Thursday, February 2, 2012

Coffee & Couponing Panel Re-Cap

Hi Readers!
I wanted to give you a run down on the great presentation we had this past Saturday at our Coffee & Couponing Panel. We had a variety of guests, so really managed to cover a LOT of topics.
Our panelists were:

  • Christie Dedman who you may from her 14 years at The Birmingham News or, more likely, as the Birmingham Bargain Mom! Christie has three money-saving columns that appear in The Birmingham News and The Birmingham News' Extra each week. She is featured bi-weekly on WBRC-Fox 6 and weekly on Birmingham's Magic 96.5's morning show.
  • Patrick Noles is a Birmingham native and the Owner of The Super Deal.Com. He comes to us with information about finding awesome online deals from local retailers. 
  • Holly Syx is the founder and owner of igobogo.com a local website offering deals for all sorts of establishments from Publix to amazon.com.
  • Trish Bogdanchick is a founder of BirminghamMommy.com which was begun in 2008 with the goal to provide parents in the Birmingham and surrounding region with local resources to make parenting less stressful and more fun, AND to save you time, energy and MONEY!
Our panelists gave us a lot of great resources to save money on groceries, tech items, clothing, and more. A lot of those deals can be found online at coupon sources such as:
When an audience member expressed that the coupons from these sources seem to be for foods that are not always healthy, Christie Dedman responded that Whole Foods is a great coupon resource, and the flyer at the front of the store usually has really good deals. 

Trish B. spoke about some of the deals offered at her website, as well as websites like retailmenot.com which offers coupon codes and discounts to popular retail establishments. She also said the Junior League of Birmingham's Bargain Carousel is one of the best places to get great deals! Information about this event, which is often called "the largest garage sale in Birmingham" can be found at the Junior League's website. And by the way, the next Bargain Carousel will be held in April, just a few short months away!

Patrick spoke about the deals available at his website, TheSuperDeal.com. Patrick talked about ways his business works with local businesses to provide customers with good deals while supporting the local economy. Deals at savings from 50%-70% off can be found at his website for clothing, restaurants, and local activities. An email every day brings the deal to your inbox! Some examples of recent deals include some our neighbors in Crestline such as The Pants Store, Zoe's Kitchen, and Laura Kathryn

Dr. Rauterkus, who was our moderator for the panel, opened the Q&A session with a questions of his own - are those big box stores like Sam's Club and Costco a good deal?
The response from the panel was mixed. Most agreed that the big stores can be a good deal, especially for meats and, according to Holly Syx, your baking items like flour, sugar, chocolate chips, and some herbs. Trish B. and Christie commented that the name brands tend to be cheaper at grocery stores when you shop on a sale day AND with coupons! Holly and Christie both said that amazon.com is also a surprisingly good place to get deals on groceries and some items for the home. 

Everyone agreed that, no matter what you are buying, you should check for online deals as well as in-store offerings. Many times deals are available online, sometimes even with free shipping, that are not available in-store.
One audience member asked how our panelists are paid. Holly Syx said that her website grew out of her coupning habit/hobby. She started out emailing a list of coupon deals in spreadsheet format until people started telling her she should create a website - and a business was born! Patrick and Trish both stated that they earn revenue from ads and local partners. Christie is an employee of the Birmingham News!


Some other audience questions concerned coupon clipping services, which are out there on the Internet and make coupons available, but you do have to pay for them. One of our panelists also mentioned some couponing groups will offer swaps. There are couponing groups in both yahoo and google, so check them out!
If you were at our panel presentation and want to add something to this list, please comment and let me know!


Good luck saving :)


Katie M.

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