By Emily Kittle
Mary Kenyon is proof positive that coupons can add up.
The Manchester, Iowa, mom of eight is an expert couponer, who has spent the better part of her 51 years saving money at the checkout line. Kenyon, a Dupaco member, is even writing a book about the history and culture of couponing.
If you're new to the practice, Kenyon has some tips to keep the savings coming:
- How much time do you want to put into it? You can get really obsessed with couponing or put in a little time and save a little money. The average couponer saves about $7 per week.
- Find a way to organize your coupons so they get used. A coupon wallet from a dollar store is a good way to get started.
- Look for coupons everywhere. In stores: Find them on product boxes, tear pads on shelves and at blinking machines. Friends: Ask friends and family to save unused newspaper inserts, and offer to share your extra stockpile with them in return. Magazines: All You, sold at Walmart, is full of coupons. Online: Visit the coupon clipping site http://www.thecouponclippers.com/ on Saturdays to see the following day's coupons. You'll typically pay a 3- to 8-cent handling fee for each coupon to be clipped and mailed to you.
- Watch the sales to use your coupons at the most opportune time. Check out http://hip2save.com/ to learn about new sales.
- Practice coupon etiquette. Just because you have the coupons doesn't mean you should empty the shelf. Be a "coupon fairy," and leave unneeded coupons on the shelf beside the product for the next shopper.