makes me sick to go to a store week after week and find the shelves cleared.
I watched an episode of Hoarders, I mean Extreme Couponing last night and The lady was shopping with her kid, which was probably 3-4 years old. She asks him, how many should we get? He says 3!!! She laughs and says how about 40!!!! and then piles jar after jar of Ragu onto her child sitting in the cart. It’s obsessive and sick and if causes someone to get offended then I think there’s some soul searching to be done.

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Karen April 20, 2011 at 11:09 am

I completely agree with you. Its very selfish!!!

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Dsperin April 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm

One lady (I don’t remember her name) said, “I think my stockpile is almost as beautiful as my family”. She really ADMIRED all of her STUFF that much. I see the love of material items as indicitive of a problem. There’s having a stockpile and being happy that it exists, and then there’s LOVING that stockpile. I have a minimal amount of stock, only because I cannot fathom spending all the time that would be required to acquire a stock like the ones on TV.

I don’t necessarily want to get down on these people, but devoting an entire bedroom to “stuff” seems so wasteful (and crazy) to me.

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Heather April 20, 2011 at 10:14 am

While I can appreciate a differing opinion (because rest assured, I feel VERY differently regarding this show) the thing is this: In the original special that aired in December, the first woman profiled did have problems with her spouse over her stockpile. Her family (meaning her spouse) wasn’t supportive. Her stockpile was taking over his personal space. Goodness, she was in tears over how her couponing compulsion (& for her, it was a compulsion) was interferring with her life. THAT is not how normal couponers shop & yet this show opened up with her. TLC chose the sensational to bring in viewers & it worked.

So yes, I have a huge problem with this show. In fact, I haven’t watched any of the new episodes because I refuse to contribue to TLC’s ratings. Why? I believe this show does far more harm than good for the retailers, manufacturers, & the millions of Americans who will now suffer the reprocussions.

Are all of the people on the show hoarders? I don’t know since I’m not watching it. My guess is no. Are some of them hoarders? Most definitely, if the original special is any indication. Are we guilty of passing judgement because we voice our displeasure over the show? I suppose that’s up to interpretation (however, I haven’t said anything online that I wouldn’t say to one of the participants if I had the chance).

However, the participants can’t expect to appear on national television & not open themselves up to scrutiny. The good typically comes with the bad.

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jolene April 20, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I agree with Heather. If your stockpile is ruining your marriage then there is a problem. I also think there is a problem if there are a lot of expired products that are being throw out then there is a problem with the stockpile. I don’t have a problem with people who give to their friends family and charity. I had family members that used to buy my son diapers with coupons. But to buy cat food just treats because its a money maker when you don’t own a cat? Leave that cat food for someone who does have a cat. As long as the products are being used (and not clear from the shelves) I think it’s ok.

I agree that it is not fair to judge other people’s stockpiles. I too have several bags of marshmallows and chocolate bars that are being saved for our camping trips (starting memorial day). Speaking of camping I’m hoping that there will be some camping posts this summer (sorry way off topic).

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Carla M April 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Camping posts would be awesome! I know one of the things I struggle with is eating healthy while camping. I love making pouch meals and grilled veggies!

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Cindy April 20, 2011 at 10:09 am

It still strikes me as hoarding. Not the stockpile that will keep a person from paying full price for a product because they ran out, but the stockpile that is several lifetimes worth of a product. No matter how neatly it is organized or that fact that it was free, several lifetimes of deodorant or mustard or whatever, is hoarding. The fine line between organized hoarding and just plain hoarding was demonstrated to me on the first show when the woman took over her husband’s “man cave”. Prior to their shopping trip it was already full of bags from another trip, then she added another hundred or so boxes of pasta and I don’t know what all else. Clearly her husband was not happy with that, or the fact that she would drop any and everything else to go get a deal. How is that not “choosing possessions over people”?
I think for me the difference comes down to this–hoarding is not stockpiling, but stockpiling can be hoarding.
I hear that these extreme couponers are donating a lot of items to other organizations, and if that is so, it would be nice if the show would clearly explain that. The only one they really did so on was the guy who donated the tower of cereal. Note that the cereal was never shown going into his stockpile…

As for your question about building a stockpile without going crazy…I have a set amount of space for my stockpile. When it’s full, be it a drawer, shelf, freezer, or whatever, I don’t buy any more of that product until there is room. Other freebies I get after that are donated immediately. In a 700 sq ft house, there are not a lot of places to expand to, so that works for me. I call it equilibrium, and I love being in that place where I don’t HAVE TO go shopping at all except maybe for milk.

