David Eulitt, Kansas City Star
The cash register receipt shows a $230.28 savings to Brandie Mavrich for her extreme couponing at the SuperTarget store in Kansas City, Missouri. Mavrich uses store coupons, newspaper insert coupons and Internet site coupons to maximize her shopping dollar.

Couponing is necessary for survival for one mother in Calgary, according to Metro News.

Melissa Potts, a 29-year-old mother who suffers from multiple sclerosis, manages the family budget with only her husband’s part-time job as income. Her son, Liam, was diagnosed with autism two years ago, and her husband has recurring medical problems.

With medical bills, two monthly vehicle payments, rent and a number of other expenses coming in, Potts uses couponing to keep the family afloat.

She spends upwards of 20 hours each week couponing by searching newspapers, attends coupon swap meetings and trades in some of the vouchers online for cash.

“When Liam was diagnosed, I realized I was going to have to stay at home,” Potts told Metro News. “We had to cut back on everything ... Couponing has become my full-time job in a sense.”

Through couponing, Potts spent $250 on a long list of items that normally would retail for about $4,000.

Any extra items her family doesn’t use, like 160 bottles of shower gel stacked in their closet, are boxed up and taken to a local homeless shelter.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson