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About Me, VTCouponer (AKA: Shortpants)

Welcome to VTCouponer!  The first (and only, as far as I know!  LOL) Extreme Couponing site for Vermont!  I'm hoping that I can share information on saving with coupons with other New Englanders in this tough economic time.  We all need all the help we can get!

I started my journey into couponing in March of 2010.  I happened to stumble upon a Nightline program on Hulu one night featuring this guy, Mr. Coupon, and he got thousands of dollars worth of stuff for an amazing final price out of pocket... all with coupons.  We were spending anywhere from $400 to $800 a month on groceries and necessities for the two of us, a toddler, a dog and a cat.  I knew there had to be a better way.  So I viewed and reviewed the Nightline special, then noticed there was a website address spelled out in Jell-O boxes in the driveway.  So I paused on the address to try and decipher what it was.  And that was the day I found and it changed my life.

I was your typical sceptic, I lurked and read everything I could get my hands on over at WUC for a month before I even joined the site and started participating.  I had all these reasons in my head why couponing WOULDN'T work for us, without even giving it a chance.  The more I read, the more I learned, the more I realized couponing WOULD work for us, and believe me, we needed the help.  My first trip I only saved $5, the next trip only $10, then it started creeping up and up, and before I knew it I was saving hundreds of dollars on shopping trips.  Couponing WAS working for us!!

Then I got laid off.  Two weeks before Christmas I had a letter handed to me as I was leaving for the day telling me to not bother coming back the following day.  It was a punch in the gut after 12 years with the same company.  I never even saw it coming.  We had no savings, over a thousand dollars worth of work to do on my car to make it pass inspection, I was still paying daycare to hold my daughter's slot while I was laid off in case it was only temporary, bills to pay, needless to say, things were bleak.  I thank my lucky stars that I had already started on the couponing path, and had a wonderful basis for really giving it my all and making it work for my family.

We now spend anywhere from $50 to $100 a week, and the $100 side is when I make a pretty good stockpiling trip that will hold us over for a couple weeks/months.  I even have weeks where all I spend is $30 or less for fresh dairy and produce.  AND we have a pretty good stockpile that carries us through the lean weeks with more than enough to spare.  I even started doing the drugstore circuit (Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS) and getting our health and beauty stuff for free or for pennies, so that helped the bottom line considerably.  It does take time, but the time I have invested has paid me back time and time again.

I will say couponing is not easy and the really big savings don't happen overnight.  It takes time and effort to truly make the most of couponing.  A great place to start are the Virtual Classes and Articles I have linked over on the side of my page.  This is what I read when I first started Extreme Couponing and gave me the groundwork I needed to build the stockpile we have now.  I suggest starting slow, pick ONE store and learn it well.  Once you feel comfortable, add another store, and another, etc.  Don't bite off more than you can chew right of the bat.  That's why so many new couponers give up, it can be very overwhelming at first, and even feel impossible at times, but I am here to assure you that yes, normal everyday people can save hundreds to thousands of dollars off daily needs.  BUT you do have to be willing to put in the time and effort, no one is going to do all the work for you.  It really, really does pay off in the long run though.

Fast-forward to now... still laid off, but not quite as stressed about it as I once was, I know we will survive no matter what.  WUC gave me the honor of asking me to become Forum Leader for Price Chopper North East on their forum, I cannot begin to describe the feeling of giving back to the site that helped my family SO much when we needed it.  I also do matchups for the Grocery stores I list here (Price Chopper, Grand Union, Hannaford, Market Basket) over there as well.  WUC is a wonderful community with incredibly helpful people, I could never say thank you enough to all the people at that site, they are truly amazing, and a personal thank you to Nathan Engels for not only creating WUC, but for sharing all the information he worked so hard to figure out with anyone and everyone that needs it.  He truly lives up to his name, Mr Coupon!  :)

Please feel free to comment here on my blog, or send me a PM over at (username: Shortpants), I love to hear from other couponers, and I'm always happy to answer questions!  Happy Shopping!  :)