Woman plans to use coupons to feed 30K people before 30th birthday

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Monday, September 19, 2016

WOODBRIDGE, Va. -- A young woman is setting out to deliver 30,000 meals to the hungry and homeless before her 30th birthday next year - and she wants to do it all with coupons.

While others her age might be planning parties or vacations, Lauren Puryear is focused on helping the less fortunate by the time she turns 30 next year on September 14.

She said she began couponing as a hobby about eight months ago. She sees it as a way to feed as many people as possible for the least amount of money.

"My first couponing experience ever was canned vegetables," Puryear told ABC News. "I was able to get them for four cents a can at Dollar General so I bought 420 cans and I added chicken and rice to that meal."

Puryear said she often gets money back for items with her coupons and reinvests that money to buy more food. She's recruited her friends and family to help her search for coupons and shop for food, which she keeps in a rented storage unit.

"I can spend anywhere from five to 10 hours a week," she said. "Some stores have limits on how much you can buy, so sometimes I have to get my friends to come with me to buy it and bring their cars so we can transport it."

Puryear said she has fed 5,572 people since she started couponing. Her next big delivery will be in Washington, D.C. in October, where she plans to feed 1,200 people.

"Just knowing that we're making a difference in someone's life, that's the most rewarding thing and what keeps me going," she said.