Image for ‘Coupon Mom’ Stephanie Nelson: On Faith, Hard Work and Helping Others

Stephanie Nelson

‘Coupon Mom’: On Faith, Hard Work and Helping Others

Stephanie Nelson was a stay-at-home mom struggling to make ends meet. Then her skill with coupons helped millions save money. Now she’s now giving back with a new book.


Have you ever felt as if you had a talent for something, but weren't quite sure what to do with it?

If so, you'll want to listen to our latest episode with 'Coupon Mom' Stephanie Nelson.

Beginning in 2001, Stephanie became famous through TV appearances on Good Morning America and The Oprah Winfrey Show. On those shows and many others, Stephanie taught people how to save massive amounts of money on their grocery bills. Along the way, she built a following of more than 8 million members.

But what you and others didn't see on TV was Stephanie's three-year struggle to get started.

You didn't see how Stephanie was a stay-at-home mom to young children. How those coupons were a necessity for her and her family to make ends meet.

And until now, you might not have known how a speaker at Stephanie's church inspired it all with some wise words. Words that you, too, will find both inspiring and helpful.

In this show, Stephanie shares how she discovered her passion — and the moment she realized she could use it to help others. You'll also hear how all of that service to others came back to her, many times over.

Today's show also includes some interesting coincidences from the Crazy Good Turns universe. In fact you'll hear how another Crazy Good Turns guest, Bob Goff, helped Stephanie write her new book.

That book is titled, "Imagine More: Do What You Love, Discover Your Potential." Stephanie says it's a roadmap for anyone who feels they have a dream that's too big to come true.

She's going even further. Stephanie also has pledged to give away her book advance as seed money for people pursuing their own big idea. If you've been sitting on one, she'll explain how you can get a shot at receiving one of her grants.

I've read Stephanie's book and truly enjoyed it. I think you will too. That's why we'll be giving away 50 copies of it to listeners like you.

Sign up here for your chance to win.

  • How Stephanie discovered a passion for couponing (05:29)
  • The moment she realized she could use her talent to help others (06:45)
  • Why Stephanie decided to write a book, and what she learned from it (19:21)
  • The generous way Stephanie is paying forward the help she received along the way (26:59)

FRANK BLAKE: Stephanie, it is such a treat to have you on the podcast. Welcome.

STEPHANIE NELSON: Well, thanks so much for having me. I love listening to your podcast. I've been looking forward to this conversation.

FRANK BLAKE: So I want to start with, I have your new book and we're going to offer it to our listeners.

I look at who blurbs a book because that's always fascinating to me, and you've been praised on your book by Andy Stanley, Bob Goff, and Clark Howard, who I think are probably three of the absolute best communicators in our country.

So, that's the first comment.

Then the question from that is, if you go back in time, did you ever think this is where I'm going to end up, I'm going to end up writing books that people who communicate with the entire world think is a great book?

STEPHANIE NELSON: Wow, what a great question. Of course, I never thought that, and I'm 60 years old.

I wrote this book. I looked back over the past 23 years and it's always so easy for us to see things in retrospect, isn't it?

But at the beginning, I certainly didn't know what was ahead.

So, I have to agree with you. Those three men are three of my most admired men, and they have all helped me so much in my journey.

FRANK BLAKE: There are more. So, those aren't the only ones who praised your book.

So, before getting into the coupon moms and your book, I love a little bit more about...

I saw you worked at P&G, you worked at Marriott, and then you left to start life as a full-time mom.

Take us through a little bit of that journey.

STEPHANIE NELSON: Well, it's interesting because I see that you're on the board of P&G, so I thought that was fun.

Sure, I went to college. I got out of college and I went into sales.

I actually tried to work at P&G three times. I had to interview with three divisions before I got a job.

So, I always tell people, persevere. Okay.

I did that for a few years and that was good. I ended up seeing an ad in the paper in Washington, DC for this great job at Marriott.

I sent a resume in and I got the job because the woman who was hiring had come from P&G. Isn't that funny?

So I went to work there and a wonderful experience, loved Marriott, national sales, and there was this really cute guy who sat next to me. So, I married him.

We've been married 33 years, so I'm not ashamed of that.