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Heather April 20, 2011 at 10:19 am

“…hoarding is not stockpiling, but stockpiling can be hoarding.” Well said! :)

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Claire April 20, 2011 at 10:22 am

I agree with some of what you’re saying, but I also think we should remember this is TV, and the way show is edited can greatly affect how we view these people. I’m sure if someone followed me around and selectively replayed sentences or things I did during my day out of context then it I might appear to be a different person than I really am.

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Heather April 20, 2011 at 10:25 am

Totally! Which is why I would never, ever go on this show. The original participants may not have known what the slant of the show would be (although I have a friend who was approached for the original special & she declined since she said it was obvious that it was a sensational type program) but the people who are now on it? They knew what to expect. And they signed up anyway. So yeah….I’m not feeling a ton of sympathy.

And while TLC can edit things & make it look one way….if you have a stockpile of 40 years worth of toilet paper to begin with….well, how is TLC supposed to make that look normal?

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Carla M April 20, 2011 at 11:10 am

Exactly! That bin of deodorant didn’t happen the night before the film crews came!

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Cheryl K April 22, 2011 at 9:23 pm

“I hear that these extreme couponers are donating a lot of items to other organizations, and if that is so, it would be nice if the show would clearly explain that.” Yes! I would LIKE to see that, but I’m generally not a reality tv fan for that reason- they don’t show people doing good things or working together only the opposite.

“The only one they really did so on was the guy who donated the tower of cereal. Note that the cereal was never shown going into his stockpile…” Yes – and also he SPECIAL ORDERED the large amount and DID NOT CLEAR THE SHELVES for others.

I will only continue to watch the show very occasionally. I’d rather spend my time reading the coupon blogs where the people seem much more balanced and sane! -much closer to my reality than “reality tv” ; )

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Karrie April 20, 2011 at 9:52 am

I totally agree with this Angela, well said! I do think its okay to have a year or two’s supply of items that do not expire if you want them. I am somewhat of a worry-wort so I like the feeling of security of having at least 3-4 months of everything I need and use stockpiled in my home always. I also try to keep a year’s supply of all the items that do not expire like toilet paper and laundry soap on hand. I always remember my family over in Washington DC when they had a big winter storm for a few weeks acouple of years ago – all the stores shelves were cleared out in a day. A day. And because of the storm the trucks to deliver did not come to replenish very quickly. So people had to live on what they had. I like feeling like I wouldnt have to be one of the people in an emergency running out to get food – instead I could help out my neighbors in times like that.

If someone wants to stockpile – I say sure as long as they are not clearing shelves. Placing special orders at stores when they want large quantities.

Thanks for the great post Angela! You are awesome!

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Carla M April 20, 2011 at 9:40 am

When I first started stockpiling, my husband asked me if I am a hoarder. I told him no because if you told me I had to get rid of the whole thing tomorrow – a hoarder would go into cold sweats and I would just take it all to the food bank. I really feel that’s the difference.
That being said, my personal stock pile depends on the cycles. For examples razors really only go on the the cheap about once a year, so I will get as many as we will use to last us until the next razor deals the following year. I give a few away here and there, but for the most part, it’s what we will use in that year. For things that have roughly a six month cycle, then six months. You can find free toothpaste frequently, so I usually only have 3-4 toothpastes on hand at one time.
I don’t like the idea of clear the shelves and then donate it because you’re still clearing the shelves and not allowing anyone else to enjoy the deal or regular shoppers to enjoy the sale. It’s rude, regardless of the intention. I donate every few months and I do it based on usage and expiration dates. For example I bought Honey Bunches of Oats with raisins when they were free. I got five boxes. I don’t eat cereal, my baby is too young and my hubby didn’t like it, so I donated the other four boxes.

