Have you seen the new TV show all about “extreme couponing” ? Lots of people are going to more extreme lengths to save money in these tough economic times. Do you collect coupons?
J’aime Kirlew, 34, cut nearly $14,000 off her grocery bill last year by clipping coupons. That’s not always as easy or practical as it sounds. It means finding room at her home in Montgomery Village, Maryland to stockpile over 100 cleaning wipes, 200 soaps, 70 bottles of laundry detergent, 60 boxes of cereal, 450 rolls of toilet paper and 250 paper towels.
She struck up a friendly rapport and a deal with her local newspaper carrier: he brings her the unsold newspapers, she recycles them for him. Kirlew spends hours clipping coupons, set up a database on her computer to track her savings and pre-orders goods at her local grocery stores so she doesn’t clear the shelves and upset other customers. She now has her own website and describes herself as a coupon “diva.”
Her extreme couponing began when her husband took a pay cut in April 2009, and continued in earnest when he lost his job a year later. She will never turn back into a regular shopper, even now that her husband found a new job. Kirlew appears on TLC’s 12-part series, “Extreme Couponing” to mixed reviews and questions about their behavior.