SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - For 125 years Americans have clipped and saved with coupons. Now, finding the coupon deals is much easier thanks to technology. Coupon enthusiasts say with new apps, websites, and coupon codes; it has never been easier to be frugal.
Nicole White has been shopping for deals since the birth of her first child, Corbet. "When you have a budget you kind of want to save every penny you can." White says many of her coupons come off the internet.
According to coupon blogger, Melea Johnson, couponing today, is not your mother's grocery savings plan. "It took a lot of time. You had to go through each circular, and figure out what you are going to use, and clip each coupon. Now there are a lot coupon bloggers who do the work for you." Her blog is updated daily at www.Freebies2Deals.com
She says no scissors are required. "There are a lot of ways to print coupons off online, or load them to a shoppers’ card. So, there are a lot of ways where you don't have to clip coupons if you don't want to."
Die hard couponers still get the Sunday paper. In fact, Johnson has a Sunday-only subscription that brings three copies to her door every week. She says she uses about a quarter of the coupons, but saves thousands, on average 60 percent off her grocery budget every year. "If you are only going to clip a quarter of the coupons, and you are saving almost three thousand dollars why wouldn't you?"
Johnson and White have the same answer to that question. "It does take time” White says. But she also says it's something she enjoys doing. "It’s kind of exciting to try to find a really good coupon, especially if you are going to buy the stuff anyway."
Johnson says it's important to buy the least expensive item you need, which means if a coupon item is still more expensive than the store brand, don't use the coupon. She says the key is to wait for the sales, and stack manufacturer coupons with store coupons. "You do have to plan; you can't just show up at the store and think you are going to be able to get all of those deals. But planning your shopping trip with the coupons, and sales, and you can save that much”
Johnson says technology has made planning easier, but she still spends five hours a week hunting coupons. But she claims time is money. She's done the math, and is making eleven to fourteen dollars and hour in savings.