Five metro Atlanta women, each armed with a grocery list and a stack of coupons, participated in the first-ever Coupon Mom Olympics Friday morning to help a Fulton County charity fill its food pantry.
"Today we're just having a whole lot of fun with the idea," said Stephanie Nelson, the New York Times best-selling author from Marietta known as the Coupon Mom. "Let's get some competition going. Let's raise some awareness."
Nelson donated $50 to each participant, who, in turn, set off into the aisles of the Marietta Highway Kroger to try to see who could buy the most food with the greatest savings, all to be donated to the North Fulton Community Charities.
"It's a great feeling," said Andrea Pendleton of Atlanta. "I don't think many people in Atlanta realize how many people struggle with hunger. And it's so awesome to be able to do something for free but still help benefit the community."
Barbara Duffy, the executive director of North Fulton Community Charities, said the donations will go a long way to help the 100 families the charity serves each day.
"Part of what we would like to do going forward is to teach the families that we work with how to be strategic shoppers, such as these great ladies," said Duffy.
"More people are realizing, 'Hey, I can donate to charity,'" said Nelson. "Seventy-five percent of CouponMom.com members donate to charity at least once or twice a year. So looking at that, we're helping other people, we're saving money, and there are so many charities in the city that need help."
After their 30-minute shopping adventure, the women lined up at Kroger's register to learn their totals.
Total value of groceries purchased: $1,920.13 before tax
Total cost paid: $240.30
Number of items purchased for charity: 1,209
The winner was Ashley Watson of Winder. Thanks to her sharp couponing skills, she turned her $50 into $700 worth of groceries for the charity.
Her prize? A $500 Kroger gift card. Imagine how she'll be able to stretch that!
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