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Mary S April 20, 2011 at 9:48 am

This is balance! “Like”

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Claire April 20, 2011 at 10:19 am

I agree with your stockpiling / donation methodology! I find that experience plays a large role in how “couponers” use their items. If you know what type of deals cycle a lot –like toothpaste –then you’re less likely to buy 15 every time they’re free. It would be interesting to view a list of items that you can “count on” to get for free, such as toothpaste, cereal, pasta, body wash, floss, frozen veggies and things that only come around once in a blue moon like free toilet paper, your favorite contact solution, diapers, and cheese.

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Carla M April 20, 2011 at 11:08 am

There is a cycle list that Frugal Living NW has posted before. I want to say it was from Coupon Connections, but I’m not certain (I lost all my favorites links with my most recent virus attack – sad). As you coupon for years (15 years here) you just start to know and some of it is very intuitive. For example… notice all the razor deals lately. Could it be because summer is approaching and we are going to show more skin? ;) Baking = holidays. Etc, etc.
Toothpaste is easy to get free to cheap monthly – stack a target coupon with a $1 mfg coupon and you have free to cheap tooth paste. And that’s with Target’s regular price.
Cereal is hit and miss, but we had a recent rash of deals which mean we should see another in about six months or maybe for the “back to school” rush?
Pasta is easy to get free/cheap with an Albertsons double even at full price or on sale. So when there aren’t super awesome double deals – use one set of your doublers to get some pasta.
I think body wash is part of the summer rush – I got free body wash last year during this time and now Nivea has those $3 off coupons again. (see frugal livings rite aid post this week!)
Floss is another easy one – last sunday SS came out with $1 off any reach product coupon. I found them at Walmart for $.88, so free with overage!
Frozen veggies – March is frozen foods month. That is the best time, but there are decent deals through out the year.
As for TP, diapers, cheese… I’m not sure.
I hope that helps and thank you!

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Angela R April 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I hope it’s OK to interject, but I have compiled a sales list. I believe Angela has shared it before. I hope to continue to expand it every year.

http://thecouponproject.com/downloads/sales-cycles

Carla M April 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Thank you! That’s who it was! :) I was trying to remember!

Beth April 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

What is happening in my area is that we have seveal people that wiping out the shelves of the free and cheap items then sale them at their garage/yard sale. That means other can’t get even the one or two that they need for their family’s use.

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Jayme April 20, 2011 at 10:00 am

I have the same thing in my community and it gets really annoying when I’m trying to buy just a couple of things for my family at a good price but can’t because they already wiped the shelves clean to make a profit later. I actually follow one of the ladies’ blogs because then I know when she posts she’s been to the store, it’s no use going because she’s already cleaned them out!

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Carla M April 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm

LMBO!! There is a blog I follow just for that specific reason too! I know if it’s posted on there that I shouldn’t even bother!

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Karen April 20, 2011 at 11:07 am

Even when people don’t sell them it is still really annoying to walk into a store wanting one or two free bottles of mustard or whatever and find every single bottle gone. While I do understand stockpiling and all that it seems very overkill and selfish. Get a good deal but don’t take everything so that no one else can!

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charolyn April 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

I remember last winter when Safeway had a great coupon book out-and one lady bragged (in our area) that she had gotten 70 of them! Obviously she didn’t need that many (I can only hope she donated some of her great deals-which there were with that book), and that meant many other people didn’t get any. It is important to be considerate and not get overly caught up with how much “you” can get.

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Cassie April 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Lol… I felt kinda selfish for getting ten of those books. I grabbed them 2 at a time, but 70… wow!

