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Even the largest coupon hauls start when you #TakeSimpleSteps.
posted in: Financial Wellness
by Valerie Hawkins

My morning with the (coupon) Queen

It’s not every day you get to talk to a queen. Lucky for me, I had the opportunity to spend a morning with straight-up royalty. Meet Amber Patterson – boy mom of two and owner of Become a Coupon Queen blog, a blog with hundreds of thousands of monthly readers!

Check out our convo on her career in couponing, money-saving secrets, and how her kiddos are getting in on the action.

How did you get started with couponing? I used to have a personal blog and befriended several other bloggers. One blogger friend posted a “coupon challenge” on her site. The challenge was to go out, use coupons, and share on her blog how much you saved. I’ve always been a saver, so I gave it a try! I was hooked.

What motivated you to turn your couponing into a career? When I was expecting baby #2, I wanted to stay at home but wasn’t sure how living on one salary would work. So I went back to my coupon blogger friend and started working for her! The income from the blog, plus saving money from couponing helped make that dream a reality.

Then, in 2013, I purchased the Become a Coupon Queen blog from my blogger friend, and have been a full-time blogger and mom ever since!

What’s your fav thing about couponing? I love finding great deals and saving money! I want to know I’m getting the most for my money, so couponing definitely helps me feel that way. It’s also very rewarding to help others save money.

Most of us think coupons are only for grocery stores. Where are some unique places you use coupons that most people wouldn’t think of? Dollar stores are a great place to use coupons. People don’t think of using coupons here, because everything is already a dollar!

I also like to buy school supplies year-round. When I have a coupon for pens, I buy pens and stash them away until August. This helps spread that expense throughout the year, while also getting good discounts!

Now, how do you handle being THAT person…in a line with a stack of coupons while everyone else is in a hurry? I don’t usually get worked up by that and just ignore it if I get attitude. Most people don’t say anything. If they do say something, it’s more of being impressed and asking questions on how I do it!

Ok, give us some insider information. What’s your favorite money-saving trick besides couponing? Buy discounted gift cards! For instance, I just purchased a $100 gift card for $80 for my streaming TV service. It’s an expense I already have, but I will apply my gift card to my monthly statement, and now I saved $20! You can also do this for your favorite restaurants or retail stores.

Now’s your chance! What are some stigmas around couponing you want to clear up? A lot of people think you can’t save money on healthy foods – that coupons are only for processed, pre-packaged items. But there are deals out there for bulk meat and fresh fruits and veggies.

You can also find coupons for gluten-free, vegan or dairy-free foods either in weekly newspaper inserts, special websites and blogs, or the manufacturer’s websites and Facebook pages.

Have your kids picked up any couponing habits? My boys know if it’s not on sale and we don’t have a coupon, we’re not buying it. For instance, my kids really like grapes. But if apples are on sale instead of grapes, we buy apples. So, I buy towards the sales, not necessarily what’s on my list, and they’re aware of that and are ok with that (for the most part)!

What advice do you have for others who are interested in couponing but don’t know how to get started? Start small! Start with the store you normally shop at – figure out what their coupon policy is and collect their weekly sale flyer. Once you master your store, expand to others. You’ll quickly get the hang of it!

Also, check if your store has a mobile app. Many stores do, where you can store coupons, find deals, or even price match for money back. And of course, follow me on social @BecomeACouponQueen for the best online and in-store deals!

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