Thursday, May 9, 2013

"Couponing for the Rest of Us" Blog Tour

Founder of Time 2 $ave Shows Busy Woman 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 by 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 save 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 you aren’t 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 out 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 co-founded 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.
Kasey Knight Trenum is the cofounder of Time 2 $ave (, a frugal and couponing blog and conducts Time 2 $ave workshops frequently. Her weekly column can be read in Scripps newspapers nationwide, her work has been featured in Parade and All You and she has been interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered and HLN’s Making it in America. She has a personal passion for seeing women, men and families find financial freedom, be empowered to improve their lives and become purposeful givers. She and her husband and children live in Tennessee.
Available May 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Q&A with the author:
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 acoupon 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.
My Take:
Couponing has become such a craze in America over the last few years. Some stores have even tightened up their coupon policies due to people taking advantage of them. This is so sad, and it is one of the reasons that I have kind of declined in my use of coupons in the last few years. So, I was excited to read this book and see if there was some way for me to get back into it.

As I started reading this book, the first thing I noticed was that the style of writing was very conversational. It was as if the author was sitting across from me just chatting about how to use coupons to save money. It was a nice and friendly style of writing that carried through the rest of the book.

As I kept reading, I liked more and more how laid back and practical the author was about couponing and about saving money. I loved how she always pointed out that, yes, couponing is good, but it shouldn't take over your life. I also liked how she constantly reminded the reader that any money you save using coupons is money that you didn't have in your pocket before. Just because you only save $10 in a given week, it's still $10 that you didn't save last week without coupons! 

Kasey's approach to couponing is one that is easily understood and very practical. I liked the idea of buying 'stock-up' pantry items at really great prices along with the sales. This is something that is addressed differently in other coupon books I've read, and I liked Kasey's approach much better. And if you go to her blog and use the store match-ups that are listed there each week, then you don't even have to do the sale comparisons yourself! During my first week of couponing according to Kasey's method, I saved $32!!! And that was just with online printable coupons since I didn't have any Sunday paper coupons this week!

The only downside that I found to the book was that in my e-book copy, some of the formatting was not done correctly. The pictures didn't show up, and the charts didn't line up.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • "You have to figure out how to make it [couponing] fit into your world; it cannot become your world."
  • "Don't focus on the savings or the deals that you don't get. Instead, I encourage you to think about the ones that you do."
  • "But if couponing starts cutting into the time you could be spending with your family, working, doing something you love, or taking care of yourself, it's too much."

Overall, I really liked this book of practical couponing, and I hope to continue my couponing adventure in the future!

I will give Couponing for the Rest of Us ... 4 BookWorms.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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