Coupon Crazy Book Review and Giveaway


Good deals make me happy.

I bought my favorite pair of jeans for $4 at Goodwill.

I was thrilled last week when I scored a Nike Iowa State hoodie on ebay for  $13.00 to give one of my boys for Christmas.

And I  enjoy scouring the clearance racks at Kohls with my 30% off coupon in hand. But when the employee at the register rings up my purchases and excitedly tells me that I just saved hundreds of dollars, I am always tempted to say, “You know I know that’s not true, right?” –  I’m a frugal consumer, but I’m not stupid. Only someone who is uneducated in the way of “Kohls-onomics” or someone who really doesn’t give a rip about the cost of stuff would purchase any item at Kohls for full price. But I digress. . .

I love saving money, but I’m not much of a couponer. I use them occasionally; I’ve just never made it a regular habit.

But the book I just read kind of makes me want hunt down some newspaper inserts and clip some coupons.

Mary Potter Kenyon is a coupon enthusiast. She has been at couponing for so long and has been so successful that she not only has a weekly newspaper column devoted to the subject, she also teaches couponing workshops and recently wrote a book on the topic.

Maybe a book about couponing would not be your first choice of purchases at the bookstore, but Coupon Crazy is so interesting and well written that you will not regret picking it up.

Who knew the coupon world was so complex and, well…crazy? The book is titled appropriately.

Kenyon is a frugal consumer, and a 30+ year veteran of using coupons to stretch a dollar. She figured out what worked for her when her children were young and really made couponing her part-time job. In her book, she delves into the history of couponing, the variety of ways of couponing/refunding/rebating…, the science behind it, the evolution of it and even as she calls it – “the underbelly of the couponing world” – something I didn’t even know existed.

I got lost in the details every now and then. A couple chapters were chock full of facts and statistics (which I’m sure some people will love), but I’m not a huge statistic person so it was a bit overwhelming at times.

But Kenyon kept the reader engaged with her own personal stories, testimonies of others in the couponing world and interesting bits of trivia. I enjoyed the read, and I feel like I have a better grasp on the world of couponing. Plus I came away with some new hints about how to be a resourceful shopper.

I know some of you are thinking this book sounds like a good one to add to your reading list. Here are a few interesting tidbits I picked up  to whet your whistle:

 The first coupon was issued by the Coca-Cola company in the late 1880s.


Those coupons you pull out of the little dispensers on grocery store shelves are called blinkies.


One of the participants on TLC’s Extreme Couponing reality show actually used counterfeit coupons on the show, was called out and had to go back to the store and pay $400 for the 34 packages of toilet paper she got for free.


Kenyon was asked three times to be a guest on Extreme Couponing, but she turned them down.


Before cash registers receipts were itemized, people (from the underbelly of the couponing world) use to buy their own cash registers to falsify receipts to send in with rebate forms for free money.

There is way more to coupons than I ever imagined, and I recommend the book if you are looking to expand your knowledge. Kenyon is an excellent writer. She not only knows her coupons, she knows how to present information in a compelling manner.

Coupon Crazy is available on amazon in paperback and a kindle edition.

But I have an autographed copy to give away to one of you.

Just leave a comment telling me about the best deal you’ve ever gotten at a store, garage sale, ebay, wherever. . . with or without coupons. One of my fantastic children will draw a name and I’ll post the winner a week from today.


By KimHarms

Kim Harms is an author, speaker, and part-time library assistant with two decades of freelance writing experience. She has a degree in English from Iowa State University. She and her husband Corey have three super-awesome sons and one crazy dog. A two-time breast cancer survivor, her first book, Life Reconstructed: Navigating the World of Mastectomies and Breast Reconstruction (Familius), is a guide for women walking the breast cancer road. She is currently working on her second book, a devotional for women going through breast cancer.


  1. I thought you might find this blog post interesting. Don’t feel like you have to read it today though:)

    Sent from Noah Swanson’s iPhone

  2. I just purchased several toys for Christmas at Kohl’s that were 50% off their highly inflated original price plus another 20% off that and I had a 30% off coupon. Probably bought more that I should have and may end up taking some back but couldn’t pass up the bargains!

  3. Mine is from a garage sale this summer. Eric had tried to replace the screen in our front door because shockingly one of the kids had put a big hole in it, but he couldn’t get the screen part to come out cleanly & figured we were going to have to buy a whole new screen door. I stopped at a garage sale the next week & there was a screen door that look exactly the same as ours propped up against a tree with a free sign taped to it! I brought it home & it fit perfectly!!

    1. I’m pretty shocked our house hasn’t incurred more damage from the kids. The way they bounce around and wrestle, we should have more holes in our walls. (But I’m not complaining.) That’s awesome about the screen door. I got a free cedar chest several years ago. It wasn’t in the best shape, but I refinished it and it looks pretty good.

  4. I just started couponing! Its been amazing! I did my first haul a few weeks ago. Four days of intense planning all day long and into the wee hours of the night. Total bill before taxes was $407. I paid $85.55! And the only reason I had to pay anything was I bought a printer so I could print printable coupons from! Oh and I should mention my printer was $120! Otherwise, I would have been paid to walk out of the store! (Yes, I have my receipt for proof) 🙂 My Sundays now consist of clipping and going through ads to find sales to match my coupons with. Don’t know why I waited so long to coupon!

    1. That is awesome! I don’t think I’d be disciplined enough to do a good job of couponing. From what you said in your comment, I think you’d really like this book. Good luck in you future couponing trips.

  5. Hi Kim! Found a pair of Nike Flex shoes for G last month at Kohl’s ($69.99 on sale for 54.99). After the 30% off coupon, my Kohl’s cash would have made them FREE. To my surprise, they must have been the last pair in that color scheme – they rang up at $9.74…..with my 30%, they were $6.82!! Had $30+ Kohl’s cash left to spend unexpectedly!! Lucky little Miss M got 2 dresses that she wasn’t expecting 🙂

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