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cathy April 20, 2011 at 9:38 am

I agree with the majority of your description of stockpiling vs hoarding. However, even if it’s well-organized, it can still be hoarding…just an OCD version of it. The majority of the people they have featured on that show fit into a sort of OCD/Hoarder description. Just because it is well-organized and clean doesn’t mean it hasn’t taken over the thoughts and actions of their days…it has become an obsession, not just a frugal way of living, because, to me, being frugal also means being frugal with your time and energy. It means that you have more money, time and resources to devote to your family, friends, and faith because you are saving somewhere else and have prioritized. In most of these cases, the “stuff” has become an obsession. Products that can be used in a reasonable amount of time makes sense, and I totally support! But they have had enough salad dressing, deodorant, etc to last for more than 20 years…if it doesn’t rot. That is not stockpiling.

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Carla M April 20, 2011 at 9:41 am

“like”

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charolyn April 20, 2011 at 11:51 am

When I see more than can be used before it expires, that is sad to me-because I know there are so many people out there that could benefit from it. If you enjoy couponing & part of why you do it is more of a hobby-that is an excellent benefit-to give to others. Most of the couponing blogs are good about promoting this also.

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cathy April 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm

@charolyn – I agree…sharing is a great reason for being frugal and couponing! Unfortunately, with the exception of Nathan, I think most of those on TLC would react pretty much the same way as any other hoarder if they were to think about giving away anything….for whatever reason. It’s very sad really, because they could put their talents to good use to help others.

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Lori April 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm

we don;t know that the others are not donating. Just because they did not show them donating doesn’t mean they are not. Reality TV is not always accurate or real.

Mary S April 20, 2011 at 9:33 am

I believe there is wisdom in a reasonably sized stockpile, especially in this economy where you, a family member or a neighbor could be working one day and out of a job the next… happened to us just over 2 years ago. We’ve never spent a lot at the grocery store but at the end of the month the cupboards were scant. Now since I started couponing again last fall (did it in 93 for a similar reason) I am getting a lot more food for the same money and if I know someone who needs help… well I can. Thankfully my husband has found a new job but it was a tough couple of years, if I had been doing then what I am now, it would have made life a little less stressful at the time.

It also came in handy when my son got married, the month leading up to the wedding I didn’t have any time to grocery shop… it was the milk and creamer dash only. But I really didn’t notice until after the whirlwind of the wedding was over and I went to purge my binder of expired coupons… wow there was a lot.

I think the key is wisdom and balance in life, not just in your stockpile but in all things. My one hint, it may be a bit too much if it takes over every nook and cranny, that is NOT balance.
Blessings and happy couponing everyone!!

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charolyn April 20, 2011 at 11:48 am

These are good points. Also along these same lines-is to have a stash for emergencies-like earthquakes, where it could be days before you could get out -or even longer before there is clean water to use. It is good to think too, that your neighbors may well not be prepared, so you could be really helpful to those around you also.

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JJ April 20, 2011 at 9:29 am

Actually a hoarder can be orderly and organized unlike you see on The Tv show Hoarders, the definition of a Hoarder is a general term for a behavior that leads people or animals to the accumulation of food or other items.

I whole heartedly believe that many of the people featured on the show Extreme Couponing has an obsession with stockpiling and in an extreme hoarding like manner. Many of those people have stockpiles of bodywashes, toothpastes etc just because they can get it free, not because they can actually use it before the expiration date..etc
The lady that purchased 100’s of candy bars, do you think she bought all of them because it was a way to feed her family?? Or do you think she piled her cart full because she got them for free?

The show is also misleading to those who know nothing about couponing. If you’re spending money to buy 5-10 newspapers a week or money to pay a clipping service, that is not considered FREE.

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Joy April 20, 2011 at 10:14 am

Did you know that she was buying them for Halloween??? Yep, she gave them to kids!

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Jessica April 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I agree with you. I was going to say the same things that there are organized hoarders and it’s a technical term that psychologist use to diagnosed people. (I’m majoring in Psychology and hope to get my master in Psych too).

There was one episode recently in Extreme Couponing about two sisters who shopped for diapers and stated that neither of them have babies. They didn’t state further what they plan for the diapers, but it just annoy the heck out of me when I can’t get diapers on sale because others hoard them. And I do have a baby.

