Welcome to Southern Savers, where finding deals and steals is simple and rewarding!

See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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I know that many hearts are heavy today.  My prayer is that families would grow stronger as they remember the joy of having each other.  In a small way I hope that couponing and saving money has helped in that.  I know for my family all the money I have saved over the years allowed me stay home with my girls.  There are so many moments that I am thankful I didn’t miss, and looking at them know I’m incredibly thankful that we were able to make it work.

To be honest, saving and couponing isn’t really easy and glamorous for most of us.  The TV shows make it out to look like a game, and while it’s fun it is also a stressful necessity for most families.   How do you feed your family on a set budget and still get fresh produce, meat, milk and other items?  How to fight inflation on products (up almost 5-10% on some items in the last year) and not have an increase in budget? How to find the time to do couponing in the first place?

As you spend time reflecting this weekend on your family, kids and friends.  I want us to all take a few minutes and remember why we started saving.  There may be a few of you that started just because it was fun and you didn’t need to save, but I suspect most of you started because you needed to.

Today instead of sharing our haul for the week I would love it if we shared how your saving has helped or changed your family and others in the last year.

    • Laura_at_Frugal_Follies

      Thanks so much for posting this.

      I started saving when in 2009, when my husband’s employer announced that his office would be closing and that everyone’s jobs would be moved 3,000 miles away. We didn’t want to move so far away from family, and with unemployment at record highs at that time, I expected that my husband would be out of a job for months. Always frugal, I began searching for ways to save even more on my grocery bill. I discovered one of the couponing sites and decided to give it a try.

      Thankfully, my husband only ended up being unemployed for one month before he started the job he still works at today. We continue living frugally and using coupons, and we put the money we once put toward food into savings and paying off debt.

      — Laura @ Frugal Follies

    • Fran

      I am a single mom and have been for years. Since I started couponing about a year ago, we get the same great food for less. It is a lot of work, but I find it does get easier and less stressful. I also am able to donate to my friends from my drug store finds and I also make regular donations to the food banks locally, which I could never do if it weren’t for couponing. I also feel that I am teaching my daughter the value of saving and helping others.

      We don’t eat box food or frozen food but I still manage to save a great deal. I wish I had started this years ago. Thanks, Jennie, it all started with your website.

      • joline

        well my kids are all grown and on their own in another state, but I still enjoy couponing. I found this ss site this year and have hit lots of sales. now that I have my stockpiles I help the girls at work find deals for their favorite foods I give them the q’s I don’t use and let them know when their favorites are on bogo sales. they don’t have computors , cant afford them so can’t get to this site as I do.
        I raised 3 kids all by my self years ago and would have loved to have a site like this to help,
        I have seen a few people in my bilo and publix store walking around with their printed list as I do and just tap them on the shoulder and say isen’t that a great site.. then their is always a smile..

    • Couponing has allowed me to stay home and homeschool my three kiddos. Without couponing we would not have enough food, or clothing for that matter! I would have to work without coupons, and send my kids to public school. Thanks to the many deals on toys, pajamas, etc. on top of the coupon match ups and sales alerts our family has made it another year on one income, and we were even able to get a nice van to haul the fam in! I would be lost without southern savers, every payday the first thing I do is get on the site and pull my coupons, and make a shopping list of what’s on sale.

      Our hearts were very heavy today, hopefully no parent will ever have to suffer the tragedy that occured today again :( My thoughts have been with the parents of every child at that school all day today!

    • Jackie

      Thanks Jenny for the reminder of what is truly important – God and family! I have been able to use the “savings” from couponing to send both of my teenagers on a missions trip to Nicaragua!

    • kjmiller

      First of all, my heart breaks for those families in CT. I am praying that God can comfort them and meet all their needs at this horribly sad time. And yes, I’m reminded of my own family and how uncertain life is. I’m especially grateful that because of couponing and watching sales on Southern Savers, that I am able to be a stay-at-home mom to them. We’re also into our second year of homeschooling, and it’s such a blessing to be their teacher and to see how they’re thriving. Thank you Jenny for helping to make this possible, and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

    • Mary

      The past few years have been very tough on our family.Without couponing/budgeting we would have lost our home. We have been one of the fortunate one’s to have sold our home,downsized and we have learned to live with less. I see this as a blessing and a life lesson for our children. They don’t have the coolest gadget’s,or most up to date fashionable clothes, but they live in a a safe and loving enviornment, with parent’s who are doing theri best to teach them not to live beyond their means and to appreciate what they have. Because of couponing,we have been able to show compassion to other’s and I am greatful that I can pass that on to our children.

