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Mom feeds family of six for $4 per week using coupon magic

November 4, 2009 |  7:04 am


This link is just too amazing to not highlight all on its own. The Huffington Post linked to it last week. It's a clip from "Good Morning America" that shows a Massachusetts mother named Kathy Spencer performing shopping magic with coupons.

I've watched it a couple of times now and I'm convinced that the woman is a genius, or at least patient to the point that she nears superhuman. From what I can gather (and believe me I'm a bit foggy on the details of how this actually works), Spencer spends a few hours a week combing weekly mailers and the newspaper for coupons and buys only what she can get free. So, to give an example from the video, if she has a coupon for $1 off scallops, and scallops go for $4 per pound, she buys only a quarter pound.

Granted, that's not too many scallops, but when she combines them with small portions of seafood she's purchased with other coupons, she'll have the makings of a nice casserole or soup. She also has a giant closet filled with food and kitchen supplies that she's gotten free and saves as backup. Bottles and bottles of ketchup, rolls and rolls of paper towels and boxes of cookies are stacked neatly from floor to ceiling (begging for a natural disaster to help them get used up).

The best part is watching Spencer check out. In the video she makes a bill that's over $200 shrink to a single penny. There's some math there, and a kind of crafty planning, that I am too lazy to even begin comprehending.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times