Share by e-mail Print This Post

Mr. Coupon, Nathan Engels: TLC’s most Extreme Couponer?

Who is this Mr. Coupon guy?  I’ve been watching and hearing about him over the last year, so when Extreme Couponing’s Nathan Engles approached me about doing an interview, I thought I’d go for it!   I’ve heard more rumors about Mr. Coupon than I can count, and I was thrilled when he agreed to answer ALL of my questions!   I didn’t hold anything back, and neither did he.  In the hope that some of you may be interested in knowing more about this true, extreme couponer, I’ll publish our interview in full!  Read on to find out Nathan’s thoughts on the Coupon Information Corp, J’aime Kirlew’s coupon fraud, and his mother.

First, the easy questions for Mr. Coupon, of TLC Extreme Couponing

[Joanie] Where did Mr. Coupon shop?

[Mr. Coupon] I shopped at Kroger, and currently, in my region there are unlimited doubles!  I did two transactions in the first show and in the second to avoid crashing the register!  My Kroger is so awesome, and I have a fantastic relationship with their corporate office, and they let me film this YouTube video about double coupons at my Kroger!

[Joanie] How long did you spend preparing for your shopping trip?

[Mr. Coupon] Most planning for my shopping trips is quick.  I check online to see what’s up, I clip my coupons and go to the store.  But unlike everyday shopping, TV shopping requires intense planning and organization.  They are looking for a desired result, and you want to deliver that result.  So for this trip I spent a long time planning.

[Joanie] What was it like having a camera crew follow you around?

[Mr. Coupon] It’s actually very stressful.  You have to understand that it’s TV, so the editors have complete control.  IF you say one little thing, they can use it, so being on guard and always watching what you say is very difficult.  It was fun and I enjoyed it, but at the same time you bit your nails for months waiting to see the final product.

[Joanie] What does a typical shopping week look like for you?

[Mr. Coupon] My average shopping trips are much MUCH smaller.  I couldn’t possibly spend that much time planning.  Like you, I run a large coupon site  and have a family.  Stockpiling allows me to skip sales if I already have a healthy stock of an item.  Toothpaste is a good example.  I generally won’t buy it even if it’s free (you still have to pay tax in my state) because I have a good amount already, unless I’m buying for charities or food banks.

[Joanie] May I borrow some toothpaste?

[Mr. Coupon] It’s all gone!!!  The wall was donated while the cameras rolled, so was much of the body wash; I love when they leave things out LOL.  But I doubt you need any toothpaste LOL!!

[Joanie] If you could only teach a “coupon virgin” one thing that you’ve learned from year(s) of couponing, what would it be?

[Mr. Coupon] I always say I have TWO.  It’s the two O’s: Online and Organization.  Get online and get organized.  Sites likes TheKrazyCouponLady and WeUseCoupons are fantastic resources for newbies.  BUT if you’re not organized those resources are meaningless.

Now for the good stuff!

[Joanie] I thoroughly enjoyed being on the pilot episode of Extreme Couponing.  It was fun to plan and execute a record setting shopping trip.  BUT when asked to participate in the series, I declined.  I don’t normally shop with 4 carts at a time.  I also don’t usually save 99%.  I continue to be a big supporter of the show because I know it will bring new families into couponing.  But– I am more than just “Extreme Couponing”, and although the one-time extreme was fun, I didn’t want to give the impression that that’s how I shop on any kind of a regular basis.
Nathan, I’ve got to be honest.  I think you might be the truest extreme couponer of us all.  It appears, based on your stockpile, that you might actually shop like this on a regular basis. Do you really?  What does an average week of shopping look like–for you?

[Mr. Coupon] My week is very normal.  I generally shop Kroger and Walgreens.  In the past I’ve shopped Meijer, but I just don’t have time anymore.  I’ll occasionally go to Walmart.  My shopping generally occurs on Saturday.  My wife gets what we call a ‘mommy morning’ on Saturdays, and I shop with our daughter.  Media is something that I understand very well.  Being different and ‘extreme’ is a great way to get people’s attention.  No one would care about a 100 year old grandmother using 2 coupons, but they are interested in what you and I do because it does truly make a difference.  I WANT their attention because I know that we can help them.  Your blog and my site offer fantastic opportunities and education to people that would never know it existed.

[Joanie] Did you have a difficult decision deciding to do the series?

[Mr. Coupon] It was a VERY difficult decision.  My wife and I prayed about it.  She told me she would refuse to be on camera again and didn’t want me to put our daughter on camera either.  We worry about weirdos, honestly, but if you’ve seen my story on YouTube, I found out about couponing by watching TV.  I know that this show, although controversial, will touch people and help people in amazing ways.

[Joanie] Tell me the Jello is gone, man!  Did I see a garbage can of Jell-O boxes still in your garage?

[Mr. Coupon] LOL did you see Jell-O?  I kept 6-7 of each flavor because we ‘color’ with it!!  (We do have a 14 month old)  We donated the majority of the Jell-O when the Nightline segment ran LOL in March of 2010.

[Joanie] Love that the show highlighted your giving spirit!  I know that nearly all of the extreme couponers donate massive amounts of food to their communities, so I’m so glad the light was shown on you!

