Coupons, smoupons. Just get me in and out

This column is for professionals only — don’t attempt this at home!

I try, I really do. I look for in-store sales. I clip coupons here and there. But in no way do I even come close to the calculating couponers seen on “Extreme Couponing” Wednesday nights on TLC. These coupon-clipping consumers charge the aisles like Grant storming Richmond.

On each episode the featured shopper is armed with notebooks, binders and calculators, and meticulously marches up and down the aisles comparing store flyers and making price-by-price comparisons of ounces, pounds and cost per item. After three or four hours of savvy shopping, she heads to the check-out counter with a caravan of carts. Usually, these jumbo purchases have to be broken up into smaller ones because the registers crap out after $1,000. But one couponer still managed to get more than $1,000 worth of groceries for under 100 bucks.

Now that’s a bargain.

But it’s certainly a pain for the other shoppers. Maybe it’s because there’s a TV crew or maybe because the people have all the time in the world to shop in these towns, but nowhere did I see anybody tapping their foot or becoming annoyed because they had to wait in line behind the three basket circus of cash cards and coupons.

That would never be the case where I shop. Heck, I’ve had people annoyed at me because I questioned a deal of the day or had a cashier call for an over-ring.

And if I had three baskets to unload, I’d need a full contingent of bodyguards to protect me from the frenzied mob of irate shoppers waiting behind me.

The other problem with all this shopping is, what to do you with all this stuff?

One woman showed the inside of her house, which was overflowing with boxed supplies. Every room was maxed out; the closets, the garage, the basement, even under her kids’ beds. She had enough laundry detergent to clean the clothes of a small third-world nation for a year. I barely have enough room to pack away the 24 rolls of Scott tissue from Costco, let alone 40 containers of Tide.

Not for Nuthin™ but extreme couponing is not for me. Not only do I not have the patience, but I don’t have the bodyguards either.

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