Extreme Couponer From Ewa Beach Publishes How-to Handbook
Like a lot of people, Ashley Dougherty begins her day by flipping through the newspaper while eating breakfast. But instead of just looking for the day’s top stories, she’s also looking for the day’s top savings.
Dubbed “Hawaii’s Coupon Queen,” Dougherty estimates that she has saved thousands of dollars on groceries each year through clipping coupons, and she now shares her secrets with others in her newly published book, Couponing in Hawaii.
“I was just kind of brought up couponing,” said Dougherty, who claims to be a “third-generation couponer.” “When I moved out on my own, I was trained to go ahead and … clip the coupons.”
At first Dougherty was a causal couponer, only occasionally using the savings she found. But when the housing market began to drop a few years ago, Dougherty lost her job as an architectural designer.
“Coupons became a huge necessity for me and my family,” recalled Dougherty, who is expecting a baby with husband Kevin.
In addition to scouring the papers and the shelves for good deals for her own family, she also spends a lot of time teaching others how to live frugally. A couple times a week, Dougherty hosts coupon swaps, in which couponers gather to swap deals with one another.
She also teaches classes on the basics of couponing. These events attract dozens of participants, ranging from parents to full-time students to working professionals.
She admitted that the process is time-consuming, but said it’s all worth it. “It allows me to keep my money,” she explained. “I like to save money, and I know how to do it.”
Dougherty said her book will teach readers how to find coupons and how to understand store policies.
Couponing in Hawaii is available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. She will be at Barnes and Noble in Ala Moana Center from 7 to 8 p.m. Nov. 22 for a book signing.
For more information about couponing, visit Dougherty’s website at hawaiishopaholics.com.