Nova Scotia

Cole Harbour woman to teach coupon shopping

A Cole Harbour woman who has turned saving money using coupons into a crusade is hosting a workshop this weekend to teach others to do the same.

Saves $400 per month

Gail Quigley uses coupons to maximize savings. ((CBC))
A Cole Harbour woman who has turned saving money using coupons into a crusade is hosting a workshop this weekend to teach others to do the same.  

Gail Quigley's basement is chock-a-block full of goods, everything from toilet paper to toothpaste. Her children jokingly call it 'Q-Mart,' and it supplies their families with almost all the household products they need.

"I won't say I've never used a coupon on a non-sale item, but it's rare," Quigley said Thursday. "I hold my coupons, watch for the best sale, then maximize and try to buy three or four or five."

She started actively couponing after retiring as a bank manager several years ago. She watches store flyers for the best deals, and then goes through her stockpile of coupons to find which ones she can use to knock even more off the sale price.

Quigley knows there's been a lot of interest in couponing since a television show called Extreme Couponing hit the airwaves that chronicles American shoppers who buy thousands of dollars worth of groceries and household products for next to nothing.

The rules for coupon use are stricter at Canadian stores, but even so, the deals Quigley can get are impressive. Last week, she managed to get a Thanksgiving turkey and 10 razors for free.

Gail Quigley shows some of the goods she's bought using coupons. ((CBC))
By using tools such as coupons and flyers, Quigley said she saves about $400 a month.

Business experts say people could learn a thing or two from her, especially when money is tight.

"That's a rational, informed consumer leveraging opportunities that marketers are giving them. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that," Dalhousie University marketing professor Dan Shaw said.

The Internet has played a big part in Quigley's couponing, allowing her to exchange information with others on the best deals in town.

"It really does depend on what you put into this. If you put into this in terms of time and a little bit of commitment, not a lot, you will reap the rewards," she said.

That's the kind of information Quigley is going to share at her workshops this weekend for the Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre.

The first one starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

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