    • SeeMomSave

      Jenny, we have been following you daily since 2008. Since then we couponed, buckled down on frivolous spending and after two years of “saving the difference” my husband quit his job and opened his own business. Couponing has been life-changing for our family. Though I have been a stay at home mom for almost 14 years, we may not have been able to continue living on 1 income or have another baby. People find it hard to believe that the savings are that great, but it’s true! Maybe it’s more of a change of attitude as well… As far as the tragedy for today, our hearts are broken for those who have lost so much. I can’t wrap my mind around the cruelty of some people.

    • mom

      with your help couponing is helping me put a lot of presents under the tree for christmas without espending a fortune thank you so much!!

    • D.

      God bless all those people involved and effected by the CT school shooting. My prayers are with them.

      My couponing began as a DARE, little did I know how much it would affect my life, my family and the life of my friends and community as well! I considered myself a “bargain hunter” before, now people clap and cheer when I check out…it kinda makes me red in the face:)After about 2 1/2 years of doing it now, i could never imagine going back. I’ am also a stay at home mom. Couponing has changed my life in so many ways.

      Thank-You Southern Savers and fellow couponers for being apart of my success!

    • Tyanne

      A parent in my daughters Girl Scout troop told me about your website, I visited it and got hooked. This was a little over a year ago, six months into couponing I was able to quit my full time babysitting job to stay at home with my kids full time again. We were always tight when we began couponing, but thanks to you and coupons and to a recent raise my spouse received we don’t have to worry about everyday necessities anymore. We went from spending about $1000 a month on food and house hold goods to about $600 to $800 a month, depending if there is something we need/want to stock up on. This has been a huge blessing for us.

    • Melanie

      I started couponing a few years ago after a coworker passed away from breast cancer leaving behind a son the same age as one of my daughters. I realized what kind of a financial mess I would be leaving my family in as the primary breadwinner if I died or could no longer work, an unfortunate possibility with a chronic stomach condition. This past year, I lost the job that paid for everything in our family and we struggled to stay positive knowing we had nowhere to live but my mom’s house (all 5 of us and cats) and no way to know where we would end up or how. Through God’s grace, we grew as a family, stronger and closer, and we learned what really matters; family is the best gift God can give including those friends we consider family. We don’t quite make ends meet and it will take several years to “catch-up”, let alone help the kids in college or pay for retirement (what’s that?) but couponing and the bargain thinking is giving us a Christmas gift exchange and the food in our stomachs. I can’t begin to give enough thanks for the cheerleading, wonderful support, and great ideas that have made this year of struggles one of blessings beyond belief!

      My heart cries for those families in CT and the school family in such horror! God bless them and watch over them in the many hard days to come!

      • Susie

        I was the worker (store manager who worked all the time) who got breast cancer a few years ago. I too have children and the breast cancer experience makes you reevaluate your priorities. I now stay home with my teenagers, even though they think they don’t need me, because cancer makes you learn what is truly important in life. My prayers are with those in Ct. There lives are changed forever.

    • Laura_at_Frugal_Follies

      Sorry if this is a repeat – I don’t see my story posted. Thank you for posting this.

      I started couponing in 2009 when my husband’s employer informed him that his job and all the other jobs in his office were being moved 3,000 miles away. We didn’t want to move, so I started preparing myself for a long period of unemployment, as the rates were incredibly high at the time. While always frugal, I started searching for ways to save even more. I came across one of the couponing sites and was fascinated to see how much people were savings. I started trying things I read about and soon started saving 50%-70% over what I used to spend.

      Luckily, my husband found a job after only one month of unemployment. We now use the savings from couponing to save money and pay off debt.

