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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

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Remembering Why You Are Saving

on 10.13.2011 at 10:05am
84 Comments

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Everyone started saving money and couponing for a reason.  Make sure that you don't forget to spend time with your family which is why you started saving money in the first place.

To me one of the most important parts of saving money, is remembering why you are saving.  So I thought we would all take a day and share a bit of why we got started on this whole “couponing thing”.

For my family it was always our goal for me to stay home with our kids.  From the beginning of our marriage we were good and lived on one income while trying to save most of the second, this was not only to have savings but to teach us not to live on money we wouldn’t someday have.  As we planned for kids, we never really expected our family to go from 2 to 4 overnight, but it did…  The big problem we didn’t plan on was my husbands job not having health insurance and us not being able to get health insurance for our twins because of being premature (that we could afford anyway).  The first quotes started coming back with rates of $900 and $1000 a month, and we knew that we had to make changes.

My husband found a new job in a different (cheaper) city, and I found some new hobbies.  Many of you know that couponing wasn’t actually something that I thought would work for us.  I really thought we were already doing everything right: buying in bulk, shopping at Walmart, not eating a lot of meat etc.

With some prodding from my husband, I decided to try “couponing” for 30 days.  It really only took a week or two and I was hooked.  Really I think the minute you figure out how much you’ve been over paying for things (like toothpaste…) you can never go back!!

Now almost 6 years later, it still important for me to remember the key reason that sparked all of this… to be able to stay home with my girls.  Focusing on that helps me keep a balance on the time that I am spending shopping and cutting coupons.  I am not as extreme as others, and only shop at one grocery store and maybe one drugstore each week, but in the end we are meeting our budget of $50 per week and I’m meeting my goal of being a mom at home.

What got you started in saving?  I would love to hear your stories!

For even more stories checkout a long list of bloggers all sharing their stories today.

    • January42003

      Simply put, tired of running out of money at the middle or end of the month and spending way too much on groceries and drugstore items. My husband works at CVS (assistant manager) so we get the employee discount (not on top of sale items though) and I thought we were doing good already, but I’m saving way more now, matching/stacking coupons and buying plenty to last my family those savings cycles. Thank you for all the hard work you put in for the rest of us normal couponers! :)

    • ShenelleD

      Unplanned Pregnancy got me started.  Im not married but I have a very good job, my boyfriends job is ok but it is only enough to really support himself so to try and start saving extra money myself and stock up on stuff I know we are going to use I have started couponing about a month ago.  Now looking at all the stuff I get for free or less than a dollar I can’t believe that I wasted so much money before.  I think your blog is awesome and I couldnt do it without it.  Thank you!

    • Anonymous

      Hi Jenny,

      I started couponing since I started working when I turned 16. I used a few here and there on stuff that I liked–and then caught a glimpse of extreme couponing earlier this year. Since then I’ve been able to help my family of 7 cut back on spending so much. We have a small stock pile but it’s nice to know that we aren’t paying full price for almost 90% of regular everyday items. The only thing I ever pay full price for is produce and meat. I’m 24 and moved back home a year ago. Thank goodness I am able to coupon. It’s like another job on top of my full time job and school!! I went from paying $150 a week to a $40 week budget. If I go over it’s because I shopped for lots of produce! 

      I’m also able to help out the Orlando Rescue Mission. This Christmas I am sending over a package to troops over seas :)

    • Jen

      Near poverty level income. Started doing it to be able to eat. LOL

    • Onethriftydiva

      Great post! Sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up in a “good deal”, that we don’t think about whether we really need the item or if it’s worth the time and possibly the trouble to get it. That trip to the store might be time that could be spent with family or friends.

      I started couponing because I am single and am saving for a wedding. Plus it feels great to be able to donate to family/friends and locally to those in need. Besides, who wants to pay for an item when she can get it for free?? :)

    • Blankwoman

      I have always wanted to just stay home (even though we have no children). I worked part-time from home for two years, which was great, but I lost even that opportunity this past summer. It just so happens we’re living in our most expensive house yet and it maxes out our budget.  I have been an avid couponer for several months now and average 30% savings on everything we buy during a month. So far, so good and I have no plans to go back to work!

    • Kristen Drum

      What a great story :) I also thought I was doing all the right things, then couponing came in to my life on a limited basis and I realized I could do more.  When I realized what I could REALLY do when it came to CVS and doubling at certain grocery stores… WOW.

    • Mickiepd

      I had asked God to help me with my finances – I was then introduced to the study Financial Peace – which was great and then introduced to Southern Savers.  I figured he answered my prayer and it’s His money to begin with so I want to be a good steward of it :).

    • Savinmom

      I’ve always been a person who is very frugal.  After years of fertility issues, my husband and I adopted a baby.  Our plan was for me to return to work after my adoption leave and I did for only one day.  I waited so many years for this precious child that I couldn’t bare the thought of not being there all day for him, so we made the decision for me to stay home.  I needed to still contribute to our finances, so I have started caring for a couple more children; however, after one episode of Extreme Couponing, I was hooked.  I’ve been able to save as much as 50% of our groceries.  I feel so good to be able to provide for my family and share my excitement with others.  Thank you for your website, it has really been the key to my success!! 

    • Kelly

      What sweet little girls with beautiful red hair!!! I love it!!! It’s such a special blessing to be able to stay home with your babies!!! I use your website almost everyday and it makes saving so easy!!! I appreciate all you do to help others!! I to get to stay home with our baby (he’s the first) and also had a difficult time with insurance!!! Thanks for the encouragement!!!

    • Angela in Summerville, SC

      I’ve been couponing since I was a kid.  I grew up as the oldest of 7 in a single-income family, and I always helped my mom cut coupons and find the best deals.  Now that I’m expecting my 6th child, finding the best deal is still a crucial part of making the most of what we have.  I love the adrenaline rush when I snag a great bargain, and my husband sometimes jokes that he’s driving the “getaway car” when we leave CVS.

    • Jennifer

      Good job Jenny!  God gives parents the responsibility of training our children so that they one day will enter a relationship with Jesus Christ and not only that, but to so ground them in the Word of God that they win others to Him as well.  So by staying home your goal is to disciple your children and make them disciplers of men.  May more moms have the goal of effecting eternity in such a way.

    • Tytylodge

      WOW! I would love to know what you eat each week on $50.00! I LOVE couponing but cannot keep it THAT low! Awesome!! Thanks for all you do!

