A woman says she has saved £19,500 on her shopping thanks to her obsession with coupons.
Emily Shetler, 27, got hooked on using the money saving tokens that she finds online and in newspapers when she got married five years ago. Her younger husband was still at college when they moved in together, and she was the sole breadwinner.
Now, as the cost of living crisis grips the UK, she spends two to three hours a week scouring the internet to find the best coupons, saving them to her shopping apps as she goes. When she goes shopping armed with her coupons, her basket of £50 essentials will sometimes just cost £3.
Emily said: “It’s like a high – I love watching the numbers as they smoothly go down! It’s a thrill really.”
Her biggest bargains have included a haul of beauty and household products worth £56 which earned her money. Home insurance rep Emily thinks she cuts her shopping bills by around £325 to £400 a month, since she started her coupon habit five years ago.
She now only spends around £40 a month. With her extra cash, Emily, from New York, has managed to go on multiple holidays, with her husband, to places like the Bahamas.
Her top tip for beginners is: “Start off small – don’t try and do big coupon shops straight away as you can often be left spending more than you mean to.”
She also said to “frequently check the sales that the stores are having as you can stack your coupons on top of them. “The coupon queen said: “When I started, couponing was literally how I got by – without it I wouldn’t have been able to afford my own bills.
“Many people get overwhelmed by couponing as they picture the old-fashioned way of cutting them out from newspapers but it’s so easy now – you can just download them! Now that I’m more financially stable, I don’t need to coupon, but I just love it and can’t even fathom having to buy something for full price.”
Emily, known as CouponQueenEm on her social media platforms, has amassed thousands of followers after sharing her coupon secrets. She said: “I get a lot of people thanking me online, saying that they wouldn’t have been able to afford their shops if it wasn’t for my help.
“Another reason why I still coupon is to help people.”
Most of the coupon deals are ‘buy one get same free’ or require the shopper to spend a certain amount which often leaves Emily with more products than she needs. Although Emily did admit to having “a small stack of products in our one-bedroom apartment” she doesn’t believe in stockpiling items.
Instead, she donates 80-85% of the products she buys to local charities, saying that, “I’m still saving money and am keeping the household going so there’s no need to hoard unnecessary items.”