We did start a family, so unexpected. I thought I would work forever.

I thought I had these goals of being a big vice president, but gosh, when I had my sons, I just really wanted to be home.

That was really probably the best thing ever because we unexpectedly were thrust into a tight budget. We had planned our life on two incomes.

So, that's how I became very adept at saving money in every area, which is why I followed Clark Howard, which is why I learned how to use grocery coupons.

It just turned into something I never would've expected.

FRANK BLAKE: So you rose to fame as a coupon mom.

So, maybe describe for our listeners that journey and when did you realize you had a knack for coupons?

STEPHANIE NELSON: Well, what's interesting, Frank, is that as soon as I figured out the coupon thing and we're talking, people listening will know I was that woman in line in front of you with a stack of coupons and you wish you hadn't gotten in that line.

This was 20 years ago. That's how it used to work.

So, I was excited because I discovered you could get all these free groceries and I would tell friends about it.

They didn't care. It's too embarrassing to use coupons.

But the turning point was when I heard a speaker at our church, a woman, and this is what she said and this is what I hang on to and this is what I tell everybody, if there is something you love to do and you can figure out how to use it to help other people, then you have just landed on God's exciting plan for your life.

I went and I thought, "Well, gosh, the only thing I really love to do is grocery coupons."

I don't want to tell anyone that, but I did tell God that. I did. I prayed about it every day. She said, "Pray every day."

On day 11, I went to church. In the church bulletin, they had an appeal for donations at our local food pantry.

I'd never directly donated. I donated food in a collection bin in a school food drive, but I'd never actually gone to a food pantry.

Frank, what I noticed was every item was a coupon item.

So, just for fun, I went to the store the next day. I got $60 worth of groceries that were good for the food pantry at a cost of $10.


STEPHANIE NELSON: That's what started it.

Then I just bought groceries every day. I taught little seminars at our church, in our school, and the community and just grassroots effort in my community.

I started a website and I would list the deals every week and people would follow it.

That was three years, three years of I heard a guest on your podcast say, three years of unimaginable work.

That was deeply fulfilling.


What appealed to you about coupon?

Is it like fishing? Do you get surprised? Oh, my gosh, look at what's here now.

STEPHANIE NELSON: It was a puzzle. It was a fun puzzle.

Because I'd worked at Procter and Gamble, I had an understanding of consumer marketing.

So, the way it would work is one week, the company would put out a coupon, 50 cents off Ragu, but then they know that we didn't save that coupon.

They know we threw it away, we lost it.

So, two weeks later, three weeks later, they put Ragu on sale for half price.

But a couponer knows you hold onto that coupon and then the store is going to double it and now you're getting free Ragu.

If that's not exciting, I don't know what is.

FRANK BLAKE: Wow, very cool.

As your website is gaining popularity, how did it start to go national?

STEPHANIE NELSON: Well, this is the crazy good turn. So, the situation is I've done this for three years.

I have some grassroots traffic, but it's the only way to grow would be for me to hire staff and hire advertising and hire marketing.

It was just me doing data entry and doing this speaking.

I didn't have any extra money and it was too small to get advertisers. The website was too small.

So, I just accepted this as my fun hobby and I love it. That's payment itself.

Then what happened is that I went on a local television show and the other-

FRANK BLAKE: In Washington, D.C., area.

STEPHANIE NELSON: In Atlanta, Georgia, we had moved to Atlanta and I went on Good Day Atlanta.

It was the holiday times. They wanted me to demonstrate how to get a table of free groceries for charity because that's when food drives happened.

So, I had my table and I'm excited. I'm on the news. It's five minutes of live TV.

The other guest that day happened to be a television professional, and he traveled all over the country going on TV all the time. He was hired by companies to do this.

He said to me, "You have got to get on national TV."

I said, "Well, that'd be great. I'd send them all emails. Of course, they haven't responded. How do you get on national TV?"

He gave me the name of the producer at Good Morning America, who decides if unknown people are going to come on their show and I'm just a mom from Atlanta.

He said, "Here's her name, call the switchboard. She answers her phone on Friday afternoon, tell her what you've got in 30 seconds."

I did. I called the next day. I followed up with emails and I followed up with phone calls.

