Coupons can be found for everything from groceries to airplane tickets. However, finding coupons for the right items at the right time can be difficult. That’s where the new Cut It Out Club can help.
Darlene Christensen, the family and consumer science representative for the Utah State University Extension Office in Tooele, started the monthly club as a way of extending regular workshop classes she’s been teaching on couponing over the past several years.
“The workshops were really fun, and people are interested in having me come and do more classes,” she said. “I finally got a local request for a club, so I’ve decided to start one up.”
Christensen feels the club is important for budget shoppers — especially those with families — so that they can understand the best ways and places to look for deals. Each time the club meets, she will give a short coupon tutorial. In addition, she hopes to see a lot of coupon swapping and sharing of ideas.
“I’m hoping that there will be some creative awards and probably service projects,” Christensen said. “After that, we’ll spend some time deciding exactly how to set up the club.” Along with tips on couponing, Christensen will also be teaching other money-saving habits. To encompass all of these other tips, her first tutorial will be on organizational skills.
“Coupons can truly save you money, especially if you’re organized,” Christensen said. “There are some gals coming with their own organizational systems to help demonstrate to the other members.”
The organizational techniques can help budget shoppers in saving, locating and using coupons.
Joining the club is free of charge.
“I was thinking it can be somewhat of a girl’s night out, though men are invited as well,” Christensen said. “There are some excellent couponers out there that are men.’”
Christensen’s tutorials will include topics for everyone from the newly beginning couponer to seasoned professionals. She will cover tips to help all levels of knowledge.
“The key thing for a beginner is to not buy things you wouldn’t buy without a coupon,” she said.
Christensen is not only a coupon cutting expert, but also excels at and teaches other lessons about life on a budget, including several basic financial education classes. She saves on travel costs, as well as online shopping, and almost never pays shipping fees, she said.
“I know all of the tips and tricks,” Christensen said. To find real success in the coupon world, according to Christensen, an open mind is crucial. She stresses willingness to try new things, such as switching brands in products like laundry detergent in order to find the best deals.
“It also depends on how much time you spend planning around coupons,” Christensen said. “You could save anywhere from about 25 to 50 percent on items.”
Christensen is hoping the Cut It Out Club will spawn other couponing clubs,
“There is a lot of money to be saved,” she said.
The club will meet at the USU Extension Office at the Tooele County Health Department, 151 N. Main Street, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. For more information or to RSVP, call 277- 2406.