Clippin' With Carie
How a reluctant mother of two was schooled on how to be a coupon queen.
When my husband, MJ and I were first married, our salaries were small as Airmen in the Air Force and we had to stretch every dollar.
Growing up on a farm, MJ was taught not to be wasteful. Once when he got a hole in one of his socks, he asked if I could darn it for him. I told him this wasn’t the 1890’s, he could go buy himself some new socks. While he can’t darn socks, my husband can and does cook, sew, and clip coupons.
MJ would receive a package from his Mom a few times a month containing pages of coupons and he would sit at our small kitchen table and clip away. I used to tease him. I thought clipping coupons was for bored housewives. My parents had never used coupons as far as I knew. After all, who cares if you can save thirty cents on a can of beans? But MJ taught me that while thirty cents may be small change, when you have ten coupons for thirty cents every week it can really add up.
I didn’t take couponing seriously until I had school-age children. With the money we spend on their extracurricular activities ($120.00 for both of them to play soccer for one season) and the clothes they seem to sprout out of every month, we try to save money where we can. I get the Sunday paper every week and comb the coupon books looking for products we use on a regular basis. A friend suggested a website that she checked in with before every shopping trip: Clippin’ with Carie.
Carie lives in O'Fallon with her husband and children. She was a “clip here clip there” kind of girl until her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. With medical bills piling up and her husband unable to work every day due to his chemo treatments, they found themselves looking to cut back. Carie taught herself how to be an extreme couponer. She started her website in 2009 to share the deals she found with her friends and family and it took off. She even has her own segment on KPLR Channel 11 every Tuesday between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Clippin’ with Carie offers tips for couponing which include such advice as not being loyal to one brand. Not only does the site have coupons for groceries, but also retail stores such as Express, Gap, Hobby Lobby, Kirkland, Toys R Us, and even the AMC movie theater snack bar. After spending $12.00 at the theater last week for a large popcorn and soda combo “deal”, I wish I had come across this sooner.
With the money she saves, Carie can afford to “spread the love”. She gives back to the community by donating to local food banks such as OASIS Food Pantry in St. Charles, Operation Food Search in St. Louis, and Morning Star Church Emergency Food Bank in O Fallon. She also donates to Toys for Tots every year. It’s motivating and inspiring.
Using my grocery bill from last week, I chose 5 items on my list and looked to see how much money I could have saved by checking Carie’s site first. The items I selected were: Special K cereal, Windex cleaner, two cans of Campbell’s Chunky Soup, Wishbone Salad Dressing and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. My total before the coupons came to $13.14. After applying the discounts, my total could have been $11.28. I know what you’re thinking, that’s only saving $1.86. But with Carie’s printable coupons, instead of 1 box of Special K cereal for $3.68, I can buy 4 boxes for $4.00. The savings can really start to add up.
I’m always up for saving money. The money I save from using coupons at the grocery store could buy my kids their school lunches for a week. While you’re not likely to find me darning any socks, you will be able to find me “clipping” coupons on Carie’s site each week.
MJ would be proud.