LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) – Want to know how you can save a lot of money on groceries as you prepare for your holiday feasts? Well we might have just the trick, and it may come as a time-consuming task, but shoppers say it’s well worth it in the end.
Extreme couponing–a rather new hobby that has become an addiction for many.
“It’s a good addiction, though,” said professional extreme couponer, Edna Richardson. “I have realized that I’ve saved over half of what I use to spend in my household expenses.”
Saving not hundreds, but thousands.
“Probably about $2500, if not more,” said Richardson, and that’s just in a three month time period, but she says there is an art to it.
You can’t just jump in and say ‘okay I coupon’ because if you do it that way you’re going to go to the store and every time you’re going to be disappointed,’” said Richardson.
Richardson says it takes quite a bit of research and quite a few newspapers to really get the most bang out of your buck.
“You have to have time upfront to learn it,” said Richardson. “I studied couponing before I even brought my first newspaper. I got online I looked at every extreme couponer, their methods and everything, and then I found what worked for me.”
“People just tend to think that it’s harder than it actually is,” said professional extreme couponer, Kelly Gibbs. “If you’re doing it right it’s not hard it’s a lot simpler than people think.”
Gibbs was featured on season 2 of TLC’s Extreme Couponing show back in 2011.
Just last month, Gibbs was able to teach the basics of couponing to a packed room in Lafayette.
“I first got into couponing because I saw my cousin posted a blog about how her friend took a big picture of everything and how much she spent,” explained Gibbs.
Both Gibbs and Richardson agree that these are the most important things you should keep in mind as you begin couponing:
“Getting multiple coupons so when those items hit those low prices, you can pick up a couple extra,” said Gibbs.
“…and buying only those things on sale with coupons,” said Richardson. “You don’t take your coupons and go buy full-priced items, which I think a lot of people make that mistake.”
Be advised that challenges can arise when using coupons at any store, which is why Gibbs says it helps to be familiar with the store’s coupon policy before you go shopping. By doing so, you could end up walking out the grocery store with even more than you walked in with.
“What’s so awesome is when I go to the store and I put 20 items on the counter and then they hand me money back,” said Richardson.
Richardson says she’s able to walk away from the grocery store, most of time, with them owing her money.
“A lady followed me out of the store, she ran me down to my truck and she said ‘You have to tell me how you just did that? You bought like 5 shampoos, soaps, body washes, and I saw the cashier gave you 17 cents back,’ I said ‘Yes, it’s couponing,” said Richardson.
It’s super savings like that, mixed with the thought of being able to give back twice as much to those in need, that has attracted people like LeDawn Trahan to attend couponing classes.
“With the flooding and everything that happened I was giving a lot out of my own pocket, which is great; I don’t mind doing that, but I thought if I use coupons I could give so much more, so it’s not only for me it’s for the benefit of being able to give,” said Trahan.
Since we’re in the season of when it’s better to give than receive, for those like Trahan, you’ll be able to take very little coupons and turn it into a whole lot for someone less fortunate.
“You might not see savings that very first week, but as you start to stockpile and you start to get a few extra items on hand, you’ll see that what you’re spending is going to decrease,” explained Gibbs.
That’s when you’ll know you’ve mastered how to coupon correctly.
“I can’t wait to start saving,” said Trahan.
If you’re ready to take advantage of saving some coins, extreme couponers say the best place to start is by getting a newspaper subscription and browsing through the Sunday ads.