Do you use store coupons and manufacturing coupons when you shop? How much do you typically save? 50%? 80%? Whether you consider yourself a casual or extreme couponer, I’d like to recommend a very handy spreadsheet tool, created by J. Kelly Charles of WorkingMomCoupons.com.
Kelly appeared on TLC’s hit TV series “Extreme Couponing” where she was shown using the spreadsheet on her iPad at the store: View Extreme Couponing Season 2 Episode 6 on YouTube
She has also been an occasional contributor on HLN’s “Making it in America”. Check out this video to see her demonstrating the spreadsheet on her iPad and sharing some couponing tips.
The spreadsheet is very intuitive and easy to use, especially if you already know something about shopping with coupons. You just list the items, qty, price, sale price, coupon amount, etc. and the spreadsheet will calculate the resulting price for each item and the sum total.
I’ve created a few spreadsheet templates for Numbers, so I was curious whether Kelly created it herself and whether she really used the spreadsheet all the time or whether it was mainly for the TLC show. I was also curious how much she typically saves (when she’s not going for Gold on national TV). Here’s what she had to say …
Did you create the couponing spreadsheet yourself?
“Yes. I have a spreadsheet for almost everything (as do you, it seems!). When TLC asked me to appear on the Extreme Couponing show, it was only logical to me to prepare a spreadsheet for the trip. The objective of the show is to shop with coupons, and at checkout to save the most amount possible. I was not about to be caught off guard by an unexpected total on national TV, so I created the spreadsheet so I could change items, quantities, etc. on the fly while filming and always know what my final total would be. As I was using the spreadsheet on my iPad throughout the show, viewers immediately wanted to know where to find a copy. So I prettied it up a bit and posted for download on the site.”
How often do you personally use the Numbers version in your shopping?
“Every time. Although I prefer Excel, and usually use that version with the Documents to Go app on the iPad. Numbers tends to lag a bit, and also does not accommodate cell locking so it is easy to inadvertently alter a formula. The functionality is the same. I use the spreadsheet with each shopping trip because it holds me accountable to a total and I am not only aware of my savings, but am less likely to purchase spontaneous unnecessary items and go over budget.”
What % do you typically save through couponing?
“The shopping totals on the show were almost 100%, but that is not typical of every day shopping. I usually save 60-70% when shopping by combining good sale prices and coupons. The spreadsheet helps me see when an item is an exceptional price vs. an okay price.”
At only $5, getting a copy of Kelly’s couponing spreadsheet is a no-brainer. I don’t make any money from this recommendation. I just think what she’s created is really awesome.
If you are interested in couponing, but are new to the process, you can learn more by ordering a copy of Kelly’s new book, Keeping Couponing Real (see her website for more info).
I also found an interesting series of youtube videos put on by WDEF News 12 (wdef.com) and Time2SaveWorkshops.com that covers a lot of useful material related to couponing. You can find the videos by going to YouTube and searching for “Couponing with Time 2 $ave Workshops.”