Lots of people go to the trouble to clip coupons and save 50 cents on a bottle of salad dressing or a dollar on a box of cereal. Few people, however, …
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Lots of people go to the trouble to clip coupons and save 50 cents on a bottle of salad dressing or a dollar on a box of cereal.
Few people, however, are masters of couponing, and even fewer redeem their coupons to benefit a food bank.
Sue Barg is such master; she recently paid only $12 for 100 bottles of Kraft barbecue sauce, for example. Through smart shopping — combining coupons with a mega sale and doubling days at King Soopers’ — all Barg had to pay for the barbecue sauce was the tax.
Then she took it, along with other food and personal items, to the Arvada Community Food Bank.
Barg started her coupon drive and started shopping with coupons for the food bank in August 2011, and she has since set up a coupon donation box at Curves, 7833 Wadsworth Blvd.
“She’s passionate,” said Curves owner Jennifer Stuerke. “I just have total amazement with how Sue’s coupons have impacted the food bank.”
In just one year, using coupons donated by other members, Barg has donated 1,651 pounds of food. That’s about $3,362 worth of food before the value of the coupons is subtracted.
Each week, Curves members drop off their unused coupons in a box, and each week Barg, who is now retired, collects the coupons, organizes them in a filing folder. Then she looks through sales announcements and hits the stores.
“When you see your efforts make a difference, that’s what it’s all about,” she said. “People don’t always know they have the power to do that.”
Barg said she encourages Curves members to cut out whatever coupons they want from advertising circulars and then donate the rest to support the food bank.
“The point is not to take away from you; the point is they’re going to the trash, so instead bring them here,” she said. “What I’m trying to do is make it simple. Coupons are a smarter way to shop, and that’s what you need.”
Barg has taught “smart shopping” classes to food-bank customers and said she is willing to talk to any group about how to shop smart and save money.
“I would’ve never, ever thought I’d be doing this, but it’s when you retire and you have more aches and pains that you need to keep your mind off of and have a purpose,” she said.
Barg said she has met so many people who want to help, but can’t afford to. Donating coupons is a free and easy way to really make a difference.
“It would be great if other people would start too,” she said. “If you multiply my efforts by many efforts, it really means something. It’s a lot of effort, but it’s a worthwhile pursuit.”
Barg said she is available to host smart-shopping workshops or to talk to others who wish to start a coupon campaign of their own.
To set up a class or for more information, contact Barg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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