    • mightymousemom

      I have been couponing my entire life.  It started when I was little, my mom carried an old shoe box of coupons, completely disorganized, into the grocery store, then split hairs over saving every cent she could.  Although I was sometimes embarrassed, I am grateful she did this, coupons are like currency and just make sence.  You can either earn money or save it, it is better and easier to save.  It is important to be thrifty when you can.  I have never had to adjust from having excess to cutting my budget to the minimum, being thrifty, no matter what, has just always been my style. Why pay full price for food, clothing, household needs, and beauty products? They do not function, look better or taste different if you pay more for them. Couponing allows me to stay at home with my children and to have better, healtheir meals within my budget. I too could never pay full price, I never have, and I hope I pass my practical money style onto my children. I coupon and save with class, dignity and ethics with a little fun and spark. Thanks to Southern Savers I am better at it and for it.  As always, thank you for this website, it is special, unique and a community I embrace.

      • mightymousemom

        P. S. Your little girls are adorable, love their red hair!

    • Coupongirl008

      Your daughters are soo adorable!!! Thank you for making this possible for all of us to coupon as well!! I always look forward to all of your posts!!

    • Talia Q

      Like so many others, I got started couponing after watching the show. At the time both my children lived with their grandmother 2 states away. My 13 year old daughter recently moved in with me, and my 16 year old son is planning to come by the first of the year. Right now, I’m only able to work part time due to some health issues, and in the application process for getting Food Stamps. I don’t want to stay on these. I’m trying to get better at finding the savings on things we actually will USE, (I end up not using at least 75% of the coupons I get). I’m also in school and using student loans. So far the best savings I’ve been able to accomplish has been in the 50% range on one trip. Maybe one day, I’ll get it down to a science.

    • Kgraham

      I started in the Fall of 2008 when my husband (self-employed) lost a few big clients that knocked us down to living off of 40% of what we were used too. Oh, and a few months earlier I had decided to stay home to raise a newborn. I got us down to less than $30 a week. I knew I could do it when a couponer in front of me checking out said she spent $25 a week and had 4 kids. I knew I could do it after that! For me, since coupon policies have changed, it is around $75 week. Now we are trying something new with coupons…..all organic and natural foods. It’s a work in progress, but one I am excited about.

    • Amy Miller

      I was lucky enough to stay home for 22 years….. just long enough to have 2 in college and 2 in high school when my husband lost his job. That caused us to have  to take student loans for the younger 2 to get their educations. Couponing has helped my TINY salary and his new salary of HALF the original amount stretch. We are determined not to saddle the kids with those loans. My kids are not home anymore but to me every coupon used represents my ability to help them!

    • TonyaB

      I started couponing after I got laid off from my administrative nurse job after 19 years of working for the same surgeon.  He had to downsize and I was the first to go.  I had been with him since the start of his practice.  I found myself trying to find a job similar to what I had since I am no longer physically able to work as a nurse in a hospital setting.  (I am still looking)   Since I was the primary breadwinner, I knew we had to cut costs somewhere.  I had recommended this site to several of my co workers over the years but did not take advantage of it.  So I turned to this sit, watched the how to videos and started saving on my grocieries.  I now averaging 60% savings on my groceies.  I am thrilled to have been able to teach my daughter.  She just got married and moved into her new apartment and already has a fully stocked pantry.  Her husband is Mexican and he is trying to get his sisters to do this in Mexico.  thanks Jenny for all that you do.

    • Sherry

      Jenny, your girls are adorable! I always wanted a red headed little girl to dress up!  I’ve learned you can go just as broke buying for a little boy! :)

      I have always couponed but only to save here and there but when I was laid off in March and honestly the show on TV respurred my enthusiasm for it hot and heavy.  Though my husband quickly put an end to any huge amount of stockpiling but I still get away with some…like laundry detergent, dish detergent, soaps.  We save atleast 50-60% on our grocery bill each week.  I do like to go to more than one store but I tend to determine the better buys of what I need and mainly hit 2 stores each week.  I’m fortunate to have a Food Lion, Kroger, Walmart and Publix within 5 miles of home and the Publix will accept their coupons.  I will never go back and hope that I can continue to save and put money away and pay off some debt even while not working! 

    • quicksilver369

      Jenny thank you so much for this site.  The idea of couponing was just so overwhelming to me but your site has really made it easy.  I save well over 50% a month on my grocery bill.  After living beyond our means for so many years the savings I have made with couponing has really allowed us to get our debt under control.  It has been a way of life for us and will continue to be.  Not only have we saved money but it has also allowed me to teach my children saving is important.

    • Clevercassie7

      oh my gosh….your girls are adorable!!

    • couponmom

      Saving money has always been second nature to me.  I have two brothers and 3 sisters and our family was poor.  There was a stretch of time from when I was in the third grade until eighth grade when we didn’t have a telephone.  My parents didn’t own a car – my dad was provided with a company car that he could use for personal use by paying mileage.  I have a sister one year younger than me and along with always sharing a bedroom (with another younger sister) we also shared all of our clothes.  I remember being thrilled when we got to high school and she went through a major growth spurt (she’s 5’10” & I’m 5’4″).  For the first time in our lives we each had our own clothes!
      What took couponing to a whole new level for me was the internet (and your site).  Being able to print the coupons I need and having someone (Jenny) compile all the deals is…I can’t even think of the right word – let’s just say I’m tickled (and grateful) beyond belief.  And I also venture out more to other stores and have watched my savings get even bigger.  I’m less than a mile from both Publix and Food Lion and quickly took note of their sales cycles years ago, but pretty much avoided Kroger and Bi-Lo.  Now they are an integral part of my savings plan.
      I was the frugal one in my marriage (sadly, my husband passed away a few years ago).  We didn’t start out living on just one income but I watched what we spent and we lived modestly.  We delayed having children until I was 27, which was not the norm back then.  As a matter of fact, I was 35 during my last pregnancy and was deemed high risk due to “advanced maternal age”. 
      I will always use coupons and be on the lookout for the next deal!

    • Chris

      I grew up learning to coupon.  We didn’t have a lot of money growing up (Dad worked three jobs sometimes so we could have) so my Mom did whatever she could to stretch it all out.  I’m certainly not a saver with a lot of money in the bank (you can’t take it with you) but I’m certainly going to save where I can on essentials so I can splurge on the niceties.

      But having this site to aggregate all of the info to one place is great – thanks for what you do Jenny.

    • Kat

      I started when I was pregnant working on my masters 3 years ago.  I now can afford to buy food for my family and my parents for about $50/wk also.  I’ve gotten the stockpile so I’m able to buy fresh veggies and healthy food too.  People think couponers only by junk, but its not true!

      • Kat

        Your kiddos are adorable!!!!! Love the red curly hair!

    • Paula

      I started using coupons when my husband was laid off a few years ago. I was determined to make our savings last as long as possible. The other huge motivator was that I wanted to remain a stay at home mom for my two little girls. We looked at our savings over a 6 month + period of time, and I saw that I had saved 62%! I am totally hooked and can’t go back to paying “regular” price either.

