Excerpt: 'Greatest Secrets of the Coupon Mom'

Stephanie Nelson enjoyed a successful career in corporate America and dreamed of being able to balance both work and motherhood. That dream didn't last long. She resigned from her job in marketing shortly after the birth of her son -- cutting her family's income in half and drastically altering their lifestyle.

Instead of picking up whatever she wanted at the grocery store, Nelson, who many Americans know as the Coupon Mom, became a "strategic shopper" and based what she bought on the coupons she cut. Now Nelson, a mother of two boys, runs her own website which helps others "unravel the marketing and merchandising techniques used by grocery stores."

Her method is based on three principles: 1. Know your grocery prices. 2. Know your store savings programs. 3. Know your grocery coupons.

Nelson writes that $315 billion dollars are wasted in discarded grocery coupons. Her message is simple: start cutting and you may reclaim some of that money.

Read an excerpt of "Greatest Secrets of the Coupon Mom' below.


America knows me as the Coupon Mom. One minute I was discovering ways to save money for my family at the grocery store, and the next I was the Coupon Mom on national television. I now teach people how to save money on their groceries -- lots of money every week. Week after week.

It seems like only yesterday, but ten years ago I was working in a corporate job and struggling with the desire to be at home with my new son. Quitting my job was financially impossible. After all, my husband and I had the perfect plan: we would buy a new home and have a baby; after a few months I would go back to work, hire a babysitter, and progress smoothly in my career without a hitch.

Once I held my son, however, I knew I had to be home with him full time. Finding a way to do that became my challenge.

I took the plunge and resigned from my job. Our household income was cut in half, so to keep my new job as a stay-at-home mom, I needed to find ways to reduce our spending in all areas. It didn't take long to realize that the area with the greatest savings potential was at the grocery store. I didn't know it at the time, but food -- groceries -- is the second or third largest household spending category for most families. I did not go back to the corporate world. Ten years later I am still a stay-at-home wife and mother.

Having come from a career in consumer sales and marketing I found that "unraveling" the marketing and merchandising techniques used by grocery stores and manufacturers was a lot of fun -- like solving a puzzle. And my method worked! In fact, it worked so well that I decided to start a website where I could help others start saving money on groceries too. Over the past five years this project has been far more interesting and rewarding than any corporate job I ever held, and it still allowed me to be home with my sons (yes, we had a second child).

Now I want to teach you how to become a "strategic shopper" like me, using the system I created. You will use your store's weekly sales ads, the coupons in your Sunday newspaper, and my website CouponMom.com, where I do all the hard work for you and millions of other shoppers across the U.S. every week.

My strategy is based on simple principles that work in every area of the country, not only in the big cities. And don't worry -- you won't have to compromise your quality standards to save money on groceries.

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