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She is couponing for a cause

Lauren Puryear relies on coupons to support her quest to feed 30,000 people

Couponing has always been a way of life for some, but others are just learning how to get the most bang for their buck while taking it to the extreme. The urge to shop till you drop and spend the least amount of money possible has become so popular that websites have been created to offer helpful tips. It has often been referred to as a sport, and there is even a show featuring the lifestyle.

For New Jersey native and Virginia resident Lauren Puryear, couponing is not about the hype and trend that surrounds it. It is a way to purchase more and spend less for a cause close to her heart. Puryear’s hope is that couponing will help in her quest to feed 30,000 people in need by her 30th birthday, which is next September.

Puryear, a mental health clinician and mother of one, began to feed the hungry after the death of her grandmother in 2012. In an effort to find a way to honor her grandmother’s legacy and the values she passed to her grandchild, Puryear established For The Love of Others, an organization created to “reach the people who simply need a helping hand to help bring them into a better place.”

Puryear often shopped in retail warehouses where food and supplies come in bulk, but it wasn’t enough to reach the numbers of people she wanted to feed. After learning how much money that couponing could save a shopper, Puryear decided to give it a try.

“My first couponing experience ever was canned vegetables,” Puryear told ABC News. “I was able to get them for 4 cents a can at Dollar General, so I bought 420 cans and I added chicken and rice to that meal.”

Puryear, who generally searches the Sunday newspaper and online sites for coupons, quickly realized that with some items she could feed more than 100 people for only $20. Puryear said she could spend up to 10 hours a week on couponing alone.

Puryear has handed out a little over 5,000 meals in her 30,000-meal journey.

“Just knowing that we’re making a difference in someone’s life, that’s the most rewarding thing and what keeps me going,” she said.

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.