    • Kylie

      I have always shopped the sales, but began to coupon when my husband lost his job. It takes the biggest majority of my pay to pay the bills and it takes nearly all of his unemployment to pay his child support.
      Couponing has allowed me to keep my family fed. It is a lot of work, but am so grateful that I learned the skill

    • Tparks0828

      I’ve always used coupons as much as I could, until I went to the class Jenny held in Mobile, AL. All I can say is thank you so much for coming to our town. I learned alot. The main reason for my couponing was to save money. But now it’s more of a challenge to me to see how much I can save, and to help me stop pulling out of my saving just to make ends meet. Hopefully now I can start adding back  to my savings. Had wonderful shopping yesterday, or at least I think so. Got 197.00 in groceries for 90.00. I was happy with that.

    • Fletcher_65

      I love to spend and have never really been the most frugal. Yes, I have savings and retirement money that I refuse to touch. But I always spend too much on playtime with my kids (movies, eating out, vacations, etc…). About a year ago my wife and I both got hit with paycuts (she is an RN and I am an engineer) and others around us were laid off. We always thought our jobs were “safe”. We were clearly in denial and something had to change. Now, I am saving about what we lost in the cutbacks and everything I save goes to paying off the wifes car and mortgage early. We have cut way back on paid entertainment and coupon that when we do go out even couponed our vacation this year. I was kinda forced into couponing by the economy, but now that I see how stupid I was for so many years, I will never go back to paying full price.

    • Beck

      great reminder, jenny! your girls are precious! may God bless you richly : )

    • Jcwiakala_44

      My husband and I are very active in our community and do a lot of volunteer work.  When we got married 2 years ago, we decided to live as simply and frugally as we could so that we could give of ourselves as much as possible.  We each work a modest part time job.  I’ve always been frugal, but things were a struggle.  I was doing a lot of research online on ways to keep costs down and I stumbled upon Jenny’s YouTube videos.  Everything clicked.  I’ve been couponing for 6 months or so, and I’m so grateful that we’re able to continue to live simply but still have an abundance of the necessities.  Plus, I’ve really enjoyed it and couponing has become my hobby. 

    • Anonymous

      Being frugal is in my blood and couponing is a natural extension. I love the thrill of saving money and sharing extras with others. There isn’t a big reason, other than why spend more than you have to?!

    • Teachergirl225

      I have two boys, 12 and 10, and I became tired of always telling them “no” in the grocery store for name brands. I was one of those store brand only shoppers. Now, even though they are limited to what I have coupons for, I can buy them some of the name brand items they were wanting. I began couponing last April, and thankfully I am very comfortable because I am a recently seperated teacher and can certainly not afford a huge grocery bill, but I know how to shop and save now!

    • Arienjw3

      I started to coupon last year, I am a single mom(widow) of two little girls one who is special needs, while i am lucky to own my home with no mortgage hanging over me (thank god for life insernce), I live on a set income from S.S and this year my parents moved in because my dad could no longer work. With 5 ppl it was getting hard to pay bills for both familys and buy food for the house, gas for dr appointment’s out of town. A friend told me about this site and i love it, while i do tend to spent about 300$ (non of my stores double coupones)  a month it is for 5 ppl and 3 extra every weekend (sister and her family).I never have to worry about not having food in the house or snacks for the kids to take to school, or the all important dr appointment’s. Thing have gotten better my dad now has a income so i no longer have to pay there bills along with mine, but i will not go back to paying full price

    • Anonymous

      A friend of mine who is a stay at home mom told me about this site a few years ago. I checked it out and was overwhelmed. I just had a newborn, my fourth child, and it was just all too much for me. Then my marriage started falling apart. My husband stopped contributing to all household bills and food. We were eating litterally hot dogs and spaghetti every other night. The fridge and cabinets were bare. It was so stressful waking up knowing the kids would be asking what’s for breakfast. I used a food pantry, but the kids wouldn’t eat most of what we were given. I came back this site, learned all I could, and started couponing. I am a single mom now and feel good that I can plan out meals 2 weeks in advance with what’s stocked in my freezer and pantry. I don’t have to feel guilty about eating just to make sure the kids are fed. This is a hobby of mine too, I love it  and am very good at it now. I am fortunate to live within a few miles of 6 different grocery stores including HT & Kroger and all the drugstores. Before I was just going to Walmart. Now I go to Walmart when I am “paid” to shop there. I’ve told my story to other friends and have got them hooked too. I can’t thank you enough Jenny! And thank you Michelle, my friend.

    • Shayelyn

      I had a friend and a coworker simultanously telling me about couponing and that I should get involved.  To me, couponing was seeing a coupon from the Sunday paper, buying something I normally would not buy and at a price I was not happy with just because I had a coupon.  I started a little over 15 months ago, mostly when Sobe would be BOGO at CVS and the Sobe website had BOGO coupons.  Buying Sobe (something I had never bought before) for just the tax was a rush.  And it didn’t go to waste.  Then it spread.  I still make mistakes, and try not to beat myself up too badly.  Any saving I get now is more than I ever would have before and there’s always next time.  And having a few local friends to share information, coupons and experiences with is great.  I don’t think I’m ever going back.  And in addition to my friend and coworker, I owe a tremendous amount to Jenny and this site. 

    • It’s funny how having makes you panic about money. I had my boys in July. In August, I made a run to the grocery store for formula (unfortunately I couldn’t nurse) and diapers. I spent over $100 on baby items that would barely last us one week! I realized I HAD to do something about our spending. I took a closer l spent on groceries from month to month (close to $800 while I was pregnant!) and knew I had to figure out a way to cut that in if I googled couponing or if someone else pointed me towards couponing blogs, but coupon bloggers have totally changed how I shop. And you’re right about the toothpaste thing. I cringe to think about how much money I’ve wasted over the years. 

      I’m still a couponing newbie. I have no stockpile, and there are days when I think it’s going to be impossible to cut my grocery budget in half. But I’ve also found that couponing is therapuetic. My “day job” is writing, so couponing is a great way to take a break from creating worlds and characters and stories.

      So, THANK YOU for running this site and helping out all of us who are just getting started!

    • Mommyof2sweetgirls

      Your girls are super cute.  I’m a little partial to curly redheads as my oldest girl is one, too.  Do your girls have fiery personalities, too?  My redhead sure does.  :) 

      Anyway, I started couponing as a way to supplement our savings so that we could buy land and build a custom home of our dreams.  Almost a year later and we are pre-approved for a construction loan and are picking between pieces of land.  I really didnt think we could save so much in a year (we still buy gifts for other preschool kids and go out to nice restaurants once or twice a month so we havent been stringent).  I think in truth I just had no idea how much we were actually spending beofre.

