Sunday, 22 June 2014

INTERVIEW | the coupon queen

known to many as the UK's Coupon Queen, I simply know her as Emma. i met her through a friend a few years back and we have always been in contact, whether it is a conversation or a like on IG. you need only type her name in to google to see the news articles about her and what she has done! having seen her success has really helped me recently, with everything that has been happening in my life. she recently asked me if i would mind featuring her on my blog, and of course i couldn't refuse! she is such a lovely person and all her hard work has really paid off! with a following on Facebook of over 45,000 people she has proven that the bottom isn't the end for everyone. all photos below are credit to another lovely lady that has done well for herself, Lauren Flood.

when did you start couponing, how long have you been doing it?

i started in august 2012 when i was made to leave my job at the bank, Ben and I were really bad due to my depression and we needed to save money in order for us to keep our home. i started watching Extreme Couponing on TLC [US TV show, Sky channel 121] and it grew from there! It became apparent quick i had a talent for it and started the Facebook page. no, 45,000 fans later here I am, its completely overwhelming the response I got.

what was your influence?

my influences were from all over the place my parents always taught me the value of money and to work hard so I've always been careful with money. my Grandad has always been a savvy saver so I think he's pushed me to deal hunting as well!
who influences you now?
i actually have a lot of influences from friends i've met through coupling. i admire what they do and they even teach me a few tricks. also there are people like Jordon Cox, Natalie Cooper and Deepak Tailor - we're all a close knit community and its great to share advice and all have a passion for helping our followers save money.

what has been your biggest saving to date?

oh that's a tough one! i would have to say my holiday for my 21st to Disneyland, originally we were looking at £800 for 2 nights and 3 days. i was so lucky to get a fab deal on Groupon for £148! my biggest clothing saving has been £150 worth of Tesco clothes for FREE and a FREE £70 Topshop haul!

if/now things are improving for you, will you continue to coupon?

ive always said even if i won the lottery i would still let out a little scream when i get a freebie, now ive experienced what its like at rock bottom and having £9.45 to last you a week of meals. i will always have the skills to utilise any budget and it's an addiction which is also a passion so no, I think I will be the Crazy Coupon Queen even at 70!
what is your favourite fashion item that you have that was reduced/free?
my favourite has to be my FREE Topshop Haul worth £70, i don't normally shop at Topshop because of the prices. I only got a top, trousers, a pair of earrings and ring but it felt amazing when the cashier was shocked for words seeing it ring up at £0!
couponing is all about saving, so what is your opinion on a site such as eBay, as things on there are always reduced?
i LOVE eBay you can't get my Mum and I off it, i often post deals on eBay. I even managed to get a brand new spring 2014 Filofax for £10 RRP £30 so I always rate bidding sites including Amazon and Store Clearance outlets online.
your once life saving hobby has grown in to a small business venture, what advice would you have for people who are going through something similar and find a hobby that helps them? How could they start/set everything up?
im a strong believer of everything happens for a reason and from my hour of need I have found a hobby and created an amazing site for thousands to save money daily. my advice is do what you love and love what you do, you only get one shot at life, take risks with any business venture you truly believe has potential and if it doesn't work out you gained the experience and learnt where to go next.
what influence does your man have over your savings? Does he support you all the way, did it take him a while to adjust to all of this?
my ex never did, it was pure humiliation for him, even when I posted my free shops from £50-£100. I felt so proud yet he'd put me down about the debt he'd put me in. I've always been quite closed about the matter because of the support I never received from him. luckily, now I'm with my current partner i couldn't wish for anyone more supportive! he has helped with the website and page, posting deals e.t.c and i must admit when he told me he was getting a coupon wallet I nearly shed a tear! Mitch is always standing at the till amazed when we've spent 20 minutes there in total, I really couldn't ask for more. when I explained "overage", "cash back" and "doubling up" he did laugh but eventually he's even telling me what I can use!

if you could go back in time and everything didn't happen the way it was, do you think you would still be couponing now? 

no, I believe I needed to hit rock bottom to find this. people ask me if I could turn back time maybe I wouldn't of taken on the debt from my ex, maybe I would still be a bank manager. but all of those things are great but they wouldn't make me truly happy. I wouldn't of even met Mitch! I've learnt valuable life lessons and become a stronger individual and what really makes it for me is getting messages off followers telling me all their savings, how my page and advice has helped their family and given them more in life - that's what makes me feel proud about my job.
do you see your couponing as a long term thing, or do you think one day you will stop?
i think there will always be a demand for saving money especially in the financial climate the country is in, everyone want's to save a bit of money whether its on a small or large scale.
what savings advice would you give to people, for example what is the best way to save?
my advice would be to start slow, don't overload yourself as it will get too much! on my website there is a full list of current coupons - that's a great way to start! try them out and you will get a feel for different way's you can save. cashback apps are great which you can download on your mobile. I do post just about everything on the website/Facebook so if you don't want all the leg work check the newsfeed daily!
finally, what inspired the 1950's style shoot?
Lauren and I have wanted to work together for a while so we got this great idea to get back to the basics where couponing all began. the pictures have a great woman of the home feel and the set really portrays the 1950s well. I'm so pleased with how they turned out!

you can find Emma and all her savings on these links, seriously go and check them out. she is so lovely and everything she has done is so worthwhile, and has saved not only her, but others as well! here is the Facebook, instagram, twitter and blog, please go and check it out, it has certainly helped me see my potential!

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