Hello I am a couponer and I am an addict. :) Just kidding. I do coupon but I am no where near the lvl like those on that show. I do look for the best deals, print coupons,have a subscriptions for 4 papers,have a file and follow some fantastic blogs like Coupon Closet to help me know all of the rules to the stores I shop at and to find the best deals. I do not though buy things my family will not use or eat. Now I am not talking brand because I will buy the cheaper brand in most cases( I do have a few things my family insist I only by in a specific brand for different reasons). I am talking about things like diapers and denture paste when I do not have any one who uses those things. Now I do give my sisters with little ones my diaper coupons but I give them the opportunity to pick what ones they use because I remember how much they can cost and how I\ certain brands I could use one and not others ( I came into the cloth diapering scene late and only did it with 2 of mine). I know some of those people where buying things to donate or to have free shopping spot for others they know and that is great. Here is the thing on that most of us who are couponing are doing to do it to save money and while it may only be .30 or $1.00 that was spent that still adds up over time. Also if you have to think of the space if it is taking up in your home because you want to donate more aren't you losing space for other things and just causing a possible clutter or hoarding mess. They way I do it is I buy the things I would use and then will donate out of that stash so my space is still being used wisely( I have small home and I firmly believe in using space wisely). Also you have to remember the gas used. If are making 5 different trips to the same or different stores that you would not normally do. Is the .50 -$1.00 per item saved really worth it. Now I will say once you can get you grocery bill down to like $100 for the month for a family of 5 then it does start to out weigh the gas cost somewhat, but you have to remember getting good at couponing like that takes awhile and that could be a lot of gas used till then. Though I am a big advocate for starting a stash (of reasonable size) of the things you use. It is always nice to know that if one of you lose your job, the government fails, there is a natural disaster or a zombie outbreak happens you have a supply to live on for awhile with out stress or panic. Just remember to go through your items and put the the newly bought behind the older ones so they get used first. I have found couponing does really help my families budget go a little further. One thing I do is make a calender of the meals I plan on making for one week and then get out my coupons and find the best deals for the things I will need for that week and then if there are things free or super low I will add them to my list. I may make 2 trips at most but I will not do more than that because gas here is ridiculous,plus I have 4 kids and most of the time they think they need to come along to "help". Speaking of ,that has been an awesome side effect it has taught all of my kids to be money wise ( my toddler even insists on making sure we cut out coupons for everything she wants). Since we home school it has also been an awesome tool to teach them math, how to shop for a family,how to plan ahead and to how to be aware of the money you are spending. So in simple words I do think couponing is an awesome tool but that like all things it should be done properly and in moderation.
Here is a link to the blog I mentioned in case you missed it. She is Oklahoma based but she has followers all over the country on Facebook and twitter.