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CNY Couponers Take Things to the Extreme

With a recession-fueled tank, the couponing train hasn’t slowed in six years

©  2013 Macy Jenkins

By Macy Jenkins SYRACUSE (NCC NEWS) – Coupons have been around since 1887, but it wasn’t until the 2007 recession that coupon use skyrocketed.

By 2012, NCH Marketing Services found that 80 percent of Americans were using coupons regularly.

Jessica Jones, wife and mom of three, has been couponing since she was 18.  But after she saw TLC’s show “Extreme Couponing,” she took things to the next level.

“My husband looked at me and said ‘there’s no way you could ever do that because you can’t save any money,'” Jones said.  “Since he said I couldn’t do it, I had to show him that I could.”

One day, Jones invited her friends over to share some of her couponing tips.  Sixty seven people showed up! Now she writes a how-to blog and teaches couponing classes throughout Central New York.

Jones spends about four hours per week clipping, sorting and filing coupons.

Jessica Jones keeps a stockpile of her items in the basement and enlists the help of the family to keep things organized. © 2013 Macy Jenkins

Others coupon differently

Andrea McCarthy, single mom of four, spends about an hour per week preparing for her shopping trips.  And unlike Jones, she doesn’t clip her coupons and file them alphabetically; she keeps the coupon pages intact and only clips what she needs.

Since she began couponing, MyCNYMommy blogger Andrea McCarthy has cut her grocery bill in half!
©2013  Macy Jenkins

“Once you have a system, there’s no real need to do the extreme part of it,” McCarthy said.

For McCarthy, the hardest part of the process is making sure she has the right coupons, in the right order, for the right transactions.

“When you walk out and it all works, I’m very giddy after,” she said.  “You kind of want to scream ‘I just saved so much money!’”

Couponing gets smarter and faster

Experts say mobile applications like Coupon Sherpa, Ibotta, and CompareMe will soon become the new normal.
© 2013 Macy Jenkins

E-coupons, paperless alerts, and mobile applications are in.  And manufacturers are saying goodbye to the paper coupon.

Juniper Research predicts mobile coupon use will jump by 30 percent by the end of this year.

“As you walk past, if you have your phone into the apps mode, it will show you on the shelf,” said Amanda Nicholson, Syracuse University retail professor. “This is 20 percent off, Amanda, are you out of mayo?”

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