They're the latest disciples of extreme couponing; women who carry pictures of their overflowing pantries on their cell phones; savvy shoppers who will spend hours flipping through newspaper and magazine advertisements in search of their bargains, and homemakers who have pinched pennies to put food on the table during the recession and need the extra help. Heather Border, a year-old mother of four in rural Idaho, is a new to the extreme coupon phenomenon. She was among about 20 women who attended an extreme coupon class on a recent Saturday in Boise.
The three-hour course was taught by Knight and her business partner, Cathy Yoder.
They own the extreme couponing blog, "Fabulessly Frugal. The women oohed and awed as Knight pulled out the fat binder of coupons that saves her 50 percent to 90 percent on every grocery bill. She showed off pictures of the stockpile of food at her home, where 46 boxes of cereal are stowed in her children's bedroom closet and packages of breakfast drink mix are kept under a bed.
In their class, Yoder and Knight warn against some of the practices that have given extreme coupon cutters like themselves a bad rap. They instruct their students to be kind to their cashiers. They encourage them to stockpile food to help their families, but caution against "hoarding" or clearing shelves of items that their families don't need or won't use.
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They also warned against photocopying coupons, which can place stores on alert and ruin deals for everyone. Even before the "Extreme Couponing" series, grocery stores were put on alert about counterfeit coupons that were circulating online.
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The National Grocers Association issued a warning in , as couponing made a fierce comeback during the peak of the recession. The coupon-processing company Inmar Inc. The Internet has also bolstered coupon use, with a wide range of online promotions, databases of coupons and bloggers who regularly post about the best deals.
Though inspired by their extreme brethren, these local couponers defy the stereotypes — while shaving hundreds from their monthly food costs. Alone time is precious, and savings equally so, to the Clines — who credit their debt-free lifestyle, in part, to couponing. CPG Coupon Facts. Coupon use is even more explosive here in the Buckeye State: Ohio ranked the No. After years of infertility treatments, the arrival of baby Mia and the desire to stay home with her newborn for the first year, Steigerwald says that necessity drove her to couponing five years ago. The bills were still coming in, but lowering food costs was an easy fix.
She adds her home-delivered Canton Repository to the fold, pulls the coupon inserts and sets them aside to clip in her spare time.
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She then organizes her coupons in a binder by category: food, health and beauty, cleaning, paper products and miscellaneous. Binder in tow, she heads to the market, where she uses coupons on sale items, doubles the coupon discounts at stores like Giant Eagle and adds Catalinas register-printed coupons to the mix. Though she may no longer need to practice extreme couponing, she maintains a value-oriented mindset shared by fellow shoppers. Minimum wage may differ by jurisdiction and you should consult the employer for actual salary figures.
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