Extreme Couponing. Did you watch it? Someone out there (besides me) did because Twitter was all lit up about it last night. It was a TLC special that focused on four “extreme couponers,” and yes, a little Internetting will prove there are way more than four of them out there. Here are 10 totally scary and weird things I learned from watching Extreme Couponing:

#10 Terminology: The “haul” refers to what they buy in a shopping trip. “The HBA” is the Health and Beauty Aisle (a jackpot for couponers, apparently). One’s “stockpile” refers, obviously, to the stash/almost-hoard of items obtained by extreme couponing, stashed away for later.

#9  Extreme couponers keep highly organized binders full of coupons, but most do not shop based on need. Most items contribute to impressive stockpiles/bomb shelters.

#8  One guy (“Mr. Coupon”) has a stockpile large enough for an adult to live off of for 150 years. 1,000 bottles of body wash, 40 lbs. of chicken, 50 lbs. of cheese, over 200 bags of vegetables, over 250 sticks of deodorant. They are the ones ready for the end of days, prepared to live off of Total cereal and body wash for as long as it takes.
#7  They are sifting through your garbage (because Americans throw away $57 billion worth of coupons every year).

#6  You shouldn’t actually need to pay for toothpaste, toothbrushes or deodorant ever, according to “Ms. Coupon Diva,” who was by far my favorite couponer.

#5  Coupons/couponing dominates their everyday conversation. It’s like me and Netflix Instant.

#4  To be an Extreme Couponer, you must be diligent, and good at math, and possibly chess. I’m out.

#3  Mr. Coupon takes a trailer hitch to the grocery store to help him carry his haul.

#2  Extreme couponers are complete menaces to grocery stores. One took two and a half hours to check out and filled nine carts that the grocery store employees helped push around.

#1  Extreme couponers can out-shop a machine. They have to ring up their hauls in several different transactions; one couponer failed to do this and the checker received an error message on their screen that said, I kid you not, “PLEASE END TRANSACTION.” The machine was begging her to stop.

(Images courtesy of TLC)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).