There may be people who don’t hesitate to pay full price for an item, but there are also people who plan ahead by couponing to save money.
“For those who don’t know, a coupon is a form of shopping currency,” said Tammy Dupuis, 56th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center resource coordinator. “Manufacturers, restaurants and other businesses distribute them so you will try their products or services at a discounted price with the hope you will continue to purchase what they’re selling.”
Dupuis likes saving money and the Extreme Couponing show on TLC inspired her to try couponing herself.
“I started getting into couponing more than a year ago, but I didn’t have a system,” she said. “I would cut out coupons since I knew I would use them. I put them in either an envelope or a wallet size accordion file.”
Although Dupuis had coupons ready to go, there were times when they were left at home, which kept her from being successful at couponing.
After a few efforts, Dupuis found a website which helped her optimize the use of coupons.
“I found a website called couponmom.com, a free service that compares weekly in-store ads with distributed coupons,” she said. “These coupons can be found both online and in the newspaper.”
She purchased a binder and some baseball card inserts when she decided to get into couponing seriously.
“I began with dating my coupon flyers from the Sunday paper,” she said. “Then I’d look for great deals between store advertisements and coupons.”
Unlike the people on the show who will go to great lengths to get a good deal on whatever is on sale, Dupuis is drawn to only certain stores for savings.
“Since my husband and I try not to eat a lot of processed foods or stockpile 50 bottles of hot sauce, I gravitate toward the national drug stores since they have good deals on items like toothpaste, lotion or batteries,” she said. “Oftentimes, I literally walk out of the store after a purchase with more shopping currency than when I went in.”
For Dupuis’ husband, Richard, the best thing about couponing is that excess items can be donated to those who need them.
“Our son recently deployed to Afghanistan,” he said. “Couponing allowed Tammy to let him know we were thinking of him by sending numerous care packages with her thoughtful bargain purchases. It’s good to pay it forward.”
Even though Dupuis has perfected the art of couponing, not all people start out that way.
The authors of “Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey”, Joanie Demer and Heather Wheeler, have a few tips on couponing for beginners:
- Subscribe to the Sunday paper since this is the best place to find coupons, or ask friends or family to save the coupons.
- Print coupons. There are more than 2,000 printable coupons on thekrazycouponlady.com.
- Organize coupons to save time while shopping. Use baseball card holders to keep them neat and orderly.
- Wait to use the coupon. The key is to wait until the item goes on sale or the store runs a promotion.
- Get to know store policies. Since every store may have different coupon policies it’s best to know them before checking out.
For more info and tips on couponing, check out thekrazycouponlady.com.