Monticello Bank opens coupon room

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By Donna Carman

Those who share a love of coupons now have a place to gather to exchange their money-saving tips.
Monticello Banking Co. hosted coupon classes in October and November, bringing in a guest speaker to share ideas on how coupons can save consumers big bucks. And shortly after that, the bank opened up a “coupon room” for residents to share and trade coupons.
Teresa Wethington and Sandra Allen, two of the bank’s employees, said the class was interesting and informative.
“(The instructor) came and brought all these groceries to show us, and she paid nothing for them,” Wethington said.
Allen said she was impressed, and started clipping coupons herself.
“I did good for a couple of weeks, but slacked off. I want to get back into it,” she said.
Wethington admits she is a “coupon procrastinator.”
“I’m someone who puts coupons in my purse, goes to the store, and then forgets they’re in there,” she said.
Stacey Beeler, SEO at Monticello Bank, said the coupon/super savers class was hosted by Sharon Williams of Lincoln County. She offers a website, www.reallifedeals.com, where people can find coupons, notices of special sales, and other “saving” information.
Beeler said Monticello’s coupon room is open during regular banking hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
“Customers and non-customers are welcome to come in and exchange coupons,” she said. “We haven’t had a lot of participation yet, but we’d really like for people to come in and start using it. We’re willing to make it as big as people want it to be.”
Beeler is even willing to put her money where her mouth is, so to speak.
Starting in February, Monticello Bank will hold a drawing every Friday for those who come in and use the coupon room. One person each week will win $25.
The coupon room is overseen by receptionist Debra Franklin. Beeler said Franklin periodically checks the coupons and pulls those that are expired.
Beeler said the coupons are not limited to just those brought in by clippers to share. She invites any local businesses with coupons to participate as well.
Two local businesses — Rite Aid and Liberty IGA — say they have several customers who take advantage of coupons.
Karen Wethington, assistant manager at Rite Aid, said she has noticed increased participation in coupon use since Rite Aid implemented its Wellness card and Up Rewards program within the last year.
“We have three or four people who really know what they’re doing,” she said about coupon redemption. “This has been good. It’s helped our business.”
At Liberty IGA, store manager Paul Maloney said they also see a lot of coupon traffic. During the week of Jan. 2-8, Maloney said customers redeemed $72.48 in manufacturer’s coupons and $355.64 in in-store coupons.
“If customers have an IGA card, they get coupons generated on their receipt for the things they buy,” he said. “We have a lot of people who use them and redeem them.”