For those looking for ways to cut household costs and save money, Extreme Couponing is on the way.
On Tuesday, Jan. 29, the Oregon County Extension Office will present "Coupon College -- Extreme Couponing in the Real World!"
Extension Office Secretary Barb Simpson set up the class on couponing. It
all started while Simpson was watching an episode of the show "Extreme Couponing" with a friend.
"Our friend told us her mother had started clipping coupons and was saving quite a bit of money by using them. It wasn't too long after this that I saw a
couponing workshop offered in another county posted on the Extension website calendar of events," Simpson said.
She took the idea of a local couponing workshop to the Oregon County Extension
faculty and everyone got on board. "I figured there were a lot of people, like myself, who would like to learn how to make our hard earned money stretch
farther," Simpson said.
The community has shared in Simpson's excitement about a local couponing workshop. She mentioned the idea to her friends and patrons of the Extension Office and found out that it was something a lot of people had an
interest in. "Since announcing the couponing workshop, we have had such great response that we changed the location to the Multi-Purpose building on the Alton school campus to have more space to accommodate a larger audience," Simpson said.
Asked what she hoped participants would get from the class, Simpson replied, "I have learned a lot since I started working for the Extension. I know their purpose is to help others improve their quality of life by offering researched based programs. We hope the outcome of this workshop is that people will use what they learn to save money on groceries and other items, while at the same time generate revenue at our local businesses which in turn improves our community
economically. It's a win -- win situation! I'm very excited about this and
looking forward to having a fun-filled learning experience with all who attend."
Extension Human Development Specialist Angie Fletcher, from Douglas County, will present the workshop. Fletcher, who is working on another project, was able to squeeze in time to come to Oregon County for the workshop. Fletcher said
she first got involved teaching the couponing classes due to requests from people. "A lot of people are interested but just not all that clear on how to get started," Fletcher said.
She has personal experience, as she has been couponing for three years.
"When I considered starting, there was a lot of conflicting information out on the Internet. Part of what I do for my job is present research based information from the University of Missouri, as well as other universities. I began researching and put my presentation together utilizing university resources, as well as some personal experiences I have had over the years," Fletcher said.
The declining economy has sparked a lot of interest in couponing. Fletcher will often have people ask her about couponing when she is shopping with her
coupon binder. The workshop includes building your own coupon binder.
"I have spent as much as an extra hour shopping due to stopping and visiting
with people regarding what I'm doing and how they can get started. I think people wanting to hold on to their hard earned money just makes sense," Fletcher said. "Not only is couponing helpful to the consumer but local stores that accept coupons are paid a handling fee by the issuer of the coupon (the manufacturer) so it's a good thing for everyone."
Fletcher said that it will take some time for new coupon collectors to put the steps into practice, but she assures that the savings are worth the time. "I have made every effort to include all the advice on getting started and how to put information in one place. Individual savings will vary by participant, but they will have all the tools they will need to be successful. Even if participants are already couponing, there is always something new to learn!"
During the couponing workshop, Oregon County Extension Nutrition Program Associate Brandi Sutherland, will make a presentation called, "Plan, Shop, Save," which gives tips on saving time, money and providing healthier family meals and snacks.
The workshop will be held in the Multi-Purpose Building on the Alton School campus beginning at 6:30 p.m. The program is free, however if you wish to construct a coupon binder, the cost will be between $5 and $10. To register,
contact the Oregon County Extension Office at (417) 778-7490.