I'm a money-saving mum – couponing could save you hundreds and it's FREE here's how to start | The Sun

A MONEY-SAVING mum has revealed how she’s saved thousands off her shops thanks to couponing – and how you can start today.

Holly Smith, 37, who runs Couponing Queen, gave her top tips to Fabulous on how to enter the “genius digital age of couponing”.

The mum-of-four, who is based in Great Yarmouth and has saved £20,000 with her saving hacks, said: “Couponing eight years ago, you used to have to print them out, cut them out, get to the check out and be embarrassed.

“Digital coupons are a lot better as people don’t know you are using them.

“I’ve been preaching about them for years, I save up to £200 a month using these apps, they are so good and take less than ten minutes at a time.”

Holly dropped out of school at the age of 14 without any academic qualifications but is now mortgage-free thanks to her hacks.

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Here are her top tips..

Digital couponing apps

Holly advised that to get started you need to download the top couponing apps, such as Shopmium, Smash, CheckoutSmart and ClickSnack.

Then you need to visit your supermarket to find free or discounted products. 

She explained: “Because of Coronavirus, paper coupons have kind of gone out of use, although they are coming back a little bit more.

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“The way digital coupons work is you load up the app when you are in a store – like Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsburys.

“You select which store you are at and it’ll bring up a list of items you can get for free that week and also items that you can get discounts on, like 50p off each purchase, just like paper coupons.

“It’s a little bit like a shopping list because you can see all the items you can get in that store, and add them to your trolley.”

Holly said you then buy the items and “check out like normal.”


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She continued: “As soon as you get home, you take a picture of your receipt and you scan the barcodes to prove you purchased a product. 

“Within 48 hours you get the rebate in your bank account or PayPal.”

Holly, who has been couponing for about eight years, advised that total beginners should start with Shopmium as it is “so easy” and they have a number of free codes for you to try out. 

This is the digital age of couponing, it is genius

She said: “If you use the code COUPON when you join, you get a free bag of M&Ms, which are normally £2.

“It just gets you to grips with the apps.”

The couponing expert – who is married to sports massage therapist Callum, 33, and mum to Bonnie, one, Zac, two, Mollie, 11, and Bella, 10 – said there is a misconception that it’s only junk food that you can get for free.

She continued: “Another app to try is GreenJinn, it has a lot of offers and freebies for gluten free or vegan food.



  • COUPON – for a Free Share Bag of M&MS
  • HELLO – For a Free Bag of Gourmet Cat Food


  • Coupon for Free a Pack of 'Lost the Pot Pot Noodles' https://www.potnoodle.com/products/lost-the-pot-noodle.html
  • Coupon for a Free Pot of 'Pot Noodle Fusions' https://www.potnoodle.com/products/fusions.html
  • Coupon for a Free Pack of Newborn Nappies at ALDI https://www.netmums.com/baby/try-aldi-mamia-newborn-nappies-for-free
  • Free Baby Weaning Pack (comes with lots of coupons including one for a free pouch of baby food) https://www.ellaskitchen.co.uk/join-ellas-friends
  • Free Sample of Huggies Drynites (comes with a £2 Off Coupon) https://www.huggies.co.uk/drynites/register

“It is a dedicated app for specialised food diets, in this day and age, gluten free and vegan food can be expensive, and they have so many offers each month where you can try free items.

“Only recently I got a free pizza that is worth £4.”

But why do stores just “give away” free products?

Holly explained: “If they have a new product and you try it for free, you are more likely to become a recurring customer and buy it more often.

“If you ever get items you don’t want, donate them to your local food bank, they need them more than ever.

“I’ve given away £10,000 worth of products over the years to charity.”

Her biggest haul was when she got £1,200 in one go seven years ago, but she added: “Easily the average person can save £50 – £60 just by using one or two apps, even if you want to just dip your toe in.”

Referral links

Another way to get some cash is by referring people to the apps.

She said: “You can actually refer your friends via a link and you’ll get £3 into your account that you can use any time.

“You don’t have to be an influencer or anyone with a vast following. 

“Most people have Facebook and Instagram. 

“Just pop on your referral link and say ‘if you join Shopmium and use this code you will get a free bag of M&Ms or free cat food, if you sign up via my link, I will benefit too’.

“Who is going to turn down signing up to an app where you get freebies?

“It’s a way to help yourself if you are struggle.”

Holly said that many of the apps let you get freebies and discounts per adult, instead of per household, which results in even more saving.

She explained: “I have one for me and my husband.

“Each adult in a household – unless there are restrictions – can have an account, so you can claim multiple freebies per household.

“I’ll log into my mum and dad’s account as they aren’t that tech-savvy.”

Follow brands

Another way to get coupons is on Facebook and Instagram by following brands, Holly advised.

She said: “Last month alone I must have got £50 worth of coupons and following brands.

“If you follow brands like Tenor Lady and Lost the Pot Pot Noodles, they have a free coupon and you just go onto their account and click the link and you can get a free coupon.

“When they have a promotion, they tend to pop up on your feed as sponsored.”

Supermarket magazines

Holly advised you should check supermarket magazines to see if they have any discounts or freebies.

She said she always picks up a Tesco magazine and often is in luck.

The mum advised: “Each month they have the first page has about £16 worth of coupons on and there is a good variety of stuff for all people.

“A lot of people think it is junk food on coupons, but I got super glue last month and gave it to my dad.”

During her early twenties, Holly went through a period of poor health and survived on benefits while she was in and out of hospital.

The mum found herself entering hundreds of competitions everyday and the first prize she won was to have her own website designed – which gave her the idea to start her money-saving blog.

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Holly has now turned her hobby into a full-time job, sharing money saving tips with other bargain hunters on her website, Extreme Couponing.

She's just authored a book, Holly Smith's Money Saving Book, and has an impressive social media following of millions.

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