Save Without Extreme Couponing | News
What is known as Extreme Couponing has led to stricter coupon policies at some stores.
Now, a group of thrifty living bloggers is trying to spread the word that the coupon shoppers depicted on reality TV shows are not typical or realistic. And they say going to extremes to save on groceries isn't necessary and isn't fair to others.
They say consumers can save plenty of money with just a bit of training, and they are teaching a couponing and meal planning class called Savings Nation.
"We're going to talk first about strategic grocery shopping. Realistic couponing, not the extreme stuff," said Crystal Collins in the group's inaugural class outside of Atlanta. Collins writes a blog called The Thrifty Mama that focuses on natural and organic living and lists the coupon savings each week at Whole Foods Market.
"Couponing should be more about planning healthy meals, being kind to other shoppers and being supportive as a community to help people change their budgets," said Cookbook Author Erin Chase, Author of The Five Dollar Dinner Mom Cookbook and the blog 5dollardinners.com.
They are partnering with the national coupon company website Savings.com to develop a curriculum they will train other speakers and bloggers to teach nationwide.
"It's common sense couponing combined with smart shopping strategies," said Chase. She explained to the class in Dallas, Georgia that items on the very top and bottom of store shelves are often less expensive than on the middle shelves. "Most sale items run on a four week cycle and if you know that, you know how much to stock up on." she explained.
Chase and Collins advised shoppers to make a list after studying the sale flyer, stick to that list and avoid tempting displays like fresh cut flowers, warm baked goods, magazines and candy.
Chase said shoppers who continually spend more than they planned should consider bringing cash to the store.
The Savings Nation Class also teaches smart meal planning. Chase said since meat is one of the most expensive grocery items, it's important to buy what is on special and plan around it with vegetables and pantry items.
They hope consumers who have seen TV Coupon shoppers clear store shelves and buy hundreds of jars of mustard in one trip will realize what brings in TV ratings doesn't always equal healthy meals and common sense.
Savings Nation will roll out a nationwide class schedule in May.