Feb 22, 2013 10:02 PM by Danielle Lerner

Tucson mom shares tips and tricks of extreme couponing

TUCSON - Imagine cutting your grocery bill in half, maybe even slashing your spending by 70 or 80 percent. It takes some leg work to score huge savings at the supermarket but it is doable. News 4 Tucson's Danielle Lerner spent the day with one local mom who says couponing saved her family close to $5,000 last year.

Deep discounts and free food are now the norm when Wendy Diaz gets her groceries. She's been couponing for 18 years, but the former hobby turned necessity two years ago.

"My husband's been unemployed so it's like the budget's gotten smaller," Diaz said.

With a full-time job and three kids Diaz dedicates about an hour a day to stockpiling coupons from inserts, free weekly papers and the internet. She then matches her list with weekly deals, saving anywhere from $50 to $150 per trip.

"You really need to watch when the sales are and match it with a coupon," said Diaz.

News 4 Tucson hit the local Fry's to see Diaz's couponing in action. One of the best deals of the day is on Colgate toothpaste, on sale for 99 cents a tube. Fry's doubles Diaz's 50 cent coupon, making the toothpaste free.

After about an hour in the aisles, the grand total comes to $270.12. Subtract her VIP card savings and all her coupons, and the total plummets to $80.54. That is a 70 percent savings.

For those who think they do not have time to try it out, Diaz says even the smallest attempts can reap big rewards.

"Say okay, this 15 minutes is going to save me $5.00," Diaz said. "Is that 15 minutes worth your $5.00?"

Diaz reminds everyone to become familiar with and follow each store's coupon policy.

She also recommends sites like redplum.com, smartsource.com, thecentsableshoppin.com and coupons.com.


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