I probably bugged her way too much.

In five months, she had me on the show.

Frank, you know what? As if that wasn't enough, of course, my website went crazy.

Of course, I made $10,000 in one day. I mean, what was that?

After the show, that night, I was back in Atlanta and she called my house and she said, "That was our most popular story of the day. Do you know anything else about how to save money? We'd like to hire you."

Good Morning America hired me. It was so ridiculous.

They gave me the name, The Coupon Mom. I didn't make that up. They gave me the name.

So, anyway, that was when it started and they had me on the show.

I think it was 17 times over three years. Then companies would hire me to be their spokesperson.

My first spokesperson deal was dial up internet for $10 a month.

Anything that was inexpensive, a company would go, The Coupon Mom. So, it was a lot of fun.

The best thing is that you want to talk about fulfilling, the hundreds of emails I got from people across the country about how much they were saving for their families.

FRANK BLAKE: Really? So people would communicate to you saying, "Thank you so much." Really?

STEPHANIE NELSON: They would. I mean more emails than I could possibly respond to.

That's how wonderful it was.


STEPHANIE NELSON: We did end up getting eight million members, and I think that day that I went on that local Atlanta show, we had about 3,000.

FRANK BLAKE: That's amazing.

I am fascinated looking at the background of what you were doing and the role of the IRS in that just strikes me as so ironic and amusing.

Maybe you could explain it.

STEPHANIE NELSON: Well, I would like to tell people this story because this is what I hope will encourage people, because most of us have a dream and it's limited in some way.

It's limited usually by money or time. As I told you, mine was limited by money.

So, before I went on Good Day Atlanta, before I went on Good Morning America, our church minister and the CPA for the church said if I could get my website to be a nonprofit organization, then I could get donations and grants and it could really grow.

That was the only possible source of funding I could see. So, the CPA took me on as a pro bono client.

He did a very detailed proposal for my website.

The IRS agent called me after a couple of months and she said it was rejected.

Now, Frank, what's interesting is that in further research she was wrong.

I know this has never happened, that an IRS agent would be wrong, but she was wrong.

But I started to cry on the phone. I really thought this was the end of everything.

She felt so sorry for me. She said, "You know what? Here's what I'll do. I'll just withdraw your application. No one will even know you applied and if you can just change it."

They wanted me to take out the part that helped people save money.

That was the only part that mattered. I'm like, "I can't do that."

FRANK BLAKE: It's a charitable part of this.


So, she said, "Your website helps people save money. That's not a nonprofit organization."

Of course, we know that's not true.

There's plenty of them, but here's the good thing is I believed her. I believed her.

Actually, I tell the story in the book. I was so discouraged.

I got down on my knees next to my bed that night, 9:30 at night, and I just asked God to take this obsession away from me.

I'd spent three years and I'm driving everyone crazy. Just take it away from me.

I still will do the website. I love to do it, but just let me accept that it is what it is and it's not going to be big but it's good enough.

When you do that, I always say, God is happy to trade our problems for his peace.

I'm not saying he is a genie in a bottle and you just ask him, but I didn't even turn on my computer the next day.

That is when 12 hours later, for the first time ever, Clark Howard recommended my website on the radio and I had never even talked to the man.

FRANK BLAKE: Oh, my gosh. Oh, my God.

STEPHANIE NELSON: That's how I got on Good Day Atlanta, because they were like, "Well, if Clark Howard's talking about it."

Then that's how I met the guy who told me about Good Morning America, and then they hired me.

So, I look at all of that and I think, "Would I have persevered so much? No, I actually had to give up."

I was giving up and then I get this gift on a silver platter.

If anyone who lives in Atlanta knows that Clark Howard is gold, I mean, he has so much integrity.

FRANK BLAKE: And beyond the land, the whole country. Yeah.

STEPHANIE NELSON: The whole country, yes. So, at any rate, that was just a good example of...

I have to tell you what's funny. Well, then it ended up making money.

The website ended up making money. We didn't charge people.

It only made money because so many people used it. So, then the ads on the website made more, and the ads were good stuff. It was like, print a coupon for P&G.

My CPA said later, "The best thing that ever happened to you was that you did not get..."

