Extreme Couponing: My Story

As most of you know I will soon be on Extreme Couponing.  I just found out that it will air on May 11th.  I am nervous, but even more excited.

Yesterday on my facebook page I shared my excitement to see the next episode of Extreme Couponing.  It seems that these days any time we talk about the show, people are on either side of the fence, they either hate it or love it.  Some viewers are critical of the shopping trips and stockpiles.

I loved the challenge of planning my biggest shopping trip EVER!  Oh, just wait!  My monster purchase on Extreme Couponing took lots of planning, mailing manufacturers for coupons in hopes of free ones, asking friends for coupons, and special ordering.  Our local Albertson’s people were also incredibly nice to work with.  Ordered every item I needed and excited to have us there. I hope that this show will encourage and pique the interest of those who need some extreme couponing for their families.  It may also irritate and rile up others who have strong opinions about how they think couponing should be done.

I want to share a comment that Sarah wrote in response to my comment on Facebook. This is the exact reason why I decided to be on the show.

I find the show to be entertaining, and actually I have noticed increased curiosity among the non-coupon shoppers, and an increased awareness and level of coupon educated cashiers. This is good for all of us, as long as people aren’t committing coupon fraud. A huge thanks to Amber for helping us all save money and have fun doing it!

A while back I shared a series called Couponing: My Story.  I thought now would be a great time to share mine with you.  This is a little insight to something you might see in the show.

Back in 2007 my husband changed careers.  He went from a steady paid position to being self-employed.  We thought it would be a good decision for or family for many reasons and worth the risk.   Well that risk turned into over 115k borrowed against our home, and a closed business.   During this time I also became pregnant with our 4th child.  Seven months pregnant and my husband working a commission only job I decided it was time for me to work.   We needed the money.   So on weekends when my husband was home I was a hostess at a restaurant.

I received a phone call from a friend about a TV show she watched about couponing.   Previously, like many, I had the impression that generic is always cheaper and that coupons were for items I would never use.  Well guess what!  I brush my teeth, I floss, I use soap, toilet paper and dish soap.  My kids eat boxes of sugary cereal and an occasional box of oatmeal.  I bake cookies using cake mix and chocolate chips. These are all things you will be able to purchase using coupons.  You can also buy other things you need with all the leftover money you didn’t use on stuff.  I didn’t understand that the key to couponing was to wait to use the coupons until the items go on sale and stock up at the lowest price possible.  When you really get the hang of it, you can even make money when you combine the deals with catalina offers.

Well, convinced and desperate for a change, I started to do some research and came across blogs like this one to help me out.  I read the deal match-ups, made my list, clipped my coupons and went to the store and everything the bloggers said would happen, happened.  Suddenly going to the grocery store was no longer a dreaded process.  It was FUN!  I was saving incredible amounts of money and getting some crazy deals.

When I am passionate about something I just can’t keep it to myself.  I quickly started sharing the coupon love with my friends and showing them how to master the skillz as well.  My friends told me I should teach people how to do it, so I did, and so began Coupon Connections.

I think back before we started the other business and how “rich” we could’ve been or how much money we could’ve saved if only we would have known about couponing.  We went from making 64k a year to 40k.  It seemed like the scariest time in our life to face such a debt with so much less income.  God seemed to be really showing me how to use my gifts and talents to serve my family.  I was continually encouraged by His goodness to bring our once $900 grocery bill down to $350 which included all of our diapers and toiletries.  We have been able to use that savings to begin the long process of paying down our debt and are still hanging onto our home.  I was worried that keeping our house was totally impossible.  Funny how you never thought you could live on so little until it actual happens.

It did not happen overnight or in one shopping trip.  It took me time to build my stockpile.  All thanks to a friend who watched that TV Show.  She was right, I was made for this.

I hope you will join me and many others to help teach these new couponers just how it is done.  It was a fun challenge and I think I succeeded.  But I’ll let you be the judge of that.

47 Comments - Add Comment