SIKESTON -- For years, people have used coupons to spend less money out of pocket.
But it seems that, due to the economy and the airing of the show "Extreme Couponing" on TLC, the hobby has gotten even more popular recently.
New to the coupon scene is Christina McWaters of New Madrid.
"I had always been a sporadic coupon user -- if I had one I would use it," she said. "But then a lot of my friends and I started talking about doing it after seeing the show."
McWaters said at first she was skeptical that she could save a lot of money by using coupons and even make money by purchasing some items on sale when combined with a coupon.
"But once you start looking, there are ways that you can do that," she said. "On my first trip, I went to Walgreens and spent just over $20 and saved $34 -- so I was really pleased with that being my first time."
Like McWaters, Jaime Warning of Sikeston said she's couponed "here and there" for many years. However, she started using them a lot more since December.
"I started couponing due to being laid off in this economy and wanted to find ways to save money," she said.
Coupons can often be found online, as well as inside several Sunday newspapers, including the Standard Democrat, which carries the Procter and Gamble Co. insert once a month.
Since beginning to use coupons, Warning said she's found it most effective to shop at Walmart and price match to other stores.
"Who says you can't save 60 to 80 percent grocery shopping at Walmart, because I do it all the time," she said.
McWaters pointed out there are also several websites that match ad sales to current coupons for a lot of the chain grocery stores that have been a big help.
She also said that swaps and Facebook groups can be a big help in increasing a coupon supply. For instance, one of the women in McWaters' group is expecting twins, so the others share baby coupons with her.
Locally, Warning and Foley have begun a Facebook page "The Coupon Galz of Scott County" as well as a website, thecoupongalz.blogspot.com. She noted it's open to all, but focuses on deals in the Sikeston area.
To read more tips from the couponers and ways to get involved, check out the July 3 edition of the standard Democrat.