Learn how to cash in

LIHUE — Chelsea Bradley has discovered how to save an average of half off her grocery bill every time she goes shopping. On Tuesday, she’ll be in Lihue hosting a free workshop where she’ll share her secret: extreme couponing.

Bradley got on board with Smart Shopper, the company that’s sponsoring the event, two years ago. After her first workshop, she saved $140 on her next trip to the grocery store.

Bradley said people often find couponing difficult and time-consuming, but that’s because there’s a trick to it.

“You hear of people spending 30 or 40 hours a week clipping coupons, and that’s ridiculous,” Bradley said. “I don’t want to give it all away, but we can teach you how to do it in 45 or 50 minutes per week, and there’s no clipping.”

The workshop teaches people the basic principles of shopping with coupons and how to collect and organize them.

Generally the extreme couponing workshops attract about 100 people.

“It’s always a nice turn-out,” Bradley said, “and I love meeting everyone and getting to know people. Over the course of the last two years, I’ve met thousands of people across the country.”

Kauai is just one of the places where Smart Shopper has teamed up with local newspapers to offer the free workshops. There are about 40 newspapers nationwide that have jumped onto the extreme couponing bandwagon.

“The CEO, Ryan Brown, was a kiosk newspaper salesman before he started the company,” Bradley said. “He thought, there must be a better way to do this, people buy coupons all the time, we should teach them how to use them.”

The company sells newspapers at their workshops on commission, and that’s what funds the workshops.

“The newspapers basically sell themselves and we don’t mark up the prices,” Bradley said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Tuesday’s workshop will begin at 6 p.m., at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

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