Stretching Your Dollar: Turning coupons into serious savings

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV/WTVM) - Last year 'couponing' reached new heights in popularity.  As more and more Americans look for ways to save, coupons can be a small way to save big!

In 2010, 323 billion dollars worth of coupons were redeemed across America!  But if you shy away from the 25-cents off deals because it seems too small, you might want to reconsider.

Our Raycom Station in Georgia followed a serious shopper to learn how she turns several 25-cents off coupons into big savings at the cash register.

They start by doing their research.

"I usually recon shop on Mondays," says Kelly Pressy who loves coupons so much she teaches classes.  "Recon" as she calls it, means doing your homework.  Know what stores have the best deals to begin with so you are using coupons to lower the price at a store that is already a good deal to begin with.

Next Kelly goes in search of coupons.  Newspapers are your first stop.

"I have stolen papers off people's lawns.  It was the three dollar gain coupon and I really wanted it.  Plus it had been there like a week, so you lose," Pressy said.  But it's not just newspapers.  Pressy scours web sites, manufacturer sites, even clipping services.

Once she has her coupons, her trick is to match them with a sale.  She finds a great deal on the snack isle, "So, they're 3-59 for two and I'm gonna pay 1-59 for both," Pressy points out.  That is after a buy-on-get-one and the coupon.

Another way shoppers like Pressy save is they know the store's policy.  Remember some stores will actually have a double coupon day.  That is a great way to turn a decent coupon into a great one!

Couponers like Kelly Pressy also keep their eyes out for the high value coupons, ones that offer more than a dollar off!  Pointing to her latest score, "this is on sale for 1-50 and I have a dollar coupon," Pressy says.

On this shopping trip Kelly's total at the register was $131.74, after coupons and rewards, that total shrunk to $54.36 cents.  Giving her a savings of nearly 80 bucks!

"If you don't use coupons, it's like throwing money away.  Every little bit helps," Pressy says.  What makes Pressy and other couponers so successful, is organization.

Next Monday we'll tell you about couponing classes offered across our area.