It was a cold, blustery Christmas morning on December 25th, 2010. My husband and I were celebrating our first Christmas as a married couple. As we were leaving Christmas Day mass to head to Christmas brunch, we decided to stop at the one and only gas station open on a holiday to purchase two lottery tickets. We fought over who was to get out of the car to buy them. I reluctantly ran in, chose the two most appealing looking $5.00 tickets and paid with the last $10.00 in my pocket. Finally reaching my in-laws home, I slapped the lottery tickets on top of their gifts and we laughed, as we always did when exchanging lottery tickets, and said, "if we win, we split!"

To make a long story short, my mother-in-law scratched her ticket, and before you knew it, we were on the local news station and in the papers claiming the 2.1 million dollar prize. We won the lottery….sort of!  My in-laws will receive $100,000/ year for life.

My husband and I are far from millionaire status. We live in a starter home in a quiet suburb outside of Buffalo, NY. My husband and I still have the usual car payments, student loans, mortgage, and credit card debt with just a small budget left over for groceries each week. Sure, we can look forward to our annual "payment," but to stop couponing and actually pay full price for something? Yikes!

Instead of blowing the money on a $500/month grocery budget (like we used to do even WITHOUT winning the lottery), I continue to search high and low for the best deals in town. I continue to expand my stockpile with every new coupon insert that hits our local newspapers.

We were never savers, so my dedication to extreme couponing helps us to save in a different way. We may not have thousands in our savings account, but we certainly are able to meet our needs and keep bills current by couponing to save on other areas of our life. Since the start of my extreme couponing adventure in March of 2010, I've saved thousands on my purchases and am more diligent in searching for the best price combined with coupons to score the best deals.

The most rewarding part: I’m able to pay it forward by sharing fun goodie-bags with my friends and by donating a variety of products to our troops serving overseas and to our local food pantries/drives to help the less fortunate.

I do this in hopes that someday with the money we will receive from the lottery, my husband and I can climb out of debt, save enough to send our children to college, give them proper weddings, and live long enough to help out THEIR children.

It was a 1 in 5,292,000 chance that I chose that lottery ticket. The chances of me giving up couponing just because my family won the lottery, you ask? Let's just say you wouldn't want to put your money on it!

Check out the Article published by the Buffalo News on our Lottery Winnings.

This has been a guest post by Bridget from Hanburg, NY
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