Texas Mom Uses 'Extreme Couponing' To Help Hurricane Harvey Survivors

by Valerie Williams
Image via Kimberly Gager

She’s been couponing for years and used her skills to help those recovering from Harvey

A San Antonio mom of three who cops to having a “coupon addiction” decided to use her extreme money-saving know-how to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, a storm that devastated parts of coastal Texas. Through Facebook posts, she’s been able to connect with survivors, and now, people are offering donations to help her continue to aid those in need.

Kimberly Gager knows what it’s like to lose everything to a natural disaster. She tells Scary Mommy that in 1999, she was living in Virginia when Hurricane Floyd came through, destroying her home. “I had nothing,” she tells us. “I had one child at the time this happened and I know how this feels.”

Since she understood what it was like to desperately need items as simple as deodorant or toilet paper, she felt moved to do something about it by using her savvy couponing skills to stockpile toiletries, toilet paper, diapers, formula, and more for those displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

“It can take months and years for people to get their homes together again,” she tells us. And while that work is going on, families still need the little things — that’s where she comes in. “I want to relieve that burden for them,” she says, referring to the things survivors need that might be tough to come by in the aftermath of a storm.

Gager’s urge to help has her buying and delivering supplies pretty much around the clock while working her regular job. She tells CBS News she’s using her lunch breaks to shop and making trips to those in need, late into the night. She’s spent about $2,700 total, but gotten at least $5,000 in items to donate to the 30 families she’s helped so far. “Sometimes I’m delivering until 1 or 2 a.m.,” she says. “It’s really becoming a second job. I’ve gotten very little sleep.”

She’s become such a regular at Target and Walgreens, they move mountains when they see her coming. “I’m in that store so much now that they know my name,” she says. “Now even at Target they see me coming they shut down a line and open another. They bring out pallets to roll items out to my car.”

Aside from devoting most of her free time to shopping and bringing relief to victims, she’s also put the purchase of a much-needed new car for herself on hold.

“I totaled my SUV in June,” Gager tells Scary Mommy. She says she had plans to purchase a new vehicle in August, before her kids headed back to school, but then the hurricane hit. Ever since, she’s been using her “raggedy” second car to run all her shopping errands and make deliveries to Harvey evacuees. She tells us that as long as there were people needing things as simple as diapers, she couldn’t bring herself to buy a new car instead of helping them.

This woman is a literal angel on earth.

Since she has such a knack for stretching a dollar and knowing what people in crisis need, we asked Gager if she’d ever consider starting a mobile organization to provide this kind of relief when natural disasters strike. She says if the success of this Facebook donation drive keeps up, she would definitely think about it.

And if you’d like to help her, she has a PayPal.

Gager’s couponing skills are only the the tip of the iceberg, because what really makes her work special is all the love and heart behind her efforts.

“I will help people as long as they need help.”