I have to say I was so excited to interview Amy Woodall from the T.V. Show Extreme Couponing. I know that many of you liked her story, how she began couponing. She let God tell her how to make everything okay and fill her cabinets when her husband was ill.
1. You stated that your husband had come down ill when you started to coupon, did it take you long to figure out how to use coupons?
My husband was sick in July of 2008 through November of 2008. I have had many people ask, what was wrong. We went to the
doctor many times during the 2 weeks he was sick ( he had flu like symptoms) , and the doctor kept telling us he had the flu. 2 weeks after the first time he was sick, I took him to the ER because I knew something was really wrong, (he had had cancer 4 years before, so that was always in the back of my mind) Long story short, his appendix had ruptured 2 WEEKS before, the doctors were WRONG about the flu. He had so much infection in his body they didn’t know if he would make it. So, after 4 months he was finally on his way back to recover. But with him being a landscaper (seasonal work) he lost most of this working season.
By February of 2009 we were almost out of food. So, I prayed over my cabinets saying”never again will my cabinets be empty but full and overflowing” I then asked God for the wisdom on how to do that. POWER OF PRAYER!!
Few weeks later I seen a woman on TV and how she used coupons for her grocery bill, I thought THAT IS WHAT I’M GOING TO DO.
So, June 1st 2009 I started couponing, by August I started having a stockpile. I researched EVERYTHING I could on couponing, so I could coupon to the very MAX.
My stockpile is not huge, maybe a 6 month supply. Which I feel is a need because you never know what life might bring.
2. I know that you and your family love to hunt to get meats for your family to keep your meat costs down but do you also do other things such as fishing or have more of your own animals that you raise for your food supply?
My family does love to hunt. My husband and boys not only hunt deer but also turkey, squirrels, whatever is in season. We also have chickens for eggs, but we don’t eat the chickens because, well, my daughter will not like that 🙂 The chickens are her pets. This fall we are going to get goats, we want to have goats milk, when the
goats have kids. I really want to be self sustaining at our home. And of course my family fish, and we do have fresh fish time to time.
3. You also garden, to keep your costs down, what do you normally plant in your garden?
I LOVE my garden. I plant lots of tomatoes, you can make so many great things with tomatoes, salsa, sauce, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, I do about 70 tomato plants. Corn, green beans, squash, green peppers, cucumbers are my top favorite things to plant!!
4. When did you start canning? Was it taught to you or did you learn on your own?
My mom canned a couple of things when I was growing up, but I wanted to can everything. Since I am a researcher and want to know about the ins and outs of every project I start, I got on the internet and found out EVERYTHING I could about canning. So, I can all my veggies to our deer meat. I also make my own jellies from the juice I get from couponing. Also, my grandma has a huge apple tree so, I get all the apples ( we have fruit trees but they are not mature yet) so, I can applesauce, apple jam and apple pie filling.
5. How do you keep your canning costs down so that it’s frugal for you to can foods?
Some think canning can be a big expense, well, I get most of my jars from my mom (since she doesn’t can anymore) plus my mother in law goes to yard sales regularly and ALWAYS
picks up jars for me. The only expense I have is the lids and sometimes she evens finds brand new lids in the box at yard sales !!
6. What was your main reason for going onto the T.V. Show Extreme Couponing? Would you do the show again if you could?
When I made a video for TLC Extreme Couponing I really didn’t think I would have been picked. I don’t have a large stockpile and I just didn’t feel I was extreme enough. BUT I want to get my testimony on what Jesus has done in my family’s life. With so many people in this world going through illnesses, job loss, etc. I believed many people could relate to our story. We actually had people praying over this, that if ONE life is touched by our testimony, it would be worth it!
Would I do it again, oh I don’t know. It was really stressful because you don’t know how they would edit. In fact I was physically sick the whole day my show was going to be on. Remember it is TV, they said I cleared a shelf, which I didn’t, for one thing, my store has 2 or 3 displays of the *HOT* items of the week. My goodness I teach NOT to clear shelves.
They said I was a stay at home mom, which I have No idea where they got that, I actually work part time as a Breastfeeding Counselor at our local WIC agency. My monthly budget is NOT $80.00 per month, but it is $150.00 per month, and many times I keep it below that.
7. Those were a LOT of croutons that you bought that day did you keep them for your stockpile?
So funny everybody is worried about those croutons LOL. I do just buy 4 papers a week BUT when I want to stockup on an item I usually use a clipping service on ebay. I don’t do this very often, because well, 4 of one item is enough. Now those croutons, everyone was giving me their coupons since my friends knew I was going to be on the show PLUS there was 2 separate printables out for the croutons at the time ( which everyone printed off for me). I spent $4 on ebay for other extra coupons. I donate ALL those croutons to the Backpacks on Friday program through our local schools.
Low income students receive a backpack full of food on Fridays, to make sure they get to eat on the weekend. In fact On March 12th 2011 many of my fellow couponers and I made a donation that = to over 300lbs of items!! From food to hygiene items for low income students!!! So, cool!
8. Do you teach others how to use coupons by having couponing classes?
I do teach coupon classes. In fact right now I teach 2 or 3 a week and I am booked through June!! I always start my classes with my testimony because ONLY because of Jesus was this possible for ME!
9. Do you always shop like you did on the Extreme Couponing Show?
Do I shop like that all the time? Well, NO WAY! I do shop with coupons all the time for sure. But I do not do that big of shopping trip at once. I make small trips if it is a great sale/coupon week. I don’t even shop every week. I just shop when the sales are here. That is how I keep my monthly budget so low. I don’t really buy a lot of processed food, I make most of my meals/snacks from scratch, cheaper that way and it works for my family.
10. I have visited your Blog, can you tell us a little bit about it and how we can visit you on your blog.
I really do love my blog Blessings N Couponing I do setup deals for my local grocery stores, plus our national store, target, walgreens, walmart
I also have daily scripture and a devotion if God gives me something. I do post about Jesus A LOT because HE is the center of my family’s life. I want people to know there is HOPE, even when things around us looks so hopeless.
Thank you Amy for taking part in this interview, and please visit Amy’s Blog as well to learn more about her and her blog. I have to say that Amy is just a very sweet person and it was I enjoyed interviewing her.