[Mr. Coupon] It’s something that so many couponers do, and I’m so proud to be able to show that side of couponing.  So many people think we ‘hoard’ things, and that’s really not what this is about at all.  It’s about providing for your family in an amazing way and often-times blessing those around you!

[Joanie] You bought 1100 boxes of Total cereal in the pilot episode.  How many boxes did you donate?

[Mr. Coupon] 700-800 boxes were given immediately to a charity called: Franklin Area Community Services.
300 boxes were given over a period of time to my church’s grocery giveaway.
Of the 50 or so boxes that were left, we’ve been eating them, giving them away to friends and the like!

[Joanie] What do you think about the CIC’s stance on selling and trading coupons (details here) being against the law?

[Mr. Coupon] I’ve spoken to the CIC about trading, and essentially they have said it’s not a real concern.  They are not concerned with our site and others having coupon trading forums.  He likened it to a church group trading coupons.  He did express concern over coupon clipping services, and I really don’t have an opinion.  I’m not a lawyer, and if they are against the law, then law enforcement should shut them down.  BUT they aren’t shut down and continue to exist, so you be the judge!

[Joanie] If J’aime Kirlew did indeed commit over $1700 of coupon fraud on the series premiere, what would you suggest should be her punishment?

[Mr. Coupon] I’m no lawyer, nor am I a judge.  I have no idea what type of punishment would be applied in this case.  BUT if it were me (barring that there are no minimum sentencing requirements), I would appreciate her making a public apology, returning the items OR giving them ALL away to charity, volunteering as a cashier at Safeway at minimum wage until she paid back the money, which would be around 235 hours (federal minimum wage), AND doing some community service.

[Joanie] Tell me about the public reaction to your segments. How many positive comments compared to negative?

[Mr. Coupon] I actually refuse to read negative comments!  I refuse to fill my head with meanness and nastiness.  The old rule of ‘if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say it at all’ applies here.  We have moderators on WeUseCoupons so I rarely see anything there.  I have a select number of blogs I visit, yours being one of them that are very positive, and that’s really it.  Most of the comments I see are positive!

[Joanie] Do you expect negative consequences to the couponing community as a result of the TLC Extreme Couponing?  If yes, what do you think those consequences will be?

[Mr. Coupon] If any store changes their policy in the next six months, people will blame it on the show.  Stores and manufacturers have been changing policies for the good and bad for years.  I’ve been doing this long enough to know that.  So if a store changes their policy, blame will be applied to the show.  It’s not fair, but that’s how it is.

[Joanie] What will be the benefits of the Extreme Couponing, to the same community?

[Mr. Coupon] Like anything else, raising awareness is what it’s all about!  Average people look at us and say ‘weird’.  Bloggers that chat and post about coupons all day are extreme like it or not.  BUT what they do is AWESOME.  They empower people to save money for their families.  We all want to raise awareness because we all know that coupons help real people!  That’s what the benefit of this show is!!

[Joanie] When does a stockpile become “too big”?  Is there such a thing?  How would you define it?

[Mr. Coupon] It’s different for each person and each family.  Just like the Vegas commercials, I repeat, “know your limits.”

[Joanie] Do you participate in or support the reselling of food or health and beauty items?

[Mr. Coupon] I’ve had three garage sales where I sold stockpiled items along with regular garage sale items.  The last sale I believe was in 2009 when I was literally faced with a collapsing business and a mortgage to pay.  I never really liked doing them, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  Part of the reason we give so much now is because of those sales.  My life and financial situation has stabilized tremendously since then and I am now in a fantastic position to give and give abundantly.  Last year we gave around $50,000 in product to charities.  (Yes I do have receipts, and, no, my accountant won’t let me claim them.  We donate 10% of income to our church, of which he only lets us claim 7%).  Would I have a garage sale again, no.  In the last two years my opinion has evolved on them.  I don’t condemn people who have them (that would be hypocritical) , but I personally wouldn’t do them again.

[Joanie] Tell me one thing that bothers you about other couponers, in general.

[Mr. Coupon] Not really anything.  I have found couponers to be some of the kindest people I’ve ever met.  They tend to have giving hearts, would give you a coupon or the item they just purchased in a heartbeat, EVEN if it cost them something.  I do get bothered by people who are inconsiderate, but that’s not just couponers!!

[Joanie] Are you a momma’s boy?  :)

[Mr. Coupon] Heck yea! LOL.  My mom is AWESOME; didn’t you watch her?

[Joanie] Do you think you could out-save me if you came out to the west where coupons are never doubled?

[Mr. Coupon] You would beat me hands down!!  LOL

 WeUseCoupons.com is the brainchild of Natan Engles.

Leave a Reply

88 thoughts on “Mr. Coupon, Nathan Engels: TLC’s most Extreme Couponer?”

  1. Kenneth W. Willis says:

    Mr. Coupon,

    I would like to get your input on how to begin to do the couponing. My wife and I want to learn exactly how you go about doing it. Can you send information/instructions on how to start this?

