Melanie Feehan founded The Coupon Goddess blog, which embodies several of her passions. She's a married mother of four children who loves to bake, cook and coupon. Last year alone, she saved over $52,000 through coupon redemption and rebates.
1. How did you become interested in coupon clipping and when did you start?
Twelve years ago, my second son was born and we went through a financial crisis requiring I look into ways to save money. Back then, we didn’t have the internet the way we have it today (good grief that makes me feel old), so my first exposure was from a magazine called Refunding Makes Cents, which is now known as RefundCents. It came out once a month and was the highlight of my week. I was so inspired by all of the people getting so much stuff for free.
2. What is your most embarrassing coupon moment?
A man in line offered to pay my bill after he got sick of waiting for my coupons to be scanned. I told him to be my guest, as I slipped my Chanel sunglasses over my eyes. I wasn’t embarrassed as much as I was incensed. I’ve never understood the stigma attached to couponing. The wealthiest people I know are the best stewards of their assets and wouldn’t care the least what others thought of them being smart with their money. It just makes sense to shop smart.
3. How much time per week do you spend coupon clipping, searching for deals, etc?
A lot, because I write about it. Probably 14 to 20 hours per week, when I’ve got my game on.
4. How do you organize all of your coupons?
I use the binder method and have for the past 12 years.
5. Where do you find most of your coupons?
Everywhere: Online, in stores, Sunday papers, doctor’s offices, magazines. I keep my eyes peeled.
6. How has couponing affected your family and friends?
It hasn’t. Very few of my family and friends coupon. You’d think I’d inspire them, right? They do like getting free parting gifts when they come to visit, though.
7. What is the biggest tip you can give to someone interested in becoming a couponer?
File all coupons as soon as you get them. That sounds so easy, but it really isn’t. Organization is key with couponing and if you don’t stay on top of it, it can get really overwhelming.
8. What is the best shopping trip you ever had? How much were you able to get for what price?
About 18 months ago, I bought over $2,000 dollars in products for around $50 at my local grocery store. I was also able to score several-thousand bonus Box Tops for Education from that same promotion. I think all my kids won pizza parties for their classrooms that year.
9. Do you ever find yourself buying things you don’t need just because you have coupons? If so, what do you do with them?
Yes, because I donate products to the troops and also to the foodbanks. If I can’t use it, someone can.
10. Do you teach your children about couponing?
My kids know I mostly buy stuff that’s on sale with a coupon. I’ve raised very flexible children due to this, so I guess I teach them by example. The thought of taking them to the store at this point in their lives makes me break out in hives. I’m sure I’ll teach them my secrets when they're older.
11. Do you have any favorite types of coupons (printable, grocery, online, Catalina, etc.)?
Right now, printables are rocking my world. Coupons on Facebook and other social media outlets are of high value and useful. Every day I seem to get some type of killer online printable. I think it’s the wave of the future.
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