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“How to Shop for Free” Book Review by Kathy Spencer

By David Bibby

how to shop for freeEverybody likes getting something for nothing. There’s a little thrill that comes from taking an item up to the cash register, then walking out the door with it, not having paid a cent.

In fact, just yesterday I went to a fast food restaurant with my kids, handed over three coupons, and left with three free pink lemonades. We all agreed that “free” tasted pretty good!

For most of us, getting free stuff is an event that happens pretty infrequently. For Kathy Spencer, on the other hand, freebies have become a way of life.

In her book, How to Shop for Free, Kathy shares all her secrets to help you maximize your savings and get your groceries, clothes, pet food, prescriptions, toiletries, and more, for free.

How Does She Do It?

kathy spencerKathy Spencer is just a regular wife and mother who stumbled upon this key to frugality. During a routine trip to the store, she realized she could combine a coupon with a sale, and get a product completely free! From then on, she made it her mission to save as much money as possible, while still providing her family with the best products available. Her focus is on providing real, ordinary people with the tools to live more abundant lives on less.

By using coupons combined with store sales, promotions, rewards programs, and rebates, Kathy gets all her household items either for free, or close to free. She even took a $267.22 grocery bill and knocked it down to $.01 (that’s one penny folks!). Shopping this way has allowed her to amass a stockpile so big that she has to regularly give stuff away, and there appears to be no limit to her generosity.

Tips and Tricks

Because this is a “how-to” book, it’s designed to take you all the way from a coupon baby, to a killer shopper, to a hard-core, extreme couponer. You’ll learn all the coupon lingo; acronyms like BOGO (buy one get one), ONYO (on your next order), and DCH (I can’t say this one on the Internet).

You’ll discover how to set up your first deal, and where to look for deals posted online and through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, you’ll be guided on how to take advantage of rewards programs at your favorite pharmacy stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid. Kathy will even tell you how she gets top, name brand clothing from the mall for free.

Kathy explains how to stockpile groceries, and plan your meals around your stockpile so that you always “shop at home.” You’ll never have to run to the store and pay full price for that missing dinner item again! Her tips will send your couponing ventures to new heights as you learn how to get milk, cheese, bread, and produce for virtually nothing.

Real World Results

As you can tell, I’m really into this book. Before I read How to Shop for Free, I considered myself to be a fairly good couponer. Having read other books and perused multiple couponing websites, I thought I had pieced together just about everything on the subject. Still, I was having trouble figuring out how to get steak and produce for little or nothing.

I was pleasantly surprised that Kathy not only answered the question, but that the answer opened up an even bigger world of savings to me and my family. Put into practice, I have not paid a cent for bananas, apples, grapes, strawberries, or lettuce in the last three months. I still pay a little for steak, but not nearly as much as I used to.

As I mentioned in my step-by-step guide, Extreme Couponing 101: How to Extreme Coupon, we saved 84% ($6,341.67) in brand name groceries and cleaning products in the first three months of this year. I can attribute much of these savings to the insights learned from this valuable book.

Whether you’re just starting out with coupons, or you are a seasoned veteran, I’m sure that you will find some useful information that can convert to more cash savings in your pocket. For that reason, this book pays for itself.

Final Word

I really enjoyed reading How to Shop for Free. Kathy Spencer, along with Samantha Rose, present the information in a way that is very educational, easy to follow, and easy to implement.  And don’t think it will be a dry read – there are plenty of funny stories about the crazy stuff that happens at the register throughout.

As an added bonus, this book not only inspires you to do better for your family, but it also encourages you to give back. Kathy is incredibly generous with her neighbors and community, and I sincerely hope that my giving will reach that level one day.

Visit Kathy’s website to learn more about couponing, find deals, and search the coupon databases.

Have you tried Kathy Spencer’s methods for saving? What were the results? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

David Bibby
David Bibby is 35 years old currently living in Palm Bay, FL with his wife Catherine and two daughters. David is a Christian, writer, and programmer. He became interested in personal finance at age 20 while working for a credit union. He owns and operates numerous websites on topics ranging from finances to marriage help. His latest project CouponFedFamily.com might be his most ambitious yet!

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Comments

  • Waldir

    This book sounds awesome, but it looks like something not very useful for someone outside the US. Am I wrong?

  • http://www.flutterbutterdesigns.com/blog Denise

    Kudos Kathy! Looks like you’re so popular in my area that your book is in our library and there is a long line of people with it on hold. Woo Hoo!

  • Carol

    This is an AMAZING book and has saved up a TON of money. I have recommended it to MANY people!

  • David Bibby

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Waldir
    I can’t say if this would benefit you outside the US. I honestly don’t know how the manufacturing and coupon distribution works in other countries. Hopefully others can share what they know.

    Thanks,

  • Kerry

    This is a great book and well worth the $. You can wait for it at your library, but I suggest buying online for less than $10. You’ll have it as a constant reference as you move from beginner to expert.

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