Lauren Puryear is an overachiever—of the very best kind. She set a goal on her 29th birthday to use her extreme-couponing skills to good to provide 30,000 meals to people in need before she turned 30.
Well, this past March, Puryear surpassed that target—with six months to spare. She has made a real difference by scoring amazing deals on food, then preparing meals and going out into her town of Woodbridge, Virginia, and surrounding communities to directly serve those in need.
A mental health clinician and single mother, Puryear was inspired by her grandmother’s legacy of giving and is proud of the example she’s setting for her 6-year-old son.
“He’s really grown into such a little humanitarian,” she told Scary Mommy. “He’s learned that helping others should be a part of our everyday lives, and learned the importance of not throwing food away. I hope he’ll continue to help others throughout his life however he sees fit. He’s also learned how to coupon—which he loves.”
Puryear founded her charitable organization, For the Love of Others, in 2012 to reach “those who need a helping hand,” but didn’t discover couponing until later.
“We were paying out of our own pockets, and [food and money] donations weren’t enough, then I was introduced to couponing,” Puryear told the Press of Atlantic City.
Through clipping coupons, she’s scored big deals on staples like pasta and sauce and even vegetables. Puryear invites friends and volunteers to grocery shop with her so that she can maximize the number of times she uses each coupon and the helpers even help haul her finds. Her organization recently made 500 “Love Bags” containing breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack and a drink for hungry children in her area.
Though she’s completed her “30k by 30” campaign, Puryear’s 30th birthday isn’t until September 14, 2017, and the number of meals she’s served continues to increase. The counter on the For the Love of Others site shows the current tally at 32,027 meals served as of April 19.
On a video posted on the organization’s website, Puryear celebrated reaching her initial goal, and said her group’s new initiative “Push Past Poverty” will “bring awareness to other issues such as the millions of Americans who are living at or below the poverty line.”
Puryear’s story is a reminder that one person can make a difference and that each of us has special skills that can be used to help others. If you’re inspired by Puryear’s story, you can subscribe to her newsletter, where she even offers tips and lessons on coupon-clipping. To kick off your own couponing efforts, check out our article on “6 Companies That Will Send You Coupons Instantly.”