  2. Guest says:

    I see these extreme couponing shows on TLC and I think it has made the stores here in Michigan crack down even harder on couponers. Our coupons are getting worse and worse. Plus we can only use 3 like couopons in one transaction. Wish we had it that good as whatever state you live in. It’s sad we are trying soo hard in Michigan to get a few good deals, while other couponers in other states have unlimited doubling per transaction. I have no problem with the shows, other than it doesn’t represent all couponers, just some.

  3. couponing for LIFE says:

    I just wanted to say Nathan, you are my favorite extreme couponer of all! I know if we knew each other, we would be great friends! (no stalker here, lol). I love how big your heart is, and teaching your child(ren) how to give to others in need is a fabulous way to raise children. My children are 11 and 13 and I am teaching them the art of couponing (we dont go to the stores anymore and have to worry about them asking for anything without a coupon, which makes for a pleasant trip!). They will be in college in a few years and will be able to take this knowledge with them, and I know they wont be living on mac-n-cheese instant meals. Come LIKE my facebook page, Couponing for LIFE! What a great adventure this is becoming!

  4. Courtney says:

    Awesome! I am new to couponing and a big thanks is due to you nd Nathan. I really do hope that people do not attempt to mimick Jamie and think that is how it’s done! Anyway- thanks for showing me how awesome couponing is! My family and my bank account thank you! =)

  5. Erika says:

    **WARNING** This is a long post.

    Hi,

    This may seem like it is really off subject, however, there was no post that I could comment on that was relevant. I am a CVS employee on the west coast (head cashier and my specialty, when we were Long’s Drugs, was pricing and all price related areas) and an occasional couponer. I really just wanted to comment about the etiquette towards cashiers. I am all too familiar with extreme couponers and the rude attitudes that they display towards us at times. It might just be that I was a former Long’s employee but myself and many other cashiers in my area have a very friendly and helpful approach to our customers. A lot of times we will go out of our way to “go the extra mile”, whether it is locating a product to modifying a price, only to be screamed at because something went wrong in the transaction. I believe in one of the posts it was mentioned, in a way, about building a rapport with the store employees. Being a cashier, I have to tell you that this is essential. We know and love our “regulars” and most of the time are on a first name basis with them. If the customer is friendly and positive then we will give them the “red carpet” treatment. However, one bad experience can ruin any future experiences. We are people too. Berating us and causing stress only makes us not want to help you in the future. I know that I cannot speak for all the cashiers at all the stores around the country but most of the time we will remember you and I don’t think that this is how you would want to be remembered. Also if the “Krazy Coupon Ladies” understood that many times we will get the ones with attitude and that will taint the way we view anybody who uses coupons regularly. I understand that saving money is stressful for you but those transactions are stressful for us too. One wrong move could cost us our jobs! We are not “dumb” just because we may get a little overwhelmed at the sight of all those coupons. Being calm and considerate will get one far, in terms of couponing.

    I consider myself to be a relatively smart individual (probably just personal opinion). When a customer talks down to me or decides to be rude it ruins my whole day and can even affect how I am with the other customers I encounter. I try not to let this happen however, sometimes it just does. I personally have no problem with someone pointing out my mistakes or explaining something I did not know about our policies. Truthfully, we have so many policies that we have to memorize that occasionally a few get forgotten. Having a letter from corporate or the store’s coupon policy helps, but whether they will be receptive to abiding by it is entirely up to how you handle the situation. If you shove the letter in our faces, saying something like “Well I have a letter from corporate that says you have to, so take my coupons.” (extreme example, but actually what one customer said to us), we are not going to want to help you out. CVS is updating it registers and the way it accepts coupons all the time, so please be patient with us. I have had a few transactions where a valid coupon will not scan. In these instances, please just allow us to do what we have to do. If you do run into a situation where the cashier is uneducated about coupons or the policy about accepting them, please do not act like you know our store policies better than us. While you may have a copy of our policy from 3-4 months ago, that policy may have changed. If it has not changed then POLITELY show us the copy that you have and if need be have us call a manager. There is no need to be rude to us. Also, threatening to call corporate/get us fired will not work to your advantage. I have had some extreme couponers do this to me when the register would not take their coupons or if they did not read the fine print very well and there is a limit on, say, Extra Bucks they willl receive. In addition, it may seem ridiculous (I know it does to me) but our policies do change from time to time and even if the policy has not changed it is still up to the store manager or manager on duty whether or not they will accept the coupon. If that displeases you, please calmly ask us for the customer service number and we will willingly give it to you. In fact, the number is on the front door of most of the stores. On a further note about threatening us, threatening to go to a competitor may not always work out for you. Sometimes we will say “Okay. Good Luck!”

