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What Iowans can do without double coupons…

It can be depressing to live in Iowa sometimes, the land of no-double coupons, and read the shopping stories of others who have access to doubling and even tripling coupons.  My good friend Lisa E. who lives in PA, recently sent me some of her cash register receipts so I could see just how much she saves on a typical shopping spree, and I was green with envy.  Lisa has agreed to be interviewed for the profile chapter of my book, and she definitely deserves the honor.  She is an extremely efficient coupon shopper.

It isn’t impossible to do some super coupon shopping trips in Iowa, despite the constraints foisted upon us. I did one today, paying less than $42 for $111.00 worth of merchandise. Not pictured are the three big bags of Globe grapes (I can’t set foot in a Hy-Vee without bringing home fruit), two boxes of 100-calorie bags of cookies, 4 Fuze drinks (Lisa sent me $1.50 off fruit when you buy Fuze drink coupons), and 4 loaves of Wonder bread that were on sale for $1 each.

The only thing I bought that I didn’t have a coupon for, besides the bread, is the Folgers coffee, which was on sale for $2.59. The artificial sugars and hair dye were free with a coupon, the Gain dish soap was 18-cents a bottle, the Seventh Generation toilet paper was 39-cents after coupon, more Hefty zip bags free, and the Ziploc containers were on sale for 88-cents, an amazing price considering I had $1.50 off 2 coupons.  But what was even more amazing was the fact that a $1.50 off your next order catalina coupon came out of the register for each three I bought. You do the math. Never mind, I’ll do it for you. I paid 39-cents total for three, then got back $1.50, and I had NINE sets of three, so I have $13.50 to spend on grapes, or whatever I want, next time I visit a Hy-Vee. Considering I am going to sell the containers for $1 at my garage sale, this deal was pure profit! It made me wish I had more of the $1.50 off two coupons!

So this is a good example of how I can do the extreme couponing thing in small-town Iowa.  All it takes is a little work clipping and sorting coupons, and a little luck running into some good sales.

And a husband who cheers me on at the check-out.


Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Certified grief counselor and Senior Service librarian for the James Kennedy Public library. Popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing, couponing, utilizing your creativity in everyday life, and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015. Grief journal to be released in 2018.

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