Amy Goes to Savings School: Did the Workshop Make the Grade?

Be on the lookout for ads like this in your local papers for an event near you.

As you may have read, this past Monday (June 16), I attended an Extreme Couponing Workshop put on by the Oregonian at a hotel in the Portland Metro area. Two fun, energetic women facilitated it, both having been on the Extreme Couponing show on TLC. Everyone there was pleasant. I sat in the front row (read:over achiever), between a little boy being so good for his mom and a couple sisters who were very into the presentation. There were some positives and some negatives of the night, however, and I want to share my thoughts with all of you.

Let’s begin with the great things about the event. First and foremost, it is obvious that these women really do save a lot. They both stockpile, they play the “guess how much I paid?” game with their husbands, just like I do – I could really relate and admired their savings. Neither of them shop at stores that double any coupons, which makes savings even tougher. I love my Doubl’r coupon at Safeway! Maryann, who lost 80+ pounds between her show taping and the workshop – WOW! – feeds a family of 7 on only $25 each week. Unbelievable!

Additionally, they’re committed to couponing ethically, which I think is integral to us all continuing on our savings journeys. You have to follow the rules for any of this to continue, right? They explained the “coupon clearinghouse” concept, where stores send in their coupons for reimbursement. If coupons are copied or altered in any way, the store actually does lose out. You’re not fighting the man, you’re ruining it for everyone.

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Portland Event: Extreme Couponing Workshop

Find this one-page ad in your 6/1 Oregonian
Find this one-page ad in your 6/1 Oregonian

I headed out the door this morning to go score my free Bisquick and grab a couple newspapers (couldn’t let myself only get one when there are four inserts in the 6/1 paper). When I got back and started sorting through my inserts, I came upon a single page advertisement for a FREE Extreme Couponing Workshop right here in the Portland area. Apologies for the folks who aren’t nearby, but I for one had to sign up right away so I could be sure to get a spot.

The event is being held Monday, June 16 at the Holiday Inn in Portland/Gresham (2752 SE 242nd Dr in Gresham, OR) and has two sessions – one at 4:00pm and one at 7:00pm. My days at work are super busy lately, so I’ll be attending the 7:00pm. That does mean some long bus commutes and a late night (sorry honey, it’ll be leftovers for dinner), but this is an event that doesn’t come often, so I had to register!

I have no idea how soon registration will fill up, but you can sign up via the Oregonian’s direct link: oregonlive.com/smartsaver.

I’ll be posting about my experience after the event, so stay tuned for more information!

A closer look at the details, after the jump:

Read morePortland Event: Extreme Couponing Workshop

Monte’s Fall Wedding Guide

If there’s one bridal television show that I like best, it’s probably Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta. I love the consultants at Bridals by Lori and of course get a huge kick out of the Fashion Director, Monte Durham. So imagine my delight when I discovered a podcast featuring Monte and one of my favorite former How Stuff Works podcast hosts, Candace Keener. As a spinoff from the show’s name, this podcast is called Say Yes to the Dress: Monte’s Take. It appears the show had 31 episodes and ended a little over a year ago, but they’re still fun to listen to and they’re all around 15-20 minutes long, so it’s perfect while on the go.

My favorite episode so far is Monte’s Fall Wedding Guide. The colors and crispness of fall go so well for a lovely wedding. They go through the personality of a fall bride, what colors work and which are tired, what type of food you may want to serve, and what wedding gowns go well with the season. Here’s my summary of the episode and how their tips compare with my wedding plans.

After their intro, Candace asks Monte what kind of girl gets married in the fall (2:30). Monte points out the biggest obstacle of all – football season! Be it NFL or (my preference) college football, planning a wedding in the fall can be tricky because nearly every weekend day is reserved by some sort of football being played. But, if a bride schedules her wedding in the fall, you can be sure it will be organized. Fall brides like the outdoors and leaves, are not particularly fussy, and know that “nature is the best backdrop.”  Fall brides are more attuned to what is going on around them and don’t need the perfect pink bouquet. They prefer something with an organic shape and structure.

Read moreMonte’s Fall Wedding Guide