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It’s thrilling to watch hardcore couponers (people who collect and use coupons) taking deals to the extreme saving hundreds, even thousands, of dollars at the checkout.
So, how do they do it? Well, smartshopper, Daphne Monroe, is giving you an inside look, as two Arizona women attempt the biggest deal of their lives. Tonight, what you can learn from their secrets.
Cathy McFaddin and Tracy Lehre may look like your average couponers. But what started out as a hobby has turned into an obsession.
It’s very addicting.
And turned their Prescott Valley homes into mini-supermarkets.
I have some more cereal here, a bunch of pasta. Kellogg’s cereal, fruit rollups, popcorn, potato chips, and I think there’s even some pasta in here that’s gluten free. I started out small and then just went crazy from there.
Both Cathy and Tracy work full-time, in addition to the time they spend couponing.
I probably spend a couple of hours a day.
They donate a lot of what they get to local charities, schools and churches.
You’re helping yourself, but your giving back to the community.
And it all starts here…with their weekly newspaper delivery.
We get six each.
And we take out our coupon insert. And we also set aside our ads.
And they compare the two, matching what’s on sale to the coupons they find in the newspaper or online. Cathy has four computers she uses for couponing.
And I can print two per computer.
Using manufacturer websites and free sites like coupons.com. Today, they’re preparing for their biggest trip yet at their local Fry’s.
We’re getting 14 things of raspberries, and they’re going to end up being free for us today.
Cathy and Tracy work as a team.
Not those ones.
As they make their way around the store.
We always look for the promos on the boxes.
They plan on getting all this cereal for 60 cents each. They say they never pay full price.
A dollar or less. Never more than a dollar.
They recommend checking each store’s coupon policy often.
One, two, three.
Using a manufacturer’s coupon they printed online, they’re able to load up on 42 bags of goldfish crackers.
It’s a 55 cent coupon, but Fry’s policy is to make it up to a dollar.
Each goldfish bag is on sale for a dollar each.
So, we’re going to get 42 of them free.
They even find coupons while they’re shopping.
This is called a tear-pad. This one is saying that you’ll save $2 instantly.
Nine carts later, the ladies are finally ready to check out.
Nope, not that one.
They’ve divided everything into two transactions.
So, this whole cart is going up.
The first one is the smallest, totaling a hundred eighty-nine dollars and nineteen cents ($189.19). But Cathy only pays 49 cents out-of-pocket.
The next transaction totals more than fourteen hundred bucks ($1,400). That’s when the real work starts. Coupon by coupon, and an hour-and-a-half later, it’s time for the moment of truth.
Are you ready?
A total savings of…
A hundred percent!
That’s crazy! We’re so excited!
Combine that with their first transaction. That’s one thousand six hundred seventy-nine dollars and eighteen cents ($1,678.18) worth of merchandise for only forty-nine cents.
Look at that receipt! That’s so crazy.
Less than 50 cents out-of-pocket turns into ten carts and a mountain of savings.
Kathy and Tracy are planning on giving away eighty to ninety percent (80-90%) of what they got.
For more tricks on couponing, like how to use them to get tax deductions, log onto our website at abc15.com/smartshopper (note: / = forward slash).
I’m Daphne Munroe, your smartshopper.