Monday, June 13, 2011

New Fad or Here to Stay?

Have you seen that new show on TLC, "Extreme Couponing"?  I find it quite amazing that these people are able to save 90% or more on the shopping trips documented on the show.  I've read interviews of some of the people on the show that say that these aren't typical shopping trips for them, but is what the show is looking for, so they plan for weeks just for one giant shopping trip.  Nonetheless, it is still impressive.

Obviously this has been around for a while.  There are tons of websites and blogs dedicated just to couponing and frugal living.  But, it seems, the show has jumped-started the rest of America, even in my small town.  I wonder, will they stick to it, and continue to do all the preparation that it takes to successfully coupon?  Is it just a new fad, a new thrill of a deal?

I know from my personal experience, I get on a "kick" for a while, and then it slowly wanes.  I dieted for a good solid 6 months and lost about 30 pounds, but I slowly got out of my diet/exercise routine, and slipped back into most of my old ways.  I got on a cleaning kick for a while, where my kitchen was always spotless, and my living room floor wasn't constantly littered with toys and cereal, but then that became quite exhausting, so I gave up trying so hard.  It stays pretty clean now, but I make the others in the house help out more, instead of me trying to do it all on my own to make sure it gets done.  I got on a baking kick for a while, too.  Although this does still continue because I make a little money off of it, it certainly is not at the level it was this time last year.  I was constantly in the kitchen baking or decorating something for someone.  It was so fun, I couldn't wait to do it again.  I was new and learning, so I couldn't wait to try another idea.

Two weeks ago, I seriously started couponing the way it is laid out on sites like The Krazy Coupon Lady and Money Saving Mom.  Just in two weeks, I have gotten a mini "stockpile" of toiletries going.  (My husband should be set for a while!)  I've learned from these sites that you buy ahead when prices are at their lowest, and then you free up your grocery budget for fresh produce, meat, etc. instead of taking a chunk out of it when you have to buy toiletries.  I also learned that products go on sales in cycles.  Did you know that?  I may have known it in the back of my mind, Oh yeah, BBQ sauce goes on sale during grilling seasons, but it was never in the forefront of my mind, I should get these now while the price is so low!  

I think that perhaps this will wane for some because either it won't become a lifestyle they want to pursue, or because they aren't in a situation that forces them to save/watch their pennies.  I am definitely in a situation where we need to watch our pennies. I was already collecting coupons and ad matching here and there before I learned how to do the "extreme couponing" method.   It was important to me to save money on my groceries before this "fad," so I believe that now I know how to do it more effectively, it'll be here to stay at my house.

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