UPDATE: If you want to sign up for her coupon class on Feb. 11, please go to http://www.sarahsdeals.net/search/label/Coupon%20Class. We had incorrect instructions at the bottom of the article.
By Judy Reed
If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to get the most for your money, you won’t want to miss a free workshop on Saturday, February 11 at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, with Cedar Springs resident Sarah Jehnzen, author of the blog “Sarah’s Deals.”
Sarah has appeared on WZZM13’s Super Saver with Derek Francis, and was a shopping expert on WOODTV during Black Friday. She was also a guest columnist in the Rockford Independent, a coupon expert in the Detroit Free Press, and has been featured in other media.
Sarah, a part-time working mother of two, has lived in Cedar Springs for 8 years. She said she grew up in a family that needed to watch their money, and developed habits that stuck with her into adulthood. Instead of her family saving money to pay bills, they now save together to give back more and have fun in the process.
Sarah has been running her blog, Sarah’s Deals, for 3-1/2 years. She said she started saving coupons about 10 years ago, when she worked part-time at Walgreens. She said they would have 7-8 freebies at the end of the month, and she found that by using coupons, she would make a little money. Over the years she progressed to using a coupon database, began posting on and moderating message boards, and finally set up her own blog, where she helps readers get the best deals each week on goods and services. And she does it for free. The affiliate links and ads on her website help support the time she puts into the blog.
“I like helping people and getting the info out there,” explained Sarah. “There is nothing better than to have someone say ‘you saved me $50!’ and it didn’t cost me anything.”
Each week she does ad matchups—for example, she’ll list things on sale at Meijer and match them to coupons you can use, tell you whether you get something back, and your final price. She also lists other coupons she finds, local giveaways and discounts, special promotions, free samples, downloads, tips on frugal living, cooking in bulk and recipes. “I wanted to be a resource, not a ‘one and done’ type of site,” explained Sarah. “I try to find anything people might be interested in.”
She also teaches coupon and shopping tip classes for both the public and private organizations, for free.
Sarah said it’s been a great learning experience. “I’ve learned how to run my own business, build relationships, handle sticky situations, and learned how to do research in a major way. I want to give the most accurate info,” she noted.
For anyone interested in beginning to get their spending under control by using her site, she advised they use baby steps. “Start small and work your way into it. If you try to do too much you will burn yourself out,” she said.
The workshop on Februay 11 will feature Shopping Tips 101 from noon to 2 p.m., and from 2-4 p.m. will cover creating a stockpile and bulk cooking tips. To register for the event, go to http://www.sarahsdeals.net/search/label/Coupon%20Class. Admission is an item for the Cedar Springs Food Pantry.
You can also follow Sarah on social media such as Facebook and twitter. Go to her blog and click on the icons for the links.