      — Laura @ Frugal Follies

    • Pipermom

      After attending one of your classes in Alabama in the summer of 2011, I came home and thought about the needs in our area. With the support and help of the director of our local library, we have established the “Coupon Corner”. The coupons from the library newspapers are clipped and organized weekly. Outdated coupons are pulled, others are placed in the “Expiring This Week” box, and the donation box stays pretty full. Folks come, look, take what they need, and then bring their coupons that they don’t need to leave for someone else. It’s been great fun each week to go in and keep it organized and see how many are being pulled and used by folks in the community!
      And yes, I use them too, and they are a tremendous help to our family.

      • nakoal

        What city in AL, I would love to be a part of this & donate my un-used coupons!!!!

      • Bee

        This is a great idea. Maybe Jenny would let you post a “how to establish a coupon corner” post on her blog. It would be great to get all the details so that we could each form one locally. Thanks for the idea.

        • Ann

          Bee , you’re sooooo right. I was intrigued by this idea and will pursue this in my area.

      • almiller16@hotmail.com

        I love this idea. Couponing has saved my family lots of money and allowed our lives to not be as stressful do to money.
        I hear people say they would love to coupon but they do not have the time. This is a great idea I would like to start in our community.
        Thanks Jenny for all you do to assistance us and Pipermom thanks for the idea!!

      • maryellen

        Where in Ala. is this-I would like to help.I’m in Bham.

    • Jessica

      I started couponing as a fun hobby. I needed something to do when my little one went to kindergarten. I found all the extra stuff and all the extra money to be a great way to donate to my community and beyond. Coupons are a beautiful thing. :-)

    • In 2008 my husband went from making $70,000 a year as an electrician, to a min wage handyman . There was just no work for him. We downgraded everything in life including our home, car, savings ect. I was working 2 jobs and he was also working. It broke my heart because it seemed like I never got to see my babies. We also never had enough money to do anything as a family. Then I watched my first episode of that horrible TLC show in January of 2011. I decided to check to see if it was possible. While no, I haven’t started buying 90 boxes of toothpaste for a penny, I have been able to save my family enough in the last 2 years that, I was able to quit my jobs to be able to stay home with the kids AND we have gone on 4 family vacations. We always have money to take the kids and spend time doing the stuff we love like a day at the beach. If we ever went back to making the amount he did in 08 I would have a stockpile the size of Mississippi :)

    • A couple of years ago, my husband set a budget of $75 a week for the two of us. It was all the more that we could afford, but I thought it was far too little. Since then, we have had two wonderful children and I am so blessed to be able to stay home to care for them. My husband works for the gov’t, but it’s still tight with only one income for four people. I know without my savings ability, we wouldn’t be able to make ends meet. Now, not only do we “live rich” with coupons, but we’re able to help friends and family who are going through rough patches financially. I’d never be able to do that without coupons. :) Thanks, Jenny, for all you do.

    • Kathy

      Today when I came home from shopping I said a little prayer of thanks to God that I can feed my family as well as I do because of couponing. We would still be able to eat, don’t get me wrong, but with 2 growing boys, and appetites to go with (lol!), I am so thankful that you have this site for moms like me. Thankyou and Merry Christmas!!

    • Amanda Carnes

      Jenny, my couponing story began almost 4 years ago, as I wanted to find another way to save on our budget. I began praying that the Lord would show me how to do just that. Then one day the Lord brought to mind that I could use my google alerts for couponing the same way that I use them for work. Almost four years later, here I am:) As the main breadwinner in the family, and the wife:), it has been such a HUGE blessing to not only my family but many other families who I’ve taught how to coupon. It’s a way to give back to so many in need.
      As I continue to pray for those affected by this tragedy in CT, I must remember that the same Lord who comforts me, will comfort them. I am overwhelmed with sadness at the thought of someone “taking” another’s life, let alone the life of a child, but am thankful that we know Who holds tomorrow.
      Amanda

      • Georgia Girl

        Amen Amanda. I could not of said that any better than you did. My heart is broken.

        I stand in agreement with you- “As I continue to pray for those affected by this tragedy in CT, I must
        remember that the same Lord who comforts me, will comfort them. I am overwhelmed with sadness at the thought of someone “taking” anothers life, let alone the life of a child, but am thankful that we know Who holds tomorrow”.

