Thursday, July 18, 2013

Couponing Made Simple- Review

I was recently sent a copy of Couponing Made Simple from Christi the Coupon Coach to review.  There was a time when I had learned a bit about couponing and would take the time to clip them and match the ads, but with multiple pregnancies, morning sickness, nursing babies etc. I lacked the time and energy for such endeavors.  Over the years, I stopped cutting coupons and even stopped  looking through the ones that came in the mail depositing them directly in the recycling bin. (Prior to that I was cutting them out and forgetting to take them to the store OR I would take them to the store and forget to use them!)

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This 130 page paperback has 10 Chapters:

1. Success Stories- This is just that.  Pictures and descriptions of awesome couponing success stories.

2. A New Way to Shop- In this chapter you will learn the 2 key rules of couponing (buy on sale and stack coupons) and exactly what that means.

3. The Language of Couponing- If you are going to be a couponer you need to know the lingo...blinkies, peelies, BOGOs etc.  Everything you need to know is in this chapter.

4. Organization System- Learn how to organize your coupons at home and for going to the store.

5. Step-by-Step Process- This is the meat of the program. This is where you learn exactly what you  need to do to make the most of your coupons.  There is an 8 step process with detailed descriptions for each step.

6. Tips & Tools- Here you will learn about other ways to save money when shopping.  Rainchecks, unadvertised deals, craft stores, department stores and many more are covered.

7. Couponing Ethics- I love that Christi covered this in the book.  This book is about saving money the honest way and as a Christian I appreciate that.

8. Networking & Communicating-  Here you will find other ways to find deals.

9. Bonus Section- This section covers yard sales and thrift stores.

10. Beyond Couponing- This is a presentation of the gospel.

I enjoyed reading Couponing Made Simple and would recommend it to anyone that is interested in really learning about "extreme" couponing and ways to save money.  The subtitle of the book is Simple Steps to Successful Couponing.  I would agree that she breaks it down into a simple system for couponing, but I still find it extremely time consuming and at this stage in my life I do not want to invest time into this.

The least expensive Sunday paper I can find is $1.50. The author recommends purchasing a minimum of 2 Sunday papers and to get one for each member of your family, rounding up if it is an odd number. So for us that would mean purchasing 12 newspapers with a minimum cost of $18.  This also requires driving 15 miles to get the papers on a Sunday afternoon.  I could obtain the papers for $1.75 each with less of a drive (and/or buy less papers). This particular paper has only had 1 book of coupons in the time I have been buying them.  The bigger city newspaper has more coupons but it costs $3.50 just for one paper!

Since I really wanted to give this a go but I didn't want to invest any more money than I needed to, I only bought 1 paper each week (after the first week when I bought 2 different ones).  I found a handful of coupons worth using and I have those set aside in a paperclip that I take with me when I go to the store.  In the book, she teaches you a very nice system for organizing all of your coupons.  I just don't have that many that I want to use. I eat mainly whole foods and I don't use cosmetics so I think this is why I feel very limited with the number of coupons that I find that are usable for me. For most part, I really don't purchase about 90% or more of the things I have seen coupons for and for me it is not worth the effort to search out coupons and deals.  I also mainly shop at Walmart where they don't have buy one get one free deals or double coupons. I don't have the time to drive around to various stores to pick up items here and there.  I feel that my time is valuable too.

The newspaper isn't the only place you can get coupons. She also gives you helps for finding coupons in places other than your Sunday newspaper.  I didn't realize how many online coupons are available.  I like this option much better as it is available to me in my home already AND I don't have to go buy newspapers. This is probably the most helpful thing I learned from this review.

So while couponing isn't for ME, I know that many people would enjoy this and like to find deals.  If you are one of these people then I highly recommend this book to you.  You will learn everything you need to to start saving money right away.  I believe the author has a heart for helping people save money and I really appreciate that.  This would also make a great project for your teenagers. One suggestion is to use your extra coupons to bless others.  This would also be a nice service project for a young person in your home.

Though I will never be a die hard couponer, I am glad to have read this book. I am now more on the lookout for coupons I CAN use and some websites I can check from time to time.

See Christi the Coupon coach talking about couponing:

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You can purchase Christi the Coupon Coach for $18.00 (also available at a considerably lower price on Kindle)


Read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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