POSTED: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 11:31am
UPDATED: Monday, June 25, 2012 - 10:23am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Maggie Howes has been couponing for years as a way of managing her family's budget. She also teaches others how to do the same.
“It's pretty funny,” Howes says. “There's probably thousands of dollars worth of coupons right here that people are just throwing away in the trash can.”
Everyone loves a good deal, but some of us don't make the effort to cut coupons. Maggie says we're missing out.
“I saved three-hundred dollars on my monthly bill by just using coupons,” she says with excitement. “That's my husband’s car payment.”
To get started Maggie says you should first buy at least 3 or 4 Sunday papers for the coupon inserts, find what your family needs and uses, and organize them in a binder.
“I take out the actual store flyers like this and I'll go through, see what's on sale and what's actually a good deal, because not everything in the sale paper is a good deal,” she explains. “Then I go back and I find the best deals. Then I go back find my coupons that pair up with the sale and that way you're getting the maximum savings out of that coupon.”
Maggie says too often coupon newbies simply just cut a coupon and use it at the store, and that’s a big mistake.
“Once you pair the sale with the coupon, and the store incentives, you're getting the best deal that you can,” she adds.
We decided to see for ourselves just how much you can save. We headed to CVS for a quick shopping trip to pick up a few basics. Maggie came armed with her binder full of coupons, and her CVS Extra Care Card for store incentives.
Our grand total was a little under $50 without coupons, but that's not what Maggie paid. She walked away paying only 86-cents out of her pocket. What’s more, she even gained $18 to be credited towards her next visit to shop at CVS.
Maggie says getting started can be a little overwhelming, but it’s worth it.
“In the beginning, it might be a little intimidating, but over time you're going to know what you're doing.”
And over time, those savings can add up.
“If I don't save at least half on my grocery bill, I'm pretty disappointed,” she adds.
For tips on how to get coupon savvy, click here .