Because I would never have gotten millions of dollars in grants from... I would never have gotten that much money.

I wouldn't have gotten $5,000, but the website made millions of dollars.

So, then I was able to hire lots of people and we were able to develop it and have great technology.

It all worked out beautifully.

FRANK BLAKE: It's just so ironic that the decision that you didn't qualify as a charity turns into a decision that helped you help even more people charitably.

It is just one of life's rich ironies.

STEPHANIE NELSON: I love that. Let me point out, Frank, I've certainly given the IRS a lot of money since then.

FRANK BLAKE: So if you look back on it, what was your biggest surprise in starting it all and what do you wish you had known beforehand?

STEPHANIE NELSON: Oh, my gosh. There's so much I wish I had known.

The biggest surprise had to be when Good Morning America said they wanted to hire me.

I mean, that hadn't even been in my wildest daydreams.

What I wished I had known?

I mean, you know how much we learn in our careers as we go along.

I had to self-teach myself how to do what I call digital marketing and the whole website things.

If I had understood at the very beginning what I understand now, it would've been easier for the business to grow, for the website to reach more people.

If I had understood more about if I had been willing to hire someone who understood that, but I'm on the budget, I really wasn't willing to risk our family's money, but I wish I had brought some people in to help me get it off the ground sooner.

Whenever I say this to my husband, Frank, he says, "Oh, my gosh, honey. It was successful beyond our wildest dreams. Do not second-guess anything."

Maybe it was good that I had to learn it all along the way.

FRANK BLAKE: Out of curiosity, did your national fame impact your husband and kids?

STEPHANIE NELSON: Oh, sure, sure. I'll tell you something funny. I went on a big surprise, big surprise.

I wrote about it in the book, but I got on The Oprah Winfrey Show. I was only on her show for a total of five minutes, and it changed my life.

Here's why, because remember how I told you I didn't really understand the digital marketing thing?

The day after I was on Oprah's show, my website went to the top of Google for all of the important search terms.

There's a coupon company who is my advertiser and they're number one, but I went above that because Oprah drove so much traffic and it sat there for six years.

So, that was 40% of our business for six years simply from going on The Oprah Show for five minutes.

FRANK BLAKE: Incredible.

STEPHANIE NELSON: Incredible. Okay.

So, my husband, my mother always said, I married the perfect man because he is completely unfazed by two things, fame and money, completely unfazed by that.

He is a Boy Scout leader. He is the guy who picks trash up off the ground. He is salt of the earth. He is such a nice person.

He didn't let any of this faze him, and he made sure to keep me grounded. So, I do appreciate that we have a very nice life and a very nice marriage.

I think that if he had let my ego get carried away, but I'll tell you what?

After I went on The Oprah Show, my sons were in high school and middle school, they got so much attention from girls, they were not complaining.

FRANK BLAKE: That was a good thing for them.

So, switching gears a bit, tell our listeners about your book, Imagine More, which has a long subtitle, but Imagine More.

Tell us a little bit about the book and why you wrote it.

STEPHANIE NELSON: So the reason I wrote the book is because we have a mutual friend, Bob Goff, one of my favorite authors.

I'd read all his books and I went to a workshop of his a couple of years ago, really just because I wanted to meet him.

When you meet Bob, he puts big dreams in your head.

I told him the coupon mom story, and he said, "You should write a book."

I was retired and I thought, "Well, you know what, Bob Goff will say he writes his books for his children." I thought, "Okay."

FRANK BLAKE: I didn't know. Yeah.


He writes his books for his children and anyone who wants to come alongside and listen is free to do that.

Millions of people have done that.

My sons saw what I call the highlight reel of the coupon mom experience, but they didn't see the stuff behind the scenes, the rejection, the discouragement, and they're men now.

I wanted them to have those stories and that perspective and the faith part of this story, even if I'm gone.

So, I wrote the book as a manuscript and Bob coached me through it.

It was very fun to write and I had no intention of publishing it.

It sat on my computer for six months, but I had the book written.

Then I was approached by a publisher six months after that and they published it.

Nelson Books, I mean, you're going to do any better than that?

I was so excited and we'll talk about this, but they gave me money to publish this book. Remember I never expected to publish it?

So we're using that money in really fun ways.

