In April, a new reality TV show called Extreme Couponing debuted on TLC. The series followed a number of families, couples and single moms who clipped hundreds of coupons like crazy people for hours on end, saving them mind-boggling amounts of money on the most basic of shopping items. And their savings are just as crazy: extreme couponers often save upwards of 80% on grocery bills. In 2010, 332 billion coupons worth $3.7 billion were redeemed, and with the popularity of the TLC show, those numbers have almost certainly increased this year. While large-scale couponing has been around virtually as long as coupons themselves, these extreme clippers became symbols of our current economic malaise and resourceful ways of managing it.
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