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How-to Secrets of a Real Couponer
By Suzy Q as told to Aubrie Olsen
I have been couponing for the past 35 years and I have saved a grand total of $1.2 million dollars. I am about to divulge some of the best-kept secrets of the couponing world. Now—with this classified information—you too can join the elite 26.4% of shoppers who save 72.8% on their groceries every year.
The very first, most important thing that you must understand, that you must cherish, that you must fully respect, is the triumphant treasure of a coupon. In this world of survival of the fittest—trust me—coupons should be your life. The Golden Rule of couponing is: “Treat all coupons like bricks of gold.”
Now, in order to discover the missing love of your life, all you have to do is follow a few simple steps for beginners:
Step 1: Get a three-ringed binder; a 12-inch binder will do for now. Also, make sure to buy plenty of sheet protectors and a couple of hundred baseball card holders. Put all of these in your binder.
Step 2: Buy sixteen Sunday papers, maybe seventeen…or eighteen, nineteen, twenty… Pull out all of the coupon inserts—Smart Source, Red Plum, P&G, and so on—and the store ads from the newspaper. Throw the rest away. Repeat every week. For even more coupons, visit your local recycling centers to dumpster dive and scour for inserts.
Step 3: Sit down and clip out every single coupon. You must never throw an unexpired coupon away—never. Once they are all clipped out, it is critical to sort them out by product type and expiration date into the sheet protectors and card holders. Fold coupon if necessary. Repeat every week.
Step 3b: Make sure to squeeze in a few minutes to feed and water your plants, 12 children, and husband.
Step 4: Now, in order to prepare for your shopping experience, it is of the utmost importance to scour the internet for any and every single coupon deal available. As you begin to compile your list, make sure to pull out the coupons that are required for shopping and sort them into individualized envelopes. Your task is not fully complete until you scavenge every store ad that is available for the current week for any possible coupon match-up that one of the few hundred coupon blogs may have failed to mention.
Step 5: Make a map of the stores in your city and plan a simple route to include every store to guarantee there is no unnecessary backtracking—time is money. Make a section in your coupon binder for all this information along with every store’s coupon policy, manager’s name, assistant manager’s name, and the corporate phone number—for when a tough situation arises.
Step 6: It is now time to leave your house and go shopping. Don’t forget your coupon binder—or your children.
Step 7: When you arrive at each store, make sure to go up and down each and every single aisle, twice, just in case there is some sort of unadvertised special. Don’t forget to pull out those candy bar coupons to calm the savage beasts while you are on your adventure.
Step 8: Once you have gathered all of your items and have double-checked that a deal was not missed, make your way to the checkout lanes with your 8-12 carts full of merchandise. Be sure to scout out the prime victim for your best hopes of a smooth checkout; the best unsuspecting cashier is male, age 16-24, and preferably has a carefree air about him.
Step 9: While waiting for 5-6 hours for your glorious stack of coupons to be scanned, it is necessary to stand tall with a gloating smirk on your face; this is sure to gain the attention of all those around you. As envious stares and the compliments about how great of a person you are for saving such a shocking amount of money come rolling in, make sure you mention my website and all of the wonderful information you have received from me. You must save your receipt from every transaction you complete.
Step 10: Repeat Steps 7-9 until you have visited every single store on your route.
Step 11: Upon returning home, put your minions to work by having them unload your trailer full of your purchases and put them away; remind them about the importance of rotating your stockpile. As they are putting your groceries away, make sure to capture pictures of your purchases so you can post them on your blog and show off your savings for the whole world to see.
…Only 137 hours later…
Step 12: Take out all of your saved receipts, taking care to keep them in mint condition, and lay them out in previously purchased picture frames. If necessary, use old picture frames that contain baby pictures. Hang these framed receipts up on the wall—preferably in your front entryway or living room—right next to the photos of your purchases as well as photos of your gorgeously stocked garage.
At the end of this extremely simple process: your three-car garage should be fully-stocked from floor to ceiling with a grandiose stockpile of toilet paper, mustard, boxes of cereal, and so much more; your walls should be plastered with frames filled with your receipts—proof of your expertise; you should be falling to sleep counting the savings on your receipts and dreaming of hundreds of bottles of barbeque sauce, tubes of toothpaste, containers of dish soap…
If you have yet to reach this state of pure happiness—full of joy and bliss—with an extreme affection for your millions of coupons, you can purchase my DVD—Suzy Q, Coupons, and You—for a limited time price of only $29.99. And remember, this price will never amount to the savings you will experience.
©2011 Aubrie Olsen
Aubrie Olsen is currently a mom and a student majoring in English at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. She is an avid coupon shopper but no Suzy Q.