By Heidi Glaus
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - It is a little piece of paper that can save shoppers a whole lot of money.
"I get free stuff at Whole Foods," said Jennifer Windler, Blog Owner of Healthy Life Deals.
It's a concept that was introduced in 1887, offering customers a free glass of Coca-Cola, and over the years there have been coupons for practically every product you've picked up.
"In a week's time we redeem close to $2,000 worth of coupons," Marcia Whelan, marketing and community relations specialist for Whole Foods Market, said.
It's free money if you're willing to do a little work before you walk in.
"If you can get a store coupon and a manufacturer's coupon and keep stacking as many discounts as possible, you'll be shocked, you'll walk out with free stuff," Windler said.
Of course someone else has work to do once you hand those coupons over.
"All of the coupons are collected at the end of the day out of the cash registers and the next morning, we have a team member who sorts through them. She has to take out all of the coupons that are Whole Foods Market created and separate those from the manufacturer coupons," Whelan said.
The Whole Foods-created coupons get tossed into the recycling bin.
"But the manufacturing coupons get sent to a company called Atlanta Coupon Deposit and they then reimburse us the amount of the coupon," Whelan said.
They send envelopes off once a week, proving coupons are a concept that after all these years has never expired.
If you would like to learn more about couponing Windler teaches a couponing class at Whole Foods Market. The next one is scheduled for Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.