I wanted to share with you all how I got started in couponing. I had just went through a divorce after 22 years of being the faithful good wife, my ex-husband had constantly been cheating with girlfriends and was emotionally and physically abusive. I remember one day he attacked me with a iron board and another day he punched me full force in the neck after having a car accident that totalled my car as the other guy was talking on his cell phone. I was restarting my life. I remarried a wonderful Christian man and I was asking God how I could make more money. Divorce is costly and I was unemployed from a great job in sales earning 500-1500 weekly. Relocating to a small town of around 500 was a lifechanger and even more lifechanging was the rural lifestyle I now embracing. As I prayed I felt like the Lord told me to coupon. This was right before all the Extreme Couponing Shows came out. I was so blessed that I had acess to this training online and through sites of the women who had pilgrimed in this new field. I quickly realized that couponing was just like getting paid $90 a hour as some say it is worth and that the smart savy business women with brains were involved. That this was a field any woman could embrace and learn if she just devoted herself to the research and training that was FREE and available to her. I found that Extreme couponers were very generous sharing their excess stock and were happy to help others learn their trade. For myself I set up some rules. Only buy the BEST The bible says to fill your homes with Precious things ... Example bounty paper towels are strong and I can dry my hands on one rehang it and use it again after it dries out compared to a cheaper brand that just falls apart in my hand as I am cleaning, Don't purchase food your family doesn't like. My husband loves a certain brand of cereal I don't see coupons for... I just buy it and figure if I stockpile it I don't have to purchase it weeks I am low on the buck. This is where coupon overage is good to pay for his cereal. I want to have a pleasant home not one with crazy rules.. Yes we can purchase food we LOVE with no coupons. God calls us to peace and a good life. I found great sites to print off coupons like coupon.com, save.com, smartsource.com and others. And found that to pay for newspapers and magazines was just a wash as I could shop for free everyday once I filled my pantry for a year then I would only have to buy products at the lowest price for the year. The initial filling your pantry is the hard part. Once you have enough of what you need for a year then you just wait for the sales. In the beginning you just have to do the best you can. Also I found the joy of getting FREE stuff sent to me by phoning and emailing companies and so much more... I also learned that this was embracing much more than couponing I could save on EVERYTHING... and also I saw that you could play SWEEPSTAKES to get free stuff, and trade with other people...example If you give a bag of clothes to someone... they may give you stuff they don't want. It is a win, win, not that you want to beg your friends and family for stuff but before you toss your old books you may think Linda loves to read and then Linda may be so happy she may think the same thing I am going to toss out all these books and she will think oh Ruthie gave me these books I bet she won't feel insulted if I give her these. The point is that your friends know you won't feel "INSULTED" if they give you there old JUNK... I used to give a bag of clothes to my sisters and they would say I don't want clothes.. I 'd say even if you found one pair of jeans that is $50 you didn't have and can bring the rest to the Rescue Mission. Every bit of PRACTICAL savings helps your famiily grow and to have money for bills etc. I think it is a lifestyle of GIVING to others and helping. And in turn God helps you. Most couponers are extreme givers because they have empowered themselves. I had problems with giving to the point of giving away my initial bootcamp stockpile (the core stockpile) when I first got started. I also learned that is very foolish as a wife and mother and we should only give of our overflow and when the Lord speaks to us. So this is just the beginning all of you are different points in your lifestyle as a couponer and God may lead you in different directions. But it's like my sweepstaking I pray and say if you want me to win let them pick my name. I won 3 x's this year already and we are just now into our third week of January 2013. The key is prayer, listening to your family and doing what is best for them , and wisdom. Please subscribe to my blog http://www.RuthiesCouponChannel.blogspot.com and copy this to FB and twitter. Please feel free to copy and paste to your blog or use any of my material for your church etc.. etc... Hope this is a blessing to you.