Emily Baucum, News On 6
SAPULPA, Oklahoma -- As the economy continues to struggle, how far would you go to stretch a dollar? Buy store brand? Clip a coupon? How about fishing through recycling bins for coupons?
One Green Country family can say yes to all of the above.
The Matthews' have eight children, from three months to 15 years old. Plus mom, Stephanie, and dad, Chris, who supports the family while attending college full-time.
"Our kids hear a lot of, 'I'm sorry, but I don't have enough money for that," Stephanie said.
The kids hear a different story these days, thanks to a binder filled with coupons..
"Honestly, these were baseball card sleeves. And these were file folders that I just had at home." Stephanie said.
Inside, coupon after coupon filed away in neat little categories: frozen foods, household, baby items.
"When we get all the new newspapers home we sit together and clip all the coupons together," Chris Matthews said.
"Almost everything you see I got with a coupon," Stephanie said.
The family's food budget is $740 a month. The Matthews, though, bought $3,000 of merchandise.
"And including our food, we've spent about $490. I know! Isn't that awesome!" Stephanie said.
The Matthews admit to going to extreme lengths to accomplish extreme couponing.
"We go to some recycling bins and the kids are very capable of jumping into and out of recycle bins to go through it and look for different coupons. They know kind of what we're looking for now," Chris said.
Mom and dad say the kids are learning the value of a dollar, even if they make fun of the frugal finds.
"It just happened to be our 15-year-old son to get up and get it. Who said, 'Mom, really? Dora yogurt?' I was couponing and I didn't care! It was a good deal," Stephanie said.
The Matthews family also prints out coupons online. Some internet vendors, though, only allow customers to print two coupons per computer. The Matthews found a loophole: they scour for coupons using three computers to triple the savings.