    • Donna

      Amen

    • Stephanie

      I cannot get my mind off of what has happened today in CT. My heart is broken for those children and their families. Having two children of our own in elementary school leaves today’s news even heavier on my heart. Today I’ve thought so much about my children and how thankful I am to be able to stay home with them. Your website,Jenny, and coupons have helped to make that happen and so much more. Thank you and Merry Christmas.

    • Maggie

      I love to see the savings!

    • MomOf2!

      I’ve always had a thing for coupons, but I didn’t really get the “hang” of it until 2010 when our daughter was born.

      …..I married the love of my life my senior year in college, and we knew we wanted to start a family pretty soon. After almost two years of trying to get pregnant and some hormone treatments along the way, we were finally pregnant. Unfortunately, at 17 ½ weeks I miscarried and we lost our precious baby that we had longed for. After another three years, and some very expensive fertility treatments, we were finally pregnant again. We spent most of our savings and a lot of our disposable income trying to have a child. My husband is a firefighter, so we do not have a lot of extra income. We were overjoyed when our son was born and assumed we would never have another child. However, the day after my son’s first birthday, we found out we were expecting again. Unplanned, but a joyous, blessed surprise. With the addition of our daughter, money was tight…. We were not prepared for the addtional $600 a month in childcare expenses. Thankfully, I was able to get “serious” about couponing and we are ale to make ends meet and still save for a rainy day. This website has helped our family tremendously and we are so thankful!

    • Lauren

      Two years ago, when I was pregnant with our third child, I expressed to my husband that I really felt like I needed to be home with our children. We looked at our budget, took a deep breath, and decided to jump in. Our monthly grocery budget for went from $500 to $250 (or less in the tough months), and we gave up some things: one of our cars, our TV service, and almost all eating out and entertainment that’s not free. But the blessings that have come from it are huge. I can’t lie and say that I’m always happy with my kids, or that every day is easy, but I have found so much joy in the little things I missed when my kids were in daycare. Most recently, I saw my son take his first steps; I missed both of my daughters’ because I was working. Couponing diligently has been worth the time and energy in order to enjoy times like that.

      • katie

        I just wanted to say I meant to hit the “like” arrow and I guess i am still pretty tired because I hit the “dislike” – sorry that was a mistake!

    • momaedwards

      I learned to coupon from a family member who does an impressive job at saving money and I desperately needed to make ends meet. She recommended your site. This is my second comment ever posted on a website. I just wanted to thank you for the awesome job and incredibly useful information found on your online workshop. Its helped me tremendously to understand how to make the most of couponing techniques! Thank you for this and the fabulous tools on your site! I have and will continue to recommend your site to all my fellow ‘moms’ and anyone looking for a way to make ends meet!
      Thanks so much!!!!! Happy Holidays to you and your family!!!!

    • january42003

      A few weeks ago, one of my student’s father suddenly passed away. The father left behind a wife (who stayed at home) and two teenage children. My student is holding up the best he can and there may not have been life insurance for the father. Last night, I was looking at my small, tidy stockpile for my family of 4 and grabbed a large plastic tub and started piling in food, laundry/dish detergent, toiletry items, etc. and took the extremely heavy tub and a medium size box full of items. It was on my heart to help this family the best I can and the best way I can help is through my couponing, saving, & my stockpile. I donated it anonymously (so there wouldn’t be any embarrassment for my student), but it makes me smile to know I can save & help those in need or are in difficult situations.

    • tnjcent

      I have been couponing forn many years, Jenny. But never in my wildest dreams did I think couponing would bring me to this level….I couponed before couponing was totally unacceptable. I did not have you or a computer. I really would love to meet you and your familyn since I know we can learn from one another. Well, I recently had my son and daughter in law move from 3 hours away to 24 hours away. So heart broken but not defeated. I have helped them tremendously in the past few years with groceries and such. Now, I have to find a new way to help them! Jenny, southern savers has been my family’s Saver! Where can I begin? I have a story….please….in this holiday season…we have got to share our stories….Susan…tnjcent@comcast.net….love to save and am not one of these greedy couponers….have been doing this too long….

