Place Details

Couponing: Locals' savings is extreme

Address:  ,
Panama City,
FL -
 
Phone: 
About Couponing: Locals' savings is extreme:

Kari Cassidy has turned girl's night into a couponing party, where ideas, deals and tips are shared over drinks and cookies. Cassidy took a greater interest in couponing after being laid off from her position as a school psychologist for Bay District Schools.

"I've always done it but didn't have time and realize how easy it was to do. I typically save between 45 to 49 percent of the bill," she said.

Her weekly grocery bill averages at about $100 out of pocket after a savings of at least $90 for her family of four, which includes her husband, Dan, and their two children. The most she has ever saved is about $120.

"I did a whole spreadsheet when I started," she said. "I'm about cost per item. I'm not going to go to 15 stores and waste a lot of gas."

Cassidy and a group of friends meet every six to eight weeks to sort and exchange coupons and share their latest triumphs and lessons. The group of working mothers also uses couponing websites, such as Coupon Divas and Southern Savers. They cut out coupons from weekly inserts in The News Herald on Sunday and see weekly specials from grocery stores, such as Publix and Winn Dixie, which are inserted into Wednesday's newspaper.

"Plan ahead," Cassidy said. "Wait until your brand is on sale. The sale cycle is every six to eight weeks."

She spends about six hours a week looking for deals, but no more than an hour in the grocery store.

"I think you're more organized if you're couponing," said Deborah Viera, mother of one son.

All of the women in the group grocery shop weekly and each has her own organizing system. Lora Rhodes, mother of three daughters, uses a binder, while Cassidy and Tami Dinan, mother of three boys, have small pouches with a filing system. Dinan's fits neatly in her purse, divided up into categories, such as frozen food. Her CVS file within the pouch has her card handily tucked inside. Cassidy also likes to shop drug stores for deals, once spending "10.88 for $40 worth of things," from toothpaste and toothbrushes to toilet paper and paper towels.

"I stick to Publix and Walgreens, but I'm not afraid to go somewhere else to get another deal," Cassidy said. "With couponing, the smaller the package, the better the deals."

But there are exceptions to every rule.

Viera said she finds some of her best deals buying meat in bulk at Walmart or Sam's Club. Winn Dixie has a lot of buy-one-get-one (BOGO) deals on meats. If Cassidy gets a BOGO, she considers it overage for produce.

"I don't want people to think you have to get all processed food," Cassidy said.

For the best savings, match up a BOGO deal with a manufacturer's coupon and a store coupon for each item. Couponing has taken on new popularity with TLC's Extreme Couponing. The series follow shoppers' journeys from finding deals to capturing savings.

"The show's been the death of me," Cassidy said. "I hate the show. Everybody's changed their rules."

Because of the popularity of "Extreme Couponing," many grocery stores began changing their couponing policies. Unlike the extreme shoppers on TV, Cassidy and her friends don't clear shelves or have rooms filled with enormous stockpiles

"My No. 1 rule is don't buy something unless you need it," Cassidy said.

If there is a long shelf life, then go ahead and stock up on things such as body wash, toothpaste and shampoo.

"You can never have too many snacks, because kids go through them," she added.

Cassidy has found such a niche that she started her own business, Coupon Shopping For You, to coupon and grocery shop for working mothers and professionals.

See a video of the local couponing group.



  
Counts-Oakes Resort Properties 300x250


This Week :


Wednesday, October 22
06:00pm A Certain Retribution - Book Signing Event   @  Bay County Public Library

Thursday, October 23
All Day Event 2014 US Masters Synchronized Swimming National Championships   @  Frank Brown Park
11:00am - 04:00pm BBQ, Bikes and Babes   @  Harley-Davidson of Panama City Beach
06:00pm Ride-in Movie Night   @  Harley-Davidson of Panama City Beach
07:30pm 'A Beach Home Companion'   @  Seaside Repertory Theatre (The REP)

Friday, October 24
All Day Event Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars   @  Frank Brown Park
All Day Event 2014 US Masters Synchronized Swimming National Championships   @  Frank Brown Park
09:00am - 02:00pm Carillon Artisan Market   @  Carillon Beach
11:00am - 04:00pm BBQ, Bikes and Babes   @  Harley-Davidson of Panama City Beach
01:00pm - 03:00pm Author Charles Hensleigh Book Signing   @  Books By The Sea
05:00pm Grand Harvest Dinner   @  Capt. Anderson's Restaurant
05:30pm - 10:00pm Haunted Hayride   @  
06:00pm 'The Darkness' Art Show   @  
06:30pm 'Tales of the Awakening Dead' Book Signing   @  
06:30pm Halloween Party at the Oatfield   @  Panama City Beach Senior Center
07:00pm - 09:00pm 'Abstract in Nature' by Dolores Lowery   @  Amavida Coffee (Rosemary Beach)
07:00pm Jaycees Haunted House   @  
07:30pm 'A Beach Home Companion'   @  Seaside Repertory Theatre (The REP)
07:30pm Hecate Hill/Night of the Living Dead   @  Kaleidoscope Theatre

Saturday, October 25
All Day Event Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars   @  Frank Brown Park
All Day Event 2014 US Masters Synchronized Swimming National Championships   @  Frank Brown Park
All Day Event Tricker Trek 5K   @  Panama City Beach Conservation Park
All Day Event Halloween Festivities   @  Rosemary Beach
07:00am Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk   @  Aaron Bessant Park
08:00am - 02:00pm Grand Lagoon Waterfront Farmers Market   @  Capt. Anderson's Marina
08:00am - 01:00pm St. Andrews Waterfront Farmers Market   @  
09:00am - 01:00pm Seaside Farmers Market   @  Seaside Amphitheatre
10:00am - 02:00pm Fifth Annual Halloweener Derby   @  Seaside
02:00pm - 05:00pm Trick or Treating & Kids' Halloween Bash   @  Rosemary Beach
04:30pm - 07:30pm Paranormal Fundraiser   @  Man in the Sea Museum
05:30pm - 10:00pm Haunted Hayride   @  
06:00pm - 09:00pm Get Hypnotized   @  Capstone House
06:00pm - 09:00pm Pumpkin Patch   @  
07:00pm Jaycees Haunted House   @  
07:00pm Masquerade Gala: a Black Cat Affair   @  Boardwalk Beach Resort
07:30pm Hecate Hill/Night of the Living Dead   @  Kaleidoscope Theatre
08:00pm Ghouls Gone Wild   @  Science and Discovery Center of Northwest Florida
08:00pm - 11:30pm Noche de los Muertos Costume Party   @  Alys Beach

Sunday, October 26
All Day Event Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars   @  Frank Brown Park
All Day Event 2014 US Masters Synchronized Swimming National Championships   @  Frank Brown Park
08:00am - 02:00pm Grand Lagoon Waterfront Farmers Market   @  Capt. Anderson's Marina
09:00am - 01:00pm 30A Farmers Market   @  Rosemary Beach
02:00pm Hecate Hill/Night of the Living Dead   @  Kaleidoscope Theatre
03:00pm Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest   @  St. Andrews State Park
04:00pm - 06:00pm Fall Festival: 'I Spy a Treasure Hunt'   @  
05:30pm - 08:00pm Free Fall Festival   @  

Monday, October 27
All Day Event NCCAA National Golf Tournament   @  Hombre Golf Club
09:00am - 02:00pm Carillon Artisan Market   @  Carillon Beach
07:00pm George Washington and the British in the Revolutionary War   @  Bay County Public Library

more events Send Us Your Events