    All that having been said, I also wanted to maybe provide some pointers for people shopping at CVS. Most of this has probably already been said in a previous post, but I would like to restate it from a store employee’s point-of-view. First of all, please give us your Extra Care Card before we start ringing up items. It really helps to have it out and ready to give to the cashier. This prevents any confusion with sale prices. If we start ringing up items before we scan the card then the sale prices will not show up on the screen. When we press “Total” a lump sum of savings will show up, not an itemized break down, like at such stores as Safeway. If the cashier starts ringing up items before you can give them your card, please check your receipt IMMEDIATELY to make sure you got the sale prices. If there is any mistake, come back and let us know, we will be happy to correct it for you. Just please get back in line or come back when we are not very busy. I cannot tell you how much I hate having people I just rang out come right back up to the register and assume that I will help them before all the other people I have waiting in line. Secondly, if there is only one cashier open, you know it will take a while for your transaction and it is quite busy, politely ask them if there is someone else who can open up. If not, then please be considerate to the other customers. This could mean waiting until the line dies down or letting other customers with smaller orders go ahead of you. Nothing makes a cashier’s day worse than having to ring out a large, complicated order and then having to hear every other customer in line behind complain about the wait. That one isn’t really specific to CVS, but applies to all stores.

    Also, on a recent comment on another post specific to CVS, someone pointed out that you can use expired coupons. There are limitations to this, just like with everything else. It is subject to the discretion of the manager. Each store is different. Also, trying to use coupons that expired 1-2 months ago will not work. At my store, we will take them within a couple of DAYS of the expiration date. However, we usually only do this with STORE coupons. Our process is that we will point out that it is expired and then judge the situation. If the customer is polite and calm, more times than not we will take it. If they are irrate, then they are out of luck.

    Lastly, visit the “Coupon Center”. This is a great way to get additional store coupons before you check out and at the end of every quarter, a great way to get those Extra Bucks that you have accrued over the previous 3 months. In terms of Extra Bucks, give us your card for every transaction you make at the store. Pharmacy counts too! ($1 for every 2 prescriptions at the end of the quarter). If you give us the card for everything then they can really add up. This last quarter I got $31.50 in Extra Bucks. This was just from using my card for everything, especially at the Pharmacy. I recently had some health issues and was purchasing quite a few prescriptions because of it. I believe in the 3 months I picked up 12+ separate prescriptions. That’s $6 in Extra Bucks right there! The Coupon Center is also a price checker. If in doubt about whether a product is on sale, please check it at the Coupon Center. Please, Please, Please do not bring it up to the register and ask us to check it. More times than not we will just direct you to the Coupon Center to check the price. This is not us being lazy or rude, we are not supposed to verify the prices on the registers. It seems pointless to have the button on there, but it is tracked and we do get in trouble for it. In certain cases we will, but do us both a favor and check it yourself. There is even a button you can press to print out a “label” (just a sheet of paper with the item name, UPC, item number, regular price and sale price) if you are really concerned with getting the right price.

    On a final note, if you are buying a lot of the same item, are planning on donating it and things just aren’t working out at the register, let us know. Quite a few times I have help out someone who was donating to food banks and shelters. One customer forgot her card and I had used another card to ring up the customer before her (they wanted the sale prices but didn’t want the card). She told me that she was going to donate all the food to a local food drive. The previous customer got Extra Bucks from their purchase (in those situations, they cannot use the Extra Bucks without the card. We will inform them of the coupon and if they still don’t want the card we tear it off), so I used the coupon for her transaction. It was during the holidays, so i guess that was my way of helping to spread the holiday cheer (i also buy extra toys on black friday to donate to Toys for Tots, women’s shelters and other charities). It doesn’t hurt to mention it and who knows maybe you can do a good deed and get a good deal at the same time.

    Thank you for your time and hopefully you take my suggestions seriously. Who knows it might make the world a better place for all the “Krazy Coupon Ladies” out there.

  6. Isabell says:

    Thanks for the interview, it was very interesting. I agree with much of what you are talking about, but in the long run I appreciate you guys coming on TV and giving us enough information about couponing so that we can start saving money as well. I also live in the west where coupons are NOT doubled, but I try to do the best I can. I just started using coupons and was happily surprised at my first shopping trip using them, when the cashier told me I saved 35% on my total purchase.

  7. Tami says:

    Mr. Coupon said, “Most planning for my shopping trips is quick. I check online to see what’s up, I clip my coupons and go to the store.”

    HOW IS THAT HEPLFUL??? THAT DOES NOT TELL US ANYTHING! HOW CAN ANYONE LEARN FROM THIS??

    He did not say where he got the coupons, how he buys in mass quantity, or how he preorders it.
    I do not have that amount of coupons available to me to use at one time. Nor does my store have that many deals going on at one time. It is not realistic for us to do. Especially when you say, “Most planning for my shopping trips is quick. I check online to see what’s up, I clip my coupons and go to the store.”

  8. Cheri says:

    I have been a couponer for decades. I have one question. Where are people like this guy getting the coupons that allow them to get hundreds of dollars in groceries for free? I clip from the newspapers and most of them are minor cents off an item….none that are enough to get the item for even half price, muchless free. And since you can only use one coupon per item…how and where do they get the coupons to get so much for free. I have reserached online coupon places and do get some from there, but again, no cents off coupons that come close to free. So..where/how can I get the coupons this guy gets?

  9. couponmom73 says:

    I have a question…I assume that TLC paid you and the other people featured on the show. Were you or any other participants compensated in any other way? Was anyone paid to “shop” for specific brands of items? Was anyone given special coupons from the manufacturers? I guess I’m asking, aside from the assumed paycheck made from TLC, were you compensated IN ANY other form?

