Clipping and using coupons can be made into an art form, and local woman Ann Trivette is a natural Van Gogh with using coupons, and she has taught her methods to others with the hope of saving money in a slow economy.
Every time Trivette gets a new issue of a newspaper, she begins clipping; not news articles, but the coupons held inside the paper looking for a way to save money at the counter.
“There’s couponing, and then there’s extreme couponing,” said Trivette. “I like extreme couponing.”
Trivette said couponing can be important during a slow economy, and according to the latest report from the N.C. Division of Employment Security, Ashe County’s unemployment rate in January was 13.8 percent. Ashe County’s rate is higher than the neighboring counties of Alleghany, Avery, Watauga and Wilkes, meaning many in the area may be looking for a way to decrease their expenses.
“When your money is low, couponing is a way to stretch it out,” said Trivette.
Trivette has made sure to teach her couponing methods to members of her family and others. At one point, Trivette even taught a class to members of her church about how to take full advantage of couponing.
According to Trivette, what she has done in the past is show “how to match the coupons to each other and the coupons to the sales.”
Trivette goes above and beyond only teaching how to clip coupons, she also collects coupons for others as a way of giving back to her community, and personally escorts some people to retail stores.
“I’ve taken several people shopping to show them how to do it,” said Trivette.
According to Trivette, she has impacted several different families by revealing her couponing art.
Trivette offered some advice for anyone interested in couponing that’s new to the process.
“Start out with clipping a few coupons, match them with sales, go by the store policies, and have fun shopping,” said Trivette, “and don’t discard any of your coupons week to week; hold on to them until they expire.”
Trivette also said information about “extreme couponing” can be found online for anyone who is interested.
Another way to save money when shopping is by using the advantage cards offered by several local stores. Retired law enforcement officer Charles Medley said he uses his Lowes advantage card everytime he visits Lowes Foods.