February 27, 2011

Tip of the day—What I learned from the Knoxville Coupon Fair


  • Only at a coupon fair will you see women standing in line for the bathroom exchanging couponing tips.
  • Couponers “get it”.  One amazing couponer—Amy--at the event was waiting in line for a sample and cleaning out her coupon binder.  She drew a crowd who started to ask questions.  She spent the next hour explaining how to organize coupons and save money to people who passed by.  Christy of Thrifty Christy was kind enough to share her booth with Amy who then shared the information from an official space.  How cool is it that she was willing to spend much of her time at the coupon fair sharing her knowledge with others!!  Couponers want to share the information.  It is so fun for us to get deals and save money, and we want to spread the coupon love to others. 
  • Only at a coupon fair will you see people show up over an hour early excited and ready to go into the event…ok, maybe you see that at garage sales too but not with as much zeal!
  • Only at a coupon fair will you see people jam packed like sardines into a space yet with smiles on their faces and excitement to be present.  I also learned that the event next year will have to be reworked so that we can accommodate the large crowd.  We are already thinking about that issue!  Thanks to everyone for being so patient!
  • It reinforced for me how different stores are on different areas of towns and in different cities.  Some people talked to me about their Kroger store not being as coupon friendly, and I had nothing but good things to say about the Fountain City Kroger store.  I think that it varies from place to place and even from clerk to clerk.  If you have problems at your store, I always recommend phoning the store manager to talk about your experience and learn ways to make it better next time. 
  • I learned from Staci of Silver Lining Quality Children’s Consignment that you can call CVS if you have problems with items being in stock.  She phoned the store line who almost immediately phoned her back to make arrangements for Electrosol detergents to be sent to her local store when they were running a huge sale on them. 
  • I learned that even through adversity couponers are happy to share the couponing message.  Some couponers had some hiccups and problems the week of the fair, yet those present were happy to be there and enthusiastic to be greeting so many guests.  Even those unable to attend sent worksheets and well wishes for the fair.
  • I learned that people really want education.  Many couponers who were in attendance said that they would really want a coupon workshop in the future.  I’m already pondering ways to make that event happen. 
  • I learned that when I’m tired, I’m not as good of an environmental steward.  I’m still kicking myself for throwing away papers instead of walking an extra 20 feet and recycling them. 
  • I learned to trust in God more.  I’m human y’all.  When things get overwhelming I start to doubt and despair.  God proves His love and guidance over and over again to me.  I’m reminded of the book of Job when God answers Job, and I’m humbled.  There were lots of things that happened the week of and before the event, and yet, God had His hand in all of it.  He wanted yesterday to happen, and it did.
  • I learned that I have one of the most amazing church families everFaith UMC is such a great church with people who really live and breathe the word of Christ.  The youth group (the Wolf Pack as they are called) came in full force to help with childcare.   The photo above is one of our gentle giants holding one of the sweetest babies ever!  The women of the church brought in treat after treat for the hospitality table.  The sanctuary was a mess at the end of the day and within about 20 minutes the volunteers had it straightened and ready for services.  Three really wonderful guys manned the parking lot to help make sure we had as good of traffic flow as we could.  Many hands make light work.  People kept talking about me being the event coordinator for the fair, but OUR CHURCH was the event coordinator. 


  1. I'm sure you did an outstanding job Gabrielle! Lines at the women's room.. what a surprise.. lol

  2. I am very thankful for your youth group and the great care they took of Amelia! I am sure she had a great time too! She loves the attention! The people of your church are awesome! You are very blessed! I know God will reward everyone for their efforts as well!

  3. i drove in from Morristown for the fair, i loved it and i am sure it will grow even more in the coming years. Thanks so much for all the work you do and your church for hosting the event.
    Thanks, Tammy