Monday, June 13, 2011

Saving to the Extreme: West Virginians Embrace Couponing

Using coupons is not a new concept, but there are some modern ways to make sure you get the best deals. I'm still learning how to do this.

By CYNTHIA McCLOUD
For The State Journal

MORGANTOWN — Shalane Koon sticks to a $40 a week grocery budget and for six months last year lived off a stockpile of products she bought with coupons.

Stormy Matlick paid $1 for six body washes that will last her husband and son three months.

Koon and Matlick, both of Morgantown, will tell you their money-saving reality differs greatly from what you might see on TLC’s show, “Extreme Couponing.”

The cable program and the rising cost of goods are spurring consumers to use more coupons.

ABC News reported that coupon use has increased 30 percent since 2008, when the country plunged into an economic crisis. In 2010, shoppers saved $3.7 billion using coupons.

“My husband and I DVR ‘Extreme Couponing’ on TLC every week,” Koon said. “I love to see what people get for next to nothing. Pennies on the dollar, really. I can’t imagine purchasing that much at once. If I did, I’d have to donate most of it. I have a small stockpile of toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, canned goods, pastas, cereal, shampoo, toothpaste, razors and body wash. Some of the people on that show look like they have a mini mart in their basement. I’m nowhere that extreme, but I do have a stockpile. It has helped us tremendously. We lived off of our stockpile from May 2010 to December 2010. I’m working on building it back up again.”

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