Books

Christi the Coupon Coach "Couponing Made Simple" Book Review

2:39 PM

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Couponing. That word to me always meant hours upon hours of work, tons of time spent and grocery stores and saving loads of money. Well, the last part is totally true and so much fun when you get to experience it. I have always wanted to be a couponer but was never "brave" enough. Being a mommy of three little ones is tiring and I don't have a whole lot of extra time to spend doing things like couponing - or so I thought. As we have added children to our family it has become painfully clear that groceries and shopping trips are getting expensive. Our economy is terrible and the cost of EVERYTHING is going up. I used to dream of saving money at the cash register but honestly, never really looked into it because it is easier to just run to the store and buy what you need when you need it regardless of the price. Let me tell you...I am learning a few things about being wise with my money and being frivolous with what God has given is foolish.
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Today, I am going to talk to you about a book I have been reading written by Christi the Coupon Coach and it is called Couponing Made Simple. Christi is a homeschooling mom of four children and obviously, is a busy lady! I was excited to read more about her ideas and tips for using coupons. At first, I was skeptical but as I began to read her book, I suddenly became aware of just how easy saving money can be. (!) I will say first and foremost, I appreciate the fact that Christi loves the Lord and talks about God in her book. Saving money to her is important spiritually because it is being a good steward with the money that God has entrusted to her and her family. This spoke volumes to me because I can be very frivolous with money and she really made me think about that aspect in relation to being a good steward.
Christi graciously sent me one of her books to read through and review and I have to tell you that I am feeling better equipped and EXCITED about being a good coupon user. My first observation was to note Christi's philosophy when it comes to using coupons. She is not an extreme couponer but holds to the idea that she teaches REAL couponing for REAL people. Here's a bit more about her book...

There is a lot of buzz about couponing.  A lot of people are excited about couponing and want to do it well, but I have found that many become overwhelmed, confused and unorganized.

That is why I have taken the new world of couponing and put it into a book that gives a step by step plan to follow.  I have also developed an organization system.  This allows people to be successful on their very 
first trip.  One lady read my book and saved 70% on her 1st trip!  Another attended a workshop and saved 84% on her 1st coupon run!

This is not "Extreme", but Real couponing for Real people.
I teach buying a reasonable amount of products using an organizational system that takes a reasonable amount of time for great savings! 
So, my first goal was to learn the steps that are necessary to be successful at couponing. Christi has the easy steps laid out in one chapter where she step-by-step explains what you need to do to get organized, use coupons and save money. I was first stumped by a phrase I read in this chapter and it read as follows...

"Buy at least one Sunday newspaper per person in your household. If you have an uneven number of people (i.e., five), bump up the number of newspapers to the next even number, six."