    • Maria J

      two years ago i took your class and started couponing, my twins was about to start school and i wanted to be able to stay home and homeschool, Couponing has not only taught me how to budget it has also taught me to be very frugal, with a little research as the food prices kept going up i had to find a way to get or make it as cheap as possible. I went from a 200 week budget to only 50 a week for a family of 5. It has also enabled me to be able to donate and help so many people in need.Thank you Jenny

    • Kendra

      Saving money on things we are going to buy anyway and getting creative with things we don’t necessarily buy, frees up expenses to have more Family Dates, together!

    • Lisa

      In 2010 I started following some of my friends that were couponing and monitoring their process. I wanted to start doing it, but didn’t have the motivation. In April of 2011, I felt the urge to start a coupon binder and make my first coupon run. A few days later, I lost my job. My wife/partner is a Ph.D student (masters at the time) and I was a nanny at the time. I delved into couponing and have not looked back. Almost two years later we have a huge stockpile and have done amazingly well. She’s in her Ph.D program and works side jobs (tutoring mainly) and has an assistantship at the university. I work full time and do school (though we’re starting to seriously rethink the school part for me) and yet we’re able to afford all our living expenses, upgraded both vehicles, working on paying off credit card and loan debt, qualify to buy a house AND we’re about to start a family through foster/adoptive parenting. None of this would be possible if we didn’t coupon.

    • letyl

      I’m a single parent of one daughter . In January I lost my job. In may I took in my sister in law and 4nieces all under 4 years old. I have a very small budget but through couponing I have made $200 stretch for an entire month for all of us. I have even had enough to help my elderly neighbor :) thank you for all of your hard work!

    • amy

      With my savings; I am was able to go on vacation and now will have enough for for a full spa day

    • gingerinCA

      Usually, I’m grateful to you and this site, Jenny, because it helps me be able to stay home with our kids. Today, I’m just grateful to HAVE them.

    • kim

      I was not sure if I have made the right decision by quitting my job to be a say at home mom but after the sad news I strongly believe that nothing is more important to be with my kids.

    • Millie

      The biggest joy I have gotten from couponing is watching my college student daughters using coupon strategies to augment their money. Even my husband has been seen using them. Using Jenny’s coupon strategies has saved us all a lot of money. The biggest compliment a checker can give me is “wow”, you saved more than you spent.

      • Ally

        That’s so funny because when I started couponing last year, everyone laughed at me even with using coupons for McDonald’s or BK. Now, my teenage boys and their friends realize they can spend less and get more with the use of a coupon! Who would have thought of that??? Ha ha! My husband is actually telling me to stop couponing because our stockpile is getting too big! What he doesn’t know is that I also shop for my elderly neighbor and the local church’s food closet. Now, when we go out, he always ask if I have a coupon for any fast food places and just absolutely HATES it when he has to pay full price.

    • Kristen

      For me it has been a HUGE stress reliever to have a full pantry and fridge. My children have more choices and the money we save in our food budget can go to other places. It has given us peace of mind as a family and helps us enjoy each other.

    • JustMe

      I’m just me and I buy for my parents, aunt and brother…single, no children, no real “budet” but absolutely saw a difference in my disposable income almost immediately. I have a niece and nephew and a great of each so I absolutely ache for the loss of those in CT. The comments that have been posted have been a blessing…much more than pics of savings, thanks for all you do!

    • ttay7877

      I started couponing 2010 when my husband went from working 40 hours a week to 15 hours a week. We lost our health insurance for 6 months.We weren’t prepared for job loss and we had no savings. I thought we would lose everything but we got on our knees and prayed for help. Through good friends, I found 2 part-time jobs that allowed me to continue to be able to stay home with my kids. Several friends talked about couponing and I didn’t believe it would really help. But I was able to take $50 a week and make it work for our family of 4. Now things are bettter for us, my husband went back to working 40 hours and I only work 1 part-time job. By couponing, and living differently, we have begun digging our way out of debt. We have learned so much these past few years, not only about couponing but getting closer to Christ and trusting for His guidance and His abundance in and for our lives. Now, I use couponing to help others in need too. It is so nice to be able to contribute to a food bank or others who need something special. Thank you for all you do to help others like us.

