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Coupon Saving Taken to the Extreme

The coupons clipped are part of Jim Buff’s collection. Buff has been couponing for over 20 years.

Buff takes time, saves money

Sophomore Hannah Buff’s father, Jim Buff, has been couponing for over 20 years. On aver- age, Jim saves between $50 and $300 weekly at the grocery store because of his coupons. He receives his coupons through mail and from friends. Jim visits many stores with coupons including Walgreens, Shop N Save and Schnucks.

“Schnucks is my favorite because the people that work there are friendly,” Jim said.

Although Jim usually gets most stuff for free or very cheap, he does not keep everything for himself. Jim gives some things to his friends and family or donates them to O.A.S.I.S. Food Pantry and Thrift Shop.

“I don’t feel the need to have 100 deodorants,” Jim said.

Nearly all of the items Jim buys, he uses a coupon. Jim spends many hours a week cutting, reading and organizing his coupons. He buys mostly men’s products such as deodorant, toothpaste and body wash. Hannah occasionally helps her father with his coupons.

“I help cut them out and read expiration dates,” Hannah said.

Although Hannah is not nearly as intense as her father, she does know the dedication her father has to couponing. Hannah has seen her father coupon most of her life.

“Keeping track of them and how to use them is the hardest part,” Hannah said. “It seems like a lot of work.”

When someone mentions couponing, the show ‘Extreme Couponing’ on TLC is what most people think of. It’s a show that follows extreme couponers to the stores and showcases how much they save. Jim, however, is not a fan.
“It’s not realistic,” Jim said. “I know the rules at Shop N Save, and it couldn’t happen.”

Hannah has been embarrassed by the attention her father gets but she doesn’t feel that way anymore. Jim goes to the store about 15 times a week.

“I haven’t purchased the basic items in 15 years,” Jim said.


Mason practices what she preaches

Angie Mason has a hobby that she loves: couponing. For the past eight years, she has been couponing. Mason has an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old kid, and her oldest is the one who got the ball rolling.

“I saw that diapers, wipes and formula were so expensive so that’s when I started, and it’s grown ever since,” Mason said.

Mason usually hits the store once every two weeks. She uses her coupons at Walgreens, Target and Shop N Save. Mason has a process that she uses every time she goes to the store. Her process starts before she goes to the store. First, she makes a list of the things that she wants to purchase. Then, she organizes her coupons, trying to match the coupons up with what she needs. Lastly, she heads to the store and uses her coupons.

“I usually save between $20 and $40 per trip,”Mason said.

Couponing is something Mason has the most time for in the summer. Since school has started, she has had less time to do it. Although a lot of her students don’t know about her hobby, Daniece Tate, one of Mason’s Accounting I students, is fond of couponing.

“I think it’s cool because I don’t know a lot of people that coupon, and people that coupon save a lot of money,” Tate said.

Over the summer, Mason would spend between five and ten hours a week organizing her coupons. Mason keeps her coupons organized in a binder. She organizes them into 11 sections. The sections include categories such as bever-
ages, frozen foods and cleaning products. She receives her coupons through her family, entertainment books and she has subscribed to some through the mail.

“My kids think I’m extreme, well, at least my 3-year-old does,” Mason said.

One deal Mason keeps her eye on is at Shop N Save. About once a month on a Thursday, Shop N Save will have a deal where if customers spend $50 or more they can get $10 off of their purchase.

“Over the summer, I would go twice to Shop N Save,” Mason said. “I’d get all of the non-frozen things I needed and take it back to the car and then go back in for the cold stuff. My kids hate it.”

Recently, Mason went to Target and spent $200 but with all of her coupons, she got $20 and some change knocked off her total. Mim Eaton, who teaches Intro to Business and Personal Finance, likes to talk to Mason about coupons during their lunch time.

“She’s an Accounting teacher, so she knows the value of money,” Eaton said.

Mason has storage in her basement where she keeps the extra items she has. She has even taken a class at the county library about coupons. Mason plans to continue couponing as long as she has time.

“I think there is always going to be a need for couponing and for saving money,” Mason said. “I’m a business teacher, it’s all about saving money.”

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