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Long Island Coupon Queen shares tips

April 11, 2012 2:29:12 PM PDT
You may clip coupons and watch newspaper circulars to save money at the grocery store, but a woman on Long Island has taken it to a whole new level.

She used her skills to get out of debt and make money.

Recently, Gia Pendergast and her family stumbled on some tough financial times.

"Car insurance, homeowners insurance, everything was paid with credit cards," Pendergast said.

Pendergast was unable to work and on bed rest with her first child.

The family fell into $30,000 in credit card debt.

"The bills weren't going down and we had to do something," Pendergast said.

Pendergast tried couponing.

"We now have no more credit card debt," Pendergast said.

Pendergast calls herself the Long Island Coupon Queen.

By scouring through the circulars and organizing them by store and what they have on sale that week, she spends only about $1,500 a year providing for her family of four.

So how does she do it?

"This is my entire stockpile, we call it the store," Pendergast said.

One of the ways is her coupons are her grocery list.

She only buys things she has a coupon for which is how she's amassed all this for nearly nothing.

"I didn't pay anything for all these. They were either free or I made money off them," Pendergast said.

Pendergast says to buy brand name products not generic because generic doesn't have coupons and you'll actually spend more money.

Join any and all store loyalty programs.

Sometimes you have to spend money in order to use a coupon. She says do that and it will pay off by earning you bonus points or sometimes more coupons at checkout.

You should also use websites like Swag Bucks and Ebates.

"You get a percentage of your purchase back when you shop online," Pendergast said.

If you take a look at Pendergast's shelves you'll notice that all the products are really small. She says that's not coincidental.

"You're going to be buying the smallest product that the coupon will allow you to buy and you just buy more of it," Pendergast said.

Ironically couponing has become Pendergast's full time job, operating her website, and even teaching classes at a local Panera Breads about how to do what she's done, which is nothing short of amazing.

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