Ann Haney of Middle Tennessee began seriously couponing this past May 2009. In her first 4 months she saved her family $4700 off their groceries. Before couponing she used to spend $260 a week for her family of 8. Now their weekly spending has been drastically reduced to $60 a week to cover their needs. This means she has been able to put $3400 cash money back into their family budget since May.
“The key to my success is easy,” she says, “I buy on purpose with a plan.” Her plan consists of making her list around the store sales and coupons she has. But, this is not all. She says the real key to her success is “sharing what she saves.” Mrs. Haney has teamed up with local food banks by making them a special guest at her coupon workshops, where she promotes their needs and encourages people to share their abundance with the needy in their community.
She states, “I am so confident that what I teach will transform families finances, so much so, that they will have abundance to give.” When asked, “does this consume a great deal of time?” She replied, “with a positive mindset and organization, it only takes me one hour a week.” Mrs. Haney has created shopping templates for different stores to take all the confusion out of couponing and decrease spontaneous buying.
“Your success lies in what you believe,” she reports. Obviously, this works for Mrs. Haney, since she has saved so much.
She tells of a lady that came back to one of her workshops and reported she saved $98 and spent only $8 on a recent shopping trip after attending one of Mrs. Haney’s previous workshops. Couponing is a joint effort for their family. Her children help her by clipping coupons.
“What a great way to give your little ones scissor practice,” she tells. They also help her by categorizing and matching them.
“Who needs to buy a matching game for your preschoolers,” she delights.
Her son enjoys it so much, he remembers what he clips and when mommy gets ready to go to the store, he states, “will you get me some fruit snacks? I know you have a coupon.”
Finding her coupons is pretty simple. She mostly gets them from the Sunday paper, buying five to ten every week.
“Is it worth spending $5-$10 weekly?” I ask.
She quickly replies, “Absolutely, I save a minimum of $200 a week.”
Her other coupons she finds from the internet, blinkies, peelies, and even competitors. It is important to learn the store policies she teaches at her workshop she says. She is a firm believer in, “if you follow policy, blessings will follow you.”
When asked, “how do you know where the good deals are?”
She replied, “There are several great websites that take all the work out of couponing for me.
The biggest problem she faces is waiting for the clerk to scan all her coupons.
I asked her, “does this annoy the people behind you?”
“Surprisingly no,” she said, “they are so curious to see what I am saving, they usually ask me how I do it, and I invite them to a free workshop.”
One day she was checking out and another cashier tried to get the lady behind her to move to her empty lane. The lady refused, stating she was a determined person and she was determined to wait it out and see how much Mrs. Haney saved. Before she left, the lady told her she was now a firm believer in couponing and was going to get started right away.
I asked Mrs. Haney how many stores she frequents.
Her response was, “usually about 4 a week, depending on their sales.”
She warns shoppers not to just look at surface pricing, “some things you thought were to pricey often have your best couponing potential,” she exclaims.
Finally, I asked her, “Why do you do these workshops for free?”
She solemnly replied, “People are financially challenged with the decline in our economy and they need to know there is hope, without having to dig into their pockets to find it.”
At her workshops she uses examples to show people how to use coupons together to get the most for their money. She also makes available organizational products for those who want to dive right into saving. Recently, she has created a coupon handbook covering her power point presentation and couponing specifics. Her newest release, however, is a DVD of her workshop.
You can find out more about her workshops and products by visiting her website