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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Amanda Reef is a coupon clipper 10.17,09

Written by David Green.

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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