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Savvy shopper saves $24,000 on groceries with coupons

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A savvy woman has revealed how she saved $24,000 on groceries thanks to her obsession with coupons – and she’s so good at finding deals that stores sometimes pay her to shop.

Emily Shetler, 27, became addicted to coupons five years ago after moving from Texas to Buffalo, New York, with her young husband so he can go to university, making her the sole source of household income.

“When I started, coupons were literally my way of getting by,” she said. “Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to pay my own bills.”

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Emily Shetler, 27, became addicted to coupons after moving from Texas to Buffalo, New York, with her young husband so he could go to college

The home insurance representative spends two to three hours a week scouring the internet for the best coupons and saving them to her shopping apps.

“A lot of people are overwhelmed with coupons as they imagine the traditional way of cutting them from newspapers, but it’s so easy now,” she explained. “You can just download them.”

Emily is now financially stable and no longer needs the coupon, but she has no intention of quitting because she loves it so much.

“I love it and can’t even imagine having to buy something at full price,” she said. ‘It’s like a high. I like to watch the numbers as they go down smoothly. It really is a thrill.

The home insurance representative spends two to three hours a week scouring the internet for the best coupons and saving them to her shopping apps

The home insurance representative spends two to three hours a week scouring the internet for the best coupons and saving them to her shopping apps

“I love it and can’t even imagine having to buy something at full price,” she said. ‘It’s like a high. I like to watch the numbers as they go down smoothly. It’s a thrill really’

When she goes shopping – armed with a phone full of coupons – her $60 basket of essentials sometimes costs just $4.

EMILY’S COUPON TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

Emily Shetler, known as CouponQueenEm on her social media platforms, shared her top tips for couponing.

She advises beginners to “start small.”

“Don’t try to do big coupon shopping right away because you’re often going to end up spending more than you think,” she explained.

Emily noted that coupons are “so easy now” because people can download coupons to their phones instead of cutting them out of newspapers.

The home insurance representative spends two to three hours a week scouring the internet for the best coupons and saving them to her shopping apps.

Emily is also a fan of Ibotta, a coupon and cashback app.

Emily’s biggest deals include a $69 collection of beauty and household products from CVS, which earned her $0.73.

Her coupons reduced the cost to $8.27, then she used $9 in CVS ExtraCare dollars — electronic cashback — to pay, meaning she got nearly $1 back.

Emily estimates that she has reduced her shopping bills by around $400 to $500 a month since she started using coupons five years ago. She now only spends about $50 a month.

With her extra money, she managed to spend several vacations with her husband, including the Bahamas and Martha’s Vineyard.

Emily, known as CouponQueenEm on her social media platforms, has amassed thousands of followers after sharing her coupon secrets.

“I get a lot of people thanking me online, saying they couldn’t have paid for their stores without my help,” she said.

“Another reason I still cut is to help people.”

Emily’s best advice for coupon beginners is to “start small.”

“Don’t try to do big coupon shopping right away because you’re often going to end up spending more than you think,” she said.

She also advised to “check store sales frequently, as you can pile your coupons on top of them.”

Most coupon offers are “buy one, get the same free” or require the shopper to spend a certain amount, which often leaves Emily with more products than she needs.

Emily's biggest deals include a $69 collection of beauty and household products from CVS, which earned her $0.73

Emily’s biggest deals include a $69 collection of beauty and household products from CVS, which earned her $0.73

Emily, known as CouponQueenEm on her social media platforms, has amassed thousands of followers after sharing her coupon secrets

Emily, known as CouponQueenEm on her social media platforms, has amassed thousands of followers after sharing her coupon secrets

Although Emily admitted to having “a small stack of products” in her one-bedroom apartment, she does not believe in storing items.

Instead, she donates 80-85% of the produce she buys to local charities.

“I always save money and keep the household going, so there’s no need to store unnecessary items,” she said.

Emily even managed to earn income from her regular coupons after becoming a regular user of Ibotta, a coupon and cashback app.

Every time someone uses their referral code for a $10 coupon, Ibotta pays them $10, so most of their purchases are now free.

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