One-on-One with Extreme Couponer (and of Bachelorette Fame), Chrystie Vachon!

That’s right. I said “extreme couponer” and “bachelorette” in the same sentence :) Because any of you who watch either will recognize Chrystie in a second with her trademark tattoos and feistiness. All stuff that made me reach out to her for this interview! (You’re welcome.)

But for those who may be out of this “cool” group who’s “in the know” (I freely admit I’m a Bachelorette fan – I won’t pretend to blame it on my wife!) , here are some quick tidbits before we get started…

  1. Chrystie Vachon (formerly Corns) made waves on The Bachelorette Season #7 when she came on in the finale to help her sister, Ashley – the bachelorette – figure out who her best match was of the remaining guys. She pretty much told her sister she disapproved of J.P. because he was too old for her, and they got in a nice drama filled fight on national TV. Ashley chose J.P. in the end :)
  2. Chrystie was also featured in TLC’s Extreme Couponing Season #1, episode #9 as “A woman who started couponing to save her family business [that] now has a stockpile worth more than $35,000.” Hot damn! I’d chime in with more here, but sadly I only watched a few of the shows when my A.D.D. took over… Of course now I have to go find her episode ;)
  3. Chrystie blogs, and shares her passion of couponing, on her website, Formerly, which some of you may know. Her main goal is to give people the tools, education and motivation to get their life back together by taking control of your finances (she was recently divorced). This is one of my favorite quotes of hers: “Your money is the one thing you can control during the times when your life seems to be spinning out of control.” Preach on, sista!

Okay, enough of the rambling… to the interview!


#1. Let’s just get this one out of the way – are you and JP now cool? :)

Ha! Of course! JP and I made up really quickly after I left Fiji. We skyped after he and Ashley got back from the TV show and we are totally cool now. I blame my initial negative reaction to Ashley & JP’s relationship on the fact that it’s like a billion degrees in Fiji..I was hot and grumpy. Ashley & JP were just at my house this weekend, we have really gotten close and of course…I have no problem admitting that I was wrong about him!

#2. You’ve been famous for The Bachelorette, but now also for TLC’s Extreme Couponing. What are three of the most extreme things you’ve done to save money?

Gosh… what haven’t I done to save money? ;)

1. The craziest thing I did to save money was get a tattoo to get a FREE trip to Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas this year. They had a promotion, where if you got the Affiliate Summit logo you would get a full expense paid trip to the conference in Vegas including airfare, hotel & the ticket to the conference. I got the logo tattooed on my bicep and got the trip for free! :)

2. When I first started couponing, I learned quickly that you were only allowed to print 2 of each coupon from each computer in your house. So I went on a little buying spree and cruised Ebay and Craigslist for used computers used only for printing coupons. There was a time that I had 8 computers in my house. But the computers paid for themselves with the amount of coupons I was able to print.

3. In 2011, I tried to go clothes-free. No, not naked! I tried to go an entire year without buying any new clothes…which, let’s be honest…is hard to do for a woman! No..I did not make it an entire year, but I did pretty darn good and lasted 6 months before I made my first clothing purchase.

#3. A little birdy once told me that you thought coupons were “for poor people.” How would you convince your old self differently if you could go back in time?

I’m embarrassed to admit that I really did believe coupons were for poor people before I got wise (and divorced). I don’t know..I think there was a stigma associated with coupons that made me feel uncomfortable with using them. In my younger days I was more focused on projecting a certain image, than being financially smart. It was only after my divorce, did I start to realize coupons weren’t for poor people, they were for smart people!

[Editor’s note: Check out this hilarious video of hers I found :) “Sh*t Couponers Say”]

#4. Something that’s quite evident by looking at you is that you sure love yourself some tattoos (which are actually quite sexy, I must say). Have you figured out a way to save money on those too??

My philosophy when it comes to saving money is to “Save where you can to enjoy money how you want”. Tattoos are a luxury that I afford myself by saving in other areas in my life. Tattoos unfortunately, aren’t one of those items that I am willing to scrimp on or try find the best deal. These things are permanent, so I want to make sure I’m getting the best work possible. I’ve stuck with one tattoo artist and don’t even worry about the price.

#5. Finish this sentence: The only thing better than coupons are _______.

Margaritas, Sex, Starbucks… I could go on….

#6. You’ve now been living the dream as a full time blogger going on 3 years (congrats!). What were some of the things you did to help you take the plunge?

As soon as I started my blog, I knew that I eventually wanted it to become my full time job. The first thing that I did to make that happen, was work my butt off and earn as much money as I could… I also cut back on my spending dramatically.  I taught coupon classes, I continued to consult on social marketing, and blogged at all hours of the night.

coupon karma

I told myself that when my blog started making $100 a day, I would quit everything else and focus on the blog. That happened at just around the 1 year mark, and I made the transition and never looked back.

Now if you are doing the math (and I know you are)… that was only $36,500 a year. Not enough to raise myself and my two kids on, and less than I was making as a social marketing consultant.  But since I was couponing and had tucked away some money, I was able to get by until the blog started making more money..and now here we are 4 years later and I’m still doing what I love!

#7. What’s inside your purse right now?

chrystie vachon seabag

Purse: SeaBag (

Contents of Purse:

  • Laptop & Earbuds
  • Notebook & Pens
  • Lip Balm
  • Baby Diapers & Wipes (I’ve got an 11 month old!)
  • Keys
  • Earrings
  • A Bunch of business cards from the last conference I attended
  • Zone Perfect Bar (Because I frequently forget to eat)
  • Thirty One Coupon Clutch (Filled with dozens of coupons filed by store)
  • Cepacol Lozenges (It’s cold season)
  • Lots of crumbs (not shown) LOL.

chrystie purse insides


(I of course had to get in some Wallet Crashing action up in here ;) )

But there you have it! One-on-one with my first TV star! Haha… And one who’s a bad ass blogger too (well, as bad ass as you can get with couponing of course). It’s a good thing for those tattoos – ya gotta stand out in this quick online world of ours!

