Thursday, February 2, 2012

Saved and Looking For Redemption!

If you look in any local store where you buy your groceries, you will often see them. They are of all shapes and sizes and come from a wide range of backgrounds. Sometimes they are in packs, but more often, they travel alone. Some are friendly, while others are fierce! “Extreme” couponers, which they are sometimes referred to as, are a fascinating new group of people that marketers gravitate towards because they know that a couponer’s weakness is words like FPC and BOGO. I’m sure you’re scratching your head wondering what those words actually mean and the relevance for mentioning it, right?

Well, let me introduce you to Tania Martin, a busy and devoted mother (with 4 children, ages: 16, 13, 11 and 9) and wife, as well as a Labour Doula here in Windsor,Ontario. She is also a self-proclaimed couponer who I came across while…yes I’m guilty of it too, looking for coupons! Instead of just offering and trading coupons to others, she has decided to take the hobby one step further and create unique customizable binders that will keep you highly organized on all your shopping excursions! With a sturdy zippered case, complete with dividers for different categories of merchandise, scissors, a calculator to keep track of your spending and/or price-matches, Tania won’t leave you empty-handed. Based on your needs, she’ll gather some coupons for you to even get you started. So you’re already saving money on your favourite must-have items before you even walk into a store!

Melissa Arditti: Hi Tania, thanks for taking time to do an interview with me!

Tania Martin: Hi Melissa!

MA: I’m sure everyone is wondering now, what does FPC, BOGO and all the other “coupon” lingo stand for?

TM: There are all kinds of coupon abbreviations out there. FPC is one of my favorites-Free Product coupon, and BOGO-buy one get one isn’t too bad either. I include a whole page of popular abbreviations in my binders, so you can learn the lingo quickly!

MA: What inspired you to come up with the idea of customizable binders for couponers?

TM: I got tired of having great coupons and always forgetting them at home, or trying to find them in my purse, which is like a black hole! I wanted something organized and stylish that I could carry around with me.

MA: Do any of your family or friends have a funny nickname for you because of your love of coupons? Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me (and the hundreds of readers who come to Windsor Square! hehe)

TM: Not really any nicknames, but my kids used to make fun of me for getting so excited when I found excellent coupons. The excitement must be contagious though because I catch them clipping coupons for me and running down aisles in grocery stores when they find tear pads! Now they wait to see how great of a discount we get at the checkout!

MA: What has been your biggest savings on a single grocery bill?

TM: I always do really well at Shoppers Drug Mart. They have some fantastic sales an when you pair up coupons with those sales, the savings really add up! I love looking at my receipt and seeing that I have saved double and triple what I’ve spent. One bill in particular I saved over $115, bringing my total down to around $45.

MA: I’m noticing now that some retailers are becoming much stricter on certain coupon policies, especially not accepting printed ones that are found on the Internet. What other changes do you foresee with coupons in the near future?

TM: I can see some stores becoming stricter on limits. I’ve heard some stories of people coming in and clearing entire shelves out. It makes it frustrating for everyone else.

MA: Do you avoid retailers that do not accept or offer coupons?

TM: I do. If I have a particularly hard time at a store or if their policy is difficult to understand, I tend to avoid them. I like to shop at stores that offer the best deals and best policies.

MA: I LOVE my new binder and intend to take it everywhere with me from now on! How much do you charge and what is the best way people can get in touch with you for their own stylish binder?

TM: I’m so glad you love it! For $25.00 you get a binder complete with everything you need to get started. It comes with dividers, holders, and scissors, right down to tips, tricks, policies and the best coupon websites.  Anyone interested can email me at:

MA: What is your holy grail, you know the one product that you wish would finally be available with a coupon?

TM: I really wish there were coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables!

MA: Thanks for taking the time to chit-chat about coupons! You have such a great concept going with the binders and I wish you all the success with this venture!

TM: Thank you so much!