My coupon junkie roommate was the first person who introduced me to All You magazine. She subscribes to it monthly and gets all giddy and rips into it the minute it comes in the mail. Such a dramatic reaction made sense for her because she’s a buyer by trade who is always on the lookout for the best bargains and deals. But me? I’m a spontaneous spender who avoids thrift stores and rarely notices the price of an item before putting it into my grocery cart. For some reason, I’ve always found coupons overwhelming–and by the time I think about using them, they’re usually expired.
But something happened a few months ago that radically changed my carefree shopping ways. I got laid off. There is nothing like a checking account with no cash-infused direct deposit paycheck every two weeks to turn you into a money-conscious consumer. All of the sudden, every $50 I spent–or every $20, $10 and $5, for that matter–counted. For thousands of women who have dealt with unemployment, or just the thrifty ones (like my roomie) who want to cut corners, All You magazine offers a quick, easy-to-read, woman-to-woman guide on how to live well while spending less. It includes realistic, affordable ideas that you can apply to every facet of life, from food and health to home and fashion. Inside, you can find smart shopping strategies, budget-friendly recipes and meal plans, and hair and beauty tips that make you look like a million dollars without spending an embarrassing amount at the salon.
Another unique thing about the magazine is that it prides itself on providing “real-life advice from real women.” This means you can find plenty of reader-submitted tips, tricks, remedies and stories, along with fashion for curvy women, recipes for the cooking challenged and finance advice for spendthrifts. A few of my favorite recurring features include:
- Save Every Day: Creative tips to help you be more frugal throughout the day, like finding ways to make every room in your house beautiful without breaking the bank
- Know-How: Smart, financially savvy steps for managing your household, life and stuff (for example, the clutter you don’t need and want to donate, sell or dump)
- Fast Fixes: Handy hints to help you around the house, like cleaning with natural substitutes instead of expensive household products
Of course, this doesn’t even cover all of the coupons you can find for food, cleaning items, beauty and household products. (The June issue alone had a total of $102.61 in coupons.) And if that still isn’t enough, the magazine is chock-full of coupon codes, shopping guides and online giveaways. Thanks to my new appreciation for saving money, I found myself enjoying flipping through this magazine and learning about the simple but significant ways that I could become a smarter spender. I swear I even started smiling every time I turned to a new coupon (which is practically every other page). Now that I’ve read All You magazine and know what all the fuss is about, I might just clip a coupon or two.