Lauren Liggett, a 22-year-old college student from Carthage, Mo., found herself hooked the moment she saw the pilot episode of the TLC reality show “Extreme Couponing” in December. She began scouring the Internet for couponing websites, bought copies of the Sunday newspaper for the circulars, and headed to the grocery store to shop for her family — her mom, Joyce, a realtor, and her dad, Larry, a retired IBM engineer who works part-time as a car salesman. The Liggetts are not struggling financially — they have a low-six-figure income — but since Lauren lives at home and her parents are paying for college, she wanted to help out. On that first shopping trip, she presented her coupons to the cashier and felt the adrenaline rush of watching her total drop from $263 to $50. “Pretty good for my first time!” she recalls.
Today Lauren has slashed her family’s monthly grocery bill from $400 to $100, and the bulging cupboards, pantries, and spare room can make the Liggetts seem like survivalists bracing for nuclear war: 288 rolls of toilet paper, 80 jars of tomato sauce, and 40 bottles of men’s body wash.