  10. Sarah says:

    Nathan, if the show makes you so nervous and makes you bite your nails, why did you seek them out to be on a second episode? Also, I saw that donated the total cereal that you paid $241 for and yet you got a letter thanking you for your $6000 donation. I pay a lot of money in taxes and would love to be able to have write-offs like this. I think that you and “Manders” need to take a long, hard, look at your stockpiles and realize that people are going hungry just miles away from you every night while you are sitting on food that could never possibly be used before the expiration date. I am sorry but I am not buying into your shopping trip for the troops thing when you were actually buying perishable link sausage, women’s antipersperant, yet another stack of toothpaste and gatorade..can that stuff really be sent to the troops? Don’t call TLC to be on their shows and then complain that they make you feel nervous. I think that you are using this as a way to document your inflated 50k write-off but I could be wrong. However, I am pleading with you, please really donate or sell that stuff before it goes bad because right now you are just hoarding it and it isn’t helping anyone.

    • Military Spouse says:

      Sarah…

      YES. You absolutely can donate deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc. to the troops. Women’s deodorant? Why is that not capable of being donated? There are female troops… These things are actually very welcome. While they have the ability to purchase things over there at the makeshift commissary, there are some instances when that is not as easy as you would think, especially depending on where you are stationed. Hygiene products can make great donation items for troops. They’re generic enough that you don’t have to take someone’s taste into account, everyone needs them, and if they don’t get used, the unit can leave the unopened products for the next unit that takes their place because of the long shelf life.

      The gatorade and sausage links…those are not so much a donation item. But then again, he never said every single thing was going to be donated to the troops. Just that he was shopping with the troops in mind.

      I’m not attempting to defend him like I know him. I don’t. I’m just stating some facts in case people are reading this and wondering about the logistics of what to donate for troop care packages. Things like toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, hair care stuff such as shampoo, conditioner (suggested you put them in gallon ziplock bags just in case, but never had issues with mailing them personally), hair ties, etc. Along with even just notes of thanks, of encouragement. They’re all welcome.

  11. Greg says:

    I too would like to know where these guys get all there coupons from. It looked like Nathan had stacks of smart source in the last show. it doesn’t make a deal if you have to buy the Sunday paper 20 times so where do they all come from?

    • Diane says:

      Most of the people featured state they purchase from coupon clipping services.. here’s one website i know of: couponsthingsbydede.com
      did you catch the 2 ladies who go through the recycled paper for them? that’s other methods of getting them! :)

      • couponmom73 says:

        The overnight workers at my local grocery store save all the extra Sunday papers for me and let me come in and pull out as many coupon inserts as I want. In return I bake them cookies or give them some of the free “stuff” I get :)

  12. Amanda says:

    It could be that Nathan maybe tithes on net, not gross. If you tithe on net, you would not want to write off the whole portion of the tithe because then you might reciev a tax refund of money you didn’t tithe on in the first place or something — IDK.
    I would like to know where coupon clipping services get their coupons to “sell.” I know of one specifically that states they purchase many, many newspapers in order to have product to clip for their services, which seems legit, but what of the rest? Hopefully they are not taking them out of papers they are supposed to be in; I would think that would be illegal even if clipping and selling technically is not.

  13. Misty says:

    Hi!! This show has definitely motivated me. I tried to find the answer to my question but can’t find it.
    WHEN A STORE DOUBLES THE COUPONS, DO THEY AUTOMATICALLY SCAN OR DO YOU HAVE TO REMIND THE CASHIER? I HAD A CASHIER WHO JUST LOOKED AT ME LIKE I WAS CRAZY WHEN I ASKED HER TO DOUBLE THE COUPONS EVEN THOUGH IT WAS UNDER THE MAX AMOUNT. I DON’T THINK SHE WANTED TO DO IT SO I WAS JUST WONDERING IF THE SCANNER WOULD AUTOMATICALLY DOUBLE THEM???
    THanks!

    • Diane says:

      Generally a store doubling the coupons are based on their rewards program.. Kroger (Ralphs) & Safeway (Vons) have their rewards program, once you’re info is inputted (card number or phone number) the system will automatically double them.. i have not seen them be doubled if the rewards card was not used.. HTH

  14. Tracy says:

    I have to say since all the comments of coupon fraud about Jaime, I watched the new episode much more carefully. How come Nathans total was $5.99 but it showed tax owed as over $12? I thought that sales tax always has to be paid and that coupons can never reduce that amount? Am I missing something? Can anyone explain?

    • couponmom73 says:

      Tracy-

      You are absolutely correct, the store is still obligated to pay the sales tax. That is why although you “can” get your coupons to cover the tax, I personally don’t feel it’s ethical. The tax has to be paid by the company regardless of how much you actually paid them for the tax. My husband is a tax analyst.

    • Gina says:

      I think he may have used a money maker…. so of all the items he purchased as money makers, i think can be used toward the total purchase….. and reduce the amount owed….

      – is that legal? or ethical?

  15. Heidi says:

    “coupons help real people” is the best quote ever! I have been couponing since Jan 1 2011 and I have learned so much thanks to this website and others. I will never again pay for deodorant or body wash. Our family has fallen on very lean times in the past (husband had a stoke and jobloss) and I so wish I had known what a tiny little coupon could do because we wouldn’t have had it so bad then. Having nothing makes me appreciate everything so much more and I am a very thankful person as a result of that.

