Consumer Queen

Melissa Garcia traces the origin of her coupon kingdom back to the days of AOL. She connected with a few thrifty shoppers and began saving money after the birth of her daughter.

"First it was 25%, then 50%, then 75%, and then one week I actually came out of the store with money in my hand," she said. "It was like they paid me to shop!"

That was about 16 years ago. Garcia is now known as the Consumer Queen. She has 19,000 followers on Twitter and 36,000 likes on Facebook.

"We're national, we're everywhere, all over the United States," she said. "We started in Oklahoma, in the Edmond area, and it just quickly grew."

Garcia has appeared on television, radio, and in print.

"I'm featured quite often in the 'All You' magazine. I'm an 'All You Savings Star!'"

The queen has built her coupon kingdom by spreading the message about great deals. Coupon commoners from around the country contribute to her web sites. She has princesses who specialize in coupon categories. Then there's the queen mum who reigns over grocery stores.

"She takes an advertisement every week, walks through it, finds the deals, and matches the coupons," Garcia said. "So all you really have to do is print the coupons, print the list, and go to the store."

Ads on her web sites help pay medical expenses for her husband and daughter. They're both fighting a debilitating disease. Huge companies send her new products because they value her opinion. Even the kids get involved.

The coupon queen says her goals are very simple and very important.

"Saving money, doing something for your community, and teaching your community how to help themselves," she said.

Garcia says a royal family is only as good as what they give back.

"You can get these groceries for free and donate," she said. "You can also get free pet food and donate to your local pet shelter."

She also says making her kingdom, Oklahoma and beyond, a better place for everyone to shop, save, and serve is royal proclamation number one.

"It's how you can do something for your community that doesn't take money out of your own pocket."