Although there are some exceptions to buying more. For instance, I went to Albertsons today and you had to buy 10 of the same item to get the sale pricing then you can get extra discounts when you use your coupons. Of course, I couldn’t get any of the items I wanted since the shelves were already gone at 10 and they started the sale today. Bummer for me, lucky for whoever cleared the shelves. :0)

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Trisha April 20, 2011 at 9:24 am

I don’t know about anyone else but I just started this couponing thing and theirs really no way to do it without stockpiling. Coupons almost force you to do that. I started about a month and a half ago and I already have a pretty nice stock. Although, my husband is in shock by it all and doesn’t really understand; I am okay with having 15 tubes of tooth paste if it will save me time in money in the long run. I am sure as it goes on he will come around and be okay with it. At first or should I say he still thinks it’s hoarding to some degree.

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Diana April 20, 2011 at 11:07 am

It’s amazing how often I talk to new couponers whose partners/housemates do not get it at first but come around when they realize how much money they can save in the long run. My housemate was like this until one day she urgently needed something and was going to have to run out in the middle of a huge storm and Ta-Da! I had the item she needed. Now she is almost as enthusiastic as I am!

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Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate April 20, 2011 at 9:21 am

I bought what was probably a year’s supply of toothpaste when Fred Meyer had it on sale with store coupons that made it free. I have it neatly stored with my bathroom supplies and have consciously not clipped toothpaste coupons since. Even the $1 off ones!

We will use this product. I am a stockpiler. :-D

Katy

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Nicole P April 20, 2011 at 9:14 am

I always remember that we could get laid off any time. Thank God the most we’ve been out of work has only been three weeks, but it was scary. I didn’t want to be scared we wouldn’t have enough nutritious food for the kids. So, I started couponing and stockpiling. We have toiletries for very cheap so we don’t have to spend money on them and spend that money for fresh veggies and meat. I have around a year or more stocked up in toiletries, shampoo, and body wash… oh and toothpaste and brushes. Food, I have around 3 months worth stockpiled in the fridge and freezer. I don’t consider it over kill. It’s my safety net if anything goes wrong. We are also trying to get our debt paid off. Spending $35-$40 a year on all the toiletries we need FOR THE YEAR is not that bad. Usually I do that in two to three weeks a year. THAT’S IT! I don’t spend everyday couponing. I’d like to. It’s fun, but… I get what we need. :)

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Mary Jane April 20, 2011 at 9:14 am

People who buy 100 jars of peanut butter and they are the only ones living in the house, 100 bottles of liquid detergent and they are the ones living in the house, hoarding is hoarding, why do people think they are smart to hoard all the specials from one sale? living alone a person could not use that much of those products..they act like they are superior to others and hang it over others, I am lucky just to get one good buy lest alone 100 jars of peanut butter and 100 bottles of detergent..why take away any special from people who actually use the product???? I wanted to buy some liquid detergent and wanted to get several in the whole of the store the product was gone and it was a big grocery store No NOT Walmart or any other store like that but a big grocery store, I called the detergent maker and they sent me a coupon for a free product after I told them about the situation, yes I had a big coupon and it would have made it cheap, but when this product goes on sale I always notice the big store is out of it in one day, so I know people are hoarding that special, why on earth? please consider giving those 99 jars to a food bank and the detergent too, many are starving in this country and cannot buy detergent on food stamps and peanut butter is a great source of protein for the whole family…

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Julene April 20, 2011 at 9:30 am

I totally agree with you! I think some of the extreme couponers do have a form of hoarding. They are sweating, anxious, and almost shaking as they think of all the deals they will get. They get a high from it. And I have noticed that only one of the couponers on the show even had kids. Most of the people are just couples with no one but themselves to feed. The set of twins who had all those diapers and had no children or were even married?!?! To me all those diapers could have gone to a family who truly needed them. I have had to wait a month for my Walgreens to get their diapers in with a rain check. I am ALL for stockpiling and have a general store in my home for my 5 children, but there are different levels of hoarding and I do believe that some of these people do have a form of it. The man with the 1200 boxes of toothpaste, and had to have a special room for them because he ran out of room? That seems like there is more too it than just a great deal. There was also a woman who would drop everything, family parties,etc to shop for a deal. She would go out at midnight or early in the morning to shop. That to me is not normal coupon shopping, that is an addiction. This is all my opinion and we feel different, but I don’t want people to see coupon usage as they see it on extreme couponing. I already get problems from cashiers, this is only going to make it worse.

