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South Florida extreme couponers share savings secrets


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I had the extreme pleasure of interviewing several South Florida shoppers yesterday for a Sun Sentinel story in today's paper about the new Publix coupon policy and how they save big bucks on groceries and gas. Here are their tips:

Dana Potgieter of Coral Springs says you can supersize your savings at the grocery store by doing these five things:

1. Subscribe to at least two newspapers to take advantage of buy-one-get-one (BOGO) sale items and stacking two coupons for the items.
2. Know your local store’s policies.
3. Follow a good coupon and savings website such as IHeartPublix.com and TotallyTarget.com. “Let them do the research for you.”
4. Print online coupons from SmartSource.com, RedPlum.com and Coupons.com.
5. Take advantage of competitor coupons online and through the mail that are accepted at your local store.


Andrea Mass, of Boca Raton, racks up similar savings on groceries and gas with these tips:

1. Get 2 copies of the paper on Sunday (and get inserts from friends and family too) and save the inserts. I don't even bother clipping anymore, I just file by date and then
wait for the sales and the coupons to line up (there is usually a good sale on a product within a month after the coupon comes out).
2. I try to only shop at one or two stores. The sale cycle is about 12 weeks so don't worry about getting every deal, they'll come back around. Also, with regard to the 12 week sale cycle, I only buy what my family needs to last those 12 weeks, that way when I need cereal (or whatever) I already bought it at the best price ad don't need to run out and buy it at full price. By the same token I don't shelf clear or buy things we don't need (like 70 jars of mustard).
3. Whenever Publix runs the sale of $10 off the $50 gas card [offered in early May], I buy the Shell card and then redeem it at the pump using Winn-Dixie fuelperks!.
4. The new coupon policy at Publix: It’s nothing I wasn’t already doing, but now the cashiers and I are on the same page. My budget is $200 a month and I feed a family of five on that. I get about $1,000 worth of food a month. We eat healthy, organic and mostly kosher. I keep an Excel spreadsheet to track savings.”

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Doreen Christensen on Twitter@PrettyGoodIdeas and get mobile alerts: Text DEALS to 23539.

Categories: Coupons (754)


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About the authors
Doreen Christensen has never paid full price for anything. If there is a way to save on something, she will find it and share how you can save, too. Doreen is a senior reporter covering consumer news, health, beauty and features for the online and print editions of the Sun Sentinel. A 32-year veteran of the newspaper, she previously was a senior copy editor on the universal copy desk. Doreen spends her time off hunting bargains, clipping coupons, gardening and traveling.

Justine Griffin covers retail and marine business for the Sun Sentinel. She is a Tampa Bay native who graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010. After spending a year covering crime in St. Augustine, Fla., she moved to Fort Lauderdale and made the switch to business journalism. When she’s not writing, she’s riding horses and spending time with her whippet puppy, Josie.

Marcia Heroux Pounds is the Sun Sentinel's workplace columnist when she's not shopping for shoes. She also writes about small business, which allows her to visit many of South Florida's unique shops and boutiques.

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