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.