Today, I welcome a very special guest, the Super Coupon Woman, Tina Klein, who shares her story of how she has donated nearly $500,000 over the years through extreme couponing. Her story is an inspiration to me, and I hope it will inspire you as well: we make a living by what we get and earn, but we make lives by what we give. Enjoy!
All single moms have their own unique story to share. One thing many single parents have in common is a struggle with finances to make everything work, while also putting smiles on the faces of our children. We want to give our children the best lives possible, and it is sometimes difficult to allow our children to live happy and carefree when the money isn’t there.
I am no different and I will be sharing with you some life lessons I’ve learned through extreme couponing. My name is Tina M. Klein, single mom to three beautiful girls. I went from scraping together money each week to pay my bills, to now providing gifts and donations to thousands of people all over the United States through my coupon savings. Here’s my story from being poor in money, to being rich in kindness and friends.
My Financial Struggles as Young Adult
When my kids were younger, I decided it would be best to stay at home and look to come up with creative ideas to earn money from home. All the money I would’ve made at a traditional job would have gone to daycare, and I wouldn’t have been able to spend time with my kids.
Sometimes I look back and wonder how I made it on a daily basis since there were times where I only would have $10 to stretch for the entire week! I can’t believe I could make that happen!
Some weeks, I was lucky to be able to rely on the kindness of others in my community. There were times I needed help with an unpaid water or electric bill to ensure the power stayed on for my kids, food stamps for when we needed food, or a family who was kind enough to give presents to all of my children at Christmas time. I vowed if I was ever in that position, I would give as others had done for me.
Becoming Super Coupon Woman
As the children got a little older, I was able to get a job and pay the bills on my own. I still had my financial struggles but I was making it work through my income. At the same time though, my children had grown into teenagers and believe me, teenagers are expensive!
I needed to find a way to free up extra money each month in my budget, and the only area I could identify savings was household and food items.
Researching ways to save money, I realized I could start couponing and save money each week at the grocery store. Little did I know that I would become so good at couponing. Later that year, I was saving so much money through my couponing that I was able to donate to the local food pantry!
As a single mom, with 3 children and a limited budget, there was only so much I could do for the local food pantry. I began collecting unused coupons from my family, co-workers, and friends so I could get more items for the local food pantry.
One day, I was at the grocery store and had $100.00 in items. Guess what my total came to? $0.00. The cashier said, “Wow, you really are Super Coupon Woman!”
Creating a Better World Through Couponing and Donations
Not only did I want to continue donating and make it a priority to give back, but I wanted to inspire others to use coupons to donate to others in need. I began giving myself challenges in the late 2000s. I challenged myself to make 2 $500 donations and a $1000 holiday donation. I reached out to local media outlets to spread the word and share how my couponing was helping the local community.
People loved the idea and started to hop on board with me. In 2011, I created the $100,000 coupon challenge to get other couponer’s involved. Our goal was to try and reach $100,000 in donations throughout the year. Over the past 6 years, we have donated nearly $400,000! You can read more about it on our 100k Coupon Challenge Facebook Page.
Then, in 2014, I decided I would try to conquer the retail world. I wanted to donate $10,000 in retail value, while only spending $1,500. I did a great job and reached my 85% savings goal, and as a result, was able to provide 700 gifts to people in need during the holiday season.
Bigger and Crazier Coupon Challenge Ideas
In 2015, I came up with another crazy idea for myself. I challenged myself to personally donate over $50,000 throughout the entire year. Unfortunately, I encountered some unexpected financial issues, and postponed and called off the challenge a few times throughout the year.
My friends and fans encouraged me to continue on with the challenge because they knew how much it would help others. They wanted to help as well, and they started giving me their unwanted items that I could donate to help others.
Even though I could have donated more if I had postponed the challenge to a later time, I’m glad I continued. I learned the true meaning of paying it forward. I reach $33,000 in donations in 2015, and finished the challenge in 2016.
After finishing the challenge, my total personal donations totaled over $100,000 through the years, and I’m humbled and in awe that I’ve been able to give to so many people in need while finding ways to save money through extreme couponing.
The Power of Coupons and Kindness
I now receive so many donations that I have a storage building for all of the goods (and the building was donated too!).
People I’ve never met before message me to offer their clothing donations, which continues to grow the pay it forward circle.
I’m so happy I’ve been able to help others in need. Going forward, I’m going to keep pursuing my passion of saving money and donating to others. I hope you can join me in paying it forward.
Thank you Tina for contributing this awesome story and thank you as well for your work paying it forward. I know I’m inspired after reading your story, and will be looking to donate and contribute my own funds in the future to various causes. Her story reminds me of a great Winston Churchill quote:
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” – Winston Churchill.
To learn more about Super Coupon Woman’s story, you can check out her site at Super Coupon Woman. She has also written a book which is on Amazon: Cutting Hunger One Coupon at a Time. I’d highly recommend checking her work out, as her purpose is helping others and she has been very successful at it. With over 6 figures in donations, I am definitely motivated to get out there and coupon!