Long Island 'Coupon Queen' hosts Black Friday giveaway to help parents

MILLER PLACE (WABC) -- The Long Island woman dubbed the "Coupon Queen" is known for saving people's money. She got herself out of debt and now, on her website, she's giving back to needy parents.

They write what they want on a Black Friday list, and she gets them it the for free.

Gia Pendergast's life now is a shadow of what it was seven years ago.

"We were living paycheck to paycheck," she said. "We didn't know how we were going to pay our bills.

Now, after years of extreme couponing, not only is her family out of debt, but they're doing really well.

"We're just at a point in our lives now where we can give back," she said.

So they are.

On her website SavingMoneyLivingSmart.com, Pendergast is hosting a Black Friday Gift Giveaway.

Her readers, and there are thousands across the country, can peruse the Black Friday ads for four stores and pick anything they would like as long as it's under $125.

"We're going to be picking five winners," she said. "That could change. I'm not saying anything yet."

So far, there are more than 1,500 entries.

"We had someone ask for a $40 coffee pot, and she actually apologized saying she was sorry that she asked for something so expensive," Pendergast said. "Somebody had just asked for a gas card just to get back and forth to work."

The one caveat is that the items must be for themselves, not for their kids.

"As a parent myself, you know when the holiday comes or when you have that last $20 in your pocket, you're putting it toward the kids," she said. "That's not what this is for. We want them to pick something for themselves."

But still people have a hard time with that.

"How am I supposed to think of myself in a season of giving?" one Long Islander asked. "I put my mom, my husband's brother and my 5-year-old on the list instead."

The big drawing will, of course, be on Black Friday.

To enter in the Black Friday Gift Giveaway, go to SavingMoneyLivingSmart.com.

Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.