MEMPHIS (WMC TV) - She has a coupon for everything, a strategy for every sale.
Susan Samtur is recognized as the "Coupon Queen" by CNN, NBC's The Today Show and national consumer resources. Her web site, www.selectcouponprogram.com, is a treasure trove of coupons and shopping tricks.
She invited me to tag along with her on a sweep through a store in Cordova. She bought $144 worth of groceries.
The total after her tricks and coupons: $16.
Samtur does a lot of work. She's constantly pouring through newspapers, sales circulars and the Internet for coupons and deals, so you have to be diligent and disciplined in gathering and organizing coupons.
But once you've got them, here are some of Samtur's coupon savings tricks:
* SALES CIRCULARS. This is where Samtur starts. Grab them as soon as you walk in the door. That will direct you to the stores' current sales by category and, quite often, you can coupon off those sale prices.
* COUPONS ON PRODUCTS. Some products have coupons stuck right on them. Sometimes, you get that discount, plus the additional discount of a coupon if you have one for that product.
* NO QUANTITY/SIZE LIMIT. Let's say you have a coupon for Right Guard deodorant. Its fine print says "no size limit." Well, take that coupon to the aisle that has the "travel-size" Right Guard deodorant -- those itty-bitty sticks of deodorant you can fit in a dop kit. Depending on the value of the coupon, you could end up with a few FREE deodorant sticks since there's no limit on size!
The reverse: if there's no size limit on the coupon, and the product comes in an extra large size, GRAB IT! You just got more of the product for free since there's no size limit.
* INTERNET COUPONS. Ever wonder why a product like Cheetos has its own web site? Well, it's not only for marketing purposes. Sometimes, you'll find a coupon on there with its own bar code. You just print it and take it to your store -- unless it's Target or Superlo. Regularly check the web sites of the products you buy all the time and click on this link for my Ask Andy story about our local supermarkets' policies on Internet coupons and double coupons:
* COUPONING OFF SPECIALLY-MARKED PACKAGES. Always read the boxes and containers of what you buy. Samtur and I found two Tropicana orange juice cartons side-by-side, same flavor, same quantity, same price. But one of them was specially marked for a $15 online rebate when you go to Tropicana's web site. On top of that, Samtur had a coupon for a FREE carton. She got a carton of orange juice for free, plus $15 cash back from Tropicana after sending off for the rebate. It's like going to an ATM!