When California resident Joanie Demer’s friends told her about a website that taught consumers how to dramatically lower their grocery tab by clipping coupons, she thought it was a scam.
“I was standoffish for months,” she recalls. “I thought, ‘these sites can’t be real. They’re just trying to con people out of money.’”
Still, Demer went along with the group and brought the coupons to her grocery store. After this foray into extreme couponing net her $700 worth of groceries for only $100, she was hooked.
Three years later, Demer is now the Krazy Coupon Lady. Her site trumps many of the ones she was initially dubious of, and today, she’s one of four bargain-hunters being featured on a TLC special called Extreme Couponing.
The special, which airs 8 p.m. on Wednesday, shows just how far how these extreme couponers will go to beat the system. Needless to say, it takes more than just perusing the weekly circular. On the show, participants dumpster-dive, chart weekly store circulars, profile cashiers and stock up on as many products possible.
Demer herself buys $638.64 worth of groceries (including 40 boxes of pasta and 20 liters of soda) for—hold your breath—$2.64. Of course, this isn’t the first time she’s saved big.
“One time, I was shopping for Halloween candy and I realized I had forgotten my wallet at home,” Demer says. Rather than abandon her half-full shopping cart, Dewer managed to pay using a circular’s coupons, $2 she found between car seats and 8 cents from the cashier. “I paid her back later,” Dewer says assuringly.