Meet the Coupon Queen – New ‘SAVE IT’ Blog

By ERIN TURNER

I am excited to join the Make it Missoula community! I’m looking forward to sharing with you ways of saving money and managing your budget. Whether you are trying to make it from paycheck to paycheck or wanting to be a full-time stay- at- home mom or just want to simplify your financial life, I think you will find some useful information in my blog! Believe me, I haven’t always been thrifty or seen the value of it. Oh, sure I have always enjoyed a good sale or two, but I’m talking deep, down thrifty.

My mom was awesome at couponing when I was young. As a mom in the 1970s and 80s, she toted around a little purse filled to the brim with coupons. Despite getting a few treats because of certain coupons, I mostly rolled my eyes when mom would pull out her bright red coupon purse. It took about 25 years for the reality of what she was doing to sink in to my thick skull!

My mom had the luxury of staying home to raise us kids and, since she viewed it as a privilege, she wanted to contribute to the household budget as much as she could. This meant couponing, growing a garden, home-cooking, and a lot of homemade things. Twenty-five years later, I’m married and raising 3 kids and now completely understand and respect what my mom did for ourfamily.

I have worked part time since my oldest son was born in 1999. Last year, my husband and I decided it was time for me to be home full-time so that I could manage all the school and extra-curricular activities of our three boys, and focus more on our small family farm. But the topic of the budget came up and it was then I thought fondly of my mom’s little red coupon purse and all the pieces fell together. Wanting to be successful in my new venture of couponing, I researched the internet for all the information I needed to get started and in March 2010, I became a coupon queen!

Now there are couponers and there are extreme couponers – and that’s what I’ve become. I don’t just use a coupon here or there in order to save a few dollars. I’m talking about using lots of coupons and matching them up with some awesome sales and saving LOTS of dollars. When I go through a checkout lane, the clerk is usually in awe and even the people behind me in line are so impressed they have to comment and ask how I saved so much.

We are financially comfortable, but I would like to have more control over our budget and feel like I am contributing to our family’s financial health. Who wouldn’t want extra cash to buy a new pair of shoes instead of having to use it for toilet paper, toothpaste, and dish soap? With coupons, I am dictating the price which I am willing to pay for an item which ultimately allows me to control my entire household budget.

It’s not rocket science, but it does take some time, learning, and devotion to see the extreme results. It really has become a lifestyle for my family. And, unlike me when I was their age, my kids they get it, understand it, and respect it.   The last question everyone asks as we head out the door to a store or restaurant is, “Do you have your coupons, Mom?”

Yes, yes I do!

Click here to see the Coupon Queen’s “Save It”archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian.  Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques and trying to maintain a well-run, happy and organized home for herfamily.