Astonishing super-couponer will get Christmas for free

Sarah Coles
Cal Holder
Cal Holder

Cal Holder, a 40-year-old couponing expert from Birmingham, will be celebrating Christmas for free - thanks to her incredible money-saving skills. So how will she do it?

Holder, who runs the Facebook group Total Couponery, is committed to couponing - and uses a variety of tricks to get items vastly reduced - or for free. Her months of dedication mean she has £5,000 worth of items ready for Christmas already.

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On her Facebook group she lists the way she tracks down excellent deals. There are lots of useful tips for anyone who wants to start saving money on their shopping. Cal, however, has been doing this for years, so is an expert in combining them all for maximum savings.

She keeps her eyes peeled for product and manufacturer coupons. These may be on items themselves, in newspapers and magazines, on the company website or on social media.

Once she has found a coupon offering money off, she will try to track down the cheapest supermarket selling that item, so that the price is lowered even further. In some cases, careful shopping will turn a discount into a freebie.

She stays on top of store vouchers. Sainsbury's in particular regularly offers freebies to online shoppers, so is checking online if you're a keen coupon-hunter. Every store magazine will also have a page devoted to coupons, so is worth picking up and checking to see whether it's of any use to you.

Cal also takes advantage of cashback, and uses a number of different apps to ensure she always gets money back on an item where possible.

She collects points on store loyalty cards, and adds that all kinds of store loyalty cards offer birthday discounts. Back in November, she posted a picture of the £20 worth of items she got free as a result.

She also keeps her eyes peeled for freebies, and says that free samples mean she hasn't had to pay anything for premium skincare over the previous year.

Cal is expert enough to track these down, but if you are just starting out, it also pays to take advantage of deal-hunting groups like hers, plus websites like Latestdeals and HotUKDeals, where users will post their freebie discoveries for others to take advantage of.

If you have the time, she also suggests contacting companies and praising them for their products or making a complaint - as they will often send freebies in reply.

Among her more impressive techniques is something known as wombling. She tends to pop into supermarkets at their busiest times, and pick up receipts that have been discarded. These will often have special offers printed on them, so she can take advantage of the offer. The Daily Mail reported that she had saved £960 from this simple trick in the previous year.

But what do you think? Are you tempted to give it a go and see what you could save?