You may not know 'coupon' is a verb as well as a noun. It's also variously an addiction, a religion and a state of mind.

Extreme Couponing (Discovery Real Time, Monday 10pm) is back to shadow the savings slaves who live and die by the money-off voucher. It's often tempting to roll your eyes with post-colonial condescension and sigh 'only in America'. Here, that urge is spot-on: this show just wouldn't work in the UK, and not simply because our retailers are stingier with their coupons. It profiles without gawking, celebrating unironically the savers' exploits with breathless voiceovers and X-Factor cue music.

Although Brits are embracing the 'freeconomy' in record numbers, we're still a bit bashful about it. Here the stars took huge pride in crusading against the corporate giants, with religion a running thread. Antoinette Peterson, Chicago's self-styled Sister Save-A-Lot, hunted deals with a missionary zeal. Paying full price for groceries "wracked her soul", she said. The god-fearing Missy could feed the 5,000 with just a fistful of coupons. She spent 30 hours a week gathering inserts to help feed her brood, dishing out hundreds more to pals from her local church.

It's hard to imagine that team spirit over here, although our rioters did show a certain malevolent cohesion. Query a price at the till and you soon get a motorway pile-up of open resentment behind you, a concertina of militant mums and pre-teen scream queens firing angry looks your way like daggers in the back.

That's before you split your shop into 18 different baskets to maximise coupons. As Antoinette paid $45 for stuff worth $500, the cashier almost high-fived her. Then again, staff are bound to play along with a camera crew watching.

More unsettling were the walls of toilet paper and stockpiled soda in basements, like Cold War caches gathering dust. Considering the coupon collectors' religious convictions, they might well have been gearing up for the Last Days.

The fearsome Sister Save-A-Lot needn't worry. If the bomb ever drops, all that will be left are the roaches and her, defiantly demanding her free share of irradiated rubble.

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