Exactly 10 years ago I was 9 months pregnant with my first child. Living in Vegas, October was still wildly hot and I spent most of my day binge watching TV while lounging on the couch. I came across a show on TLC called "Extreme Couponing." The premise is simple: Cameras follow shoppers as they hunt for extraordinary deals using couponing techniques that drop the price of grocery hauls worth hundreds of dollars down to pocket change. I. Was. Hooked.

The more episodes I watched, I started realizing this extreme couponing was less about finding deals on items they need and more about the high they get from amassing stockpiles of products for so cheap. Shelves and shelves of school glue that may never see the inside of a backpack. Enough toilet paper to wipe the butts of everyone in a small village for the next 10 years. Essentially, it's tidy hoarding.

There was one episode that got me thinking about couponing in a different light. A gentleman was shopping with the sole purpose of donating all of the items to shelters. His haul was focused on canned goods, pantry items, and toiletries. The total was well into the hundreds and he ended up paying under $5. A world of good this man did and it cost him a week of dedication and $5. A small price to pay in the larger picture of humanity.

So as the pandemic continues affecting the lives of millions in this country, I urge extreme couponers to donate stockpiles to charities to help those struggling to afford the necessities right now. It will be especially important as shortages of toiletries will surge in the coming months. I would ask extreme couponers to share their secrets in the spirit of "teach a man to fish," but there are no fish right now. Stores have implemented limits on high quantity purchasing right now.

So if you're an extreme couponer looking to help during the pandemic, please reach out to the local charities. They are not going to refuse your help.

 

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