    • Alison V.

      it has allowed us room to buy for VBS, Widow’s Harvest Ministry, a neighbor who’s house burned down, and currently donate money to a family who just lost their husband/father in a hit-and-run by a woman doped up on pills. God Bless you, Jenny.

    • Guest

      Coupons have made it possible for me to continue feeding my family after the loss of my job, and provide them still with healthy food. It has made a huge difference in my life!

    • katie

      I have always clipped coupons, but I was your average saver with getting the Sunday paper and occasionally printing some of the computer. In May of 2011 I had a spinal fusion, In August of 2011 my tailbone was removed. After 12 weeks the hospital I had worked at for the last 7 years let me go because I couldn’t return without any restrictions. I worked in Pediatrics and loved my job! I supplied the medical insurance so needless to say we lost our health insurance because with only 1 income we couldn’t afford $1500 for cobra. My wonderful husband has stepped up and is working 2 full time jobs. I have done all I can to help which brought me to the internet and finding this site to save on food. It has been a God sent! We have gone from spending $600 a month to $250 for groceries, toiletries, paper goods, etc. Which is pretty good for a family of 5 and our 8 year old lab. I have also begun selling things on ebay and craigslist to bring in extra money. Through sites like this I was able to take my very small Christmas budget and get my kids some very nice things throughout the year. I have been able to supply items for donation at the church food canned food drive, and even my daughters high school food drive. With not knowing if I will ever be able to work again (still in pain and not able to lift over 20 lbs or be out of bed more than a few hours at a time) these are skills I will need for a long time. Family means everything to me, and I try however I can do help financially. We have been through such loss in my family in the last few years especially around this time of year. My fraternal grandfather passed 12/26/2009, My fraternal grandmother passed 3/2010 (which was my last grandparent), my mother passed christmas day 2010 and my uncle passed 11/2010. With Christmas day being the 2 year anniversary of my mother’s death it reminds me how precious life is and brings things into perspective. Even though we have had to give up a lot of extra’s since my job loss, we still have a home, my husband and children are healthy and we have each other. Knowing I can feed my family (and not all junk) still is so important and this site and couponing has made that possible.

    • dtcox1

      jenny i love couponing now with your help ….. you are a blessing …. i help my budget every week plus help my parents on a tight budget every month …. in my stockpile i help neighborsand churches and senior meetings also . you should see the seniors faces if you give them a small gift of soap shampoo are candy are gum thank you jenny keep up the good work . p s i have gained alot of freinds also and have been very blessed ;;;;;;

    • mel1

      I bought a turkey for Thanksgiving this year when prices were around $.59/lb. I thought that was as good as it was going to get and stuck it in the freezer since Thanksgiving wasn’t for about 2 more weeks. Well, a week later, it went down to $.37/lb. I got a 15+ lb. turkey for under $7. I couldn’t pass that up! So I bought another one and figured I’d keep the other one in the freezer for Christmas or something. We ate the cheaper one for Thanksgiving and it was delicious. The week after Thanksgiving, my MOPS group “adopted” a family in the area that is in need of some financial assistance. We decided the best way to bless them would be to provide them with a bunch of groceries. The coordinator was planning on collected canned and boxed goods for them and then going out and using MOPS money to purchase a turkey for them. I spoke up and said I had an extra one in my freezer that I would be happy to donate! I felt like maybe that’s why I had purchased it… that God knew this family could use it more than me. We are going to be delivering all the food this week sometime. I know they will be blessed by it. And we have been blessed by being able to give.

    • KM

      I began couponing when my husband lost his job and I then had to shoulder the burden of being the bread winner. It has been 18 months and my husband still hasn’t found anything more than some small handyman jobs. Couponing means that my family has enough groceries on what very tiny budget is left to purchase them with. We are losing our home, but couponing has allowed us to have the necessities of life.

      I am also blessed that my son is learning the true value of a dollar through all of this and that precious little boy helps me in my couponing process.

      My son will not have much for Christmas, but my sweet baby is good with that. In fact a week or so ago I thought I was fixing to get a whiny story from him, but boy was I surprised. He looks at me and his dad and says I know we don’t have a lot of money and we have to move right after Christmas so I will not be getting much for Christmas, but can I still take one of my presents to give to some other child who would have nothing. My husband and I both had tears whelm up in our eyes to know that our 6 year old child knows the true meaning of Christmas.

