The Coupon Hustler has been gracious enough to let me interview her today. I think you'll enjoy getting to know her better.
Julie: How long have you been couponing? Why did you decide to start?
Morgan: I started couponing in December of 2005 when my first son was born. I was a teen mom, and we didn't have help from any family, and we lived on our own. Back then, I would use coupons, but I never even thought of matching the coupons to the sales. I eventually realized I was spending more than I was realistically saving! In January 2011, during a period of time both my husband and I found ourselves unemployed, I saw the first episode of Extreme Couponing. Seeing this episode couldn't have come at a better time. It was a daily struggle for me just to buy the store brand laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, etc. I thought to myself, "Wow! I never thought of that!" (referring to matching coupons with the sales). I said to my husband that night, "On Sunday, we are going to buy 4 Sunday Papers, we can do this!" I did exactly that, on that following Sunday! I heard about WUC on the show, and went to Nathan's website, along with several other couponing websites and taught myself how to coupon!
Julie: How big is your family? What is your grocery budget? Has your grocery budget changed since you started couponing?
Morgan: My family consists of me, my husband, and my two boys (ages 5 and 3) along with 2 German Shepherd dogs, a Chihuahua, a cat, a California King Snake, 7 Chickens, and 4 Ducks! We have many to feed! My budget is $500 a month for groceries, and $20/month for H&B/Cleaning products. I don't ever purchase garbage bags, and that saves me about $10/month. I buy so many groceries, that I use the grocery bags for garbage bags! I used to spend $250/week on groceries; which in my book is insane! I am buying the same products as before, except now I'm getting the name brands for less than the store brands!
Julie: What is your favorite store to shop at?
Morgan: Personally, my favorite store is Publix. We just moved from FL to TN and in FL there is no coupon doubling. Although, Publix in FL accepts stacked coupons (store coupons combined with MFG coupons for one item); competitors coupons; and of course the Publix Promise. Now, we live where prices of groceries are significantly cheaper, and they double coupons (at Kroger). I haven't been able to find as many deals as I was able to at Publix. Kroger does offer the mega sales, which I believe makes shopping at Kroger worth it!
Julie: What has been your favorite coupon deal?
Morgan: My favorite coupon deal was the 10/$10 Mueller's Pasta deal at Winn Dixie in FL. In February 2011, just a month after starting out, I found a wonderful deal at WD! Mueller's Pasta was on sale for $1, and there was an IP on Mueller's website for $1/1 (which allowed unlimited prints). I printed about 200 coupons and went to three different stores. At the same time, there was a $5/$25 store coupon in the weekly ad, so I separated my pasta, meat, and milk (because of the overage) into about 6 or 7 different transactions! This was when I realized, I CAN do it even though my store doesn't double coupons! I later found a similar, but better deal, at Publix for Mueller's Pasta! It went on sale BOGO (Price for one: $1.43), and I had more of the $1/1 coupons! This time, I had $0.57 overage for every two that I bought. I combined this deal with another favorite of mine, the Purina One Beyond Free or $3/1 cat food (about 30 boxes or so), along with meat, laundry detergent, lysol, etc, and ended my transaction spending $2 and saving over $400!!
Julie: I did that deal at Publix, and it worked out great!.
Julie: Do you stockpile? If so, where do you keep your stockpile? Got any pictures to share?
Morgan: Yes, I do stockpile! Right now, since we just moved out of state, I had to say bye-bye to my refrigerated and frozen stockpile, but as of right now here's a few things in my pantry I have stockpiled the following using coupons: Hunts Tomato Sauce/Paste/Diced Tomatoes, Kraft Homestyle Mac N Cheese, Mueller's Pasta, Kraft BBQ Sauce, Manwich, Cereal, Coca-Cola, Manhatma's Yellow Rice, and Steamfresh Veggies (frozen). In my bathrooms, I have Purina Beyond Cat Food, Dentastix, Kibbles N Bits, Pedigree Dog Food, Herbal Essences Shampoo/Conditioner, Nivea Body Wash, Dove Body Wash, Rightguard Body Wash, Dove Deodorant, Maalox, Halls Cough Drops, Advil, Aleve, Excedrin, etc.! My food stockpile stays in the pantry and the kitchen, but my H&B stockpile is spread throughout 3 of my bathrooms, and under the kitchen sink! I don't have any pictures at this time. :(
Julie: What made you decide to start a blog? What do you hope to share with your blog?
Morgan: After successfully teaching my neighbor how to coupon, I sought out to teach more people. I am a very resourceful person, and I needed somewhere to share all my good finds, deals, success trips, etc.! My blog is still in the works, but it is new and should be fully loaded by May 2011!
Julie: Congratulations on getting started!
Julie: If you could give one piece of advice to coupon newbies what would it be?
Morgan: I would tell them to start slow! My first month of couponing, I spent way too much at the drug stores, even after coupons! I was going coupon crazy! Get comfortable with the prices at your stores and do the math at home before you go to the store to avoid overspending! Always go with a list!
Get to know Morgan better:
- Would you like to be interviewed and share your couponing story? You don't have to have a blog of your own to share, just comment or email me at drunkitty2000 at yahoo.com and we'll get the interview started.