Two weeks ago, we were given the pleasure of meeting Chris, a Pennsylvania man going to school for ministry and who turns out to be one of the greatest couponers I’ve seen. In the original special, we also met Nathan, founder of weusecoupons.com and also a super couponer. We were able to see them in all their glory, and even better, as extreme givers. Just from viewing thier two episodes, could we assume that Extreme Couponing is trying to show us that men just may do it better?
One constant so far in the show is the craziness behind the shopping. One hundred bottles of vitamin waters and 2 liter sodas, boxes and boxes of hamburger helper without the purchase of meat, and hundreds of candy bars gotten just because they were free. From an outsider looking into this community, you would think that all “crazy couponers” are obsessed with getting free food no matter if it’s bad for you, has no nutritional value or will probably go rancid before we can get to it. The giant stockpiles are put on display, and because of crafty editing, we’ve only seen a handful of those featured acutally say that they donate some of their stockpile. So, the fact that the only 2 men featured on the show had stories that revolved around them getting their loot specifically to donate makes me leery.
Now don’t get me wrong; I love the fact that Chris and Nathan were so determined to score a big haul and donate it all to those in need. That’s one of the main reasons I personally stockpile. Anything I get for free, at least half of it goes straight to my Church’s pantry. Plus, it seems like the more I donate, the more deals that pop up into stores for more free items. But, I do have a problem with the producers cutting out the part of the interviews where stockpilers talk about their donations. Also, I have a BIG problem with stockpilers and couponers that don’t donate at all and actually go to the extremes to insure their stockpiles. Are the producers of the shows trying to impart in us that the male side of couponing just does it better? If so, I’d have to say that I do agree with them.
Even though Chris’s and Nathan’s segments were edited and produced to show them getting their deals without any hitches, I do have to say that those 2 men made a point of making sure they had no hitches. From the male couponers that I know, it see a “no holds barred.” leave emotion at the door” outlook to their deals. They don’t try to find ways to cheat the systems of their stores, but boldly questions it right to the managers faces and frankly finds out what is allowed, what isn’t, and what the manager or even head of the store will waive in order to make their deals happen. I’d love to say that I see this with most female couponers, but I don’t. Maybe it’s the stigma of female shoppers still not being respected by stores, even though 90% or more of their consumers are female. Maybe it’s because we put more pressure on ourselves to make this budget work and stress our grocery dollars as far as they can go. If these are the reasons, then we need to take a lesson from Chris and Nathan. They’ve learned from us so it just may be time to learn from them as well.
What do you all think? Does couponing from a male perspective produce better results or do you think that it was all a point trying to be made though editing and the producer’s ideas?