"There's a little bit of strategy to it. You've got to be smart and you have to be dedicated," says Tiffany Ivanosky, extreme coupon extraordinaire.
When Ivanovsky goes grocery shopping, there's always a clean up on aisle three, and five and six and, well, all of them. She cleans up, using coupons.
"I'm gonna get, really, almost anything here free or nearly free," she says, "this pays me about 75 to 100 dollars an hour to coupon because I save that much money for my family."
She even teaches classes on extreme couponing. Here's a brief tutorial. Ivanovsky buys a Schick Quattro razor which costs six dollars and 97 cents. Her coupon takes five dollars off. So she pays only a dollar-97. She buys two cans of soup, which normally cost two dollars and 74 cents. But they're on sale for 84 cents each, knocking the total down to a dollar-68. Ivanovsky has a coupon that takes a dollar off. So she pays only 68 cents for the two cans.
Here's a trickier lesson on something called overages. Let's say you buy an item that costs three dollars but your coupon is worth five dollars. Some stores will give you a two-dollar credit... An overage that will help pay for things that rarely have coupons like meat and produce.
"At Walmart, they have a great overage policy," Ivanosky explains, "I can walk in there, if I only spent two dollars, but the coupon is for eight dollars, they will actually give me six dollars cash back, in my hand, hand me the cash."
Stores are glad extreme couponers are in the minority.
"Retailer margins are not that big to begin with," says Jacqueline Kacen, from the University of Houston Bauer College of Business. "If every single one of their customers was an extreme coupon clipper, the retailer would make no money."
At check out Ivanovsky's total is 71-dollars and 34-cents before coupons. But when all is scanned and done her total comes out to $27.72 is the total."
At home, Ivanovsky has turned her dining room into a pantry. She says her family will consume most of this stuff in just three months. After all, she and her husband have seven kids!