Joni Meyer-Crothers on Extreme Couponing's Impact

“I didn’t expect the huge reaction”
Meyer-Crothers with her coupon haul Photograph by the Toledo Free Press

April 6, 2011: Extreme Couponing premieres as a regular series on TLC

I began couponing in 2007 when my husband lost his job at an automotive factory and we had to pay out-of-pocket for health insurance for our seven kids. By 2008 we’d accumulated so much extra stuff that I started inviting members from our church to help themselves from our open pantry, and I started a website, That’s how Extreme Couponing found me. I didn’t expect the huge reaction from the audience. I was on the show’s first season, and I still receive e-mails every day. I’ve probably heard from 200 people on food assistance who used to go to the food bank to feed their families but now use coupons to get what they need. My husband got a job at Chrysler—at half his former salary. So it’s good coupons enable us to live well frugally. At this point we haven’t paid for cleaning or hygienic products for five years. — As told to Jessica Grose