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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Couponing for the Rest of Us by Kasey Knight Trenum (Book Review and Q&A)

Title: Couponing for the Rest of Us
Author: Kasey Knight Trenum
Publisher: Revell

About the Book:  Founder of Time 2 $ave Shows Busy Women How to Save Big Without Spending Hours a Week Clipping Coupons

Couponing expert Kasey Knight Trenum will be the first to tell you that she does not like coupons.  But she does love saving money. Faced with mounting bills after her husband was downsized five years ago, Trenum turned to coupons to plug the hole in their savings account.  She spent hours researching how to use coupons effectively and easily reduced her family's weekly grocery bill 75 percent.  "I've learned how to balance savings with having a life and without it becoming an obsession," says Trenum.  "I've never woken up singing the praises of a coupon; I've just sung the joys of saving a ton of money."

Trenum shares the ins and outs of couponing and all the secrets she's put to good use over the years in Couponing for the Rest of Us: The Not-So-Extreme Guide to Saving More. With her help, readers will discover ways to hundreds of dollars every month and ultimately improve their family's finances without letting it take over their lives.  Couponing for the Rest of Us shows readers:

  • Where to find coupons for what your family eats
  • How to make the internet do the work for you
  • How to find sale cycles and store match-ups (and what those terms mean!)
  • How to reinvent your shopping strategy and toss your lists
  • How to make grocery shopping less stressful -- even fun!
  • How to turn money saved into money shared
  • Make couponing fit your life not become your life
"If you're worried that your not a coupon kind of girl, don't," writes Trenum.  "You don't have to be in love with coupons.  You don't have to compute math in your head. And you don't have to set aside hours each week just to work on your coupons. I can't stress enough -- balance is the key to making couponing work for you.  You have to figure out how to make it fit into your world; it cannot become your world."

After shoppers started following Trenum to her car to find out how she was getting such good deals, she realized she had a lifestyle solution she could share.  She began teaching couponing workshops. In 2009, she cofounded Time 2 $ave, a frugal and couponing blog, to help others discover how to make couponing work for them.  The silver lining to her savings from coupons became an empowering focus on giving to others. She has helped thousands improve their lives and become purposeful givers.

My thoughts: I think this book will be good for anyone who would like to save a little or a lot of money.  The important things that I took away from it were things like what it means to stack coupons (use a store coupon and a manufacturer's coupon); where to find a store's policy on coupons; why shopping at a drugstore is different from shopping at a grocery store.  

It is organized very well, though I must admit that I thought it got a little long in the beginning before we actually got to the ins and outs of couponing. There are some great resources in the back of the book as well, such as a glossary and inventory sheets for taking stock of your pantry and for beginning your stockpile.  

She stresses the importance of taking it slow and not letting it overwhelm you, even giving you some baby steps to try out as you begin the journey of couponing. I think it would overwhelm me if I let it, so I am probably going to start small - by really looking at my store ads for those things that I could use for my stockpile rather than those things that I need for day to day.  I have already bookmarked her website www.time2saveworkshops.com and signed up for her email.  You can find all kinds of coupons on their as well as links to store ads and other coupons.

I am very glad that I signed up to tour with this book and want to thank Revell Blog Tour for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my review. 

Available May 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Purchase Links:


Q&A with Kasey Knight Trenum
Author of Couponing For the Rest of Us

Q. I’m already busy, and couponing looks like a part time job. Do I really have time?
A. I hear your pain. If anyone thought she didn’t have time to coupon, it was me. I didn’t even consider it as a remote possibility. Time or no time, I couldn’t afford not to use couponing as an avenue to save. Soon I began to see how the benefits outweighed my investment. It was worth it to have several hundred dollars a month back in our budget, especially when our other household expenses weren’t going down. Will couponing take some of your time? Yes, but not much. I’ll show you the ropes so you can save both time and money.

Q. I have a small family. I don’t see how using coupons could help us much since our grocery bill isn’t that high.
A. The size of your family doesn’t matter. Whatever your grocery bill is, there is usually room to save. Even if you only spend $50 a week, wouldn’t you like to cut that down to $20 or $30? Aside from the numbers, when you shop ahead of time to buy what you use, it takes the stress of having to go to the grocery store out of your life.

Q. This seems like a lot of work, and I’m not an organized person. I don’t think I can keep up with all this!
A. Oh my! If you look up “unorganized” in the dictionary, you’ll find my picture. I really (really!) want to be organized, and I have tried to help myself in this area more ways than I can count. But you know what? I was not created that way. You can imagine my struggle with organizing my coupons. I had to find a way that worked for me (and didn’t consume my life), and that I could stick with for the long haul. Remember, couponing isn’t all-or-nothing. It’s what fits into whatever season of life you are in right now. What works for one person might not work for another; we are all unique. Be patient as you figure out what makes sense and works best for you.

Q. I’ve seen where couponing revolves around stockpiling and having massive amounts of food in your house. I don’t think I can (or want) to go there.
A. Fabulous! That makes two of us. My goal is to teach you how to save your family money and open up doors to give. It’s all about simplicity here; couponing isn’t an all-or-nothing deal. Couponing success isn’t measured by the size of your stockpile. I’d much rather be known for giving.

Q. I’ve always thought people who use coupons end up purchasing things they don’t need just because they have a coupon for it.
A. Guilty! I did it. Most people do, especially in the beginning. However, you’ll soon figure out the items that your family uses and what items make good donations. Beyond that, I’ll save you some time here. If you can’t donate it, even if it’s free or cheap, it’s not worth it. In some states you will still have to pay tax on the full purchase price before coupons. My mission has been to simplify; if my family doesn’t use it and I can’t donate it, then it’s just going to take up space in my home. You can always share your coupons with friends, schools, military programs and so forth.

Q. I’ve never been good at math—Can I do this?
A. Don’t worry, I was never good at math and you don’t have to be either. Besides, who said you can’t use a calculator? Throw one in your purse or use your smartphone

Q. How many grocery stores do you shop each week?
A. Lately I am happy to make it to one. I have been asked this question more times than I can count. It is not necessary to shop more than one store, or even to shop every single week for that matter. Whether you save 5 percent or 70 percent, you are still saving. Couponing has to fit into your life, not become your life.


Couponing for the Rest of Us
Publisher/Publication Date: Revell, May 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2206-7
192 pages

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

This sounds great! I just read an article listing the most common money mistakes people make and not using coupons was number 2 on the list.

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