5 On Your Side

'Coupon Queen' shares saving tips

Posted July 30, 2008

Who wouldn't want to cut their grocery bill by half and still get the same amount of food? Faye Prosser, a professional coupon clipper, says it can be done.

Prosser started clipping coupons eight years ago when she became a stay-at-home mom.

“We really hit our budget hard, and I went line by line. And at that point, I became my own personal finance expert,” she said.

Prosser said she feeds her family of four for $55 a week.

“For that $55, I bring home anywhere from $125 to $200 in a week’s worth of product after the sales and the coupons,” she said.

Prosser has a meal plan, a list and a big binder that’s divided alphabetically by product type. She organizes her coupons in albums designed to hold baseball cards. Prosser says it makes saving very simple.

“It's not rocket science. Anybody can do this,” she said.

Prosser found a spot remover that was in a "buy one, get one" sale. She used a 75-cent coupon with the purchase at a store that doubled coupons. She saved $1.50 on one bottle of Spray and Wash and got the other for free.

She doubled a 75-cent coupon and saved $1.50 off a bag of pretzels that was already on sale for $2.50. "(That) makes them a buck a bag,” she said.

Some bargains don't require a coupon. A bag of shrimp usually costs $18 for a 2-pound bag. It was on sale for $2.98 a pound.

“So here's my 2 pounds of shrimp for six bucks,” Prosser said.

Prosser says it's all about planning.

“The more time you're willing to put into it, the more money you're going to save,” she said. “But anybody who watches one or two TV shows a week, bam! Most of your work can be done during that time. … I'm all about multi-tasking.”

“I can't tell you how many people ask me to shop for them, but you know, anybody can do this,” she said.

Prosser sells her dividers and inserts through her Web site. She also does workshops on saving money.

20 Comments

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  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Aug 1, 7:33 p.m.

    To save on fruits or veggies, my family has been going to local farmer's market near downtown Raleigh. We have been trying to support the local farmers as much as possible.

    Plus, I heard on SplendidTable.org that if the you are purchasing anything with the Sell-By date expiring, haggle with the grocer. You may be able to get the product half-priced since the store cannot sell the product when it expires.

  • Caesarsgirl79 Aug 1, 5:09 p.m.

    I noticed some people asking about fruits and veggies. A way that I have found to save on fruits and veggies is to get what is seasonal or on sale. I would found Aldi and Superwalmart to have some of the better deals on fresh fruits and veggies. Harris Teeter and Kroger clearance veggies that are going bad in a day or so and a lot of times I will get those and cook them that day.

    I also have a small garden to grow some of my own produce. At work we trade or bring in extras. That may also be good to do with your neighbors if they have gardens. On my street we also have some with a large garden that sales fresh produce at their home during the growing seasons.

    During the fall months around fair time you can go and for free pick your own sweet potatoes. We usually get enough to last almost until the next fall. You just put them in hay or straw in a crate or cooler and they last a long time.

  • ako470 Jul 31, 7:25 p.m.

    I agree with Treet007. Did anyone check to see if the products purchased were healthy? It is hard to find coupons or big discounts on fresh fruit and veggies as well as healthy meat choices. My family and I try to stay away from processed, prepackaged foods, but unfortunately most coupons are for those exact items.

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Jul 31, 12:06 p.m.

    My family use coupons consistently, however most of the products with coupons have high fat, high sodium, etc etc that we stay away from. Therefore, having lots of coupons do not necessarily mean having healthy meals. If others have found a different experience (consistently), we definitely would be interested.

  • momof3inNC Jul 31, 11:23 a.m.

    i wish they would open a HT out in the 40/42 area! there isn't one in clayton either is there?

  • momof3inNC Jul 31, 11:22 a.m.

    kbyrd- i did notice that woman made the pictures so small of the binders so u can not find out how it is set up...id really like to know how to set it up....my old system did not work too well.

  • computer trainer Jul 31, 10:37 a.m.

    momof3inNC doubles 20 coupons a day, up to $1. per coupon. Occasionally, and not nearly as often as HT, Lowe's will do triple coupons.

  • HappyGirl08 Jul 31, 10:04 a.m.

    Yes, lowes does double coupons.

  • HappyGirl08 Jul 31, 10:01 a.m.

    I do this every week. I thought this was an article about me. Now, I had not thought of selling coupon binders on the internet. People, when you are at the store for tax free weekendget yoruself a notebook and some inserts, tax free, and probably on sale, and there you go. No need to buy something else from this lady. I do, however, applaude her ingenuity!

  • momof3inNC Jul 31, 9:20 a.m.

    When I worked at HT, I used coupons for cleaning supplies, body stuff(toothpaste,bodywash,etc), I swear I didn't have to buy any of that stuff for about 5 years!!! My husband thought I was crazy but...saved alot of money! I don't shop at HT anymore because I don't live near one, but I do go to Lowe's. Does anyone know if they double coupons too? I think so, I've seen several people with their notebooks there lol

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