OLIVE BRANCH, MS (abc24.com) - How would you like to never pay for basic necessities, things like shampoo, toothpaste or deodorant? People across the Mid-South are getting those things and more for free by clipping coupons. They've started sharing the savings in organized coupon swaps, a new trend attracting attention from Cordova to Mississippi.
"I don't cut every coupon by any means," said Shana Moland. "There's a lot I don't use, and I think well who could use them?"
Moland's a full-time mom and part-time coupon clipper. Not wanting to throw away perfectly good savings, the Cordova mom started sharing her extra clippings with friends. They told their friends, and soon Moland had a full blown coupon swap.
"I was having a lot of people come from Mississippi to Cordova just to swap coupons, driving 30 minutes away," Moland told abc24.com.
In September 2011, she decided to start a swap in Olive Branch, once a month, at the library.
"You come, grab a folder, go through and get what you want. We don't do an even swap, where I have a shampoo coupon, I'll swap it. It's not like baseball cards. You come and get what you want and leave what you don't," said Moland.
Moland doesn't make money swapping, instead she saves on what she's buying. So does shopper Patti Hollifield, a coupon clipper for 25 years.
"We subscribe to the Sunday paper just for the coupons," said Hollifield.
She just used some on her grocery trip in Olive Branch.
"Probably about ten coupons," Hollifield told abc24.com. "I saved about $20 dollars. I have noticed more people using coupons. It used to be, people would get aggravated with me because I had them. Now I see everybody has them."
Even coupons that have expired. Most people would throw those away, but Moland's found a use for them.
"Military bases will take expired coupons up to three months. Those we cut and sort into household and grocery. Then we divide them and we mail them off overseas," said Moland.
Moland looks at the paper cut outs as dollar bills. She can't imagine ever throwing one away.
"It's like they're throwing away money. For me, if I don't use it, I don't need to throw it away. I'd just as soon as give it to someone else who wants it," Moland told abc24.com.
Judging by the popularity of her swaps, people are clamoring for more coupons. Moland thinks you can't afford not to clip. The Olive Branch coupon swap is the second Thursday of every month from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.