Ah, TLC’s Extreme Couponing. You inspire me with your portrayals of Dumpster-diving people saving up to 97 percent when they buy three hundred cases of bendy straws. You inspire me with the eight-hour shopping trips and the four-hour checkouts. You inspire me to give extreme couponing a whirl. I want to buy thirty boxes of Tampax-brand tampons and spend only eighteen cents.
So, I tried it the other day. Since it was Sunday, I figured the Sunday paper would be choked with coupons. That’s how it is in the TV show. I bought a paper.
And . . .
The only coupon I could actually use was for a buck off a can of Folgers coffee. Not the big one, the little eleven ounce one. That’s fine for me; I’m the only one in the house who drinks coffee, so the small one is enough. It retails for $4.99 and with my coupon, that meant $3.99.
Hey, a buck’s a buck.
I trotted down to the store and got a pleasant surprise: the small can was part of an in-store weekly special and was now only $2.99.
With coupon, $1.99.
Feeling like a money-saving badass, I picked up a can. And noticed the fine print on the special.
Gotta spend at least 10 bucks to get the buck-ninety-nine.
Why is something like this never on the TV show?