Coupons may seem like a generation-old grocery-saving chore, but there’s a thriving community of TikTok users dedicated to using coupons to find the best deals, deals, and giveaways. .
Kayla Burk is one such TikToker. She started couponing a decade before her when she was a teenager, but what started as her hobby has grown to become a full-time job. Now, she shares her hacks on discount tips and clearance with her 2 million followers on her TikTok and her website.
She joined Kai Ryssdal from Marketplace to talk about her coupon life. An edited transcript of their conversation is below.
Kai Risdal: I’m not the only No. 1 listening to this, or the No. 2 you’ve ever interacted with, to say, “Really?” are you a couponer? I thought it was like an elderly person.
Kayla Burke: Oh, you’re getting a little popular. But when I first started, it was in 2013, so it wasn’t something that she or her 19-year-old at the time would do.
Risdal: So how did 18- and 19-year-old Kayla Burk redeem the coupon?
Burke: I started watching that radical coupon show. And I was like, “Can I do this?” Then I printed a coupon and went to Walmart to pick up a loofah. I paid like 5-10 cents to get it out of the store. And I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this is real. And so I started it all.
Risdal: let me hear this By the way, I saw some content on TikTok with 2 million followers. This is not a simple process like this coupon. That means it takes time, coordination, and energy. It’s a lot.
Burke: Yeah, that’s one of the reasons it’s my job. Because others don’t have time to go out and create all the scenarios and do all the calculations. So I’m going through everything and doing the time consuming part. And from there, I tell people: I did all the difficult things, so all you have to do is do the easy parts.”
Risdal: Do you think companies are making it difficult on purpose? In fact, I always wonder about coupons. Because they’re basically handing out money and making you jump through some hoops.
Burke: I think the main reason it got harder was when I first started, people came in and saw how much stuff they could get for free. I remember going to and coming home because all 30 bottles of laundry detergent were free, right? And I think businesses were probably fed up with other coupon providers clearing shelves and other people not being able to spend real money on it. I think that’s what it is.
Risdal: This makes sense. But let’s go back to 30 bottles of laundry detergent. This is just one example, but I’m guessing you’re buying in bulk because the coupon applies that way. Do I need to build a wing on my house to hold all this stuff?
Burke: oh my god. My house is full of stuff, but I have a lot of stuff I’m donating or giving to friends and family so they don’t have to pay full price either. increase. I get something, then leave and get more.
Risdal: that’s fair. You said this is your job, you do this as a full-time job. Money comes in besides coupon benefits, right? By the way, how do you compensate for this?
Burke: What I get paid for is an online coupon. When someone uses my link, I get a small commission from it. And since I have so many followers, the commission is enough to pay my bills and such.
Risdal: You probably wouldn’t walk into some sort of retail store without thinking about bargains and coupons and looking at the price tag, right?
Burke: it’s not. I always try to go to the clearance section. Many stores have to dispose of something else whenever new items arrive. And when they do it, it’s so cheap. So it’s really hard to spend full price on things knowing that almost everything will be put away eventually.
Risdal: Overall, in the 10 years you’ve been doing this, do you think you’ve saved more money than you’ve spent?
Burke: Oh definitely. Especially when I started doing online things. Because every day you can get something from 80% off to free online and much more. You don’t even have to leave your home. You just buy it and they ship it to you for free.
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