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Book Review: How to Shop for Free: Shopping Secrets for Smart Women by Kathy Spencer

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How to Shop for Free: Shopping Secrets for Smart Women Who Love to Get Something for Nothing is a great basic introduction to shopping with coupons and bargain shopping in general. It really takes the process step by step and includes examples, rules, etiquette, and definitions. Author Kathy Spencer talks about how to find the best deals and what to do with the merchandise you bring home once you get it for free or cheaper than normal. She also discusses the best way to store food with limited amounts of space and recommends checking expiration dates when you rotate your stock to make sure you don’t waste what you’ve purchased. She also covers some helpful advice on how to spot scams and fake coupons which is great for anyone who is new to this.

How to Shop for Free is not limited to grocery store deals. The author also explains various rewards programs offered by drug stores and how they work. She shows you how to get the most deals with the least out of pocket expenses. She covers CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, which are the most popular pharmacies in the country. She explains show to combine the various reward cards with sales, rebates, and coupons for the best savings.

The author also discusses how to get savings at the mall! Suggestions include ways to save on bath and body, home furnishings, clothes, office supplies, pet food, books and more! She shares information on ways to get coupons, free classes, and reward programs. Spencer even gives hints on how to negotiate expenses like cable and telephone bills as well as ways to score freebies for this too!

I also appreciate that Spencer offers suggestions for alternative ways to get things for free or cheap like growing your own fruits and vegetables. She also suggests selling things on eBay so that money can be rolled into shopping costs. She also advocates watching markdowns, buying off season and shopping outlets.

If you’re new to the concept of shopping for free you need to check out How to Shop for Free. If you’re a veteran bargain shopper, you may only find one or two new tricks. I’ve been shopping like this for years and I will admit that it’s possible to get $100 worth of items for $30 at the grocery store. I’ve even managed $100 worth of items for less than $5 a number of times. Like the author, I agree that it isn’t easy. It requires dedication and lots of work to do this every week. You also need to have access to the stores that offer these amazing bargains. While Sephora and Ulta regularly offer freebies, if your closest Sephora is two hours away, that’s not going to work well for you. Kohls regularly offers $5 off coupons but if you have no Kohls in your area, that won’t help you. Spencer does list the stores that are the easiest to freebie shop at and she offers suggestions on how to find those freebies at other places that may not be listed.

If you have the stores and the time, How to Shop for Free will certainly help you reduce your expenses. If not, it will teach you the skills to hunt for your own bargains in your area.

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About Ellen Christian

Ellen is a busy mom of two teenagers who left the corporate world in 2008 to focus on a more eco-friendly life. She lives in rural Vermont where she juggles family, two blogs and a career in social media. You can find her at http://www.confessionsofanover-workedmom.com/ and http://the-socialites-closet.blogspot.com/.
  • Great article about timely information. I’m the “head shopper” in my home and am always looking for the deal. Love my coupons, sales and now Groupon and Doozy of a Deal. Saving money is fun.