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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Blogger Spotlight - Brandi

This week's Blogger Spotlight is Brandi from Savvy Student Shopper. This week Brandi talks about Coupon Trading and more! Check out her blog post and questions below. Head on over to "Blogger Spotlight" for more info on being featured on Student Saving Bucks.
"Hi, I’m Brandi! I am college student and a savvy shopper. I can’t get enough of a good deal, freebies, and coupons! Check out my website at Savvy Student Shopper for great deals, coupons and more."
Coupon Trading
I joined a coupon trading forum this summer out of curiosity and I could have never imagined it being as great as it is. I started posting early this Fall and soon met many friends to trade with. I am able to send people coupons they are asking for that I don't have a use for and they send me coupons I need back! It really has been helpful when I need multiples of the same coupon. I love being able to help people score great deals by sending them some coupons and in turn, they have enabled me to score amazing deals as well! It has become so habitual now that I know who needs certain coupons and set them aside when cutting my inserts. I send people coupons not just because they sent me an envelope, but because I know they have better use of them than I do. On the forum I use, coupon trading isn't a business, it's a place of help, support, and friendship. It turns trading into friends helping each other out. People post their deals and trips, ask questions, get advice, complain about cashiers, and simply chat on coupon trading forums. I have met some wonderful ladies on there and it is amazing how much we can all help each other out.

If you are hesitant about coupon trading, I say give it a try! You really don't know how helpful our fellow couponers are; they want you to get good deals! Picking the right forum is very important as well. Just sign up and and read some of their posts and see if you would like to join in! I've found such a supportive group of women and they love having a savvy student shopper around!

As a Freshman in college, is couponing, searching and getting deals time consuming for you?
I started super-couponing this summer when I had some free time on my hands. My mom is an avid coupon so I have been clipping and sorting coupons since I was very young, so it was something I was already familiar with. When I started college this year, it was a big struggle for me be a student and super-couponer. I leave all of my coupons at home for my mom to use during the week so the only time I get to pick out the coupons I need and sort them is when I come home every once in awhile. Luckily, I am able to come home at least every other week to go shopping and when I can't be home, my mom will do my deals for me. Couponing does take up a lot of my time, especially when I am home, but when I am at school, I don't have my coupons so I can only print coupons and plan trips. I check out deals every single day, but my studies do come first. Checking blogs and forums has been a great way to take a break from the college stress also.
To be a well-rounded coupon trader, is it essential to have a huge pile of coupon inserts?
Absolutely not. I get about 2-3 inserts a week (which is NOTHING for a super couponer). I am able to be a well-rounded coupon trader with only 2-3 inserts a week. I trade coupons that I won't use and also trade with people when they need tons of the same coupon for a hot deal. If I can send them 2-3 of the coupons they really need, they are very satisfied!
What is the best shopping trip you've had so far? How much did you save and spend?
This is an extremely difficult question! I do the drugstore deals, so every week I'm usually only paying tax and slightly more for a bunch of stuff. Doing drugstore deals can give you awesome results and they are always great trips. I have one trip to Dollar General that is always a favorite of mine. I purchased: 24 toothbrushes, 4 pack of Charmin Toilet Paper, 2 Hot Sauces, Olay Body Wash, Olay Lotion, and Gain dish detergent. My subtotal was $0!

I'll also admit that I love Target to death and love to plan big, cheap trips there. My last trip's subtotal was $1.62 for: 15 Beneful Dog Food, 3 bags of Friskies dry food, 2 packages of Goodlife cat food, 2 Sobe Life Waters, 3 Cottenelle Wipes, 3 Suave Shampoos, 3 packs of Up & Up liners, 2 small Tums, 9 packs of AA batteries, 1 pack of Energizer Rechargeable batteries, 1 Barilla pasta, 1 Pace salsa, 2 French's mustard, 1 Tide Stain Release, 7 travel size Tides, 1 NYC nail polish, and lastly, a frozen turkey! I saved $98 on that trip. There is a picture on my blog.
Has couponing helped you with college costs?
Couponing allows me to save money for my family even when I don't live there most of the time. I get tons of items for free or cheap, which is less money that my mom has to spend for things and more money for us to put towards college. By super-couponing, you can stock up on items when you can get them at a great price, this way, my family doesn't have to put out money for those items. Cutting our household expenses every month by couponing will hopefully make college easier to afford. Using coupons and doing deals even helped cut down the cost of our Christmas spending last year!

Another thing that couponing has allowed me to do was help out those who are in need. I am able to donate tons of items that I can get for free or cheap that my family doesn't need
All this is great advice from Brandi. For all of you looking for some good places to start coupon trading check out Totally Target Forum and Hot Coupon World.

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