      Even when my financial situation improves I will never go back to shopping without my coupons.

    • Pam

      I started saving 2 years ago so I could start eliminating debt and stop shopping at Wal-Mart. My goal was to pay off 3 closed credit cards and 2 loans within 5 years. To date the loans are paid in full and one of the three cards will be paid off in 5 months. The side benefits are that I am able to help my daughter and her family by passing along the savings when she is feeling the crunch. A single mom my daughter works with has a daughter age 5 and a son age 10, is having an extremely difficult time keeping food in her home. She receives no child support and has to visit the food pantry often. I always pick up extra things for her and about once every 3-4 weeks give her 5-6 bags of groceries and toiletries to help. The first time we actually met in person was a couple of months ago at my daughters. Her little boy walked up to me and thrust a beautiful bouquet of flowers in my hands. They wanted to show their appreciation yet I felt guilty taking them knowing his mom probably spent the last dollar she had to buy them. Savings through Southern Savers tips has given me good things…less debt, able to set money aside in a savings account and the best benefit has been gaining a new friend. This lady has such an upbeat attitude in spite of her daily struggles. Thank you Jenny for teaching us how to save…and share!!!

    • KPS

      Jenny, I can’t even tell you how many ways your site has helped my family…and my friends (I have referred dozens of folks to you!). For one, we were able to send on daughter to private school on last year’s savings (her tuition was $5,000 and I calculated my shopping savings to be very close to that!!!). Love you and many blessings to you, yours and all of your readers. (Thank God for Jesus, and may He come and save us soon from all this craziness and heartbreak.)

    • momof3

      I started out as a bored housewife, just trying to use my mind, if I’m honest. 4 years later, my contract work (from home, so I can be at home with my kids) has been cut into just 25% of my original work load, so money is ridiculously tight. I am grateful to not just be able to help my family, but supply my parents and grandparents with toiletry items, medications (even their daily low dose aspirin), and “office” needs. Times have been difficult for all of us these days, but I remind myself that it’s just money. I don’t think that my kids will look back at their childhood and be stunted because they didn’t have everything they wanted, but I know that they’ll remember that mom was around and available for them and their needs were always met. As the holiday quickly approaches, and I look at what’s left in our checking account for the remainder of the month, I have to take a deep breath and remember that “My God will supply all YOUR needs.” We will be fed, clothed, and have a wonderful holiday, even if it is more creative and we make do with less!

    • Ally

      A little over a year ago, I fell sick at work. I’ve been sick before, but this felt ‘different’. I was initially diagnosed with a collapsed lung and a tumor in my upper left lung. Well, hell. I was out of work, down to one income and just started couponing two months prior. (My awesome neighbor got me into it!). The only solution to my problem was surgery. Well, my husband and I were prepared for the ‘before and after’ process. We were not prepared for our biggest and unspoken fear: CANCER. I ended up losing my entire left lung and spent 4 months trying to get myself back to normal. My wonderful husband and two teenage boys were supportive, loving and patient through the whole process. Thanks to your wonderful website, Jenny and couponing, all my husband had to buy was the weekly perishables (i.e. bread, meat, fruit…). We lived off of our little stockpile and saved so much money until I was able to return to work part time after 4 months. We’ve cut our grocery bill from $800 to $400 a month without the drop in quality. I’m still couponing as a stress reliever and form of recovery because I’m still very weak and suffer from post-sugical pain.
      This year, I have a good size stockpile so I was able to give back to the various centers that has helped me during my time of need. I even started a couponing class at my work.
      My heart and prayers go out to the families at Sandy Point.

    • grant1958

      I started couponing again after over 20 year break. I quickly realized it was no way that my husband and I could use all the food I was getting and then started to coupon for the local women’s abuse center in my home town. Soon others hearing of this started sending me their coupons and before I knew it I was making regular trips to the center. I also have a small company where I make customized gift,hat boxes. So I also collect items for any extra boxes that do not sell and fill them and take to local nursing homes. The people have so much fun waiting to see if their raffle number is called!

