There's a stay-at-home mom from the South who loved to find deals and share them with her friends. When she started doing that, she had about four friends with whom she shared her secrets. Now, Jenny Martin has more than 250,000! That's because she decided to follow her husband's advice in 2008 and put all of her information in one tidy little place: SouthernSavers.com (Click here for the Facebook page!)
Jenny is from Columbia, South Carolina, and visited Huntsville recently to share her money-saving secrets.
She stopped by WHNT NEWS 19 to share some of those secrets with us, so we could share them with you.
She says it all started as a hobby.
"And then it grew into something much bigger," said Jenny Martin.
Now, the stay-at-home mother of four and "Coupon Mom Extraordinaire", as she calls herself, has more than 250,000 fans who check her "Southern Savers" website and Facebook page regularly.
That's because her tips, coupons and discounts can save a person $100 or more on a trip to the grocery store with about 30 minutes of research on her site right before the trip.
"I'm gonna walk out of the store and have saved over $100. So, it's well worth the 30 or 45 minutes," Jenny said.
For moms who prefer printed paper coupons, Jenny recommends making it a family activity. "My children learned to cut by cutting coupons and they love it," said Jenny. "So, I'll hand them an insert and say 'find the peanut butter coupon and cut that, please"... so not only are they reading, but now they're cutting."
For working moms on the go, who don't have time for paper coupons, Jenny's site follows Publix, Kroger and Target, which all have electronic coupons. "A lot of them don't expire for about six weeks," she said.
Furthermore, Target, she added, matches any price you can find online or in print.
Jenny studies sale trends and says there's a six week turnaround when items go on sale--discounts topping out at about 40 percent off---then come off.
"And it's like clockwork.. every six weeks, it's gonna come on sale."
Jenny said shoppers save the most money by purchasing enough of an item at the sale price to last six weeks until it goes back on sale.
Because of her popularity, Jenny gets a heads-up on some deals before others.
"I do get kind of an insider heads-up knowledge on some fun things that stores will run," she said.
For example, during the summer, Kroger gives away samples on select Fridays.
And, back to Target, she says you can count on two annual toy clearance sales. "Every January and every July, they will basically take the entire toy section and just put it on clearance."
Jenny posts about 20 new deals every day to Southern Savers, including grocery deals, online deals and freebies.
She's working on adding a geographic feature on the site, so you can see what deals stores in your specific area are offering.
And she's working on an app for smart phones to be ready in less than a year.