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Get your scissors. Grab your newspaper and a cup of coffee. You are about to embark upon a new money-saving hobby. I am not going to lie — it will take some work, time and dedication. But in the end you will have a pantry full of items and a pocketbook full of cash. Are you ready? Let’s begin.

Using coupons is a wonderful thing that I have done for years. I used to sit down, cut coupons, place them in an envelope and head to the store. I would then go all over the store, filling my cart with everything the family needed for the week, and then head over to the cashier.

At this point, I would realize that I had forgotten the envelope on my desk at home, get frustrated, and just pay full price. But then I was taught how to coupon, stay organized and be focused on the money-saving side of it. And it worked.

Some of my favorite tips of the trade for anyone beginning this journey are as follows:

Give yourself time to learn.

  • Take my class, save your newspapers and make time to get everything in order. Organization is key. If you are not organized, it will become overwhelming and you will likely give up.

Collect the weekly flyers.

  • Take a look at all of the flyers and compare prices on items you need to buy. If coffee is cheaper at CVS, then stop by and grab it there on your way to Hannaford. By shopping around, you will learn the basic prices at each store and be able to save even more money.

Find a coupon spot in your home.

  • Whether it is a pretty wicker basket, a file cabinet, a binder or a pile on your desk, make one place your coupon zone. This will help with the organization side of it.

Ask your friends for extra coupons.

  • The key to couponing is stockpiling. This means you buy a few of the same item to take advantage of the low price. If your neighbor doesn’t coupon (you need to show her this column), maybe she would be willing to share her coupons. It never hurts to ask.

In my class at The Post-Star, I go into detail about using coupons, saving money, finding monthly deals and how it will benefit your family. We are in the process of planning the class’s upcoming dates. Feel free to call 518-742-3309 or go to poststar.com/couponclass for more information.

Head over to my blog at Making Cent$ About Extreme Couponing to find some great deals around the region this week. These will point you in the right direction to saving more money. Post your questions, comments and deals in the comments section. Let’s start saving money together.

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Kimberly Butler is a mom, wife and child care provider located in Queensbury and writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her at kimberlybutlerthepoststar@gmail.com or visit her Making Cent$ About Extreme Couponing Blog at poststar.com/blogs/making_cents.

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