I’m Shawna Martell, founder of Coupon Lady Online. I live in the midwest with my husband of nearly five years, Joshua. He’s the handsome fellow in that picture with me.
Now, I don’t really think of myself as a very “typical” couponer. DH and I are both employed full time at Wolfram|Alpha. He’s a Software Technology manager and I’m the Web Development manager. (Read: I work a lot.) No plans for kids in this household. We don’t even have pets! I generally say I don’t really like things that rely on me for survival. I do have a few (a very few) plants, but the fact that any of them are still around is really more dumb luck than anything that could possibly be construed as skill on my part. I’m one of the few frugal folk I know who isn’t a huge Dave Ramsey fan. I regularly use my credit cards, as shocking as that may seem.
I started couponing shortly after Joshua and I were married. I’d been a starving graduate student before our wedding, and suddenly I was in a two income household. I went from a $5 a week grocery budget (really) to spending $50 a week for the two of us! That went on for a few months before I woke up and realized what I was spending was just nuts given what we were making. We were renting then, and we wanted to save up for a down payment on a house. So I decided to figure out how to cut our expenses. Where’d I go? Well, to the Internet of course! I found all kinds of great resources that helped me learn how to “play the game” at CVS and Walgreens. It didn’t take me long before I was hooked.
I started this blog in hopes of sharing my love for a deal with others. I’m not the best or most up to the minute, but I do try to be informative and maybe once and a while even a little bit funny. Now, almost three years since I started Coupon Lady Online, we have our house very nearly paid off. We’ll have had our mortgage for about three and a half years when we pay it off later this year. And our lives are a lot different than they were when we were first married. Sometimes I’ll spend $50 a week on groceries now and won’t get worked up about it. Savings is a lifestyle, and life is a marathon, not a sprint. While we still think of ourselves as frugal, we certainly spend more than we did when we first started this journey. And I think that’s ok. What I’ve learned is that it’s not the amount you spend as much as making sure you live within your means. Your means may allow you to drive a new car. My means don’t, but they do allow me to make a whirlwind trip to Austin to have a once in a lifetime experience. Or maybe you’re at the place where you need to be spending less than $50 a week on groceries. Whatever your means are, if you can find a love of frugality in there, well, good for you!
And before you ask, yes, I know about the Extreme Couponing tv show. No, I haven’t been on it. Yes, they contacted me for an audition video. Seems I wasn’t extreme enough to make the cut. Given what I’ve seen of the show (which I admit, isn’t much, because I’m too cheap to pay for cable), I’m not sure not getting picked is entirely a bad thing.