MEET ERIN: Read more about our 'Super Saver!'
You may have seen her before in some of our Stretch your Dollar reports. Erin Libranda's amazing coupon strategies and innovative approach to grocery shopping has been a big hit with viewers. Erin is now joining our team, giving you Deals of the Day, Free Stuff Friday, and many, many tips and strategies on how to score great deals and most importantly, save!
It's always a group effort at the Libranda household. Today, that means baking a cake for 10-year-old Alexis.
But times have not always been so good for the single working mother of three. Following Erin's divorce, she had no idea how she was going to make ends meet.
"We just moved into a new house and we couldn't afford furnishings," she said.
But look at her now. Well adjusted, well equipped and well on her way to financial security. She's also teaching her daughters how to save.
"I don't want them to depend on somebody else," said Erin. "I am trying to teach them to be self dependant."
Living paycheck to paycheck forced Erin to make every dollar count. She started clipping coupons. At first, the savings were small, $20 to $30 at a time. Then, she took it to a whole new level, combining sales with coupons and using the Internet to search for the best deals.
Before long, her savings skyrocketed. On one outing, she saved -- get this -- $2,500.
"At that point, I was hooked. I was addicted," said Erin.
Now, four years after getting started, her pantry is always stocked. She has enough toiletries for a lifetime and detergent for thousands of loads of laundry. And guess what? Most of it was free!
"We have been able to maintain a dual income lifestyle on one income by couponing," said Erin.
To put her methods to the test, at the beginning of the year, Libranda announced on her personal blog that she would stick to a family of four's budget of only $800. That's right, $800 to buy groceries, toiletries and eat out for the entire year!
So far, it's working. With four months left in the year, Libranda has spent only $429 of her $800 budget.
"It was kind of a way for me to be accountable for my spending," she said.
Now, saving has become her passion. And she wants to share it with others. By guiding wanna-be savers with pictures and instructions on exactly how to maximize your money, not only has Erin balanced her own budget, she's teaching an entire community to save.
"Give a woman a coupon, feed her for the day. Teach a woman to coupon you feed her and her family for life," Erin said.
So Erin has started blogging here on abc13.com. Check back regularly for her deal of the day and more great saving ideas. Plus, feel free to send her a message.