McDonald, who has been a coupon clipper for many years, became more serious about couponing roughly six years ago. She first started her Facebook page for family and friends so they could see what coupons she was using to save money.
“Then I started getting more and more people interested in my page,” she said.
McDonald noted that she also taught classes at one time and realized most people feel they don’t have the time or become unmotivated to coupon. She explained that knowing where to look, being organized, and managing one’s time is the most helpful way to be a successful saver or coupon clipper.
“These days, people know the basics about couponing,” she said. “I learned most of what I know from Hip2Save, a blogger website,” she explained.
One of the biggest savings McDonald has had over the years was $100 worth of groceries for $20.
“The best time to go to (the grocery store) is at the beginning of the day of a sale. I know it is hard for some people, but you’re more likely to get everything you want,” she said. “But if you go later and you don’t see the item you want, you can ask for a rain check.”
McDonald explained that a rain check is almost like a coupon.
“You can come back at a later date to get the item they were out of at the sale price you want,” she said.
She mentioned some of her favorite place to find coupons, which include: Sunday newspapers and the Internet. (Kraft.com, Bettycrocker.com, Coupons.com, Redplum.com, commonkindness.com, and smartsource.com)
“I get my best (coupons) from the Internet,” she remarked.
McDonald explained that on her Facebook page, she tells people where there are local deals, even without coupons.
“If I know there is a deal going on, I’ll let people know or if I hear about one from another (blogger) I’ll share it on my page,” she said, noting she always credits where she hears about a deal.
One thing that is very important to McDonald is her community; therefore, she enjoys keeping people informed about what deals are available locally.
“I keep it local for the community and make an emphasis on local businesses,” she said.
Because of this, McDonald said that sometimes she is given items for free from the retailers she promotes.
However, she is often again thinking of others and passes along her savings.
“Anytime anyone needs help, I try to help,” she said.
McDonald, who helps people at no charge, explained that she often mails coupons to Facebook fans who request them, but sends them first to the people who send her self addressed stamped envelopes.
She explained that one of the most touching stories she remembers is that of a little girl in Forest Hill, N.C.
“There was a lady in Forest Hill who wanted some coupons. When I sent them, I decided to send a few extra,” she said.
She noted that some of the extra coupons she included were for Fruit Roll-ups and unknowingly the woman’s daughter benefitted from them.
“She wrote me the sweetest letter thanking me for the Fruit Roll-up coupons, like that was just a treasure for her,” McDonald said. “Now, every time I see Fruit Roll-up coupons, I think of her.”
When she gets food for free from her savings, she will often donate it to Crisis Control Ministry.
“It makes me mad to see someone get 100 or 500 boxes of detergent or toothpaste for free and just hoard it or sell it,” she said. “Why not donate some of it to someone in need?” she asked.
McDonald also likes to help those serving in the military by collecting and sending expired coupons overseas through a site called coupsfortroops.com.
“I have a bin in my booth at Unique Treasures (in Kernersville) where people can drop off expired coupons,” she stated.
Although she spends a bit more time couponing and searching for deals, McDonald suggests that for people who are interested in saving a few bucks or a lot of money can do so buy allocating about four hours a week cutting and organizing coupons from the newspaper and Internet. She suggests making sure one is aware that the dates on coupons are current and that you know the details of the coupon.
“I carry a binder with the coupons cut out and organized,” she said.
McDonald explained that while coupons can offer big savings, she admits they aren’t always the best deal.
McDonald said she posts certain store brand items or store savings on Tuesday mornings when she gets the newspaper inserts.
For more information about McDonald, visit Kernersville Coupon Clippers on Facebook.