Extreme Couponing: How One Binghamton Mom Saved Thousands of Dollars
11/13/2013 (Updated 11/14/2013 9:20:26 AM)Megan Campbell is a wife, a mom of two girls and now an extreme couponer.
"It was a trial run," she said.
Megan and her husband spent three months clipping, printing and combining coupons to see just how much money they could save.
"Once I learned how to do it and what coupons to put with what, it was really good," Megan, said.
So good that Megan estimates they've saved nearly 4,000 thousand dollars. But how much time and work does it take to save that much?
"It takes two hours in the beginning of the week, and that's just going through everything. And then the end of the week is probably another two hours," she said.
Couponing has become a popular trend across the country. TLC even devoted a whole reality series to it called, Extreme Couponing.
It's a technique of finding and combing deals to get maximum savings.
"I went through every coupon, every sale ad and matched up if we needed something that week. I matched up what sale ad had the better price with the coupon I had," Megan said.
"Do you think sometimes they make you spend money on things you don't need," Natalie said.
"Yes. Yes. There are some things that we don't need but the only time I ever buy something I don't need is if I'm going to get it for free and if it can be donated," she said.
Megan's stock room has about 30 boxes of cereal, several bags of candy, tons of pasta and she says all of it will last her family of four, six months.
"My mom actually shops in my stock room," she said.
Couponers often get a reputation for being addicted to couponing and Megan admits that it does consume you.
"It's a big addiction, especially when you've seen savings as high as I have. It's an addiction. You want to just do it, do it, do it," she said.
This week Megan and her husband will be placing their weekly grocery order at the Price Chopper in Endicott. It's their biggest one yet and they plan to save $250.
I met up with them when they were finished and they were more than happy with the results.
"We saved money on meat, vegetables, baby food, popcorn and pies," Megan said.
Their grocery bill before coupons was $501.35 and after it fell to $244.47, making their total savings $256.88. But that doesn't include what they saved on meat.
"So this one was $52.72 before our coupons and we got paid $3.96 to take it out of the store," she said.
It's easy to see how couponers become addicted to the savings. Who doesn't want to save that much? But despite that, Megan and her husband say it was their last visit to the grocery store for a while.
"We set a time limit for three months. We wanted to see how much we could save in three months. We wanted to see how much we would stock up in three months and then figure out of we still wanted to do it, if we needed to do it. We don't need to continue. We completely stocked up on everything," she said.
Now, Megan did admit that it's going to be hard to stop but she plans on teaching a free couponing class so that others can learn to save just as much as she has.
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