A chance encounter at a local store between coupon queen Monica Vaughn and librarian Bessie Tucker led to the presentation of the “Extreme Couponing” class at the Payson Public Library. The class was part of the library’s Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit Key Ingredients: America by Food.
It was supposed to be one class with up to 30 attendants. There was so much interest, the class, held June 28, was opened to 10 more people. When it filled up, a waiting list was started for a second class and when 40 signed up for it and another 20 called, a third class was set. The third class has 40 participants registered and now there is a waiting list for a fourth class, with about 15 on it. If enough people are interested, 15 to 25 more, the fourth class will be scheduled.
Monica was shopping with her five-inch binder, busting at the seams with baseball cardholders when Bessie and a companion were behind her in the checkout line. Monica offered to let them go ahead of her, but they said they were in no hurry and were interested in couponing. She told them a little about it and said she would like to do a class at the library. Bessie introduced herself, explaining she worked at the library and would see what she could arrange — and Payson Public Library presented Monica’s couponing class. Now there are two more scheduled and possibly a third down the road.
Offering to let Bessie and her friend go ahead of her in line is one of the “golden rules” Monica practices in her couponing — be polite. Be polite to the checkers and to the store managers that might be called in to answer questions. Be polite to fellow shoppers.
Other “rules” of couponing that everyone should live by:
• Don’t clear shelves. It is unnecessary and rude. All couponers (and even people who don’t use coupons) want great deals, but the deals are not once in a lifetime. Get what you need for your family and leave some for everyone else. Getting 129 bottles of mustard and leaving nothing for anyone else is silly, even if it is free. Who needs 129 bottles of mustard?
• Don’t commit coupon fraud. It is illegal to photocopy coupons. It is illegal to use coupons for item A on item B, even if it does scan at checkout.
This kind of abuse is what could ruin couponing for everyone else and is already forcing some stores to change their policies.
In the event you didn’t get into one of Monica’s classes, she recommends visiting the Web sites TheKrazyCouponLady.com and TheCentsAbleShoppin.com. Another informative site is www.livingwellspendingless .com. The Krazy Coupon Lady and Living Well Spending Less both have sections devoted to beginners.
To get your name on the waiting list for the planned fourth couponing class at the library, call (928) 474-9260.