Soldier clips on: 11th ADA Bde. Soldier saves at the register, helps others
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Janiece Coulter outside of the main Exchange at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 9, 2023. Coulter, a mom of three who is also married to an active-duty Soldier, said though she grew up in a thrifty household, it wasn’t until she became a mother when she dedicated herself to couponing and being informed on retail rules for things like price matching and rebates. The 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command Soldier said she enjoys not only saving her dual-military family money, but also connecting with other military families to share her tips and extra coupons. (Photo Credit: David Poe) VIEW ORIGINAL
Soldier clips on: 11th ADA Bde. Soldier saves at the register, helps others
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – “It’s always good to put the things you have coupons for at the front,” said Spc. Janice Coulter at the main Exchange at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 9, 2023. The 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command Soldier and active-duty Army spouse said she’s been an avid couponer since becoming a mother and enjoys sharing her tips on saving money at the register with other military families. (Photo Credit: David Poe) VIEW ORIGINAL
Soldier clips on: 11th ADA Bde. Soldier saves at the register, helps others
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Janiece Coulter snags an in-store coupon at the main Exchange at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 9, 2023. The 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command Soldier, active-duty spouse, and mother of three said care for her family motivates her to actively coupon and stay informed on how to save money on everyday items at the register. (U.S. Army photo by David Poe, USAG Fort Bliss Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: David Poe) VIEW ORIGINAL

Over the past decade, Spc. Janiece Coulter has saved thousands of dollars for essentials to help her active-duty husband support their family of five. Coulter, the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade command driver and former banker from Oklahoma City, has now turned her passion for couponing into purpose for helping the military community.

With record breaking gas prices at the pump and eggs up 53% from last year costing consumers around $5.43 per dozen, most Americans are feeling financially challenged. Taking the economic state in mind of her fellow brothers and sisters in arms Coulter decided to take action and offer her money saving methods to anyone willing to learn.

“It saves me and my family so much money on food, diapers, and other necessities; there is always a way to cut down your bill,” said Coulter. “The money we save is then used towards our annual family trips or gets put away for future needs.”

Coulter offers couponing classes at her off base residence once a quarter and announces her services free of charge to military service members and their dependents on social media.

Athena Robinson, an Air Force wife responded to one of Coulter’s posts on the Fort Bliss Spouses and Families page that offered her an opportunity to learn about those saving techniques. Robinson, a stay-at-home mom who occasionally baby sits for extra income has lived in El Paso for over two years now. As a family of seven, Robinson visits the grocery store at least once a week and must tailor her shopping trips based on the single, steady income of her junior enlisted husband.

The couponing classes last approximately one hour depending on the number of questions attendees have. Coulter stated, “I teach them how to understand a coupon; many people don't know that when an ad says ‘limit one coupon per purchase’ actually means that you can use one coupon for each individual item unless it has more restrictions like ‘limit one coupon per product and maximum of four identical coupons in the same shopping trip’ or something along those lines.”

For Robinson, who has been couponing for nearly a year now, learning these details has already saved her hundreds of dollars. Regarding her family, Robinson stressed, “Inflation has affected us tremendously. Now I try to stick to cash purchases to help manage our money so we aren’t using credit and paying high interest rates.”

Personal recommendations from Coulter for those who want to get started saving money right away include:

Make a list of things your family eats or uses regularly so you know what you are going for when you go to the store and try not to deviate from that list.

Dedicate a time slot to look for coupons and cut them out from weekly ads delivered to your house or pick up an advertisement magazine from your local grocery store, post exchange, etc.

If you have a smart phone, download apps for the stores you frequently visit. Sometimes there are extra discounts that are only available to customers with the mobile application.

Use apps that pay consumers to take pictures of receipts such as Fetch, Ibotta, etc. This will basically allow you to stack savings on top of savings.

Keep old advertisements when stationed overseas since beneficiaries can use coupons six months past the expiration date at the Commissary.

Always look at competitor store sales and price match at the post exchange when possible. All you do is show the cashier the current advertisement for a local store with a lower price and they will make the monetary adjustment. On top of that you can still use coupons to save more!

Those interested can join the Facebook Spouses and Family page and watch out for her formal announcement so that they can reserve a slot and start clipping their way to savings.

“I highly recommend you take advantage of this free couponing class because you will learn all the do’s and don’ts when it comes to shopping and if you have questions after the crash course Coulter is always available to help you over a phone call or via text message,” said Robinson.

In her spare time, Coulter cuts dozens of coupons and visits the stores on base then tapes them to the applicable products during her lunch hour at least three times a week so that other beneficiaries who are in a hurry to shop and don’t have ads with them instantly save money when checking out. Robinson is so grateful to have met Coulter and stated “She really is a special Soldier and deserving of so much recognition for the time she dedicates to assisting others without any benefit to her.”

Coulter not only believes in helping Fort Bliss beneficiaries but also the community at large. Several years ago she bought 3,000 Mac and Cheese boxes from a Sprouts grocery store and paid merely 40 dollars for it all. Coulter kept some for her family but then turned around and donated rest of it to a Texas food bank that feeds hundreds of families each week.

Lt. Col Brad Bugado, Deputy Commanding Officer for 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade is proud to have Coulter among his ranks. “Through her actions Spc. Coulter sets the 11th Air Defense Artillery ‘Imperial’ Brigade standard high with her continuous selfless service, a key element of our Army values.  We recognize her excellence, as demonstrated by the volunteering of her time and efforts toward helping others in need.  Coulter sets the example of both generosity and kindness; we look forward to the amazing things she will no doubt continue to do.”

With her husband’s support, Coulter plans to make a career out of the Army and continue couponing along the way. “Saving money and helping others is a passion of mine and always has been; my grandparents and mom showed me at a young age how much you have to do prepare for a successful future so I take that and my family dreams into account every day,” said Coulter. “I always tell others they will save as much money as they are willing to put in for the time learning how.”