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Carla M April 20, 2011 at 9:43 am

Totally agreed, Julene!

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Cassie April 21, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Yes! My roommate has hinted at me being a hoarder because of my stockpile. Its not huge, but I do spend a lot of time cutting coupons, organizing deals, and shopping. I do not like people watching the show and then comparing MY coupon shopping to theirs, those people are selfish -clearing the shelves of ALL the best deals – thousands and thousands of inserts, etc. I buy 4 sunday papers each week and print some offline, but thats it. I dont dumpster dive or steal papers off other peoples porches. I DO, however, stock my moms and dad’s houses with lots of free and cheap groceries, which helps them out tremendously!

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Jennifer April 20, 2011 at 9:13 am

I think there is one more element to this, which is will you use it all before it expires? Or if not do you have a plan for donating it to a food bank, friends, etc. If you are obtaining and keeping more than you can actually use, then I think it is some form of hoarding regardless of how neatly it is stored.

Also I have concerns about these stockpiles in garages. Where I live at least rodents are an issue. I would never store food that are in boxes or bags in my garage for that reason.

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Kathi April 20, 2011 at 9:18 am

I agree with Jennifer. Even if your family uses 1 tube of toothpaste a month, there is no way you can use shelves and shelves of it before it expires. I think people that have that much excess enjoy looking at their conquests, spoils of war if you will. DONATE IT PEOPLE!! Then you get triple the joy, getting stuff for free, helping those in need, and more space on your shelves! Keep what is reasonable.

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Cassie April 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I agree! I’m not sure why anyone needs enough toilet paper to last the average person longer than they will live. To me that seems so excessive especially when so many in this country go without the basics. I think some of the people stockpile just for the thrill of the deal. Like the lady that was stockpiling diapers but had no children…

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Renee April 21, 2011 at 8:08 am

I completely agree. It’s true I’ve bought several tubes of toothpaste at once when it was a good deal, but never more than we can reasonably use before it expires. (I think it was 10.) My husband and I often watch the show and wonder if they really need 93 bags of croutons, cases of toothpaste and cereal that will expire before they get to them, or 50+ bottles of mustard. How I wish they would donate to the local food pantry! It’s reality that many parents are forced to choose between diapers and other necessities for the family. There’s a line between reason and being obsessed with the process. Watching out for your family is one thing. Buying diapers when you don’t have kids, just because you got a great deal, is ridiculous and wasteful.

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suzie April 20, 2011 at 9:12 am

My parents were visiting the other day and we were at costco, my dad was looking at whole wheat pasta, I said don’t bother I have a bunch of boxes of that kind at home you can have, since i paid nothing for it and no one in my house likes it lol, and I had the quick cook oat quaker oatmeal that I made money on, they said they needed that too lol, its like grocery shopping at suzie’s house, but anything I can do to help makes me feel good

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Sue April 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm

My children are 35, 33, 29 and 25. They are married with kids now, but they have always shopped at my house and joke about it. “Mom just gets it free anyway with coupons”, I love to help them–My 2 girls and 1 daughter in law are now hooked on coupons, and the other son can’t remeber the phone # on his Safeway card so he uses mine, They always go there so I load up my card with e coupons that come off for him.

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a April 30, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Why would you buy one box of whole wheat pasta, let alone a bunch of them, if no one in your house likes it? Even if it was free, why would you want that taking up space in your home? It just seems like a lot of needless, energy-stealing clutter to have stockpiles of things you don’t even like!

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Christine July 16, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I ended getting about a dozen of free boxes of pasta that I wasn’t too crazy about (the quick cook ones). I took the remaining ones and gave it to the schools food drive. I found that I had more coupons for this pasta, so I got them and gave them to the food drive. If I know I can get some items for free and our family doesn’t use the items, I still get them so I can pass them on to the local food bank.

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Amy April 20, 2011 at 9:06 am

As always, well said Angela!

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