FRANK BLAKE: Yes, I am looking forward to getting into that.

Before getting to that, just a little bit about the book, because it's been described as a practical guide that provides a roadmap for anyone who wants to succeed in achieving dreams that may feel too big to come true - which wow, that's got to be a pretty big audience right there.

So, without giving away the entire book, what's that roadmap about?

STEPHANIE NELSON: Well, I feel like the roadmap is the important thing is the very first step, which is what do you truly love to do?

Okay, what is it that really sparks joy? Okay, when you land on that and if I can say grocery coupons, then I think anyone else, their thing is going to be better than that.

So, no shame in whatever your thing is. What is it you love to do?

If you can really give thought to how you can use it to help other people, that combination is exponential, Frank.

What I did was I prayed every day. Lord, please show me how to use this. Please show me how I can make this something that is my dream.

Step by step and step by step, he did. There were all kinds of things that happened.

So, when I say this, I do say it to my kids, and I have one son who has implemented that.

He took a childhood hobby and has turned it into a business, but it's not really the money he's making that gets them excited. It's the children who are catching on to this hobby.

He's a grown man now and he can see himself in these young kids.

So, he said to me, "Young children, especially middle schoolers, feel invisible. They feel invisible." This hobby, I love, and if I can give them attention to make them feel seen as I teach them this hobby.

"That's really what I care about. I want them to feel seen."

So when you talk about fulfillment, I could say, "Oh, sure, my website was successful on paper," but really what mattered to me was the woman who came up to me in the grocery store and held my hands and said, "We're going to have a Hallmark moment right here. You have no idea what this website did for our family."

So when I tell people that that's the joy you can experience when you land on the thing you love to do and then you can help other people with it, how do you measure that, Frank?

So when I talk about a practical roadmap, I did share, remember I said I didn't have money.

There were a lot of different resources that I used along the way that helped me get off the ground.

Relationships with people, I went to a local university and I got this huge great software development package that they did.

I wrote about all the people who helped me in the book.

It's step by step. Like anything, the journey is the fun part, right?

FRANK BLAKE: Yeah. What did you learn about the journey or just appreciated more about the journey from the process of writing the book?

STEPHANIE NELSON: Okay, great question.

What I learned in the process of writing the book as I was looking retrospectively is it's like they just came up to the surface of the water, Frank, all of the people who helped me along the way.

So, in writing the book, I wrote about a lot of people, some people I hadn't spoken to for 30 years, some for 20 years.

I found those people on LinkedIn and I sent them their chapter.

I have reconnected with so many people from earlier parts of my life, and we now have a connection, a relationship. We're doing stuff together and I'm so thankful for that.

So, many of them said they were blown away. One woman said, it is emotionally overwhelming to me to read this chapter that you wrote about me.

What a gift that is. So, highly relational.

FRANK BLAKE: I think it's a deep truth that we tend to look at our careers as our own thing.

Maybe our family is part of it but doesn't tend to go much beyond that or a few key people.

But when you really go down that path, you see so many people who for no particular reason, they didn't benefit from it, helped you.

I suspect from the way you answered that, that's a hugely positive part of writing the book.

It's great reading it because you do get all these characters that you've interacted with during this process, some in the most unlikely of ways.

STEPHANIE NELSON: Exactly. I always say to people, I say to everyone, I think you too, "Everyone needs to write their book, your book from the heart. Leave it for your kids."

My theory is if we each read each other's books, because now what's happened is a lot of my friends and acquaintances have read my book and we have a much deeper connection.

So, many people have said, "I had no idea this was..."

So I said, "Well, I want to read your book."

We would all understand each other so much better. We'd probably like each other a lot better.

FRANK BLAKE: I don't know whether it's a description of you from others or from yourself that you have a bottomless source of energy.

Was that underlying it?

When you look at some of the key success elements, was that a key success element or you just took that for granted?

STEPHANIE NELSON: No, that was a key success element, but I was also 40.

I don't know if you've read the book Strength to Strength by Arthur Brooks, but 40 is when people peak.

So, I was 40, now I'm 60. I'm looking back.

I want to encourage those 40-year-olds to do amazing things, but yes, I think a lot of energy and you generally get energy when you're excited about something, but I don't want to minimize that.

