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How to Shop for Free: Shopping Secrets for Smart Women Who Love to Get Something for Nothing Paperback – November 30, 2010
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Boston shopping maven Spencer sure knows her stuff�that is, how to take advantage of coupons, in-store sales, rewards clubs, and the like to reap bargains for nothing (or close to zero). With the help of writer Samantha Rose, the author takes us through a whirlwind of savings strategies and ideas, always executed on the up and up. To break up what could be pages upon pages of instructions, sidebars are liberally applied�hot tips (e.g., snag as many Sunday newspaper inserts as you can), work it (exercises to help you maximize budgets), shopper�s hall of fame (testimonials from the parsimonious), and so on. And resources at the end of each chapter provide website URLs. In essence, Spencer and Rose demystify the marketing lingo�like blinkies, tearpads, CATS�and demonstrate very practical methods to score deals. such as joining product-testing groups or flipping (switching) prescriptions at pharmacies to gain gift cards and further discounts. Yes, Virginia, there is a lot of preparation time and effort involved in shopping for free. On the other hand, Santa could visit more than once a year. --Barbara Jacobs
“You’ll save big bucks if you follow the advice in How to Shop for Free.”
“Kathy explains everything on how to get started by setting your savings goals, getting organized, and how to match sales with savings...How to Shop for Free is so well organized and thoughtfully written for the newbie…and yet, even the most expert shopper will enjoy this comprehensive how to book.”
“[Spencer’s] infectious enthusiasm and promise of money that can be saved is appealing even to the skeptics among us.”
“In the world of ‘extreme couponing,’ Spencer…has quickly risen to guru status.”
“[A] valuable book. Whether you’re just starting out with coupons, or you are a seasoned veteran…you will find some useful information that can convert to more cash savings in your pocket. For that reason, this book pays for itself…Educational, easy to follow, and easy to implement.”
Yahoo! Shine, 6/6/11
“Spencer teaches readers how to get everything…for nothing! Whether she’s showing you how to take advantage of coupons, in-store sales and rewards clubs, or breaking down the marketing lingo, like blinkies, tearpads and CATS, Spencer’s advice is easy-to-understand, actionable and fun!”
Deseret News, 1/27/11
“A quick and conversational guide book that is chock full of insight and advice…The step-by-step textbook for shopaholics…There are a ton of good tips and tricks…The book is a great value—especially in helping readers to realize the absurdity of mindlessly spending money and full retail price for consumer goods.”
The Argus Observer, 1/6/11
“Kathy has some excellent shopping tips…This book is incredible. Truly. After you read it, you'll never pay full price again. For anything…This is one book that’s not going to be collecting dust on my bookshelf.”
“A penny saved is a penny earned, and Kathy Spencer knows how to save a lot of pennies…Her wisdom can help readers enjoy their hobby of shopping with a more agreeable price tag of nothing…A powerful and useful resource, enthusiastically recommended.”
San Francisco Book Review, December 2010
“[Spencer’s] techniques make sense.”
“[Spencer] lets the reader in on the little-known tricks of the retail world…This book is a treasure of information about store club programs, the ins and outs of eBay, how to avoid consumer scams, and the truths about rebates. This is a shopper’s dream come true.”
Top customer reviews
Before buying this book, I had looked at several couponing ebooks before deciding on this one. I have not been disappointed. Kathy shares lots of details and how-to's, even break downs of combinations of discounts and coupons. There are so many savings ideas that it will take me quite some time to try out all the ones that I would like. This book helped me to learn new rules to the game and to feel more confident in finding and taking those deals.
Kathy leads by example, and has many years of experiences to share. She also teaches you the ethical way to save - why cheat when you can get free things anyway? This was just what I needed to get me going on the right savings track and is a resource that I will return to again and again. I also signed up on her site and liked her on facebook, it's free, after all. And I have found both to be a great resource with the coupon database and coupon matchups and alerts to keep me up to date. This all makes saving money and getting things for free a lot easier than I thought it would be. I don't mind an author mentioning their website here in there in their books, if their resources are free and helpful.
This book does what it says it will, and more. If you're looking to step up your coupon game, or even start, then give this a try. In a week or so, you could more than make back the money you spent on what you save.
Having been an extreme couponista for more than 30 years in order to provide for my large family of children, foster children, and now grandchildren in addition to keep costs down at my businesses I recently began reviewing available blogs, coupon sites, and books in order to find the best resources out there to pass along to my growing family and friends.
By far, How to Shop For Free, Shopping secrets for Smart Women Who Love to Get Something for Nothing, by Kathy Spencer with Samantha Rose, has been the best primer I have found to learn the ins and outs of extreme savings. Not only does this book, available in paperback for $10.17 or Kindle for $9.66 on Amazon.com, provide instruction on collecting coupons, it also provides detailed instructions on understanding store programs, stacking, and all the other ins-and-outs for maximizing deals.
How to Shop For Free is filled with links to websites for printing coupons, manufacturers sites to sign-up for their promotions, sweepstakes, and coupons, detailed explanations of store programs, and sites that do the legwork for you with lists of deals by state and store with links to the coupons built right in.
Kathy's book is an outstanding tutorial on transforming shopping from the frequent trips to the store for missing ingredients that result in paying top dollar, to "stockpiling" when prices are at the bottom to carry through to the next time they hit bottom so there is no need to ever pay full price again. Kathy's book addresses the issues surrounding seasonality and 4-6 week pricing cycle with tips to take advantage of these cycles.
Kathy's book is not limited to the grocery store for sure. This 247 page tome, includes chapters on, "Get It Together and Make a Plan," "The Business of Buying," "You're Covered: From Diapers to Drugs," and even "Scoring Clothes for Nada," to assist the reader in extending the techniques to virtually all purchasing areas.
Of all the books I have reviewed to date on the subject of couponing and other savings techniques, How to Shop for Free is by far the easiest to put into action with great results, as well as being the most comprehensive.
Candice Casey is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of RiverValleySun.com.