Coupon Clipper Shares Savings Secrets! - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Coupon Clipper Shares Savings Secrets!

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - You may not know this, but September is National Coupon Month.  What is widely known and common though, is that most folks are trying hard to save a dollar or two these days.  We found one area resident who takes that to the next level. Not only does she save, but she shares her secrets.

Imagine spending less than $30 on groceries, worth nearly $190.  Heather Smith often slashes 70% or 80% off her weekly grocery bill.

How does she do it ? Lots of planning and coupon clipping.  "When you can combine a sale with a coupon, you can get a better deal," explains Smith.

Smith says she starts by checking out weekly circulars online. Then she visits websites like I Heart Publix and Southern Savers.

There's no membership required, and each site lists deals and even offers sneak peaks.

"It depends, it could even be a week before, so I kind of try to get acquainted with the sale," says Smith about when she starts planning.  Believe it or not, Smith then creates a spreadsheet.  It lists the products, price, then her savings after coupons.

"As an example, I'm going to be getting six toaster strudels for $1.25 which equals out to be .25 each."

That's just the beginning.  Smith picks up everything from fresh fruit to frozen veggies. Plus, some free items along the way.

All the coupon clipping and quest for saving may seem like a bit much for some, but for Smith who is a wife, and mother home schooling three kids, she says "Saving is essential for our household to work properly." 

Smith isn't just saving though, she's sharing her secrets.

She blogs about it at I'm a Publix Freak and even recently taught a class on the topic at her church.

"It's really simple once you get taught how to do it," she says.

Smith says it's made a big difference in her family's budget, she used to spend up to $150 per week on groceries.

"I would come home kind of disappointed, because I didn't have a lot of stuff and now I come home and spend average between $40 and $70 a week and sometimes less and get a lot more stuff."

On this day, the dollars saved are even better.  Smith's total is $185.90, but after coupons, store savings and some rebate cards, she only ends up spending $29.53.

She offers a little advice for others hoping to get started.  "If you just go with one coupon to start with, then you're good, you're better than you were."



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