An article in The Sunday Times draws my attention to a disturbing phenomenon called 'extreme couponing', which has migrated to the UK from America. According to journalist Kevin Dowling, more and more people are attempting to get bulk purchase discounts by spending up to 40 hours a week researching deals online.
The word sad doesn't really do justice to this. 40 hours a week looking for discounts? Perhaps if the coupon extremists went out to work instead of surfing the web, their groceries and household goods might suddenly seem more affordable?
Believe it or not, one of the interviewees flew out to the States for an extreme couponing training course. Presumably the savings she makes quickly recover the cost of her transatlantic plane travel, workshop fee and accommodation costs. After all, if you come back and bulk buy enough Andrex to last you a year, you'll be quids in.
Think I'm joking? Someone from Greenwich in London claims to have bought 'a year's worth of shaving foam, hair wax and skin lotion', along with cereal, cleaning products and so on. Let's hope the warehouse facilities come cheap, eh?
Perhaps I'm missing a trick here and shelling out hundreds of pounds needlessly. But at least I know that when self-respect was being handed out, I didn't settle for 75% off.