Sunday, June 12, 2011

A thought on shelf life while watching Extreme Couponing

For some reason, I can't stop watching the show Extreme Couponing on TLC, despite the fact that we can't really do that in Canada as we don't get double or triple coupon days around here and stacking is almost impossible when you only get one version of a coupon...but I digress. It seems to me to be socially acceptable version of hoarding coupled with our strong desire for a bargain, both of which are fascinating to me. (If I had that much fabric or shea butter, I'm sure I'd get labelled a hoarder and my friends, co-workers, and family would set up an intervention! But have that much soup, and you're considered well prepared for the inevitable zombie apocalypse!)

What really strikes me about this program is how the people boast with pride that they have enough body wash or deodorant to last forty years! Every bath and body product has a shelf life determined by the life of the oils or butters (generally no more than 2 years for butters, about a year for oils), surfactants (2 years), and preservatives (again, about 2 years). I know you can open a body wash and enjoy its fruity scent five years later, but there are things in there that won't be working so well, like the preservatives. Once you've opened it, you've broken that seal and you could be asking for a world of ick! So please, make sure you're checking the best before labels on your products instead of hoarding them for the time when the zombies rule the earth and we have to hide in our basement bunkers hoping we won't get bitten! (And really, are you that worried about having moisturized skin when your brains might be the main course at an all you can eat undead buffet?*)

For more information on shelf life of our products, may I suggest these posts?
Determining the shelf life of your product
Shelf lives of our products (part 1)
Shelf lives of our products (part 2)
How do anti-oxidants affect the shelf lives of our products?
Or any of the emollient posts, which should have the shelf life of each oil and butter in each individual post.

*Can you tell what nightmares I had last night?


Anonymous said...

: rofl: Hope you have a good nights rest Susan.


Tara said...

Oh my God - I am obsessed with it too! I think for the most part they are stocking up on the cheapest forms of bath and body products that probably don't contain any botanicals. I can see that the food they are purchasing is the worst of the prepackaged food you can buy. No wonder they are being paid to take it out of the store! I only take comfort in the fact that the majority of the people are making donations with their stockpiles. :-S

Matt said...

LOL, this show is so ridiculous. Someone needs to get this people some coupons for meds and therapy to be honest.

Nancy Liedel said...

sadly, my darling, penny wise, pound foolish husband is addicted to this show. He thinks we can save money driving half an hour each way, in a van full of kids to make it worth it.

I calculated the gas, no money saved. Then, I calculated the chances of my jumping out of said van at a stoplight and spending the rest of my life in a nuthouse, (nothing against them,I spent time after my mom died), or joining a commune with my soapmaking skills. They were higher than the gas. We now are going to move to a place (give us a couple years) with enough land for the kids to play and a garden. We're also amping up his cyber-amazing-ness and learning how to make clean websites. We're hoping that will help support us and we won't need to extreme anything, but joy, fun and me not nekkid on a commune.

Will said...

I like doing it. It's creative and fun.

When I can get something for free, or nearly so, I'll buy it BUT if I can't use it I give it to the neighborhood organization that helps people with no food.

More people need to consider doing it for charitable organizations. Our food pantrys are very grateful for non-food donations, too.


madpiano said...

I am always jealous about these coupons in the US - we don't seem to have them here in the UK. There are some coupons, but they aren't really worth it, aren't stackable and are not really saving anyone any money, apart from a marginal amount. Will have to see if I can find the show online.

Sarah {The Student Knitter} said...

I'm in virginia and we don't get double or triple couponing out here. Our deals though come from managers specials, which from what I've seen is pretty distinctive to our small community. I love that person. hehe

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,
I have a question regarding shelf life of products: Back in 2008 when I was visiting Montreal, I bought a Rich Creme made by Yves Rocher and I still have some of it. The expiry date of the cream says June 2012. This cream uses all kinds of supposedly short shelf life oils like EPO, Sunflower, grapeseed, etc. but also some stable oils like meadowfoam. How do they do it? I always thought that commercial creams do not use short shelf life oils. The cream still looks and smells good. Unfortunately I do not have the ingredients' list.

Marnie said...

I watch that show too! I'm from Ontario and I have never seen "triple" couponing etc. In my life. It has to be an American thing. I remember one lady filling up her shopping cart with mustard, not because she liked it, but because there was triple coupones etc. A lot of the food is void of nutrition. I was thinking the same thing about the self life on some of that stuff. I certianly hope some of those things are being donated as there is NO way it can be all used up before they expire. I get that they are saving money, but this is an addiction and you ar right it's a socially acceptable way or hoarding.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I watched a couple of episodes and then just got too weirded out. I think the double and triple coupon thing is regional even in the US. Growing up in Philly I remember my mother taking advantage of those. But no such thing out here in northern California. And really, who NEEDS 47 bottles of yellow mustard? A hot dog vendor?

Studiohq said...

LOL My husband and I watched one episode and just shook our heads...I mean 93 bags of croutons? Really? And then right on the next channel there was the show on Hoarding...So the reason it ok for the couponerites is because it's put away neater? Sorta?... I like hear in the us..I can honestly say it's just easier to shop at "Sams club" if you are wanting to buy in bulk...Zombies...Yea, Well I'm still trying to convince the hubby to install a gun turret on the roof...Eh...He has no vision...