5 On Your Side

'Coupon Queen' shares saving tips

Posted July 30, 2008 3:36 p.m. EDT
Updated July 30, 2008 10:07 p.m. EDT

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.