Thanks for stopping by today, Chrystie – much appreciated :)

Stay tuned for the next one-on-one where we interview the infamous Juan Pablo Just kidding… I’m pretty sure he’ll be laying low for *quite* some time… And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you run out and get yourself a TV, foo!

PS: But only if you use a coupon for it, right Chrystie?
PPS: Like these one-on-ones? Check out the last one we did with Hip-Hop’s Financial Adviser, Rob Wilson.


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  1. a terrible husband... March 26, 2014 at 6:11 AM

    Nice! I love the multiple computer thing. Brilliant. Great way to turn a few dollars into a lot more dollars.

    1. J. Money March 26, 2014 at 8:34 AM

      Haha yeah – “maxing out” the rewards, as they say. I liked that part too :)

  2. Catina Mount March 26, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    OK, I was ADDICTED to the show Extreme Couponing and totally remember Chrystie…she made couponing sexy and for that I say…Thank You! I’d love to know why she she changed to Coupon Karma & the story behind the logo…heading to her site now. Great interview!

    1. J. Money March 26, 2014 at 8:35 AM

      Very cool! I bet you like her logo cuz it’s in yours too, eh? :)

      I seriously want to get a tattoo of an anchor too… so freakin’ solid and old school.

      1. Catina Mount March 26, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        Ha ha! For sho! I already have the spot carved out for my anchor tattoo….now I just need some courage!

        1. J. Money March 26, 2014 at 10:41 AM

          I have the opposite problem – plenty of courage but no spot picked out!

          Perhaps if we ever meet in the real world one day we’ll go and get one together :)

          1. Catina Mount March 27, 2014 at 7:35 AM

            Right!? I’m in!

  3. Dave @ The New York Budget March 26, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    I’ve had a couple of false starts with couponing. I can’t quite get into it. But get ready for some backlash for this one, J$! For some reason, there is a large contingent of people in the PF world that LOVE to rage against couponing. Personally, if I could figure out a way to integrate it into my routine effectively, why not!

    1. J. Money March 26, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      People can hate all they want – I don’t think it’ll stop the ones workin’ the system and winning :) (Even though, like you, I don’t do much couponing either… except when buying stuff online and googling for discount codes before finalizing purchases. I ALWAYS get at least a few dollars off every single time – it’s awesome! Esp when buying up domain names – I swear go daddy has a new $1.99 domain coupon like every other week!)

    1. J. Money March 26, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      What about for a free million dollars? :)

  4. Kathy March 26, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    I use coupons but not to the extent that the extreme couponers claim to. My problem with this is that some practices are unethical, such as stealing inserts from neighbor’s papers, using coupons for products not on the coupon and… cited in the article, printing more coupons than authorized by the manufacturer. This TV show has been exposed as fraudulent in that many of the stores allowed couponers to violate the store’s own policies in order to get free publicity for being on the show. I don’t put a lot of credibility in many of the claims.

    1. J. Money March 27, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      Yeah, I’ve heard the show ended up changing a lot of the rules and made it harder for people… Not sure about the unethical part of it all, but I can see how people wouldn’t want to do it.

  5. Done by Forty March 26, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Nice get on the interview, J Money! My wife and I are unabashed Bachelor and Bachelorette fans. We even do a fantasy draft with all the contestants (fantasy football style): we each pick a team, and every week that your players are still in the game, you get points. We add and deduct points for various behavior (crying loses points, punching someone gains you points…though sadly that never happens).

    1. J. Money March 27, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      HAH! You’d get more points if you did it to Bachelor Pad if it ever comes back :)

  6. Mr Ikonz @ Project Ikonz March 26, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    Great interview J Money! Unfortunately in Oz there’s no decent coupon lifestyle here (I actually wish there was!).

    My view is, if a company is willing to put coupons out there, you should be willing to use them!
    Millionaires don’t become millionaires by wasting money.

  7. Addison @ Cashville Skyline March 27, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    Cool interview! I love watching Extreme Couponers on Netlix and fantasize about saving that kind of cash, but I definitely don’t have the patience or time to commit. I’ll just have to continue admiring professional couponers like Chrystie from my couch! ;)

    1. J. Money March 27, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      Maybe you can hire Chrystie and the likes to do it for you?? That would be kinda cool if there was profit in it for everyone!

  8. Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen March 27, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    I only have three computers here! Great way to capitalize on the coupons though! I should try to figure out a way to hook up the two tablets I have and two phones. That would make 7 devices to print from if possible.

    1. J. Money March 27, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      It would be awesome to have mini-printers just for our iphones, haha…

  9. merry March 31, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    I hate the EC show. It actually ruined couponing IMO. It certainly alerted the manufacturers and stores as to how folks were working the system to their benefit. Since airing, all the rules, etc. have changed. I never did any of the unethical stuff and only worked with 3-4 sets of the weekly inserts but managed to save a bunch of $$. That’s all over now. It’s rare to find a deal worth my while anymore–especially since I have a garage shelf full of stuff I got for free. Once that is gone, I’ll have to regroup. So, yeah, this gal had her 15 seconds of fame along with all those other EC people but totally messed up everybody else. I wouldn’t go to her site if you paid me.

    1. J. Money April 1, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      Yikes. Sorry to hear!


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