Extreme couponing

The first word that comes to my mind is “Whoa.” It may not be the most sophisticated or eloquent word — especially for a journalist with an English degree — but there it is. I’m talking about this phenomenon recently documented on The Learning Channel called “extreme couponing.” The second word that comes to my mind is “scary.” Anyone can easily surmise what “extreme couponing” may be, but to see it is to believe it. Take Amanda, the first “extreme couponer” featured on the show who bought $1,175 worth of groceries for $52 by scrupulously collecting coupons of all sorts. At first, I thought her feat was ingenious, even heroic, until she said a 10-foot-high pile of 3,000 rolls of toilet paper she amassed among other piles of groceries brought her “joy.” Joy? Her husband, who mentioned they’ve taken out a $35,000 insurance policy on what they call their “stockpile,” didn’t seem as enthusiastic as he stood among the piles, one of which was overtaking his man cave. I’ll close with a third word, if I may — “hoarder.”

Michael C. Juliano