      As an added bonus, I dont have to meal plan for the month.  I do it weekly and much of our starches and sides come from our stockpile or freezer.  I also no longer run out at 930 PM to grab laundry detergent or dish soap or diapers, etc because I was trying to make out a grocery list at the last minute. 

    • Kim

      I started couponing about 6 months ago because my husbands business started struggling and we lost everything and are having to start over, then to make matters even worse my dad lost his job. so now I am couponing to help feed my husband and my daughter as well as my parents. I love couponing and enjoy it, I hate ever having to pay full price for anything. So thank you Jenny for running this site we are so grateful for all you do for us.

    • Daisy6441

      After our second girl was born (she was a surprise) we found out my mother, who had babysat while we worked, had cancer.  I was suddenly without a job when the boss decided to fire the other secretary and told me he didn’t need me to come in anymore.  My baby was about 2 months old the first time I watched (don’t hate me) Extreme Couponing.  I was amazed by it and decided to use their tips like saving all your inserts and collecting coupons in the store. I did an internet search and this was one of the first sites I found and I was hooked.  My husband was very skeptical and would throw a fit every time I had to stop and look through my coupons.  About a month ago I took all my receipts and added up the total spent and the total saved. When I showed him that we had saved over $500 in just three months of couponing he was really impressed and stopped making fun of me. A few days ago he looked at me while I was going through my coupons and said “You know, I never knew how powerful coupons could be.” He even brought me a coupon he got when he had to run to the store for emergency milk. I am still trying to get my grocery bills down but by shopping at Walgreens I am saving 50% or more every time and we are able to stretch his paycheck out.   

    • Terry

      For us, using discounts and coupons is a must. I’m from Europe and live (part-time) in Florida. My husband is in Europe. Why???? I hear you asking. Well, I need to be in a warm climath, for my health. My husband is the man, who works. So, you can imagine, with only 1 income, a house in Europe, a house in Florida, traveling up and down. Flighttickets are brutal in price. Keeping up with all this, plus all the extra costs for my disease, is almost impossible. Financialy and for our quality of life for the both of us. But there is no other way, I already lost one of my under arms, that had to be amputated. And to keep my other limbs , there was only one thing to do, live in a warm climath. So for us, it is a MUST, to keep our grd what ever bills, as low as possible.
      That’s why I love this site and Jenny, I can’t thank you enough!!!
      Terry

    • Senior Couponer

      I started couponing after I retired from working thirty years as a teacher.  The trade-off for retiring in my fifties from my teaching career was that my pension check was now only 55 percent of my previous income.  With our economic woes, there have been no cost of living increases for five years.  I knew I had to do something to make up the difference in my income or go back to work.  That’s when I started couponing.  With careful planning, I can now use my coupon savings to make up most of the income difference.  I’m saving so much money on the products I used to spend full price for when I thought I didn’t have time to coupon.  I’m also able to share items I get with coupons with family and friend.  I may not have lots of extra money to donate to charity, but I can donate food and personal care items to the local food banks.

    • Leticiag30

      My 6 yearl old daughter was diagnosed with  Cystic Fibrosis (CF) 3 years ago.  Her medications are so expensive and Insurance won’t cover everything.  I had to stay home to take care of her.  Her nutritional needs are expensive too.  That is why I started using coupons.

      • Anonymous

        I have a 3 y/o with CF and couponing def helps us out.  We spend at least $100/mo on prescription co-pays on top of insurance premiums, office co-pays, special foods/drinks, vitamins and other random medical equipment.  Even at 3 my daughter already knows she’s probably not getting any extras unless I have a coupon for it.  It’s funny because she’ll browse the candy aisle and come back and ask me if I have a coupon for it.   

    • Proudlyamom

      Thanks Jenny.  Through your site, I am able to become a stay at home mom.  I’m “retiring” with my boss next July! Thanks! :)

    • Anonymous

      I have to say I just love couponing b/c anyone can do it and usually the couponers I meet are nice and will share tips or coupons like I do. 
      I started couponing at age 31 after watching the awful show Extreme couponing – while I never attempt trips like that (not that you really could b/c most of those people have special permission from the stores to bypass many coupon policies that the store has)
      I typically shop at drugstores during the week and sometimes 1 or 2 grocery store runs.
      I wanted to try this b/c while I work full time on the weekends as a RN, I wanted to always stay home with my 19 month old son during the week. My husband is thrilled that I am saving or making money on tolietries and paper goods. 

    • Leenie

      My daughter got me started.  She can find a deal on any and everything.  I have  only been doing this for about 4 months.  In that small amount of time I have managed to make a good sized stock pile.  I have even been able to also help family and friends by giving away some of my stock pile items which to me is the best part.   One thing I would like to say however is that everything is not free.  Some shows (I will not call names)  make you wonder why you can’t do as good as they do.  What they don’t tell you is that stores are making exceptions for the shows.  Besides who wants or needs 400 boxes of one item……..  My goal is to save at least 50% if not 75%.  I usually do better than that and it is great, but I don’t expect to walk out of a store for nothing.  I have done it but not all the time…..  Couponing is a great way to help us all save, and with my husband on disability and me out of work it is how we keep food in the house and still keep the lights on,…..  Thanks Jenny for all you do.  You make it so much easier for all of us…….

    • Dawnbakeringram

      Well, I have always loved getting things for less, but a year ago on Saturday we moved from a wonderful area with wonderful schools to a not so great area with not so great schools.  Also, I was just doing contract work at the house, because I have three little ones.  My contract work is slowing, and, at this point, I need to put the kids in private school or something (please, do not say home school–I can’t work from home and give them what they need), so I’m having to re-budget again–That $50 a week is looking pretty good right now….

    • smw

      One of the main reasons I started (actually in the last 5 weeks) is because I am self employeed my husband is in sales 100% commission and I have 1 child in a private college and another in private school.  I refuse to get on any assistance but I was tired of never having enough of the necessities….things were tight.  i’m so thankful one of my best friends introduced me to couponing!

    • Amy J.