  16. Kim says:

    Good interview. What a nice man.

  17. Lucy says:

    Awesome interview! keep up the good work guys!

  18. Dawn says:

    I’m so glad you shared this interview! The toothpaste donation shouldn’t have been left out of the show… I’m afraid it will make people come to wrong conclusions.

    My burning question to all couponers (especially extreme couponers) is this: Where do you get all of your coupons from??? I know I personally have a drop off box where I work. I encourage anyone who wants some to come and get them, I take what I want, and then everything else is shipped off to military bases over seas. I would love to know everyone else’s secrets to gaining lots of coupons without buying lots of papers…

    • Tami says:

      I agree….WHERE DO THEY GET ALL THESE COUPONS??? And how do they find that many deals at one time??

  19. Sara Sicotte says:

    More of the TLC Coupon Fraud – Looks like TLC is looking into the coupon fraud

    http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2011/04/hot-news-tlc-looking-into-allegations-coupon-fraud-extreme-couponing/

  20. Denise says:

    Just wanted to say that the 2 of you are the reason I started this journey when the show aired for the first time on TLC. In the past few years there were weeks we were not sure how we were feeding our family of 3!! I used to try to think of ways to make extra money because our situation financialy was so bad. Had I realized back then that this was possible I could have done it differently!! Thank God now things are financialy better for us but we are actually able to put money away because of all that I have learned!! I am also proud to say that we are debt free and are in the process of reducing our mortgage as well!! This has been a life changer for us!! God bless you both!!

  21. Earlene says:

    I have no problem with what he is doing but with his comment that he was beating the store at their own game. Especially since the store had been so helpful to him.

  22. Ira - Corpus Christi, Texas says:

    Excellent Interview.

    Timely, meaningful, direct, and purposeful. You two rock!

  23. Melissa says:

    re: Nathan’s comment: “We donate 10% of income to our church, of which he only lets us claim 7%”. I think Nathan needs a new accountant. The total amount he gives to his church is tax deductable.

    Also, I like his simple statement about giving. I am really tired of hearing the ubiquitous phrase “giving back”. “Giving back” implies that you have been given something in the first place, and now you are giving it back. But having a gracious and giving spirit is something that everyone can have, regardless of their circumstances. It is what the poor widow in the Bible did. She simply “gave”.

    • K says:

      Agreed—and any items donated can be deducted at whatever cost was actually paid for it. However, since most of us pick up items for charity for free or very little OOP, it’s probably not worth the time and recordkeeping to claim such a small amount.

  24. doods says:

    I do clip coupon and I used it everything if I can but out of $100 dollars bill I only saved $5-10. How can you save a Kellogs box of Cereal regular prize is $3.98 went on sale for $3.68 and you have a coupon for $.50 when you buy two boxes? you only save few cents.If you do the calculation your better off just buy one box. Thats goes on some products. you save some $ if you buy more than one.I dont know where you guys get your coupons that you get free stuff when you just buy 1.

  25. Scott says:

    Great interview. Thanks!

  26. Colleen says:

    I am so glad you posted this! I was thinking that the show was WAY more extreme then what you did in real life!

  27. Cathy says:

    Great Interview! Both you and Nathan are amazing. I love the show. Lots of people criticize, but I know it’s for TV. You both are really making a difference. I wouldn’t be on this site right now if I hadn’t seen a repeat of the special about a month ago. It really has changed the way I shop. Thanks!!!

  28. Diania says:

    I love love love this interview! Thanks for sharing…. There are a lot of sites out there and it brings me so much comfort to know that I can trust both of your sites every time I use them. You both have saved me so much and have taught me have to be coupon savvy. Because of my savings, I have been asked for a second time to give a class on base and I always tell everyone about your site and MR. Coupon! My husband is an officer in the Marine Corps and its a common misconception that we are made of money :P We need to save just like everyone else. Add 3 boys and two of them being special needs into the mix and of course we need to save silly. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Joanie.

  29. Maria says:

    I disagree that it’s unfair to blame the show if stores/manufacturers change policy. It’s part of the growth of couponing and it shows a whole different side. Stores & manufacturers are in the money making business. They will do what they can to stop losing money!! I’ve been couponing for over 20 years and have seen a change each time there is an upswing with couponing.

    I like the idea of Nathan’s site but HATE the format. It is not user friendly like your site. Plus, I don’t like that I get email alerts about someone’s birthday or other personal items. I do, however, appreciate his Facebook page much more.

  30. Donna says:

    I hadn’t heard about the TLC Jamie coupon fraud either ….. I found this on the story
    http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2011/04/extreme-couponers-j%E2%80%99aime%E2%80%99s-coupon-fraud-tv/

  31. Sandra says:

    While still being new at the couponing thing, I must say ITS the greatest thing ever.Being a mom of 5, I’ve had to find ways to save some money. Loved the Show!!!!!!!!!! It’s great to know that there is someone out there in KY that cares enough to donate. MR.Coupon if there’s a great diaper sale in ky let me know, I live there to.

