Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A cibosity monstrosity

CIBOSITY (noun): Store of food; plenty of food supplies

 
I'm pretty sure if I had been born in the Middle Ages they would have killed me. Between the dreadful eyesight, the sans make-up resemblance to a ghoul, and my utter disinterest in cooking, cleaning or children, I suspect I would have met an early and fiery end. While I've mellowed on the children since having my own, I remain bemused by the domestic divas swarming the blogosphere and reality TV.

The TLC show Extreme Couponing was especially confusing because in Canada we don't have "store coupons," you can't use two kinds of promotions at once, and the grocery store flyers all say "We reserve the right to limit quantities" in the fine print at the bottom. The retail environment isn't structured to let you buy 1,000 tubes of toothpaste for a grand total of 25 cents.

Still, as I watched yet another determined housewife wheel her loot out of the store, flushed with triumph, I felt that tiresome twinge of gender guilt. Maybe I should be doing more to stretch our family's budget than buying clothes off-season and choosing the ice cream flavour that's on sale.

But as the camera panned over rows upon rows of gleaming soup cans filling a proud couponer's oversized garage, I realized I wasn't jealous of her dedication to thriftiness. I was angry. This family's cibosity was larger than they could possibly use in their lifetime, and while they were hoarding non-perishables in their comfortable middle-class home, struggling families in communities everywhere were going hungry. The local food bank could have put 100 jars of peanut butter to better use than decorating a garage wall.

Perhaps food banks should hire their own extreme couponers. Now that would be a money-saving spree to be proud of.

34 comments:

  1. I agree completely with the Extreme couponing. It is ridiculous that they keep all of that stuff, knowing it will expire before they use it. Granted, I have seen a show or two where the couponer does donate to a food bank, but it seems to be the exception to the rule.
    Perhaps people could donate coupons they don't use for the shelters, or even better, the people who go to the food banks, to use.

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    1. I've never seen even one show where the couponer donated her stuff. I might have felt less cranky if I knew at least one person had used her powers for good.

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  2. I watched that show once. That is more work than I want to do for shopping.

    Looking forward to what you do all month!

    --
    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side and The Witch
    Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

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    1. Exactly. I love a good deal, but not one I have to work that hard for.

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  3. Some hobbies are stranger than others, I guess :)

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    1. At first I thought it was funny, but once I realized there were people who really needed that stuff it just seemed so wasteful and clueless.

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  4. You know, that's a pretty good idea. Perhaps Food Banks should have their extreme couponers, or some of those people who participate in extreme couponing should donate their food/skills to Food Banks.

    A to Z Participant
    Cherie Reich - Author and Surrounded by Books Reviews

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    1. It's a win-win situation - the coupon addict gets his or her fix and the less fortunate get lunch.

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  5. Thank you! That's what I can't stand about those extreme couponers. They're basically food hoarders. I mean, could they even possibly eat all that food in their lifetime? Probably not. Argh, that show makes me angry!

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    1. I guess when I watch the hoarding shows, the people are so obviously struggling with a mental health issue that I feel badly for them and hope they get help. The coupon people just seem pathologically greedy.

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  6. That is exactly how I feel too. Those freakin' people...Grrr!

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  7. Replies
    1. I'm surprised at how many people seem to feel this way. I thought it was just me being cranky.

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  8. I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one who feels that way about extreme coupon people. I'm all about saving money and getting a good deal, but the amount of stuff that these people get and then never use is disgusting. I actually know someone who does this and if something expires, she tosses it because "it only cost a dollar" so it's not that big a waste. Grrr...

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    1. That's awful! I'd have trouble biting my tongue if I knew someone who did that.

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  9. I think clipping coupons is a great way to save yourself a bit of money here and there, but I certainly don't have the dedication that some of these people have. If I did though, I would probably only keep what I needed, maybe put a little extra for emergency use, and then give the rest to food banks.

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    1. I clip coupons too, but only for quantities our family can actually use.

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  10. Yeah, a lot of those extreme couponers are nothing more than super organized hoarders. I'm amazed that stores in the US haven't changed their policies to stop that kind of behavior!

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    1. That's what I found odd - why don't the stores just restrict the use of coupons to a "reasonable" amount?

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  11. Extreme couponing is crazy! I too think extreme couponers could do better and donate all that food to a foodbank or charitable organization.

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    1. I'm not usually so preachy about good deeds, but this seems like a no-brainer.

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  12. gah. reality tv drives me nuts. more or less it's too much ego. but, would blogging be the same thing? now I'm confused and possibly hating myself.

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    1. Haha! Yes, there's some ego involved in blogging, but at least we're witty about it. Most reality TV people are all ego, no brains.

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  13. An insightful observation, now all I can imagine are charity operatives sneaking into can filled garages :)

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    1. That visual makes me laugh - charity ninjas unite!

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  14. Replies
    1. We don't have a food storage and we probably should have something. I think you're supposed to keep a certain amount of non-perishables on hand in case of an emergency. But like you said, it wouldn't be a garage full.

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  15. I am slightly obsessed with food storage - I'm a part-time survivalist. I liked to have at the bare minimum three months of non-perishable food stocked up. Typically though, because of space constrants it's more like two weeks to a month. But the crazy things that the extreme couponing people get makes no sense to me. I don't use coupons at all really because they are mostly for overly processed foods which I try to avoid. So I have have things like flour, sugar, and rice.

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    1. Wow! The only thing I tend to hoard like that is ice cream bars. Probably not too useful in an emergency.

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  16. I hate watching shows like that, we can't do extreme couponing over here either and it annoys me that they hoard so much stuff that they don't need.

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  17. I never understood the whole coupon thing either, 'cause we in Australia don't really have them. I just watched an episode of BONES where there was an extreme couponer who had died.

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    1. What did they do with all his or her stuff?

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Lend me some sugar!