      Love your story and I do understand, although I did not have twins, I had one girl 6 1/2 yrs ago :-)   She was premature as well.   My little princess had her first surgery at 10 days old, had to wear an ostomy bag (yep, had to pay for those medical supplies straight out of pocket!) until she was 5 mos old when she had her reversal (2nd) surgery.  Insurance covered a lot (which I’m very thankful for) but not all of it……next thing we knew we were well over $8,000. in debt in medical bills and we also had some big credit card debt…..in all close to $18,000 in debt counting the medical expenses.  We ended up moving from east TN to southeast GA to live with my in-laws (lived there for 2 1/2 years) when my daughter was 6 months old, but then hubby took a big cut in pay…..so although we weren’t paying rent (we were paying for utilities, groceries, baby necessities, etc.) we still were NOT coming out ahead.  Unfortunately we learned the “debt” lesson the hard way, but we knew we had to start paying things down, little by little (otherwise the debt snowball would have just kept growing and growing)…..and we still are paying on it, a little more by a little more.  Also, my husband and I had not had a vacation since 1999. 
      I started using coupons regularly in January of last year……the savings have been awesome!  Our debt at the beginning of last year was around $14,000.  I am glad to say that we now have that down to $5,000 (less than $200 of that is medical bills from when my daughter had one of her surgeries…..paying it little by little faithfully each month!)  AND we also took a vacation this summer and took our 6 yr old to Disney World and Cocoa Beach :-)   {sure, we could have used the vaca money to pay debts, but hubby REALLY needed that vaca this year, to get away for a while….sometimes we have to do things for our sanity’s sake!}.  I’m praying that by this time next year, we will have that $5,000 paid off…..praying, I say, because both hubby and I drive used vehicles (we’ve never bought brand new) and both of them have 184,000 + miles on them. 
      also, as a side note, we’ve used Dave Ramsey’s suggestion of having an “emergency fund” set aside for the “just in case” things that come up in life, so that’s been nice as well.  It’s almost as if when you are prepared (with your emergency fund set aside) that an emergency does not arise…..it’s when you aren’t prepared that an emergency does happen, it seems.)
       Also, we have a small 2-bdrm house with cheap rent……yeah, the neighborhood isn’t the best in the world and I cannot wait until we move out of it (LOL), but financially it meets our needs in our current financial standing :-) 
      To sum it up (now that I’ve written a small book!), we started using coupons to save money so  we could pay off our debts and so we could  have a little “play” money to do fun things now and again.
      Thanks so much, Jenny, for your website….it’s such a tremendous blessing!

    • Kati3878

      I started because while I was in nursing school FT, we had to survive off of just my hubby’s income and we went through most of our savings during that time. After I graduated, I decided that I would continue on to work towards my BSN, so here we are, with still only 1 income, a car payment that we didn’t have before, and 2 kids at home. Couponing has helped me to stock up on things like bath products, laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent. While we still have to carefully budget our money, it’s nice to know that we saved a ton on items that we use daily. Thank you Jenny for all that you do!!

    • Sam

      I think I am unique. After 20 years of marriage, my wife decided to clean out the family savings, college savings for my sons and leave my home in foreclosure all without my knowledge.  She left me in financial ruin while I worked several jobs.  If not by the grace of God and help from family, friends and church, I would not have been able to get on my feet again.  I was desperate to keep my oldest in college and food on the table.  I started cutting coupons when it happened, but it wasn’t until I was tuned in to this website when things really started to change for me.  Being a male couponer, I get strange looks and even some eye rolling from those behind me at checkout.  People sometimes don’t realize that not all of us couponers are like the ones on the show.  Jenny, your site is SO IMPORTANT TO ME.  I have food on the table because of what you have taught me.  I don’t have 15 or more hours a week to devote to couponing. I work multiple jobs.  BUT I have learned the system, know my store policies, plan ahead, and changed my shoping habits.  Since May 2011, I have saved over $6000 on groceries, toiletries, clothing, shoes, and use a coupon for almost everything I need.  My average is 63% savings.  I am passing it forward and have taught others in need how to do the same.  Thank you for what you do and know you have changed my life. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!!!!   

    • KB’s Mommy

      Reading all of the comments has been therapeutic to me…lets you know that there is always someone else who is going thru a difficult time as well.
      I began couponing because I wanted to reduce our expenses…we had over $40,000 in debt, over half of that due to medical bills. Our son was born with lung issues, and shortly after our daughter was born she passed away from a rare lung disease. My husband lost his job…things were a mess. One day, while complaining to the Lord about my circumstances, I begged Him for direction on how to reduce expenses…the thought later came to me about my Google alerts..I could have a Google alert about coupons! So I started my Google alert, and Jenny, your website is one of the first that came up…this was over 2 years ago. Almost all of the debt is paid off, my husband is at home with our son and home schools him. While things are definitely still tight, we don’t go without our needs being met. God is GOOD! Since that time, I have held couponing classes in some churches, and have taught many individuals about the beauty of “couponing”. What a true joy it is to know that the Lord cares about us in this way…that He chose to bring Southern Savers into my life at such a crucial time. I thank Him for the blessing of your website, Jenny,and I have prayed and will continue to pray for God’s richest blessings on you and your family.

    • Amanda_cox18

      I had served 8 years in the military and at the time I got married and had only one child.  Income was great and we were able to afford everything we wanted.  I grew up in a low income family.  Never having money to do things and always scraping for pennies to buy a gallon of milk.  When I joined the service and saw the income coming in I never really stopped to think about savings or coupons because really I had no need to.  Then about a year and half ago I got honorable discharged from the service for a medical reason.  That put us at a huge income loss. We are now trying to survive on only one income and with two car payments.  With that said, I knew there was a way to save and get through these though times, for I have seen it before growing up.  I then turned to coupons.  Vaguely, knowing how to coupon and knowing how much they saved I gave it a try.  Yes, it took that first week to get hooked.  After getting a few free items and saving over half of my grocery bill I knew right away that I could never go back to just throwing my coupons away.  Now having a 5 month old and a 6 1/2 year old I have saved so much money on diapers, formula and even toys for christmas this year.  It is amazing on how much help is at your finger tips that most of us don’t even realize or care about.  I look back now and see how much money was wasted that could be helpful at time’s like this.  But what am I to do other than learn from my mistakes.  To this day I never pay full price for any thing that I know I can get a coupon for.  Thank you Jenny for your help as well!  Following your website has made me even better at using coupons.  

    • Dmortimer43

      Wow, I can’t believe you have all redheads.  I have five kids 4 boys and youngest is a girl. Only 2 of the boys have red hair…..
      So obviously I started couponing for the kids.  I love it. I get a rush from getting things so cheap or free..  I am having a hard time staying away from the store.  I feel like I am going to miss something big.  I just wish I would have been doing this when the kids were in diapers.  Now I teach all the kids to coupon and they are catching on quick. I took my 18yr old with me and he was amazed at how much we got for a little money. He said “wow Mom  these are just like having money”.  LOL  I said Yes it is.  He then said that he wanted to do it all the time. So now he does a lot of the work and matches for me and we go do the shopping together.  Thanks Jenny,  you do a great job on this blog…

    • Destiny691966

      I raised four boys on welfareand alone. I always had to struggle with food and a roof over our heads. I was young and naive when I had them but then I had my little girl and everything changed. I went back to school and got my nursing license. A girl at work invited me to a coupon event at her house and it was all she could do to get me to go to it. It was a saturday afternoon and I had better things to do. I went and listened and wound up paying for that first membership and 6 newspapers everyweek but the first time I went to a store and saved 90% I was hooked. I have been couponing ever since andI love the fact that a lot of people are doing it now. I have passed it down to my boys and there girlfriends and wives, and my daughter, who is twelve now, Knows that we never pay full price. She will ask me to buy her something and if I say no she will remind me that it is on sale and that I have a coupon for it. She learned quick. Even if I had all the money in the world I would still be couponing. It is such a thrill to save so much money and the people I meet in the store who just want to talk about coupons is really amazing. I have picked up lots of tips and hints by talking to other couponers in the stores and even the employees have a few here and there. I love it and Im really glad that I dont have to pay for a service anymore thanks to Southern Savers I save even more!

