8iRWeiXjcKj9kUz5Tebo4_k_FtY Life with Two Special Needs Children: Book Review: "Couponing For the Rest of Us" by Kasey Knight Trenum

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Book Review: "Couponing For the Rest of Us" by Kasey Knight Trenum

Another recent offer from the Revell Book Blog Tour that I received was from "Couponing for the Rest of Us" by Kasey Knight Trenum.  I was interested in reading this book because I have had a hard time finding a "happy-medium" when it came to couponing and was interested in what this author's method was. 

I have done everything from buying lots and lots of papers to  have multiple coupons to not buying any papers and not couponing hardly at all. I am trying to find ways to save more money on our grocery bill, which just always seems to be rising.

Kasey Knight Trenum is the cofounder of Time 2 $ave (www.time2saveworkshops.com), 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.

Ms. Trenum wrote this book in a way that people who have never used coupons before can understand them.  She helps people by showing them the following:

  •          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
One theme that Ms. Trenum continues to express throughout the book is that even if you only have enough time to clip and use enough to save five percent, you have still saved five percent and you should be proud of yourself for that.  You do not need to compare yourselves to the "extreme couponers" who are saving a lot if you do not have the time for it. 

That is where I fell into the trap and got burned out.  I really felt like I needed to be saving 70% or more on our shopping and if I wasn't then what was the point.  But, really, every little bit of savings every week will add up if you just do it when you have time.  And if I have a busy, crazy week and cannot get through my coupons, then I need to just shake it off and start again the next week.

Ms. Trenum provides action steps at the end of each chapter to help people get started with their couponing journey.  At the end of the book there are forms and tips to help your further with getting started.

Here is a transcript of a question and answer session with Ms. Trenum:

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.

I really enjoyed reading this book and it gave me a different perspective on couponing and will be implementing some of these ideas into what I have previously done.  If you have tried couponing in the past and just felt like it didn't stick, or if you have never couponed before and are wanting to save your family some money, this is a good book to check out.

This book is currently available at your local or online bookstore.
I was provided a copy of this book for an honest review.  The opinion expressed is my one and in no way has been influenced by others.

No comments: