Katara Simmons/News-Sun ÔI spend about 30 minutes a week clipping coupons,' Michelle Leicht said Thursday morning in Sebring.
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published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Highlands Coupon Moms offer advice on how to save big bucks
By BARRY FOSTER
SEBRING -- September is national coupon month, but a couple of local women have been celebrating the practice for years.
Michelle Leicht and Liz Epps have also started helping others to mine "newspaper gold" by clipping and redeeming coupons. The major vehicle they use to swap tips and information about money saving offers is a Facebook page called "Highlands Coupon Moms."
That group has 176 members. Although most are local, Leicht said there are some from out of the area as well, weighing in on different money-saving opportunities as well as asking questions about different store policies and coupon applications.
Leicht and Epps met through a parent-teacher organization at their kids' school.
The two later became friends and subsequently engaged in the world of couponing.
"She would tell me what she was doing, then I started couponing and then we decided to share what we knew with others," Leicht said.
Earlier this month, the duo held a couponing seminar in a meeting room at the Sebring's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They first discussed the best way to obtain coupons, which transcends newspapers. There are sources ranging from online printouts to in-store sources such as tear-pads and dispensers known as "blinkies" because of the flashing red light on the box.
Some stores also have special credit cards as well as the option of "electronic coupons" through the use of smart phone technology.
That information was followed by an instructional on the ways coupons may be used for maximum savings by matching them with store sales and other offers to get the lowest price.
Although they are not "extreme couponers," they did advocate stocking up on various kinds of merchandise to take further advantage of retailers' 12-week sale cycles.
Leicht said the Facebook group has a constant stream of newcomers asking basic questions on the best way to apply their coupons at individual stores.
"The most important thing I can tell you is to be familiar with each store's couponing policy," she said. "Some of them actually will change from month to month."
Their initial seminar was a great success, drawing nearly two dozen people. That surprised Leicht.
"I thought it would be mainly my friends from church but we actually had more non-church members than church members," she said.
The pair now plan a second seminar and coupon swap. That will also be held at Sebring's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and will run from 1-3 p.m. on Sept. 28. That one will deal with how to cash in on register rewards, and extra cash back credits issued by local drug stores as part of their efforts to lure cost-conscious shoppers.
While some people charge to teach such classes, the local women dole out their information at no charge.
Leicht and Epps also appear the first Friday of each month at 9 a.m. on WWTK 730 AM, where they give out information and answer call-in questions.
(by: Blindman~ - 9/20/2013)
What a respectable effort to help others in the community.
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