THE BLOG

The Weird and Wonderful World of Coupons

26/05/2015 12:24 BST | Updated 24/05/2016 10:59 BST

If you'd walked past my table at Pizza Hut the other day you'd have thought you were looking at the most ignorant group of people on the planet. Every single one of us sat staring our phones, tapping away at the screens - like we were all texting our friends for the "save me" call during an awful first date.

Thankfully, we weren't using our phone to get out of the most awkward first date, we were actually all searching for the best coupons!

Years ago, the idea of finding coupons to save money would have been more than a little embarrassing. It would have prompted sympathetic glances and questions like "are you going through a tough time?" But, thanks to movie stars like Kristen Bell and TV programmes like Extreme Couponing, the idea of searching high and low for that amazing discount is actually in fashion.

You heard right there, star of House of Lies and Forgetting Sarah Marshall Kristen Bell is an avid user of coupons. Her tip for the best coupon on the market is a coupon for "Bed, Bath and Beyond" (I've always wondered exactly what the "Beyond" is, I'm assuming it means that if you take a wrong turn in the shop you end up in Narnia. Or it could just mean other homeware. I'm hoping for the former rather than the latter, I've always wanted to meet Mr Tumnus.)

She also admitted that when she sees coupons sticking out of her neighbours mail boxes - she "may or may not" have took them. Some say it's wrong to steal thy neighbours coupons... I just say it's a pointless exercise, but that's probably because the best coupon I've received was for 50p of a ride at the local fair. The ride I used it on was the ghost train, where the scariest part of the ride was where the person who was supposed to jump out on you in a mask was eating a sandwich, missed his cue, ran towards us, grabbed the back of the ghost train and shouted "don't tell anyone about this"... then fell over and broke his nose.

Admittedly, that was probably the best £1.50 I've ever spent.

Apparently coupon thieving is a big deal at the minute - only in April people were arrested in the United States for stealing newspapers, taking the coupons and selling them online. It doesn't say anywhere what coupons they were, but if they were ghost train coupons I'm gutted I missed out!

But for a lot of people coupon collecting is a very serious business, you only have to catch one episode of Extreme Couponing to see how much people can save. Estimates from an American coupon website stated that you could save up to $50-$70 per week! So it can be worth it, I regularly (too regularly) save 50% off Dominos and Pizza Hut orders... and despite it making my waistline expand, it doesn't shrink my wallet!

So, whether you're looking for money off a holiday or just 20% off popcorn (seriously, I found that at Coupofy... and I admit, I really want popcorn now (and I seriously believe advertising doesn't work on me)) you don't have to worry about looking cheap when you use coupons...as long as you don't steal them from your neighbours!