The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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  • Front.ropes
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Amanda Reef is a coupon clipper 10.17,09

Written by David Green.


Amanda Reef says she’s not your typical coupon clipper.

She clips—she clips a lot—but it’s how she uses those coupons that sets her apart from most bargain shoppers.

She’ll explain her techniques at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at Stair Public Library when audience members learn that she likes the word “free” much more than just “cheaper.”

“I’m going to talk about how I do coupons and how I manage to get things for free—or at least a lot cheaper than most people are paying.

“I never pay for toothpaste and toothbrushes and razors. The most I pay for cereal is about a dollar.”

Fifty cents to free. That’s Amanda’s typical price range.

It all started four and a half years ago when she was bedridden for 14 weeks during pregnancy. Boredom drove her to the internet where she discovered websites that offered free samples.

Amanda eventually discovered which sites were legitimate and which ones merely wanted to clog up her e-mail box. She didn’t bother with the sites that wanted her to take part in a survey.

Within a few months, her focus shifted to coupons and then she became immersed when she read Stephanie Nelson’s book “Greatest Secrets of the Coupon Mom.”

While most people might look over the coupons before they head out shopping, Amanda doesn’t remove the coupon from her file until the item is on sale.

“I’ll save my coupons until a really good sale comes,” she said.

And when is that? She visits a website to coordinate expiration dates, sale dates and store information.

“The internet is a very good tool,” she said.

She lets someone else do the work of tracking down the information, then uses it to save cash.

“If you can save $25 a week off your grocery bill, that’s huge,” Amanda said, but she’s often looking at larger numbers than that.

She focuses on groceries, cleaning supplies and toiletries, but there’s something new on the horizon—new for her.

“I’ve been seeing some coupons for toys and I’m excited to see if I can get some for free,” she said. “That’s new territory for me.”

She’ll take a $10 off coupon to a store where customers can take 25 percent off a non-food item, and she’ll end up with an excellent price.

Some store clerks don’t appear to be all that pleased with coupon savers. If the sales total drops from $90 to $10, a clerk might act like there’s something illegal going on.

“It depends on the clerk you get,” Amanda said.

She’ll share her experiences and her secrets at the library program, including a visual demonstration of her filing system.

There’s one obstacle she won’t be able to help shoppers cross—taxes. She’s bought items for no cost, but still had to pay about $10 in taxes.

“I still have to pay the tax,” she said. “There’s no coupon for that.”

• Extra copies of “Greatest Secrets of the Coupon Mom” are available at Stair Public Library.

Amanda’s approach makes use of the internet, but coupon clippers shouldn’t be hampered if they don’t have access at home. Libraries in Morenci, Fayette and other communities have computers available for the public to use at no cost.

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