Kirstan Cunningham: Interview with the host of #SuperSaverShowdown

kristan-cunninghamEarlier today I posted about the new TV show, Super Saver Showdown premiering on the OWN tonight (August 3) at 9/8c.  If you missed my post, click here to catch-up.

I had the amazing honor of chatting on the phone today with the shows host, Kristan Cunningham. After we made our introductions and chatted for a few minutes I was really interested to hear her take on the couponing world.  One of the first things she shared with me was how blown away she was by couponers as a whole.  During casting she quickly discovered that couponers were serious about being responsible.  Things like, not clearing shelves and leaving coupons behind on shelves for others to pick up are examples of the kind of spirit that many of us couponers share with each other.  In fact, she said it felt mission like in the process because coupons afford people the opportunity to live beautifully and create one of a kind experiences for themselves, their families and others that may have been impossible otherwise.  (YEA!!!  She gets it, coupons are just a tool that bring hope to peoples finances)

So, the shows not about hoarding, or even buying $300 worth of groceries for next to nothing.  Instead, two super savvy couponers are each paired with a family and given $200 and 48 hours to plan an amazing party.  I really loved the fact that they always shopped at a family or local grocery store that neither of the Super Savers had been in before.  They have no idea what was on sale, haven’t had time to check out the match-ups online or even organize their coupons.  They were handed a binder at the store with the party plan, allowed to pick one member of the family to shop with and 20 minutes to throw down their couponing and money saving skillz.

So often the human interest part of a story gets lost in the hype of reality tv.  It was refreshing to hear that OWN was intentional in bringing together moments that matter with real emotions and real stories.  In the premiere, the families are experiencing parallel emotions.  One is celebrating a family member going away to college, the other a family member returning from deployment.  One party is bittersweet, the other relief and joy, both an amazing sense of pride for their family member. 

As I said in my earlier post, although couponing is part of the show it’s not the primary focus.  Instead it’s a competition series about throwing parties with a $10,000 prize for the Super Saver who creates the most amazing party experience while saving money.  Kristan said that couponers are more resourceful that her DIY design buddies that the spirit of couponing makes people resourceful because many of us started from a place of need or desperation.  The Super Savers go beyond grocery store savings in planning their party as they are also responsible for decorating and creating authentic experiences for the families. 


I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see this fresh take on couponing.  I love the concept of showing responsible savers who have figured out amazing things to make their life better.  I think Kristan said it best,”It’s the spirit of who they are.  Inherently, couponers are givers.  Couponers are responsible savers who have made a choice to live small.


Since she’s the DIY design expert and party planning guru I had if she would share with us a couple party planning tips.

Here’s what she shared:

  • .Theme parties can quickly become tacky if you go with a package look. Skip the party supply store and the matching paper plates, napkins and cups with theme characters and patterns. Instead, use items you already own in your home and thrift store finds to add up to an authentic look.
  • A successfully executed party doesn’t necessarily sport the most tasteful decorations or most elegant food. It’s an event that guests walk away from having had the best experience. Whether it’s ambient lighting, the right music or the perfect fun activities, focus first on the vibe, then the details.
  • From anniversary parties to job promotion shindigs, every party is a celebration of someone or some group of people’s lives or achievements. Keep the focus on the special person or occasion you’re celebrating.
  • Every party doesn’t need to feature games to ensure that guests feel included and, more importantly, don’t get bored. From slideshows to crafting stations and speech giving to dancing, there are so many ways to create a unique experience. Remember that it’s about the memories you, your family and your guests take away from the event that’ll have made it special.

“If life is a cupcake, then parties are the sprinkles on it. When we look back, it’ll be those colorful little highlights that stand out. So many of life’s small and large moments deserve to be recognized and celebrated, and the more care we take with doing so, the greater impact those milestones will have on our lives.”  Kristan Cunningham


Do you have any money saving party tips? If so, we’d love to hear! Please share in a comment below.
You don’t want to miss tonight’s premiere episode. Tune in August 3re at 9/8c on OWN.



Do you have any money saving party tips? If so, we’d love to hear!  Please share in a comment below. You don’t want to miss tonight’s premiere episode.  Tune in August 3re at 9/8c on OWN.

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