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Prom Dreams Boutique offers a wide variety of prom and formal dresses. (Haylee Chiariello/Staff Photographer)
Prom Dreams Boutique ministry supports high school students
By Haylee Chiariello, Staff Writer
Published Apr 20, 2024
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Thrifty students cut costs with coupons

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One student found out just how much she could save when a sorority gave tips on how to save money by the strategic use of coupons last week.

Senior strategic communication major Olivia Stribling is a member of Kappa Alpha Kappa sorority, and was part of their first “Extreme Couponing” event. It was inspired by two things: the TV show “Extreme Couponing” on TLC, and a sociology professor who talked about couponing in Stribling’s food management class.

The sorority gave students tips on how to maximize the benefits of using coupons. One such tip was to find coupons in newspapers, Stribling said. Sunday newspapers tend to have more than others.

The second step is to clip coupons according to personal needs and consider how likely you are to buy a product, she said. Stribling demonstrated how to coupon during a trip to the grocery store and chose her products thoughtfully.

“Couponing is a way to save money,” she said. “Don’t waste it because you think you’re getting a deal. If you never ever thought about getting a product, why would a coupon make a difference?”

Additionally, she said students should organize and separate coupons by category and date, because some grocery stores honor expiration dates.

Stribling said she once picked up a bottle of laundry detergent. She put it back down because it was not on sale, and she had seen it for a lower price elsewhere. Product prices can fluctuate, so she said couponers should check to see when products are cheaper and wait until then to use the coupon. Furthermore, combining multiple coupons on one product can maximize the amount that can be saved, she said.

Stribling had a coupon for one dollar off any Vaseline product and chose a lotion that she had multiple coupons for, she said. If she doubled her coupons she could get two dollars off the original price.

Another AKA member, senior food management major Chasity Shorts, said multiplying coupons is the real strategy to using them correctly.

“You can cut them out and use them but you probably won’t save much money,” she said. “There is a strategy in the sense that you can double them, there are stores where you can triple them. So whereas you would normally save 50 cents using one coupon, you could triple it and save $1.50.”

Shorts said she thinks every student should get into couponing. She said during a recent experience, she purchased toiletries with coupons that brought her total down from $30 to $14.

Stribling also ended up saving on her groceries. Her total of $65.44 was reduced to $39.85 after using her coupons, she said.

Stribling was not allowed to use multiple coupons on one product but still got almost half off her total. For this reason, she said the show Extreme Couponing is unrealistic.

“The people you see on that show literally spend all day calculating how much money they can save,” Stribling said. “I’m a college student, I don’t have time for that. So if I can save five or six dollars, I’m OK with that.”

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