Hi readers! From time to time, I am going to feature guest bloggers on my website. When I come across somebody who can provide value to my friends’ lives, I am going to feature them on this blog.
As a lot of you know from reading Facebook, I have a love of couponing. I love to save money, and honestly, who doesn’t? I came across a fascinating couponer by the name of Emily Oglesby Collins who has helped me, along with hundreds of other people, stock our shelves at extremely LOW prices (I will not need detergent for 6 months; name brand detergent for CHEAP).
Here is Emily’s story. Enjoy!!
From a young age, God gifted me with a compassionate heart and a head for numbers (although my high school math teacher may disagree). I have always been interested in a great number of things, but never seemed to be able to settle into one career path that seemed to fit everything I was interested in.
I was married young at age 19, to my best friend whom I had met in 6th grade. Fast forward almost 5 years to when I had my first child, a little boy, and wanted desperately to be a stay at home momma. My husband worked around the clock to provide for us so that I could stay home and raise our children. I had a daughter a short time later and his work load increased and our family budget decreased. I’m not always sure how we got by, but God in His grace and compassion, always provided. One of His provisions for my family was me learning to coupon.
I learned to coupon out of a desperate need to save money. I was amazed to see people who could walk into a store and get free groceries and household items, and sometimes even be paid to shop! I taught myself over the period of a year to coupon. I made mistakes, blew my budget, lost coupons, and missed sales. Slowly though, I became to develop quite the skill at saving money by using coupons, stacking savings and sales, and even a thing I quickly discovered called Penny Shopping. We moved all over Missouri and Kansas for my husband’s job so I learned how to coupon at multiple stores and memorized several store policies. I had store managers ask me to better explain their coupon policies to the employees to help them better understand. I don’t consider myself a teacher by nature. I am not patient nor always as detailed as I should be, but I began to love helping others learn how to save money in the same ways that I was able to.
This past December, I decided to formally begin teaching couponing classes online. I know most of us work and have fast paced lives and not much free time. I also believe if we can save a little money from our budget but still get the same brand names we buy anyways, then my class would be helpful to other families. My couponing class is all online and is a work at your pace and on your own time frame type of class. I teach you exactly how to get the same deals I do.
Let me share a few tips with you to get you started.
1. Always buy the Sunday paper. The best coupons are in the Sunday paper inserts and when used properly, can cut your grocery and household spendings in half. I typically save 85% or more by using these coupons on items I would be buying regardless.
2. Don’t spend all afternoon cutting coupons. This is a waste of precious time that you could be doing something fun! Take the inserts from the paper, write the date of the paper across the front, and put in a page protector in a three ring binder.
3. On the same note, stay organized! Use a binder and page protectors to store your coupons in. When needing a coupon, check a coupon database for the date the coupon came out, go to that date in your binder, and cut the coupon. Easy and hassle free. This does not have to be a huge investment of time!
4. Don’t buy an item just because you have a coupon. This is huge! If you won’t use it, then it’s not a savings to spend money on items you don’t need or want. No one needs 89 bottles of ketchup! The only time I get items I don’t need or don’t want is when I get them free. I then take those items and donate to non profit organizations or a family who needs them.
5. It is possible to buy fresh vegetables and produce with coupons, you just have to learn the ropes.
There are tips and tricks to help you get exactly what you need on the budget you want- you just have to learn. Once you begin doing this you can expect to see your usual amount spent on groceries and household items majorly decrease. Most people have a well stocked pantry about 8 weeks into couponing. Eventually, you can have a large stockpile if you chose to do so. My kids jokingly refer to my stockpile room as their store.
For those of you who are kind hearted and always looking for a way to give back, this allows a way to give freely with no worries. There are so many people who at some point in their life need a helping hand. We all need someone to reach out to us and offer help every now and then. There are so many wonderful non profit organizations that would greatly appreciate any donations you would be able to offer. There are other smaller groups of people who go into inner cities and feed and clothe those who are unable to do so for themselves and are always happy to accept donations.
One of my main ambitions in life has been to be able to help others who truly need it, and to teach my children that giving is better than receiving. To reach out in love is better than to live quietly with no outreach. All of my twenties I searched for that perfect job or career. I had no idea I would find it in teaching others how to save money. It has truly been my dream job and my vision for what I had hoped for to be able to make a difference in the lives of others.
For more info – please click here: http://www.thebrunettecouponer.com.