Interview with Kelly Gibbs ~
Featured on TLC’s Extreme Couponing
Share with Tip Resource readers a bit about your background, you and your family.
I was born and raised in Elk Grove, CA, and I am the fifth of six children. I went to college in Utah, which is where I met my husband Zach. I have been married for four and a half years, and I have a 14-month-old daughter named Evangeline. I have recently gone back to school to pursue a degree in Dental Hygiene. I started couponing two years ago when my husband and I bought our first home, and we were struggling to get all the bills paid. It was a fun and easy way to stretch my dollar a little further!
How did you become acquainted with TLC’s Extreme Couponing and eventually be featured on the show?
I had been couponing for quite some time before the show aired, so once I heard about the show, I was definitely interested in seeing what they did. It was very fun to watch, and I decided I wanted to give it a try. I sent in an application, and they asked me to film a video of my stockpile. After that, I got a phone call saying they wanted me on the show!
What was you favorite part about being featured on the show?
My favorite part about being featured on the show was being able to show that not all extreme couponers are crazy hoarders, and that couponing can do a lot of good! I have been able to help out my parents and my handicapped brother through my couponing. It’s not all about shelf clearing and $50,000 stockpiles! 🙂
How long did it take you to plan your Extreme Couponing shopping trip?
It took about three weeks to plan everything.
Was the total before and after coupons the amount you were expecting?
It was pretty close. I had estimated about $750 for my before total, and it came out to around $850 (including the groceries I had to go back for), but I didn’t take the cost of tax into consideration. I had estimated that I would pay about $20 after coupons, and I ended up paying $25, so I felt pretty good about that one.
Did the store know you were coming to do this shopping trip? or did you just walk in and start shopping?
The store definitely knew I was coming. I was in touch with the store manager ahead of time to make sure what I needed was in stock and to do some pre-ordering on the items that I was buying in large quantity.
Anything not shown on your TLC’s Extreme Couponing episode that you would like to share?
I actually had to go back to get more groceries! My total was going into the negative, and since my store does not give money back on purchases, I had to get something to make up the difference. So I got six boxes of my brother’s other favorite food – oatmeal!
Did you buy large quantities of everything or were there smaller quantity items too?
A majority of what I bought was in smaller quantity. Yes, I bought 260 Tic Tacs, but everything else was much smaller quantity! Looking back on my list, I had 42 different items on my list, most of which I only bought in quantities of 2 or 3.
What are some items on your shopping trip that didn’t make it onto the show?
I had TONS of items that didn’t make it onto the show. I had bread, hot dogs, pickle relish, hot sauce, tuna, pasta, laundry detergent, frozen dinners, baby food, diapers, cereal, deodorant, feminine products, and much more!
Do you shop like this every week or what does a typical shopping trip look like?
This was the only time I ever shopped like that! My typical shopping trip usually consists of $20-$30 worth of products, if that, and I try to save at least 50%.
And was this really your biggest trip ever?
Absolutely! It took so much preparation. The more items and coupons, the more confusing it gets! I try to keep things much smaller so as not to stress myself out.
How did you first get into couponing?
I was reading my cousin’s blog, and I saw her post about a friend who got a ton of stuff for really cheap, and I thought, “Hey, I want to know how to do that!” So I did a little research online, and I’ve been hooked ever since!
What has been your biggest couponing mistake?
Not reading the fine print, or trying to use coupons without realizing they’re already expired. I get a little scatter-brained, and it’s always embarrassing when the store thinks I’m trying to be sneaky when really I’m just not paying attention! 🙂
Stockpile organization, how and where it is kept?
I keep everything organized by expiration date, flavor, and size. Most of my stockpile is kept in my garage, with the exception of my massive diaper stockpile, which is kept in my daughter’s room.
What do your friends and family think about your couponing and do they help?
They absolutely love it! My mom and sister often go coupon shopping with me, and I have many friends and family members supply me with extra coupon inserts.
Do you ever donate items or did you donate any of your TLC Extreme Couponing shopping trip?
I have donated many items, including items from my Extreme Couponing shopping trip.
What are the Top 2 Tips you’d offer a new couponer who watched TLC’s Extreme Couponing and now wants to coupon?
1) Be patient, and if you don’t get it at first, keep trying! It may seem overwhelming, but it pays off fast!
2) Start with one store and get to know it and it’s coupon policy very well. Once you feel comfortable with that, add another store.
What is something you can share with all of us we would be surprised to know about you?
I absolutely love music! I’ve been singing pretty much my entire life, and I play the trombone!
Is there a question you would love to ask Kelly? Please leave your questions below!