    • Kelly

      How can you only spend $50.00 a week? Do you stock up on items that you use when they are on sale?  I find that trying to get items when they are on sale, rather than when I need them always means I spend more than $50.00 a week. Is the $50.00 just on groceries? Or is that also for household items, diapers, etc…

      • tina

        When I first started couponing my grocery bill actually went up alittle.  I thought this doesnt work. I was kinda resisent to the idea of stock piling and sorta looked at it as hording.  But I stuck with it and now i totally get the concept of buy more than you need now at rock bottom prices so in the long run you save tons.  I now have a stock pile.  Not worth $10,000 or anything crazy like the show but a stock pile none the less.  Now my grocery bills are really low.  not as low as $50 a week but compared to how much they used to be it seems crazy that I ever paid what I did.  If consistently you buy multiples of the products that are free or almost free, eventually you have a stockpile of all non perishable items that your family uses and only need to buy produce, meats, dairy at your weekly shopping trip.

      • Aubreyk916

        I am also curious about the $50 a week. I have been couponing since my daughter was born 9 months ago and I have gotten the spening to $60 a week but have found it hard to get lower than that. We do live in Florida though and they don’t double coupons here or have penny items ect. I also am buying diapers and wipes obviously so I thought that might help in adding to that extra amount.

    • Southerngirl0028

      My husband and I started couponing only a few months ago more out of neccessity!  We have 2 year old twin girls and as they get older, they seem to get more expensive!!  So, as a stay at home mom, my husband being the only one working because daycare is just outageous, I do my part to “provide for the family” by couponing!!

    • Anonymous

      I had always thought that I was frugal.  My husband and I both worked and saved.  I only bought store brand items and I was conservative with everything.  We had a little boy but we had a lady that was like his Grandma that watched him throughout the day so that I knew that he was always taken care of.  Then, we discovered that we were having twins and the lady that watched our child was retiring.   We knew that we didn’t want our babies in daycare so the decision was made that I would stay at home.  We didn’t know how hard that would be until I was making diaper runs just about every other day and at almost $12.00 a bag seemed to just be throwing money away.  I know that we could’ve done cloth diapers but I was so overwhelmed with two babies and the amount of time that took to breastfeed and just keep the house going with little sleep, that I didn’t feel that this was an option.  I started looking online to see if there were any jobs that I could do at home and somehow happened upon this site.  I started researching and discovered that diapers could be cheap and even sometimes free.  Our twins are two and hopefully going to start potty training soon but I still have enough diapers stockpiled for them to probably go five years.  LOL  My husband was recently laid off and before couponing we would have been freaking out but coupons have been able to let me sleep at night.  We are stockpiled on just about everything so I don’t need to factor in anything but the essentials until he is able to find another job.  I never dreamed that what I started two years ago would be somewhat of a security blanket to us now. 

    • beingjennifer

      Early in 2009 my hubby and I started working the Dave Ramsey baby steps and have been paying off our debt. After I had to quit working early in 2010 because of my back, we tried to find a way to have me stay home. Each month was a struggle to remain calm while paying the bills. Some people suggested couponing and I found some “mom blog” coupon sites and eventually made it here. My main focus is for us to be able to purchase the things we like to eat and need for our home at less than “normal” price. I’ve slowly begun to stock up our pantry and this has been the greatest relief. We’ll be able to eat no matter what. Some weeks are a challenge, because I make us wait for things that are running low or that we’re out of if we don’t have a coupon or a sale. My hubby is a trooper and helps out SO much. We’re looking at having our debt paid off by the beginning of 2012. This site and couponing has helped us to keep paying off more on our debt and still be able to eat well and get the things we need. 

    • coupon mommy

      For me I had to after losing my job. Trying to make it on one salary is tough. I always clipped coupons before but always forgot about them when I went shopping.  Never did I try stocking up before just bought what we needed. So now I check the ads and have my coupons ready when I go shopping.

    • i_luv_couponing

      Couponing is something which i would have never known if i did not watch Extreme couponing in TLC. Having done my Masters degree, i always wanted to work, but few conditions made me stay at home. I was so unhappy and wanted to do something which makes me feel happy. Then accidentally i watched the TV show, but i did not want to do like that, so when i googled i was so fortunate to find this website(My heartful thanks to you Jenny for all the work and effort you are putting in). After i started doing couponing my monthly bills dropped down nearly half amount and i am so happy about it, becoz even i am contributing to my family in some way or the other. When i hear my husband asking me “Do you have a coupon for this” i really feel so appreciated for the work i do because he even recognized what couponing can do…. 

    • tina

      I got into couponing a little over a year ago to help my daughter save money.  She had just bought their first home and found out she was pregnant shortly after. It was really important to us all that she be a stay at home mom.  But money was tight.  I heard about this couponing stuff from my sister in law, and checked it out.  WOW!!!!  Never in my wildest dreams did I think it was going to make this much difference in our lives.  Not just theirs but my husbands and mine as well.  I can’t believe the amount of money I have saved in a years time.  I have been able to help my parents out as well and am teaching my mom to coupon too.  I have been able to help out friends and co workers and it is such a good feeling to help others.  I agree that I can never give up couponing.  To go back to paying full price…  NO WAY!!!  I tell everyone who will listen about couponing.   

    • CAT

      Last January I got engaged. I’m a full-time student (senior) at a major University majoing in Social Work, so this semester I am having to complete a 500 hour intern (FREE). With all my classes, my intern, and planning for my wedding I have no time to have a job and still be able to study and spend time with friends and family. My fiance and I both knew we needed to start saving money so I decided to give couponing a try. WE LOVE IT! There is nothing like checking out with lots of goodies for cheap or free. I have been couponing for only about 4 months and have already saved tons of money!! I LOVE THIS WEBSITE. You are awesome!

