Good Deals & Smart Steals would be a great resource for people learning to cut back.
About a month ago I was asked if I’d be interested in reviewing a copy of Good Deals & Smart Steals – How to Save Money on Everything by the editors of Good Housekeeping Magazine. I jumped at the chance. After all, anything about saving money is my kind of book!
Written as more of a handy reference book than a chapter-by-chapter book, Good Deals & Smart Steals is divided into two sections: How to be a Smart Shopper and Get a Good Deal.
How to be a Smart Shopper covers things like coupons, rebates, rewards programs, auctions, and much more. The tips are pretty straightforward and practical. As a very frugal person, most of the suggestions in this section are things I’m either aware of or things I already do. Still, the tips are very sound and mainstream. I didn’t see anything I wouldn’t do.
Get a Good Deal focuses on different areas of spending, like big ticket items, food, travel, and cars. There are tips for shopping at the right store, negotiating for a good price, and evaluating whether you really need a service at all. Again, this section is really straightforward and practical.
What I really liked about Good Deals & Smart Steals was the little asides throughout the chapters. There are little sections featuring “Best of the Web”, where the best website to find an item is highlighted. Some of the websites were new to me, and it was nice to find additional resources for online shopping.
I also liked the “How to Negotiate” and “Buyer Beware” blurbs throughout the book. Again, these little blurbs where where I learned new things, like why towels that feel so soft in the store don’t feel so soft when you take them out of the dryer after washing them.
Since it’s written mostly in bullet point form and the sections are clearly laid out, you don’t have to read it cover-to-cover. You can just flip to the section you need to reference, and quickly skim down the list of tips to find what you need.
Overall, I think Good Deals & Smart Steals is a handy little reference book that is especially useful for people who are new to frugality. If you know someone who is worried about the economy and wants to cut back, but is at a loss for how to go about it, this book would make a great little stocking stuffer. A person could definitely save more than the book’s $9.95 cover price by following just a few of the tips.
I’m going to give Good Deals & Smart Steals an A-. It’s not the best book for people who are already masters of frugal living, but it will be a great resource for people who are trying to cut back, due to changes in the economy.
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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