I am used to buying just one paper and using the coupons found in the inserts included in that one paper and didn't know the benefit of having more papers. So, I emailed Christi for clarification. The reason for doing this is because you want to have the most coupons for one item that you can. I experienced the negative side of this when I went to buy yogurt this past week. Chobani Greek Yogurt was on sale for 10 for $10, making each cup of yogurt $1 each. I found a coupon for $.30 off and my grocery store doubles manufacturer coupons up to $.99. Sooo, I only had ONE coupon. :( If I had clipped more, I could have really purchased alot of yogurt for just $.40 a cup. RATS! So, this is why you want to buy alot of newspapers and I am glad that Christi mentions this in her book.
Another thing I love that Christi talks about is how to find coupon matchups in your area. I have been wanting to find a blog or website that does the coupon matchups for the grocery store in my area and using her suggested method, I was able to find one!! This makes finding and using coupons sooo easy. It really takes out the work in figuring out how to use your coupons. She tells you what to look up when searching the Internet and this is something I knew NOTHING about. So, my favorite site that I have found I now subscribe to and every week, this gal gives me the coupon matchups and best deals for my store. Hooray!! Christi has her favorite coupon matchup sites listed on her website so check those out as well.
I have not yet implemented Christi's method for organizing coupons but fully intend to. She suggests using a recipe box and small accordion file. I love the idea of organizing your coupons in the order of how you shop through your store. I am really leaving out alot of detail when it comes to her organization system but basically you file all your coupons in your box and use the coupons as your shopping list. In your box you will have a section set up for coupons you don't use on the current shopping trip just in case there are no sales for that particular item. You can then re-file your coupons and use them on a later date. I love her idea because frankly, I went to the store with all my coupons stuffed in a small envelope and this is VERY disorganized and stressful. So, want to see how I did on my most recent "couponing" shopping trips? Check it out...
Ok. So, this picture represents two different stores. One was Walgreens and the other was Tops Friendly Markets. In my area there are two major grocery stores...Wegmans and Tops. The closest Wegmans to me is about 1/2 hour away so I don't shop there hardly at all. Tops is my main go-to store. I also love that they have so many 10 for $10 deals and also they double all manufacturer coupons up to $.99. This is so cool, especially if you have $.75 off coupons...they double them so you are actually getting $1.50 off!!! Anyway, here is what I have in the picture above. General Mills cereal was on sale 4 for $10 and if you purchased 4 boxes, you got a free gallon of milk. So, because I was just trying out couponing, I didn't have a huge stash of coupons. I was able to get my four boxes of cereal and used two $.50 off coupons on two of the boxes...which meant I actually got $1 off two boxes. When the cashier rung up my groceries, I didn't get a coupon for the free milk so after I finished checking out I went to the head cashier station and showed my receipt to the girl working there. She checked the ad, verified that I was supposed to get a free gallon of milk and then refunded us for the milk. Awesome! See the three packages of Bic Soleil razors? I only paid $3.99 for each of those thanks to my $2 off coupons.
My shopping trip to Tops would have cost me $43.31 but thanks to store discounts and coupons, I only paid $24.70.  Now, that isn't a HUGE savings but it is pretty good, considering I have never used coupons like that before.
Now, we get to Walgreens. Schick Disposable Razors were buy one, get one 50% off. I had coupons for BOGO so I used two of those coupons on four packages of Razors. Then, I had three individual coupons for Gillette razors. They were priced at $5.99 each and I had three coupons...two for $3 off and one for $5 off. So, I paid only $.99 for one of the razors!
I ended up spending a total of $18.92 and SAVED $36.48 with bonus points and coupons. WOW! For me, that was a HUGE savings.
Real quick, one last receipt I wanted to show you was from a quick, emergency stop at a local Dollar General. We were at church and my son had a HUGE poo poo diaper and blew out his pants. Completely. I had to run to the store and buy him a new pair of pants. Well, I chose a pair of denim blue jeans and they were marked $10. I also bought diaper cream. I get to the checkout and was floored when my total came to just the price of the diaper cream. I remarked to the cashier "Wow! The pants must have been on sale!" She had the personality of a brick wall and didn't respond and I went on my way. When I got in the car, I looked at my receipt. The pants rang up for $.01!!!!!!! What a BLESSING! I asked my sister about this because she worked at Dollar General for several years and she said that when they want to push inventory, they mark down items like this but you have to know what to look for. I was thrilled that I only paid a penny for my son's pants and that is a deal I got when I used no coupons! Ha ha! :) 

Soo, I think it is safe to say that I am officially hooked on using coupons and looking for good deals. Christi talks about keeping your eyes open for thrift store deals, garage sales and online deals as well. I blogged recently about a FANTASTIC deal Maidenform was having for their $10 bra sale. I purchased two bras for a total of about $17 + FREE shipping. So, you have to keep your eyes open for special sales and take advantage when you can. 
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Christi the Coupon Coach's book retails for $18 or you can purchase the ebook for $4.99. I would recommend buying the book itself because there are pages in the back for you to write notes and that is great, especially if you are trying to learn how to coupon. I am grateful to Christi for giving me the opportunity to review her book and hope that this review helps you to see how simple it can be to save your pennies. Be sure to check out more reviews for Christi's book by clicking on the banner below and happy couponing!!! :)

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1 comments

  1. Wow, this is an excellent review! I am so glad it was a blessing!

    Warmly,
    Kate

    ReplyDelete

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