A Coupon-clipper’s Best Friend

With the Sunday paper in hand and access to the Internet, you can save big bucks on groceries and other goods. Learn how with TLC’s ‘Extreme Couponing’ star Nov. 12

Shannon Jones knows how to save money. The TLC Extreme Couponing all-star will be teaching others how to do the same Nov. 12. Join her at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to learn how to develop a weekly method of couponing to save on grocery bills, which simply requires the Sunday newspaper and Internet access. The event is free.

When did you become an expert in couponing?

I don’t ever consider myself an “expert” at couponing because I’m learning new things all the time. It’s definitely what I call a journey. I started in 2009 really putting the principles I teach about and the resources to use.

How did you get into the field?

I got invited to a coupon class but I went skeptical because I had tried using coupons before and failed miserably. This class changed everything. That’s when I really took off with it almost five years ago.

Is it currently your full-time profession?

My full-time profession is a wife and a mother. Yes, I do coupon to provide for my family and stretch our income.

Why are you so passionate about it?

It has changed my family’s life and I’ve seen it change others. It began for us as a financial need, but over time we have been able to help and donate to so many people. That’s where the real passion lies.

Where were you born and raised and where do you currently reside?

I was born in Kansas, raised in California and currently live in Las Vegas.

Where did you attend college and what did you major in?

I graduated with a business degree from the University of California at Riverside. I went to school to study business and later continued my education and received my teaching credentials.

How did you get involved with TLC?

My friend Jennifer Freeman was asked to do the show and she immediately gave me a call to help. You can’t do those types of shopping trips alone.

What has your experience been like regarding becoming so popular among couponers?

I just love to learn and talk to other couponers because there are always great stories to share and knowledge to gain.

What is the importance of using coupons?

Why not use coupons and save money on products you have to buy anyway? Think about where you could apply the money you save. It’s huge and it’s fun.

Can anybody do it?

Yes. That’s what’s exciting about our coupon events. We do show how easy it is to save money and not invest a ton of time doing it.

What is the average amount of money someone can save per week if they regularly use coupons?

That’s a hard question to answer because different products go on sale at different times. I will say that in six months people should see a huge drop in how much they are spending on their groceries (food staples, household and personal items). Over about six months I went from spending $1,000 a month down to about $300 a month on all those products. It’s significant.

What sort of items can people save money on?

Everything – you can save on just about everything you go back to the grocery store for on a regular basis and purchase.

Our resources are somewhat limited here; can people still use coupons on the island?

Yes, the principles are basic (don’t want to give too much away – that’s why you have to come to the seminar) and when applied, even with limited resources, it does work.

What do you wish to accomplish while you’re here regarding your class?

My goals at classes are always to have a good time, share the knowledge of how using coupons is actually doable for people and also change skeptics into those that can’t wait to get started.

What are you looking forward to most about your visit to Kauai, and will it be the first time you have set foot on the Garden Isle?

I love meeting new people and, yes, it’s the first time to the Garden Isle. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Kauai and I can’t wait to come.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your career?

In using coupons and saving my family money, I’ve been able to stay a stay-at-home mom and be with my kids for the last seven years. That has been the most rewarding for sure.

What has been the most challenging aspect?

Not being able to stay on Kauai longer.