  32. Jennifer says:

    I was curious if Jaime ever responded back to Joanie or Heather. I believe you had mentioned contacting her and that she was preparing some type of statement?

  33. jamie says:

    what a wonderful interview, thanks! right now, this is what the couponing community needs-positivity!!!

  34. Terri says:

    okay so I love you both! Why don’t ypu plan a show down and lets just see whom could winn hands down> COME ON YOU BOTH KNOW YOU WANT TO, PLEASE?

  35. Carrie says:

    Yes, it’s ok to use a clipping service. I do all the time as we don’t get any of the regional coupons at all. :(. Just don’t pay too much. I try to keep to 10% of coupon value per coupon or less.

    For info about the allleged coupon fraud, visit http://www.happymoneysaver.com and search for couponing: the dark side. Read the post, there are links. Aggravating.

    Thanks for the interview! I loved it

  36. pAULA says:

    The only thing I don’t like about people who already have a stock pile that can last a year, continue to buy, and then donate is that they clear the shelves for those of us who DO need it. That’s great that you have a giving heart, but hey, there are people out there doing their homework, trying really hard to get those items and when we get to the store, they are gone! Where did they go? The person who has a huge stock pile just got them and is donating them, probably to people who could be doing the same thing, but why, when someone else can do the work for them. Great! I think that is more of a greedy/covetous spirit of gotta get it bc it’s free.

    • claire says:

      shame on you, paula, for your negative spirit! nathan has a gift for couponing, and he’s sharing that gift with his community. how is that wrong/bad? many people don’t have the time or know-how to coupon, let alone the few extra dollars to get started by buying newspapers/printer ink, etc. he is a blessing to the less fortunate in his area, as i think all generous couponers are. and besides, he’s not an ameteur shelf-clearer…he pre-orders!!!we should be building each other up, not tearing each other down with criticism, so please, keep your unfounded criticisms to yourself!

    • Jenny says:

      Wow Paula. I think before you come on here and bash people about donating you should get your facts straight. Nate has never been a shelf clearer (which he teaches on his website). He always pre-orders what he needs when he is purchasing larger amounts (if there is not enough on the shelf, he will leave all that is there and get a rain check and then order what he needs…..which is what MANY of us couponers DO). Which the show failed to show (hence, the blue crates). It’s television and as he said, they can edit the show footage however they like. I am tired of reading/hearing such negative thoughts from people. When did this world become so greedy, judgemental and negative? It’s crazy!

      Kudos to Nate and all of the couponers whom donate! Keep spreading kindness and love! :)

  37. Jen cowden says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love that you both donate! I’m a couponer and donate also. I loved reading the interview it makes me so happy to see the fellow couponers getting along!

  38. Lisa says:

    Thanks for posting! Wonder why Nathan’s accountant won’t let him deduct all his donations? Even the 70% of his tithe doesn’t make sense. I don’t give any extra money to the IRS!

  39. KC says:

    Great interview Joanie. Keep up the great work! :-)

  40. Thea says:

    Great post! I’ve really enjoyed Joanie & Nathan’s features on the pilot show. I really hope all the good that the show can bring outshines the negatives. Thank you for everything you do.

  41. jess says:

    LOVE IT!!! Joanie Nathan and Heather should go on tour! btw what is Nathans website?

  42. vicky says:

    If J’aime Kirlew did indeed commit over $1700 of coupon fraud on the series premiere, what would you suggest should be her punishment?
    What is going on?

  43. Gina says:

    Wow that’s great that you got an interview with Nathan. I’ve watched the show 3 times, and out of the 3 I think Nathan was the best. He knows what he’s talking about, and he doesn’t rip stores off. I noticed on the show that he pre-ordered his cereal to donate. I think that’s wonderful because he can help so many people with his talents of couponing.

  44. ann says:

    Awesome interview! Thanks for this. You have completely transformed the way I shop. Although I am on a limited budget I am able to donate items to a friend of mine with 5 kids, its amazing!!! :)

  45. Me says:

    Didn’t see the show and I’m in the dark about the coupon fraud. Someone wanna enlighten me?

  46. Marie says:

    What an amazing guy, it’s great that he is willing and able to give so much to charity. I’m a coupon virgin, but I hope that one day I will be able to give to charity through my coupon purchases.

  47. Beth P says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this interview. I saw Nathan in the fall and caught him again in last night’s EC episode. I love that TLC highlights how he donates some of his items. It’s great to see that. Great post!

  48. andrea says:

    Well I read this article and love you both.

    What I didn’t know was about the clipping services. Is it ok to use one? I just ordered a bunch of coupons from two different ones. Is it ok to shop with them?

    Can someone please answer me that question????

    • jen says:

      They are fine, you are paying for their time and handling not the coupons themselves.

      • Tracy says:

        I have not purchased from any coupon clipping services. The thing that I was wondering is why they charge more for higher value coupons when you are supposedly just paying for their time to clip and mail coupons. It doesn’t take any more time to clip a $5 coupon than a $1 coupon. I believe it is illegal to sell coupons, so how can they charge more for certain ones if we are just paying for their time?

