I'm obsessed with finding ridiculous bargains -- my most recent scores were a pair of Born sandals for $7 at DSW and a pair of Rock and Republic jeans for $35 at Lord and Taylor. So, in theory, extreme couponing should be right up my alley.
But for some reason, the show doesn't click with me, which is a polite way of saying I think those people are batshit crazy. Who needs 48 bottles of Maalox? I don't care if it only cost you $2. I would pay two dollars not to have a Maalox avalanche every time I open the medicine cabinet.
And don't get me started on the stockpiles. No effing way I'm going to convert a spare bedroom into storage for toilet paper and Diet Dr. Pepper. My house cost me about $100 per square foot -- even if it's a small bedroom, that's still $10,000 worth of real estate being occupied by toilet paper.
But even if there's no way I'll ever become a coupon queen, it did inspire me to look through my junk mail instead of moving it directly to the garbage can. Maybe I couldn't become a coupon queen, but I could at least shave a few bucks off my bill at Target. Because let's face it, I could use some financial help when it comes to Target -- I don't know what kind of voodoo magic they do, but I go in for shampoo and end up spending $72. So when my junk mail came, I dutifully scoured the coupon pages and....
It's like a sad wasteland of crappy products, pizza rolls, and hand sanitizer. There was one coupon for toilet paper, but it was the eco-friendly variety, which costs about $6 per individual square. Finally I came across a lone coupon for a product I actually use -- $1 off Tazo's tea concentrate. Woohoo! Money in my pocket! So I clipped it and headed to Target, where I marched directly to the tea aisle, picked up a box of tea, and brought it to the register.
Hahaha, I'm kidding. First I bought a bunch of random crap I didn't need, then I grabbed the tea on my last lap and brought my bounty to the register, ready to spend a mere $71 instead of my usual $72. When the cashier asked if I had any coupons, I triumphantly reached out and...
Where the hell was my coupon?! I'd been clutching it in my talons the whole time we were shopping. How did I lose it?
"Forget it," hubby said. "It's a dollar."
Hmmph. I wasn't about to have my epic couponing mission downplayed like that, so I went all Ben Franklin on his ass -- a dollar saved is a dollar earned! -- and took off on a mad sprint to find the missing coupon. As I was rounding the corner into women's apparel, I had a sudden moment of clarity, a brief flash of myself laying the coupon down to, um, play with the kettlebells. (Did I mention that Target can trick me into buying just about anything?) Anyway, I ran to the fitness aisle and there it was! I snatched it up, sprinted back, and handed it over to the cashier who, along with my hubby, was clearly impressed by my coupon recovery skills.
She scanned it and -- bwommppp. The register beeped angrily as if to say, "WTF was that?" The cashier peered at my coupon, peered at her screen, coupon, screen, coupon, screen, and then --
"Oh, this is for Tazo. You purchased Oregon Chai."
"Would you like to run back and see if we have the Tazo Chai?"
"Forget it," I said. "It's only a dollar."
And that was the beginning and end of my extreme couponing days.