Of course, there are hard parts in the journey, and of course, there are discouraging parts.

It's like the stock market.

If we were to look at the graph of the stock market over the past 10 years, you're going to see this huge hockey stick thing.

But if you zoom in, you're going to see a lot of ups and downs.

So, I'm looking at the hockey stick right now, but if you have checked in with me on a Tuesday about 15 years ago-

FRANK BLAKE: Yeah, the path didn't seem so clean, so clear.

So, for your book, you've done another crazy good turn, which is you're using the advance, as you referenced, and any additional proceeds to fund other people's dreams.

Tell our listeners about that.

STEPHANIE NELSON: Well, first of all, I got this idea from Frank Blake because I pay attention and I am so amazed at what you do and writing the notes. It's just so beautiful.

So, I thought, "Okay, how could I help people who are where I was 23 years ago?"

So it's called the Imagine More Project.

My tagline is we give small grants to people with big dreams.

When I was doing this 23 years ago, I entered a contest. Dannon Yogurt was having a contest.

I won $2,000 and I used it to buy my first computer. It probably wasn't a lot of money to Dannon Yogurt, but first of all, it was real money to me.

But second of all, it was the affirmation that what I was doing mattered.

So, I have an application on my website,, it's called Imagine More.

People can fill out an application. It's just me looking at them.

I have given out a few grants so far. The fun thing is, Frank, that I get a front row seat to the cool thing that they're doing.

Some people want to have a regular connection. So, one gal, I have a regular Zoom call.

FRANK BLAKE: They'd love to get your advice and counsel.

STEPHANIE NELSON: I so love it. I'm all about that.

Sometimes who's it going to be? Is it going to be the high school kid who's doing something for senior citizens and that $2,000 would buy materials?

Is it going to be the third grader? I don't know who it is. So far, it's been women who are in their 40s, but that's my podcast audience.

So, we're getting the word out.

FRANK BLAKE: I think it is such a reaffirming process that there's an element of, "Okay, I'm going to do this. I'm going to reach out and try to get a grant. That means I got to pull myself together and describe what it is I'm doing. That gives form to my own dream."

I would say that's a lot.

From my reaction to your book, that's a lot of it is you give form to your dreams, because it's very easy to walk away from them.

It's very easy to keep them very general.

STEPHANIE NELSON: And then maybe you're a little bit accountable.

FRANK BLAKE: Yeah. Exactly right. Exactly right. Exactly right.

I mean you do obviously have unlimited sources of energy or very vast sources of energy.

You also have a podcast called Pivotal People, which is also terrific.

So, give a little bit of background on your podcast.

STEPHANIE NELSON: Well, thank you, Frank.

I so love my podcast. I love your podcast, Crazy Good Turns. I listen to it.

So, when I started writing my book, Bob Goff said, "You have to have a podcast."

I said, "I don't know anything about a podcast. Why do I have to have a podcast?"

"You just have to have one. Trust me."

What I discovered is, oh, my gosh. First of all, I'm an avid reader. So, I primarily have authors on, and it's primarily faith-based authors.

Although I'm completely open, Pivotal People is about people who are changing the world in some way.

Pretty much everyone falls into that category.

I've interviewed about 75 people altogether over the past two and a half years, and I have learned so much from them.

I am so thankful they'll spend time. It's fun to encourage.

I have a rule. I don't have anyone on the podcast unless I've read their whole book. In the past two weeks, I've read six books.

These are people who are passionate about what they're doing. They're wise and they're smart.

So, unbeknownst to me, I really feel like in the past two and a half years, I have grown quite a bit, because I have learned so much from these people who are wise in all different categories.

FRANK BLAKE: So what are some of the lessons that you've drawn from them or some of the surprises, something that surprised you in the process?

STEPHANIE NELSON: Well, I'll tell you the guest that you had on your podcast, I had on my podcast after I heard her on your podcast, and she might've been the most impactful personally.

Her name is Kristi Nelson.

FRANK BLAKE: Oh, yes. Of course, yes.

STEPHANIE NELSON: Yeah. She wrote a book called Wake Up Grateful, and I love the topic of gratitude.

