For Kathy Spencer, clipping coupons is more than just a money saver -- it's a money maker. The Massachusetts mom of four founded an online community called "How to Shop for Free,"
in which she helps more than 1,000 members make the most of their money. The members post links to online savings, swap tips and tricks, and share information about sales in their areas as well as some really inspirational stories about great savings deals, but Kathy really takes the cake. She is able to stockpile amazing amounts of household goods and groceries without spending a dime out of her own pocket -- check out her post on eHow.com on how she "bought" a year's worth of toilet paper for free.
She took a little time recently to share some of her couponing wisdom with Work It, Mom!
What led you to start couponing?
I always have used coupons and had an eagle eye to spot a deal anywhere I went since I was a child, It wasn't until a few years ago that I realized I could take my coupons to a much bigger level. I had always used coupons for items I would by regularly but as I started pairing what coupons I had with what was on sale vs. using a coupon for what I normally was brand loyal to, I soon discovered if I had more $1 off coupons for items that went on sale for $1, I could get a stockpile of that item and not pay a penny.
How did you decide to start “How to Shop for Free”?
Once I figured out the whole thing I started sharing what I discovered with friends family and a few on line coupon groups. I started to become very popular in the eyes of other couponers and got asked the same questions over and over, everyone wanted to know the same things, how I did it, how could they do it etc, etc. So that is when I decided I needed one place to post all my deals so I could stop repeating myself over and over -- and that is when I decided to create How to Shop for free. Now I have thousands of coupon loving members that also have huge stockpiles and cut there grocery bills down by hundreds. They also have so much stocked that they too spread the wealth and donate to friends family and food kitchens.
It seems like so many of the coupons you get with the Sunday papers are for overly processed junk food. How do you keep a healthy diet and still save money?
Despite what most think, no I do not feed my kids garbage. I get free fresh fruits, meats, and vegetables (as well as junk food)! I regularly get free organic food, mainly Muir Glen, Wild Harvest and Cascadian Farms through the use of coupons and sales.