‘Queen’ Visits, Teaches Consumer Savings in Brown Bag

By: Tristian Williams, Staff Writer

Melissa Garcia, known though much of Oklahoma and the nation as the Consumer Queen shared information about shopping applications and money-saving tips at OCCC’s Brown Bag Lecture series Sept. 23 in the College Union.

The Brown Bag Lecture Series is hosted by Student Life to provide life skills for personal growth. The series covers topics including budgeting, career preparation and stress management.

Garcia said she started ConsumerQueen.com as a website to help people save money on purchases by sharing deals, coupons, and money saving tips.  There she also offers tips for understanding tricky vocabulary found printed on coupons, as well as a plethora of information about budgeting.

ConsumerQueen.com has since grown into a lifestyle blog of budgeting, couponing, recipes, and traveling tips. 

Along with her website, Garcia runs five different Facebook groups for consumers to find deals. 

Garcia showed the crowd three phone applications she uses to earn points towards rewards.

She focused on Shopkick and Fetch that allow consumers to earn points towards gift cards, just by visiting certain stores. 

Garcia sold students they can earn extra points by using the apps to scan items’ codes in a store to earn gift cards more quickly.

Garcia said she also uses the Ibotta application to scan receipts from stores that will earn her cash back. 

Another way students can earn rewards by using their phones is to download grocery store created applications. 

Garcia said stores such as Crest have apps for customers to use and in return earn rewards.

But going low-tech by couponing is still an easy way to get food and other products for almost. For example, she told the crowd she once only had to pay $19 for groceries worth over $1,800. 

She says the best place to find coupons are in the Sunday paper, online, and even in grocery stores, which often have machines that dispense them. 

Buying in bulk should be embraced when possible as well, she said. 

Students should stockpile their purchases bought at discount, so they have enough of what is needed until the next sales cycle. 

The next Brown Bag Lecture is Oct. 15. 

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