I remember the first time I saw TLC’s show Extreme Couponing and what my reaction was. It was hard not to be blown away by the sight of someone getting over $1200 worth of groceries for around $60! my first thought was, of course, “I am going to be the next big extreme couponer!” Well I am certainly not the only one who was blown away by the airing of the show. Within 48 hours of seeing my first episode, my chiropractor, dental hygienist and a neighbour had all asked me the same question, “Have you seen that new show Extreme Couponing?”
The buzz about the show was unbelievable! Within a very short time couponing seems to have become a mass phenomenon. I have heard stories from store clerks (who think that extreme couponers are going overboard) about people ripping the entire tear-pads off and leaving none left on the shelf for anyone else! There was even a news story the other day about a woman who was caught paying for one newspaper and then stealing the whole stack of papers from the machine just so she could get the coveted Red Plum and Smart Source coupon inserts.
As big as couponing has become it seems there is another way to make a fast buck on the rise. TLC’s next project is a new show, called ‘High Stakes Sweepers’, which focuses on another quick money subculture: People obsessed with entering sweepstakes. We will get the chance to follow passionate sweepstakes players as they spend their days and nights filling out contest entries in the hopes of striking it big. We will get the inside story on their strategies and surprising successes as these everyday people spend up to 60 hours per week searching for sweepstakes forms, buying products and testing their luck in thousands of sweepstakes in the hopes of winning anything from a tube of toothpaste to a trip to Italy.
So the big question is: are ‘extreme sweepstakes’ really worth the time and effort? Well if you ask one of the ‘stars’ of the new show, a woman who has won prizes worth more than $1.2 million, I’m sure she would shout a resounding, “YES!” but I will have to reserve my judgment for now. I guess I will have to shift some of my attention from ‘extreme couponing’ to ‘extreme sweepstakes’ and see what happens. Happy sweepstakes !
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