NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

February 3, 2010

One savvy shopper; Amesbury mother turns clipping coupons into a mega-money-saving art form

Local mother turns clipping coupons into art form

1Well, that's how much Amesbury's Jamie Chase says she saves each year since adopting a life-changing coupon strategy devoted to spending less on everyday needs. And she's willing to show others how to cash in themselves.

The married mother of two toddlers who previously was a retailer with Brooks Brothers and J. Jill has been couponing regularly for several years, reducing the whole clipping routine to a science she says is easier than most people realize.

After wowing friends, family and associates with her ability to reduce grocery bills and other household expenses down to their barest minimum, Chase has decided to share her industry knowledge with others. She's leading couponing classes designed to help beginners get started and seasoned clippers to take savings to a new level this winter and spring through Northern Essex Community College.

But be prepared: Chase said once people learn how to pick up all their favorite brands for pennies on the dollar, they can never go back to shopping the old way.

"If you're not saving 60 percent or more on your groceries every week, then you're just wasting your money," Chase said. "There's so much money to be saved at major chain stores."

Chase said the key to her money-saving strategy is learning the basics of the grocery store where you regularly shop as well as how to tap into a network of shared couponing strategies. Participants will learn how to stack coupons for double the savings and search out where the big sales are.

"Part of the class is teaching people what the different vernaculars are," said Chase of her "Couponing and Freebies 101" class, which offers up some of the essential tricks of the trade for those who currently dabble in couponing but would like to save half or more on their weekly grocery bills.

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