Hard Times Call for Extreme Measures

By Alexa Stewart –

The economy’s hard times have led to a trend in adult behavior which consists of a lot of coupons resulting in free or almost free groceries.

This trend started when a few adults with a good background knowledge of math figured out how to use their coupons to get free groceries. They use multiple coupons on sale items and coupons that grocery stores allow to double meaning instead of 50 cents off, the grocery store will give them one dollar off. If the item is on sale for one dollar, the customer gets the item completely free. It’s called Extreme Couponing.

Even Penn Manor teachers are joining the trend…

“I got started with extreme couponing when I first saw the show premiere on TLC. I searched online and even found a book online for tips on how to get started and be successful. The book was called “Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey,” said Ms. Brady.

The process of getting to the free groceries takes a lot of practice, and the customers have to be correct and precise on all of their calculations before going to the grocery store to purchase the items.

“I cut all of my coupons Sunday morning and it takes me almost two hours. I look online and in the newspaper for the best deals,” said history teacher Donna Brady.

Customers collect newspapers for their coupons and search online for them as well. Some have even taken it to the point where they’re searching for coupons like it’s a full-time job.

The trend has become so big that they’ve turned into a TV show on the television network TLC.

“I mostly joined the extreme couponing trend to stock up on all of my essentials from the grocery store and to sometimes even donate to charity,” said Chrystie Corns, a recent star of the hit show Extreme Couponing.

TLC Extreme Couponer Star

A lot of extreme couponers establish a stock pile which is when they use so many coupons to buy in bulk and store it usually in a basement or storage. These stock piles can last for months to years.

“I established a few rules which one of them is no stock pile. I don’t agree that you need to buy so much food where it’s probably just going to go to waste. I’ll stock up on things such as toothpaste and cosmetics because I know I’ll always need them,” added Brady.

The biggest reward for being an extreme couponer is the end result. They pay nothing or almost to nothing if your calculations are correct.

“My biggest saving was saving 75 percent of my bill. So instead of paying $100, I only paid $25,” recalled Brady.

There’s a lot of controversy that goes along with Extreme Couponing. Some people who watch the show don’t agree that these extreme couponers are really saving as much as it seems like.

“These people spend so much money on newspapers and buying coupons offline that in reality, they might only being saving half of what they really do,” said Cindy Roff, a blogger about Extreme Couponing.

Extreme Couponing is a trend that is attracting people left and right. The thought of free groceries, who would pass an opportunity like that up?