    • Mygrcr

      I started couponing because I had too. After graduating from school both my husband and I could not find employment. I thought that going to college and than grad school we would not have any problem getting jobs. Boy were we wrong! It got to the point where all our savings was gone and had to move in with relatives. Since we did not have to pay anything for where we were staying I decided to help with the groceries. It made a huge difference on their monthly bills. their bills were cheaper with us staying with them than it was before we moved in. I am very grateful for websites like Southen Savers for educating me on couponing. I went from having an empty frige literally…. to having a stoackpile and helping others 

    • My husband told me I needed to get a job. Hopefully where I can watch children (and bring my daughter) or something on the weekends so my MIL can watch her. He said we only have $100 for a month to live off of. It’s not dire that I get a job right now because we have money saved up and are living off of that (My daddy passed away last year and left us some money). I am trying to make it work with coupons. I’m not succeeding just yet. Thank to your site though it’s helping a LOT!

    • Crafty_cat_86

      My husband and I used to fight about money all the time. He set a budget based on how much money we had left after bills, savings, etc. I felt like it was waay too low ($50 for 2 people for a week), so I would just go and get what we needed and let him deal with “making it work.” It sounds horrible now, but the way I felt was that we NEEDED food, but the other things, like saving for retirement, were not as important for a pair of twenty-somethings. I would always look at the circular and set up my menu around the sales and I would almost always buy generic. I thought I was a savvy shopper and if I couldn’t make $50 a week work, then it must be impossible. I would regularly spend $100-$150 dollars per week and it would inevitably lead to a fight.  While I was complaining to my sister one day, she told me..again…to try couponing.  She had been following Jenny’s blog for a while, but I thought it was too complicated for me.  Finally, I decided to try CVS/pharmacy.  I watched all the tutorials and read all the “getting started” information and then I waited for a week that Jenny was excited about to try my hand at it.  It only took 2 weeks of free stuff for me to get hooked on using coupons.  Now, a year later, we have added a baby and I have a comfortable grocery budget of $75 per week.  For that, we get all the essentials and even have money left for non-essentials, like body wash and ice cream.  I really feel like I’m “living the life” and I feel that coupons make our lifestyle comfortable.  It’s funny because I live better “in this recession” than I ever did before.  I have more in my pantry and more in my wallet than I had a year or two ago.  I feel like a coupon success story.

    • jenbmosley, Thomasville, GA

      I have read through all the responses thus far and have sincerely appreciated everyone’s story! The stories are inspiring.

      I learned how to coupon from my grandmother about 15 years ago, but did not become a serious couponer till this year. I have gone from always saving 30-40% on groceries to saving an average of 60-85% on groceries. I score some amazing deals at CVS and have walked out paying just the sales tax while walking out with ECB’s!

      My husband and I work full-time, while our little girls (ages 3 & 1) spend their days in daycare (yes, it is very expensive). We currently coupon to get out of debt…. once we accomplish that goal, we will continue to coupon to save for our girls’ college funds. I spend my daily lunch hour hitting stores Monday through Friday so I can be home with my family all weekend!

    • Heather

      Since I got married I was always trying to find ways to save money. Then a little over a year ago, I was looking at a grocery store ad and realized that i had just gotten coupons for some of the items. I knew my aunt couponed, so i started googling.  Couponing has helped us not go into debt paying for fertility treatments. And my husband is starting a new law firm…so if things aren’t going well, at least I know we’ll have food!!

    • Christy Motes

      I got started couponing because i got tired of  my family  not haveing a roll of toilet paper or body wash etc when  we needed it.My husband and i are on a limited income and are raiseing our youngest son and grandson.My husband and oldest daughter thought i was crazy.Well lets just say 8 months later my husband helps me with our couponing and my daughter and son n law!! are beginner couponers!!

    • Erkelly

      I met my husband in the army and was medically discharged just a couple months later. Soon after we got married, we were hurting bad. All of our bills from our single lives merged together. We were living on one income, had a baby on the way, a hefty child support bill, two car payments, two student loan payments and some credit card debt. Then we had to take out an outrageous amount on loan for a lawyer for my step-son’s child custody case. I was looking at ways to save, and I decided to change our spending habits. We were very frugal and I used coupons at Walmart and bought a lot of store brand stuff. We lived 1 1/2 hours away from the closest Publix or Kroger, and I never thought it was worth it to make the drive to shop. But when I sat down and really put all the pieces together, I feel silly for having not done the drive this whole time. The amount we save every week, thanks to the hard work by you Jenny, is substantial. Alas, we have paid off the lawyer, one car, second car has 2 payments to go, and we have made a big dent in our other debt. Couponing has given us the opportunity to live a fruitful life. I get to stay at home with our baby, and we get to eat as much as we want, for practically free!

    • Lisa

      I love the picture of your girls! I work at Riverbanks Zoo and can tell that elephant statue anywhere!

    • Jenandmike520

      I started couponing earlier this year. At the time I was working a very stressful full-time job 50-60hrs a week.  I was missing out on so much of my 3 small boys’ lives and it was quickly interfering with out lives.  A change had to be made and that was in the form of me taking a demotion at work and promotion at home.  But, as with everything has its price.  Couponing was my answer.  I can’t say I do as great as most couponers with my savings, but I have managed to slash my grocery bill in half and I am happy about that.  Now I have more food in our pantry than every before at half the cost.  I also have gotten my kids involved.  So, in case you ever see two boys giving their mama high fives at the check out, that’s me.  I often get discouraged because couponing is time consuming.  I still work full time and have a part-time job as well. Not to mention football schedules, church schedules, etc.  In the end, I remember i am doing this for my family and that makes it worthwhile….Thanks for all you do, Jenny!

    • Couponamr

      I’ve always considered myself frugal and would always shop sales and never pay full price.  I thought I was doing well buying “dry goods” at walmart and my milk, produce, etc at public and our meat in bulk.  I sometimes used coupons.  When I look back now on what we spent, I am shocked.  A friend referred me to this site about 1 year ago…at first I was overwhelmed, but after watching the tutorials and a lot of practice I am hooked!!  We have cut grocery bills by 50-75% and toiletries by 75%+.  We have full pantries and bathrooms and I find that I am only picking up fresh items each week or stocking back up if something is on sale.  It’s made our meal planning so easy and we’ve tried lots of new things we would never have tried before.  

      For us, couponing is allowing us to pay off a car note and some student loans so we can start our family in the next year.  

      This site has been so helpful because it incorporates saving across a number of areas and really helps to get me organized prior to shopping. I love to talk about couponing and saving money in general and I’ve been able to share your website and some coupon love with friends and family. :)

      Thank you again for all you do!!

