Couponers share their stockpiles and techniques, despite scarcities

by Megan Schiffres

While essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer are being plundered in grocery stores across the country by people panic-shopping in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, avid couponers in the Northern Neck are sharing their resources to help others survive the nationwide scarcities.

“If I have 50 packs of toilet paper and paper towels, I don’t have it now because I gave it away,” said Amanda Thompson Johnson, a devoted couponer in Kinsale. “I’m always giving and helping other people. I’ll see that someone’s lost a job, or not working, or an elderly person and they’re in need. So, when this happened a few weeks ago, I was prepared.”

Johnson started couponing when she and her husband became disabled due to a series of accidents that left them both unable to work. Suddenly, their family went from living comfortably to operating on a shoestring budget. Since the pandemic began, they also have been housing and supporting an extended family including three grandchildren younger than 10 years old.

“I started couponing because once the bills were paid, there was no money for food,” Johnson said. “Couponing has actually saved my family and it is…[to-view-more]