    • Melissa Bywalski

      I am one of the few you speak of, a couponer because its a challenge, and why pay full price! I have bills of course, and couponing has definitely assisted in paying those bills down, as well as saving up to pay cash for christmas instead of loading up my present purhases on credit cards. But the best part about couponing is what I have been able to do for others. 1st and foremost, I got my mom into couponing as well. disabled and living month to month, I am able to almost triple the amout of food she purchases with her food stamps by helping her stock up on foods she likes when they are on sale with coupons.

      The Lord works in mysterious ways. I was on a weeks vacation from work, mid november, to decorate for Christmas, among other things. I cleaned up my stockpile closet, and had pulled a bunch of items to donate to the local food shelter, it was all sitting in bags in my living room because I did not have time to take it, except for 3 bags of canned goods I put in the trunk of my car. The next day, it was still there, and I was driving down the road and met a man with a sign – will work for food. I didnt have any work for him, but I did have food, so I pulled over and gave him the food in my trunk. He was immensely thankful. I was on my way to an appointment, and said a little prayer, God if he is still here on my way back I will give him all the food I intended to donate.

      The man was meant to have the food, I found him almost 2 hours later. I took him to my house, gave him all the food I had pulled out to donate plus food from my fridge and freezer and drove him to the place, an old mobile home he was living in with his disabled wife.

      God has really blessed me with the ability to help all kinds of people, from buying toys at walgreens with the RR’s left over to put in their donation boxes, to having money to put in the salvation army buckets, to donating food and personal items to a local church that runs a food pantry, all while taking good care of my extended family.
      Merry Christmas, and God Bless everyone!

    • Lindsey

      I love this post, Jenny. Congrats on #4. I started couponing so I could stay home when we just had 3, but now we have 4 and it’s a necessity that sometimes feels like too much work. I dream about the day I can go to Ingles and buy what I want instead of what’s on sale…but then I realize how I’m teaching my kids to be frugal and to make wise choices based on what has been given us. If all they remember is that Pop-tarts are not a necessity but a luxury we can only afford some weeks, I’m good with that.

    • Nicole

      We started using coupons because we had too. We have four wonderful children and of course lots of bills to go with those children. It is fun to see how much we can get for $150.00 a week which also covers the two dogs and all the paper products as well. I would love to be able to reduce our budget some more this year as we would like to pay off our debt in the next 2 years and add two more little girls to our family from China. GOD knows who they are and hopefully once we are debt free we will too.

      • Nicole

        In addition, now when my kids or husband come home and say their school or work is collecting can goods for the hungry we go shopping in the pantry. I always have extra to help out now.

    • Whitney Sparks

      I am so glad that you shared this. I think that people often get caught up in too much couponing and forget the countless hours they are spending apart from their families. I know that some involve their kids and that’s great – they are not who I’m talking about. I am talking about those that spend time away from their families shopping 20 different stores just to find a few free products. I used to be one of those people who was at a different store every night, but now my time with my children is way more meaningful to me than time spent shopping. We are still Debt-Free and still saving/budgeting. I still coupon, but have lessened greatly over the last few years. When I saw that this happened in CT, I was glad to think back of all the memories my kids and I have made this year – and we didn’t do it while clipping coupons. I love my kids and made sure to hug them a little tighter this weekend!

    • jacketfan24

      I started couponing, like many of you, when my husband lost his job almost 4 years ago and as a result we lost more than 50% of our income. He returned to school and for the last 3 years, he has worked part time contract jobs which only paid for his gas and little else. Two of my kids were already out of the home and one on his way out (he joined the Navy a year after this happened) so we only have one teenager at home now. But thanks to this site, we were able to learn to live on my income alone, keep our home, and my husband was able to receive his Bachelor’s Degree at the age of 45. He’s working now and we still have a lot to do to fix our house back up (we were able to keep it but not maintain it well), but I’m happier with what we have and no longer care about ‘stuff’ like we used to.
      My son’s middle school has had three bomb threats in the past month. Nothing to them, just bored kids playing around, but they still have to evacuate, call in the fire department, etc. It’s a sad world when a 13 year old girl thinks this is funny. And it’s a scary world we live in, but I know God’s got my back.