My Interview with Mr. Coupon

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Last night I had the privilege to speak to Nathan Engels aka Mr. Coupon founder and creator of and one of the extreme couponers featured on the new show TLC’s Extreme Couponing. He’s enthusiastic and passionate about coupons, much like anyone who is passionate about something they love. In his own words Mr. Coupons says, “He’s not normal.”
I was surprise that I had the chance to be able to speak to Mr. Coupon as he is now more than just a coupon celebrity in the coupon world and I’m sure bombarded with questions and many interviews. As my husband said “It’s nice that he would talk to the small people.” I may be a newbie in the eyes of extreme couponers, but Mr. Coupon’s desire is to stir awareness in people to use coupons and forgo the negative connotations of coupons, i.e. coupons are for only junk food, they are a waste of time and take too much work. So even though I am fairly new to coupons I am able to spread the awareness and help others learn to coupon and very much thankful for the opportunity to speak with Mr. Coupon. 

So let’s get started. I asked Mr. Coupon how he got started to which he responded he started in 2007 when he and his wife were newly married racking up credit card debt and over spending. They decided they needed to do something to cut their costs and couponing was the start. One day while watching The Food Network, a lady came on who was saving lots of money on her groceries. This inspired him to want to be like her. Aren’t we all like that we see someone who is saving a lot on their groceries and we want to be like just them? It’s not so much the amount they save but what they do that sticks with us. How many of you will remember how extreme those who were featured on the TLC show will stick with you? I know the pregnant friend who was dumpster diving for coupons will stick with me.
In 2008 Mr. Coupon decided to create the website to help inspire others to coupon and spend their money wisely. He was motivated to start the website when he was continuously asked to show others how to coupon which then led into Coupon Classes. now has over 600 Affiliates and several thousand members. The site practically runs its self now and includes a comprehensive coupon database as well as a wealth of forums where people post sales and coupon advice. You can simply put any topic in the search engine and it’s almost guaranteed something will come up on that topic. Right after the show aired you may have noticed the site, slowed down almost to a halt. Mr. Coupon along with their tech person worked on the site until 3am getting the site to run smoothly again.
I asked what his wife thought of all this? His response, “She likes having all kinds of Shampoo and Body Washes.”
How do you find deals each week and what do you do? “I make two lists; one for my stock up pile and one for my everyday groceries like a head a lettuce, maybe some bananas, that sort of thing.” His stockpile items include items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, etc. These are items he gets free or nearly free.
Mr. Coupon’s main source other then the Sunday Newspaper is a site Coupons and Things by Dede which he pretty much solely uses because of her quick shipping, which has led to become a personal friend of theirs. If you’d like to visit her site click HERE. There are other sites out there that can also be used  for coupons like our very own Contributor Southern Coupon Clippers. To visit her site click HERE.

Mr. Coupon did not initially use a coupon clipping service because ‘why pay for coupons when you can dumpster dive!” to see a video of Mr. Coupon dumpster diving  checkout his You Tube Channel  Frugal TV to see the video click HERE and be sure to subscribe and let him know Moms Saving Money sent you.
What advice would you give to a beginner couponer? “Visit and watch the virtual classrooms and read, read, yeah read and immerse yourself on how to coupon.”
How much time do you spend in looking for deals? “About 7-10 hours a week it depends on the week and the sales. Sometimes you’ll have really slow weeks and other times the deals are hot. Most people understand that the sales go in a cycle. I can live of my stockpile and there are weeks I don’t even look at the sales.”
What is a reasonable stockpile for the average person? “The sale cycle is about 3-6 months, prepare for 6-12 months for a reasonable stockpile.”
What advice would you give to a person that has limited space for a stockpile? “Get creative, under the bed, above closets, use bins. Whatever amount you have get organized, have a method and know what you want to accomplish. Don’t become a hoarder especially if you don’t have the room.”
Mr. Coupon and his wife donate the amount about equal to income by donating goods that they have stockpiled. They do donate to their home church but the mostly donate to Franklin Area Community Services in Warren County. They also donate to the family resource centers and schools to help provide items for low income families that cannot be purchased with Food Stamps such as deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes.
Below is a list of some of the items the donated that was filmed on the show taken from Mr. Coupons post at
700-800 boxes of Total Cereal. (We purchased 1,100 boxes so 300-400 boxes goes to our churches grocery giveaway monthly, we still have some and continue to give monthly to that program)
600 Sticks of Deodorant
60 Cartons of Oatmeal
400 Boxes of Jello
100 packages of floss
200 toothbrushes
100 cans of Hormel Chili
300 Bottles of Gillette Body Wash
200 Bottles of Aspirin
100 Packs of Rolaids
150 Bottles of Salad Dressing
50 Cans of Disinfectant Spray
50 Diabetic Meters
and various other household items in smaller quantities
Mr. Coupon mentioned that TLC fudged a little on the amount of deodorant he had to donate. That amount was what was donated that day but not all by him. He did in fact donate about $6,000 worth of products to the Food bank as seen on the show.
Do you do the drugstore game? “Yes, well not so much CVS but I do Walgreens. We don’t have a Rite-Aid here. My father said, ‘Whatever you do, do it well’ so I do Krogers really well and I do Walgreen really well. I really haven’t couponed at Target.”
Are there any Tide Coupons? “You know I’m not really looking and I have so many Purex. You can visit and check out the coupon database.”
Do you think the show will continue? “People want to see the exceptional not the normal or the common couponer so the exceptional will stick with them. As for the show I don’t know. They’ll have 4 couponers each show they’ll feature and do many reruns. I don’t know though, but when we agreed to do the show we signed an agreement for 5 yrs of repeats.”
One last advice from Mr. Coupon. “Value size isn’t always a value. Your goal is to lower the unit price when using a coupon so if you can buy three smaller bottles that is equal to one large bottle and spend less then that’s the better deal. That only works if you have multiple coupons otherwise if you only have one coupon then the value size for you is the better deal.”
Well that’s it. Thank you Nathan Engels for the opportunity to speak with you. If you’d like to learn more about visit the site you can also post questions as well. Be sure to Fan WeUseCoupons Facebook Page and let him know Moms Saving Money sent you. To check when the next Extreme Couponing visit TLC by clicking HERE. Next air date is set for Jan. 4th with four new extreme couponers.

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