She describes gratefulness as being different than gratitude.

Gratitude is I am gratitude for a specific thing that happened or a specific blessing.

Gratefulness is opening your eyes in the morning and saying, "Oh, I am grateful to be alive."

She's a cancer survivor. So, she had a perspective. I read her book, had her on the podcast.

She was delightful. Then last year, a group of friends, everyone said, "Look, for Christmas, let's give each other each a copy of our very favorite book."

I had had, at that point, 60 people on my podcast. I got everyone her book, and everybody loves it.

I really think Wake Up Grateful, you're doing yourself a favor if you go to Amazon and you buy it.

But that's just one. My gosh, I have had so many people.

Anyone who is passionate and is trying to help people with what they're doing, it's just a gift to be able to have a half hour in conversation with them.

FRANK BLAKE: It is an extraordinary medium to be able to do that.

So, I would ask, but I never like it when people ask me, who's your favorite guest?

So rather than ask, "Who's your favorite guest?", is there some story that just has stuck in your head from the podcast that you go, "Boy, I've listened to lots of beautiful, amazing stories, but this one, I will never lose this one"?

STEPHANIE NELSON: Well, there's a lot, but here's what I'm going to share, which he doesn't share it with many people. I dug it out of him. Bob Goff.

FRANK BLAKE: Oh, wow. Okay.

STEPHANIE NELSON: So Bob Goff was an attorney.

He'd been an attorney for 25 years, and he started writing books.

I think the first one came out in 2010 or something. So, let's call it 14, 15 years.

Prior to that, he's an attorney and he's in this extremely remote part of Canada where his family lives.

He was there in the summer. I've been there. It is so remote, you will not believe that-

FRANK BLAKE: You've actually been there?

STEPHANIE NELSON: Yes. You cannot get there unless you take a sea plane-


STEPHANIE NELSON: ... or a very long boat.

Anyway, so it's highly unusual for people just to go by his Canada place.

So, he and his family are looking out the window, and here comes some kayakers.

Bob's super outgoing. He runs down to the dock. He waves the kayakers over to the dock.

Now, I might've waved from the window, but this is a metaphor for life. He went down to the dock.

He waved him in, invited him in, and ended up, they stayed for many, many hours and fed them meals.

They chatted and he became friends with Don Miller was the guy in the kayak, who is an author.

He and Don Miller became friends, and then Don Miller said to Bob Goff, "You should write a book."

Bob Goff, he funds humanitarian projects. That's all he cares about, humanitarian projects in Third World countries.

He made a lot of money owning his own law firm, and he saw that as a source of revenue for his humanitarian projects.

He said, "Well, I have to be an attorney." Don Miller said, "You could make a lot of money with books."

So fast forward, Bob Goff did write a book. It is an incredible bestseller.

He's written many books. They're all bestsellers. I am talking about Bob Goff today, whose books have changed my life as along with many other people.

My question is, what if you hadn't taken the risk to wave someone in?

You didn't know what he could do for you. You weren't looking for that. You were just being kind.

FRANK BLAKE: That is a wonderful story.


FRANK BLAKE: That is just a wonderful story. I love that story at so many different levels. That's terrific.

Thank you, Stephanie. Thank you for sharing that.

All right. So, I ask everyone that we get on the podcast, and for you, I know you've got so many people in your book and elsewhere, but if you had to pull up one or two people who've done a crazy good turn for you, someone who's just done something and you want to say thank you to.

STEPHANIE NELSON: Well, there are lots and lots, but if there are two, one is I referred to him, the man who I met at Good Day Atlanta.

I have to emphasize that he did not have to give me the name of the most important producer at Good Morning America.

He never even got on Good Morning America himself. Generally, you're competitive that way.

Here's what I love, Frank, and you said this already, when we can do a good turn for someone with expecting nothing in return, when you do something for someone who really you think has nothing to offer you, not professionally or network or business, I had nothing to offer him.

He was that kind. He gave me that person's name.

Then I told you I went on for a few years, well, then Good Morning America let me go. It's a good story.

It's in the book, and I'm not going to be proud about that. They fired me.

All right. Okay. They fired me.

FRANK BLAKE: Our listeners are going to have to buy your book to get that story.

