‘Coupon mom’ shares her secrets to savings

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Kimberly Cushman loves to shop and save. On any given day she could take a trip to the grocery store and shave at least half if not hundreds of dollars off her bill, thanks to using coupons.

“I get the 12 newspapers delivered every Sunday. We spend Sundays cutting coupons,” Cushman said.

She can recall one time where her bill was $388 and it came down to $13.77.

Cushman has only been couponing for the last four months. She started because her daughter has food allergies.

“So we would feed me and my husband, but we would spend hundreds of dollars to feed her,” she said.

Cushman typically fills two giant notebook binders of baseball card pages with coupons.

Even though she is new to the world of couponing, she says saving big isn’t difficult, it just requires research and patience.

“Well, the first thing you have to do is get a binder, that`s gotta be an absolute first,” she said.

Cushman also suggests researching each grocery store’s policy because they are all different. She likes to shop at a chain that allows double-couponing.

Also, learn what terms and abbreviations mean such as BOGO for “Buy One, Get One” or IP for “Internet Printable.”

Another tip is to take advantage of websites such as AFullCup.com, an online community where people share deals going on at different grocery stores. The users will often share the final price of items after using the in-store sale and coupons.

Lastly, never pass up on a deal. If the store is out of an item, get a rain check.

“And always ask for the max because they'll be like how many do you need? So you say the max that you can give,” she said.

Cushman admits, it’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.

“Since the couponing, we have not struggled for a meal and we have not had to worry about what`s for dinner or what we`re going to eat, and we haven`t had to eat unhealthy either,” she said.

Cushman also uses the extra food she receives to help others.

At least half of what she buys goes to her church pantry. Many of her church members as well as her neighbors give her coupons.

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