How couponing can enhance your life and the lives of others

Couponing is a powerful and effective tool for saving money for your family as well as giving back to the community. In fact, in 2012 Jennifer Bardsley, a weekly Daily Herald columnist, blogger at “Teaching My Baby to Read” and author of the book Genesis Girl, wrote about how she saved enough money with coupons to donate to a food bank.

Then in 2014, Jon Bauer, Daily Herald editorial page editor, wrote about MaryAnn Colliers’s journey that led her to couponing and how it ensured she could not only provide food for her family, but how she could help those in need as well. Collier of Longview, Wash., will be speaking at a free coupon workshop in Snohomish County on Thursday, May 11, at the Holiday Inn in Marysville. Reserve your spot today.

Couponing changed Collier’s life when her family’s circumstances took a turn for the worst.

“I’m a mom to five kids, 8 to 18. My husband is a truck driver and the same day we bought our house, he was laid off. We worked way too hard to lose everything we had saved for and built, so I decided to start couponing,” Collier said.

Unemployment checks only went so far with five kids, and the family had to cut back on expenses, Collier said. Even date nights meant putting a little money in the gas tank and going for a drive. Collier knew she had to get creative in order to provide for her family, so she started couponing.

Soon she realized she had a knack for couponing and could fill up a shopping cart for only a few bucks.

“I started a website, and it blew up from there,” she said, and it lead to being featured in the fifth season of TLC’s “Extreme Couponing.” During her time on the TV series, Collier showed how she threw a birthday party for her 12-year-old daughter funded mostly through coupons.

Collier estimates she has about $30,000 worth of items in stock at home. Some in a room upstairs and more in half of the family’s two-car garage, allowing her to buy items in bulk and take advantage of savings.

It’s not effortless but it works, and couponing has allowed her family to eat well, even while her husband was laid off. During this time, the family did not have to forego giving to charity — a practice that is important to them. Collier said they were able to donate $30,000 to charities while her husband was laid off.

Want to learn how you can start saving hundreds and using your resources to help those in need? Don’t miss the free coupon workshop featuring Maryann Collier. There will be two 90-minute workshops — one begins at 4 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m. — Thursday, May 11, at the Holiday Inn Express, 8606 36th Ave. NE, Marysville.

These workshops will not only demonstrate Collier’s techniques for using coupons effectively, but she will be teaming up with Veronica Hall, a master couponer who has taught thousands nationwide the secrets of saving big time at the cash register.

The coupon workshop is 100% FREE, courtesy of The Daily Herald, and will also offer door prizes, including tickets to Sesame Street Live, a Kindle Fire tablet and grocery gift cards.

Register for the workshop today.