STEPHANIE NELSON: You have to buy my book to get that.

FRANK BLAKE: Right, exactly. Right, exactly.

STEPHANIE NELSON: Then I'm like, "Hey, I know business being on the show 17 times anyway. It's got me off the ground. I'm done."

Well, that same man, David Gregg, called me up after a year and said, "I haven't seen you on TV. What's up?"

I'm like, "Oh, it's done. It's fine. Everything's good."

He said, "Oh, no, you have to get back on TV." Oh, I said, "I hired a publicist for a few months and she couldn't get me on. She said, the topic's dead."

He's like, "No, you just have the wrong publicist."

Frank, he gave me his publicist. Nobody does that.

She was the golden publicist, and we worked together for six years.

She was definitely my best friend. She got me on national TV, I think it was 38 times, all these different shows. She got me on Oprah, Dear Woman of Faith.

Unfortunately, she passed away in 2015 and she's in the book. Her name is Nanette.

I mean, he did not have to do anything else for me and he did that.

Just to give you perspective, I think that when he called me and I said everything was fine, at that point, we had 200,000 members. That's plenty.

With Nanette, we got to eight million.

Needless to say, we do have a Nanette Fund at her church. That's what she wanted, but she was an amazing person.

FRANK BLAKE: That's an incredible story. That's an incredible story.

Also, the businessperson in me also thinks to whoever told you that no one's interested in this topic and you go on Oprah for five minutes and it's the number one thing on Google.

Boy do they need to get reeducated, but anyway, the world is full of that too. The world is full of that too.

STEPHANIE NELSON: That's why we're going to keep saying perseverance. Just find another door.

FRANK BLAKE: This has been just such a delightful conversation that we are going to offer copies of your book for free to some of our listeners, encourage all of them to get the book, because you write in a very conversational way.

So, it is a fun read, but also a very compelling read.

STEPHANIE NELSON: Oh, thank you.

FRANK BLAKE: What an amazing story.

So, where should people go to find out all there is to know about Stephanie Nelson or some part of what there is to know?

STEPHANIE NELSON: That's right., if you are interested, if you have a dream and you could use a little grant to get it off the ground, you just click on Imagine More and there's all the information you need.

Believe it or not, my website, is still going. We have converted it to all digital coupons.

That's the way to go now, no embarrassment in the grocery line.

You can save a lot of money, and Frank, people still need to save money.

Only 50% of shoppers are using these digital coupons, and there are far more digital coupons than there ever were newspaper coupons.

FRANK BLAKE: Is that right?

STEPHANIE NELSON: Yeah. I mean, I'll give you a stat.

At the peak of newspaper coupons, when it was really crazy, there were 200 newspaper coupons a week. Today, there were 1,000 digital coupons a week.


STEPHANIE NELSON: The great thing is women or maybe I don't mean to be sexist, but my husband goes to the grocery store, he's never going to use a coupon.

I just click the digital coupons before he leaves. He comes home. Today, he saved 33%, and he said, "I didn't do anything."

FRANK BLAKE: I was going to ask, how much can you save if I just take a fairly typical basket, bread and milk and eggs and that stuff?

How much can someone save?

STEPHANIE NELSON: Well, easily you can save between 25 and 40%.

The great thing is people used to say newspaper coupons. There's nothing for what I use, but it's different with digital coupons.

Yes, you do get coupons for produce and meat and fish and all kinds of things that you never could get newspaper coupons for.

FRANK BLAKE: Fascinating. That's very cool. Well, thank you for that.

I urge all of our listeners to find out more about you at, as well as Coupon Mom. All right. Terrific. Perfect.

STEPHANIE NELSON: Thank you so much.

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Enter to win a FREE copy of 'Imagine More'!

To celebrate Stephanie Nelson's appearance as a guest on the show, we're offering listeners the chance to win one of 50 FREE copies of her inspiring book "Imagine More: Do What You Love, Discover Your Potential."

As founder of the Coupon Mom website and jump-starter of the couponing craze, Stephanie knows what it's like to have a dream that seems too large to accomplish.

In this book, she provides a roadmap to identifying your passion, determining how to use it to help others, and living life with greater purpose.

Click here to sign up for your chance to win.

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