"Get ready to change the way you shop, the way you eat, the way you plan meals and the way you feel about the grocery store," Michelle McIntyre told a crowd Thursday night.
About 100 people attended a Coupon Central Couponing Class led by the coupon guru and Roaring Spring Community Library director held at the Altoona Mirror.
Attendee Ashley Mohney wouldn't label herself an extreme couponer, but the married 25-year-old mom of one from Duncansville hits the newspaper to clip some savings. She ends up saving $30 or more a month, she said.
"I'm just interested in saving money," Sue Dodson of Altoona said. "Anything that helps, I'm all for it."
McIntyre, who said she started clipping coupons to save money for the library and then her own household, shared information such as the types of coupons available, coupon lingo and store coupon policies.
The aim of the event was "giving them the basic facts and the tools they need to get started," said Candy Holliday, Mirror Moms community liaison.
McIntyre talked about the wording on coupons. For example, if a coupon for a box of granola bars states it is good on any two boxes, a shopper can buy two of the cheaper boxes rather than the more expensive newer products for a better savings because it is good on any of the products she said.
Halley Person, 24, of Altoona, said she was interested, in particular, about stacking coupons.
Stacking coupons is when a shopper can use a manufacturer and a store coupon on an item, McIntyre said. Doing so can get an item down to a few cents or even free.
Altoona Mirror General Manager Ray Eckenrode told the group about the online deals that can be found at deals.altoonamirror.com and an upcoming iPhone app that will include a feature called an iCircular through a pilot program of The Associated Press.
The Mirror will be a part of the test market of "retailers partnering with newspapers to put sales information online," Eckenrode said.
Although the gadgets are nifty, still "more than 90 percent of coupons redeemed come from newspapers," he said.
Class participants received items such as a starter coupon binder, filler pages, a reusable shopping bag, coupons and handouts.
Martin's and Hometown Market donated to the event.