WYOMING — Frugality rules in the minds of the crafty shoppers gathered for the first “Coupon Crew” meeting on Saturday afternoon at the Wyoming Free Library.
A typical shopper can save up to $100 per week just by spending a few hours scouring through coupons published in the newspaper, offered online and provided at local retailers, according to the crew’s organizer and coupon trainer, Donna Littzi.
Meeting participants sat and shared ways to capitalize on the abundance of opportunities to save money on everyday items and offered tips for using the latest technologies like “smartphones” to jump on hot deals, said Littzi.
“This is our version of extreme couponing,” Littzi said.
Shoppers buying at the local chain stores, supermarkets and discount retailers with the right coupons can easily cut 50 percent from their bills, Littzi said. And, the retailers encourage this type of shopping, she added.
She admits couponing does take some “patience” and depending on the shopper’s preference could require a couple of hours of research each week. However, the more time someone is willing to put into couponing the more they can get out of it, Littzi said.
New technologies have made their mark, she said. A shopper can pull a large discount out of the air on their phones, she pointed out. Some stores even give shoppers rewards just by their walking in the door and accessing smartphone apps, she added.
Leah Snyder, a shopper from Exeter who attended the meeting, said stories of families purchasing up to $1700 worth of goods for $25 abound.
Snyder emphasized some discounts require purchasing bulk quantities, but the discounts are still justified. She talked about one shopper who donated overstock to charities and even resold items at local flea markets to help with the household budget.
Deedee Mauriello, from Harding, added using smartphone scanning technology can reap quick discounts.
“Use your phones and save money,” she said.
Mauriello added local libraries are helping coupon hunters. The Wyoming Library for example, maintains a current file of coupons available to visitors to use. They are categorized by item making it easy for shoppers to review, she said.
Littzi said websites like Shopkick.com and Savings.com, make coupon shopping easy. She added traditional coupon sources like store flyers or newspapers are still good sources of savings.
It is not necessary for any local shopper who is looking to purchase basic items like groceries or even luxury items such as large screen televisions to pay full price, Littzi stressed. The bargains are out there for those who seek them, she said.