  49. Shannon says:

    loved that show (again) I really loved it because of Nate! Way to go man! Thank you TLC for putting on his segment. Thank you Joanie and Heather!

  50. Shannon DiMare says:

    I have watched all the episodes including the pilot. This guy I like. He is providing for his family and he gives to charity. Unlike some of the participants who live alone and only have a stockpile to share with themselves. Who needs hundreds of boxes of pasta for one person? I have only been couponing for about a year providing for a family of 6. I don’t use a coupon clipping service because I think it defeats the purpose of saving money. So I just use what coupons I have, usually 2 or 3 for one item. In the shoe did any of the people buy there coupons?

  51. Anke says:

    I’ll keep this simple…THANKS!!! :-)

  52. That was a fun read! Thanks for posting this, Joanie! It’s nice to see some positive press for a generous man!

  53. Carol Gunter says:

    Thank you guys for publishing this. I am going to link this from my website so others can see. I write a column on couponing in my local newspaper. Thanks so much for explaining everything!

  54. Beth says:

    I think this site and this show is Great!!! I have only been couponing for a few months but it is so addicting. I love Nate! I would love to get some pointers from him, Love to know what sites you use to find your deals and your coupons. I live in KY as well and mainly shop at Kroger as well! So Nate if you read this and have a minute to answer some questions, please email me! Bethybaby_46@hotmail.com Thanks for setting an excellent example for us all!

  55. Mandy says:

    I have to admit, I only watched the first show to see the both of you! And I watched last night to watch Nathan’s donation segment, knowing that Heather and Joanie donate already. Thank you for putting couponing in such a positive light!! You are great examples of how this should be done! God bless!

    • Kimberly says:

      In his interview he mentioned that his accountant won’t let him write off his donations. Is it illegal/immoral to write off a donation of items that you get for next-to-nothing? The organziation is still receiving the item (of said value) regardless of how much we paid for it right? Just starting this coupon thing and want to do it the right way. Thanks for any guidance.

      • Jaimee says:

        That is correct, Kimberly. You can’t deduct the value of the donated items, if you didn’t pay for them. When you fill out the tax form for donating over $500 of noncash items, part of the form requires you to tell how you originally came to have the items (purchase usually) and what your cost was. The IRS will only allow a deduction when you use moeny that you have paid taxes on to give to charity whether it is actually a money donation or items that you bought.

        I will comment that I don’t understand why his accountant will only allow him to deduct 7% when he donates 10% of his income to his church.

        I am an enrolled agent in NJ.

  56. Candice says:

    Because of the coupon fraud that was talked about, I now have a question because I am still pretty new at couponing. While at my local meijer I always use the same cashier, 1. cause she is patient & 2. She coupons herself and always gives me tips. On bogo sales I would always use 1 coupon. Until a few months back she saw that I had 2 of the same coupon and stated that I could use both coupons one for the item i was being charged for and the other on the free product. I have since been doing this for months with the same cashier. Though yesterday my cashier was no where in sight. The new one who was not so patient, is now telling me that this is not allowed. Anyone out there know of the rules for this situation? I want to be fair and need to know.

    • jen says:

      this is a your miles may vary kinda thing some stores let you some don’t you’ll have to check their policy or ask a manager. As far as are you a coupon fraud no just check with your store to see how they want to handle it. this falls in the same line as stores limiting you to 3 like coupons or only doubling the first like coupon or whatever wonky rules they want to come up with

    • Morgan says:

      Yes this is perfectly allowed and legal! I do it a lot when I get the chance, as is using a bogo coupon, with a bogo store sale, making both free!

      • Gina says:

        Do you think that as long as a coupon rings up and the register doesnt reject it, then the cashier or store shouldnt worry or dispute the coupons?

  57. charolyn says:

    I want to say it is really great to hear the truly nice story behind the media’s poorly communicated one! I hope Mr Coupon hears that and I would like to send a message to the TV stations-that NICE would also sell!!

  58. andrea says:

    Well I read this article and love you both.

    What I didn’t know was about the clipping services. Is it ok to use one? I just ordered a bunch of coupons from two different ones. Is it ok to shop with them?

  59. OneTime says:

    Our family loves reading your post and watching you on youtube.
    Thank you for what you do.

  60. claire says:

    i loved how nathan’s segment showed his charitable donations!!! and i’m VERY relieved he didn’t keep all of that toothpaste for himself! ;) keep up the good work, nate!

  61. amy says:

    I was wondering when a coupon says limit 1 coupon per purchase. Does that mean you can only use 1 coupon on that item?

    • cassie says:

      it means you can only use once coupon on one item…one per transaction means you can only use one coupon for your entire order, so you you are getting 4 dishsoaps and have 4 coupons that say one per purchase you can use all the coupons because you are purchasing 4.

  62. carolyne says:

    luv it! thanks for sharing! i can tell he is a truly genuine guy w/a heart for people!

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks for sharing. What a great interview :)

    • Lori says:

      I loved reading that a lot of extreme couponers donate the to local food pantries. I would like to find an extreme couponer in the Portland area who would be willing to put their exceptional couponing skills to work for a food pantry that my uncle volunteers at. Is there any way I could find someone like this?