Shelley Fow will be returning to the Ringgold Depot on Thursday March 20 to teach her third Ringgold Coupon Class. Classes have become a hit for local residents who want to begin learning how to begin using coupons to make savings at local stores. "Alot of people, who may have never seriously used coupons, could be leaving valuable savings at the register," explained Fow, "taking a class, covers all areas to help you earn the largest savings possible." The class is open to both beginners and shoppers who may have their own system of using coupons but want to learn about new ways to save.
Shelley Fow has been couponing for over 4 years beginning with an initial goal of saving 25% on her family's grocery budget. After her first month of putting her system of collecting and organizing coupons she had collected over $1000.00 in savings. "I was surprised to be able to bring home $1,300.00 worth of goods and only spend $288.00" After a year of success in saving on her own Fow was offered the chance to begin teaching others. "My husband and I both work full time, I have teenage kids, so I don't expect to spend the equivalent of another full time job just to coupon," said Fow. "I don't teach what a lot of TV shows try to promote which is doing nothing but couponing in order to go to the store just to clear shelves," said Fow.
"I have been teaching classes in the Chattanooga area for a little over three years. I began teaching classes at McKee Foods and word of mouth spread," said Ms. Fow. After some employees faced a reduction in hours during the recession, Shelley Fow was able to provide a series of workshops that helped offset the cost on family budgets. "What a family spends on groceries can be one of the highest areas they have budgeted after housing or car payments and of those, groceries is the only one you can control and easily slash without simply 'doing without'," explained Ms. Fow.
Since her first classes three years ago, the interest in her workshops have spread and caught the attention of the Ringgold Convention and Visitors Bureau last spring. After two successful classes in 2013 the CVB Board has continued support for the event that promotes shopping in downtown. "Word of mouth seems to be the biggest driving force behind the on-going request for this workshop," said Ms. Fow. "Individuals have a friend or family member or co-worker that attended and they see the excitement in their eyes and hear the stories on how much they saved, so naturally, someone would want to do the same." After each class the most frequently received message on the Ringgold Coupon Facebook page is always, "When is the next class?"
Shelley Fow uses her own personal examples on what small changes can do for families who struggle with things like retirement or planning vacations. "Take a moment to think about this - if a person, in their mid-thirties, saved $250 per month on couponing and took just half that, or $125, and invested it into a Roth IRA, that IRI will be worth approximately $364,000 when this same person hits retirement age," she explained, "All I can say is, Wow!"
The Ringgold Coupon Class will be held at the Historic Ringgold Depot on Thursday, March 20 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for $15 per person and will be sold at event for $20 per person. Attendees are encouraged to bring writing materials for note taking and outlines for the presentation will be provided. For more information about the event contact the CVB at City Hall by calling 706/935-3061