    • Math Nerd

      First of all, thank you for starting this website!  You have been a blessing to my family.  I used to hate going to the grocery store, but now I’m excited for the challenge every week!  I am a high school teacher and my students are amazed at the money I save.  I also send coupons and lists to my daughter and her friends in college  :)

    • CG85

      My husband was laid off from the job related to his college degree due to budget cuts in education and he took a 60% paycut to find a new job. I took a 20% paycut at my job (also related to my college degree) due to the economy. We’ve always been frugal and shopped at thrift stores and looked for the best prices (without being brand loyal to items). We’ve always been very minimalist with few trips and never needing the latest gadgets or anything like that, but I was TERRIFIED of how we were going to make ends meet, save up to have a child and save for retirement on our much lower salary. I now save about $400 per month from what I was spending (which was already not very much). I save about 75% total on groceries and toiletries. The money we save goes directly to retirement savings.

    • Kerr

      I also want to send a BIG Thank You to Jenny and everyone at Southern Savers!  I started couponing a few months ago and am hooked!  My motivation sounds much like everyone else – financial cutbacks at work, huge amounts of credit card debt, rising gas prices, and not being able to sell my house to get out from under the massive mortgage….  I got to the point where I couldn’t support myself even working 2 jobs and was feeling overwhelmed and depressed.  I had seen bits and pieces of “Extreme Couponing” on tv a few times but thought that people who clipped coupons for hours a day and had stockpiles of 100 boxes of oatmeal were crazy.  I don’t even eat oatmeal!  I had also always thought that coupons weren’t for me because store brands are cheaper.  Well during one of my days of stressing about finances a friend told me about a couponing workshop she had been to, and gave me a copy of the websites to check out.  The first couple websites I looked at were confusing and didn’t make much sense to me, but Southern Savers was so user friendly I caught on right away!  In my first few weeks I focused on learning the drug store game and aside from a couple of mis-steps became very motivated by free toothpaste, dental floss, deoderant….  then I tackled food when Harris Teeter had a big triple coupon week.  Now I’m totally addicted!  I did spend more money at first as others said, but now that I have a stockpile I am living on $20 a week for groceries and toiletries.  I can’t believe how much money I was wasting!  There are weeks now when I need nothing and only pick up freebies here and there, or I’ll take my friends’ grocery list and cash and coupon for them (they have 3 kids so I’m still working on getting them interested, but it is time consuming).  I still have a lot to learn but am hoping to continue saving through the holidays — this will be the first year that I don’t add to my credit card debt during the holiday season.  That’s my plan anyway!

    • Crystal W

      Up until this year, I have been the anti-couponer. It felt like a waste of time, and my husband agreed. His father’s wife would always go on and on about using coupons and buying things only when they are on sale and I would pretty much just ignore it, because I did not want to take the time to have that headache. After I heard about Extreme Couponing(yuck, I know! But i had no idea then lol) from a friend of mine, i was intrigued at how they saved SO much. That’s when I started searching the web for answers. Then, I spoke to my step-Mother-in-law, and she told me about your website. She said that her daughter could buy $100 worth of items for $30 or less, and I was instantly into it. Having a family of 6, and sometimes 8…because my parents are truck drivers, and they “live” with us, but are gone 20+ out of the month…I am ashamed that I did not start this sooner. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for your website and everything you do for everyone else! When I first started in the spring this year, my oldest son, who is 8, would COMPLAIN so much about grocery shopping (we do it as a family, I never go alone) and me having coupons so we’d have to go to 5 different stores. But you know, he doesn’t complain when he gets all the goodies and other things he wants! They still groan about having to go to so many stores, but eventually they will love me for it. I’ve always been a stay-at-home-mom, and now I feel like I am doing even better at MY job! I’d also like to add that I have never actually WATCHED a full show of Extreme Couponing, and to be honest the show sickens me in many ways. I have friends who are all into watching it, and I have to remind them that it is a television show, and not realistic at ALL. I have only listened to what you, and a couple other coupon divas have told us about couponing, and I’m thankful for that because my goals are realistic. I am very happy to save what I do save, and even happier when I save more! My biggest problem is, we have an Extreme Couponer in our area who buys out the whole store of anything that is really cheap/free, the cashiers have told me so. Nobody has ever seen kids with her, they don’t understand why she needs to buy so much to hoard everything…they say it takes them a good HOUR just to ring up her coupons. That’s just insane.. and completely not fair to anybody else. I always end up having to get rain checks on things because of her. And if the coupon is ready to expire, then that is just not fair at all! I think these people need to stop being so greedy and save some for the rest of us who have 6, 8, or more people to feed and keep clean! But again, I just want to thank you so much for everything you do, Jenny :)

    • Thefantasyicon

      My story started about 4 yrs ago when we both made good money. I had a nice little biz going and we were hanging on, but not really going anywhere. Then the bottom fell out and I lost my biz, big house, truck, and eventually family. Long story short, when I spent a lot of time alone and focusing on what we argued about most…surprise it was the $150/wk grocery trip. When I figured it out, I became determined to set up a lifestyle that would never cause me to stress about the weekly grocery trip again. So, when a customer of mine at Food Lion mentioned Southern Savers…it was what I had been looking for but didn’t know it. Literally 2 weeks later I was sitting in Jenny’s class, to which my roommate thought was odd, my wife(she’ll always be that to me) thought was odd, the girls at work thought was odd, and my daughter (who I drug to the class) definitely thought was very uncool and weird!  I went to my 1st class with the intent of trying to save myself some money. After the class I was overwhelmed with everything about couponing, not really having anyone that would give it a chance and coupon with me, and quit before I got going. Putting myself on a budget I managed to save just enough to go on a mini-vacation and really started thinking about how I could better myself in my wife’s eyes. At that point (13 months apart) we were getting along, and becoming friends but both still struggling due to poor choices. When I really started focusing then on saving crazy money on groceries, supplies, personal care needs, etc. was when things really turned. At the point when she saw me saving ridiculous amounts of money, she became interested. I have always been more of the “nerd” about details and things so I do it with out her, BUT…she helps me cut out the coupons. My real cheerleader has been my daughter. She wasn’t on board to start and would roll her eyes when I talked ad-nausea about coupon deals, but she jumped in headfirst the first time I came home with about 15 things from CVS and had only paid 4 or 5 dollars. I can now afford (with a low paying grocery job) to pay for my groceries and personal stuff AND my wife’s grocery and personal’s.
      Couponing for me…really is a Godsend. It is nice to know I will never have to go hungry again, eat 3 square meals worth of Ramen noodles and Kool-Aid (though I now enjoy both) for 6 months straight, and/or worry how I am going to make it from 1 week to the next. BUT the best part for me is knowing my kids and wife are in the same place and will always have the cupboard full. I wouldn’t trade couponing for anything now.

    • Heidi Y

      My husband and I are trying to get out of debt once and for all. Couponing is helping us to slowly chip away at our credit card and student loan debt. We still have a long road ahead of us, but we’re able to buy much more food now that we pay attention to grocery store sales and use coupons.