Owasso Woman Uses Couponing To Change Her Community
OWASSO, Oklahoma - You may have heard of extreme couponing, where collecting coupons and saving money can become a person's full-time job. It's gotten a bad rap in recent years, with TV shows documenting eccentric extreme couponers and hoarders. But one Owasso woman explains how she's using coupons to change her community.
"A year ago this past January my income stopped completely without notice. By March, with no money coming in and virtually nothing in the house including personal hygiene items, I was beside myself. Still having one son at home I had no idea what I was going to do," said Danna Malone.
That's Danna Malone, reading a post she wrote on moneysavingqueen.com.
She went on to say coupons turned her life around. "I was intrigued and decided to look into it and what I found was nothing short of incredible."
"I was being destroyed mentally, because I was worried about how I was going to support my son. How I was going to give him the things he needed, not wanted, needed?" asked Danna Malone.
Malone lives in a small apartment in Owasso. She had no job, and was at one of the lowest points in her life.
One day, she opened her mail and found a coupon for $3 off of body wash. It was something she needed.
For most people, no big deal. But that coupon changed Malone's life.
"So it just kind of snowballed to where I am now. My next to the youngest son, him and his girlfriend were really struggling. They just started shopping at my house," said Danna Malone.
Eight months ago, she transformed her home into a food pantry. Anyone she knows can come in and get what they need and her shelves are stocked better than some grocery stores. She showed me around her apartment.
"Well, this area as you can see, is cat food, health and beauty items, personal care items. This is our household and shampoo closet. There's pencils, color crayons, pens, a basket of everything," said Danna Malone.
And the story doesn't end there. Every two weeks, Neighbors in Need Food Pantry gets a big boost in their supply, thanks to Danna Malone.
"It's got to be, she provides over 50 percent of our household items now," said Cheryl Stettler with Neighbors in Need.
"I am in need of help, and these people really do help. They don't know how much I appreciate their help," said Owasso resident Karen Alexander.
Malone also donates to Prairie Village, a retirement community for low-income senior citizens.
"This is one of my favorite closets. I was able to get diabetic meters for my seniors in need for tax only," said Danna Malone.
Somehow, Danna still finds time for herself. She now has a part-time job, babysits, and is going to college - she wants to be a lawyer someday.
"So, couponing saved not only my life, but it saved my sanity as well, absolutely," Danna Malone said.
Malone estimates she's saved over $25,000 in the past year using coupons and given most of it away.