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Cut your cost: Southern Savers offers coupon workshop
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When Jenny Martin created her Southern Savers website in 2008, she had no idea that her hobby would catch on like it did.

"I never thought I would have more than five people look at the site," Martin said.

She now has 8.5 million hits a month.

The website Martin created, which is free of charge, is a "how-to" use coupons and store sale cycles in a combination that help save money on groceries and household items. She updates the site regularly with sale notices from different stores.

Martin also travels and conducts workshops based on her formula for saving money. Concord Baptist Church in Clermont is hosting a coupon workshop at 6 p.m. on Oct. 29.

Sherry Lawson, a local Southern Savers devotee, has been using the system since March.

"I am going (to the workshop) and hoping to learn more," Lawson said

Lawson, who shops for a family of four, said she has cut her grocery budget in half. "We used to spend between $125, $130 a week. Just last week I probably spent $60 total."

Lawson said she has a system that can take up to three hours of her time a week. Sunday night is when she prints out her lists and begins to plan. "I buy at least two (news) papers every week. When they have multiple coupons, I'll buy three or four papers a week."

Lawson advises getting an organization system that works for you, "I use a milk crate, hanging file folders and manila folders," Lawson said, "You can't miss a Sunday, you've got to buy your papers every Sunday."

Martin wants people to understand that when they make a list of the groceries they need and head to the store, it costs more money.

"What you have just done is make a list of everything that is not on sale at the store," the web site states.

She advises it is wise to utilize store sale cycles. Most area stores follow a cycle roughly six weeks long. Martin wants shoppers to buy enough of a sale item to last six weeks to avoid paying the full retail price.

"I pull my coupons and clip them to my list and only buy what's on my list, and I don't spend a dime for what is not on my list," said Lawson. "You will spend more than you're supposed to when you do those impulse buys."

The other day at Publix, I spent $37 and saved $48. My goal is always to save more than I spend."

The workshop will be a 2 and a half hour class that will cover topics like gathering and organizing coupons, using online resources to find deals and detailed instructions for using in-store sales.

You must register prior to the workshop at www.southernsavers.com. The cost to attend is $10 payable at the door by cash or check.

 

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