Why Should I Take a Couponing Class?

By ERIN TURNER

Recently, I was asked to teach a coupon class through an Adult Education program at the Missoula Lifelong Learning Center. As I sat down to put together a class syllabus (boy, I haven’t heard that word since college!), I started to think about why people would want to attend a couponing class. Why would someone want to attend and what would they want to learn?

I started to really listen to people when they heard I was teaching this class, and I was inspired by what they were saying and their reasons for wanting to attend. Their responses have helped develop my class and also given me renewed passion for couponing and sharing my experiences.

A number of people I talked with are already experienced couponers but need some motivation to continue clipping coupons week after week. They also were hoping to connect with others who are like-minded and possibly form a small coupon community where they could swap coupons, tips, and advice.

Others are just struggling to get started with couponing and need some guidance on how to save money with coupons. A few have only used a coupon here or there, while another woman has researched a lot of information about couponing but has zero practical experience in the grocery store.

Meanwhile, I heard from a handful of people who coupon regularly, but need some streamlining techniques so they can save more money and more time. These same folks also commented that they were interested in learning real-life couponing versus the extreme couponing methods shown on television. A small percentage of people take couponing to the extreme level, but most of us just want to save enough money to make a positive and noticeable impact on our budgets.

One person told me they would take a couponing class with hopes of learning how to realistically stock up for their family without going over board and feeling like a hoarder. For anyone who has couponed long enough, we all know this is a delicate dance and learning good techniques of stocking up are vital for success and peace of mind.

Finally, I heard from a working mother who wants to explore how couponing could possibly allow her to stay at home with her kids without sacrificing major cuts to their already tight budget. Depending on a person’s commitment and willingness to work, couponing can reduce a grocery budget by 50% or more. Once you start to save that kind of money, suddenly you want to save money in other areas of your life as well. So couponing has a total effect on an overall budget, not just a grocery budget.

I was so inspired by all these people’s reasons for taking a couponing class! I love that there is a range from very experienced couponers to complete novices who feel like a class would benefit them. I especially loved the group of people who are hoping to connect and form a community of couponers because I always find it vital to surround myself with people who share the same principles. It keeps me accountable and focused.

Missoula’s Lifelong Learning Centerheard the need as well and has been offering couponing classes for the last year. Starting in January, I have the honor of teaching this class. It is a two night class (Jan. 18 and Jan. 25) from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Hellgate Elementary. Early bird registration is $16 – I’m pretty sure you’ll recoup that money after your first shopping trip with coupons! You can register for class at the Lifelong Learning Center’s website or call the Adult Education program through Missoula Public Schools at (406) 549-8765.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to learn more or be inspired, a couponing class may just be the spark you need to take you from a Coupon Commoner to a Coupon Queen! What a great start for the New Year – a fresh approach to saving money and balancing your family’s budget!

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Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, and sticking to a budget in her previous posts: Holiday Entertaining on a Budget, Shop and Plan Ahead to Reduce Christmas Stress, and Teaching Money to Kids and Teens. Be sure to check out the Missoula Save it Club.

   Visit the Coupon Queen’s “Save It”archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.