Good shoppers use coupons to save money. Extreme couponers have something a bit more in mind whenever they scour their Sunday circulars: they want stuff for free. That’s right: Free, as in zilch, zip and zero dollar.
With a bit of knowledge and a lot of planning, the practitioner of “extreme couponing” can get a lot of stuff for free (or practically free). Billy Baker of The Boston Globe has the fascinating story of the couponing craze:
Spencer’s approach requires significant planning and effort, a willingness to stand up to hostile cashiers, and, some say, a lack of shame. But the reward she offers is too good for her thousands of devotees to pass up.
The goal is not simply a good deal, she says. “The goal is free.’’
On that seminal Sunday last month, a combination of factors collided to bring an entirely new pack of extreme couponers to the scene at once, unable to resist that first taste of “free.’’ After the Great Toilet Paper Rush, nothing would be the same.
“It was the day that sent a seismic wave through coupondom,’’ said Melanie Feehan, a veteran extreme couponer who arrived at a Rite Aid near her home in Plymouth shortly after it opened, only to discover the toilet paper had been cleared from the shelves by a man who bragged to a clerk that he had already emptied three other Rite Aids that morning.
“When a newbie couponer is birthed they are very much like baby vampires,’’ Feehan wrote on her popular blog, The Coupon Goddess. “They go on a couponing rampage that wreaks havoc at every store they descend upon . . . Carnage.’’