Earlier this week, I had the chance to talk with Kasey Trenum, Savings.com DealPro, author of Couponing For the Rest of Us: The Not-So-Extreme Guide to Saving More and co-founder of Time2SaveWorkshops.com about National Coupon Month, and a new (to me) website called ReasonsToSave.com.
The site a joint effort of Savings.com and Valpak—intends to educate and empower consumers this National Coupon Month. It features money-saving tips, as well as a 10,000 Reasons to Save Contest, where someone can win $10,000 to jump start a savings plan! Read on to learn more about Kasey and head over to that site — the contest ends on the 15th!
9 Questions With Kasey Trenum 1 of 10
1. How Did You Get Started? 2 of 10
Mom and Dad were great examples. I started couponing, but really it didn't work! I'd save 15 cents per grocery trip. Several years ago, we ran into a series of financial troubles, and we had to get creative. We cut gymnastics, vacations, etc. Then I started seeing pictures of groceries, and I couldn't figure out what they were doing! Then I started a business because people started following to my car.
I started a couponing class, expecting 25 people to show up, and was shocked when 225 came!
Image by Kasey Trenum
2. How has the TLC Show Extreme Couponing changed your business? 3 of 10
Before the show, people were so interested and enamored.
After, it really hurt my business. People think now that it's extreme. You don't have to spend 40 hours a week couponing, you don't have to buy 100 boxes of cereal.
The key to learning how to save is to wait for an item to go on sale, THEN using a coupon.
Image by calgrin
3. How many different grocery stores do you go to? 4 of 10
Oh! Just one. I look at my two favorite stores each week, and see which items are on sale then decide which one to go to on this trip.
We just, in March, cut out processed food completely, and that has changed the way we saved dramatically. Before, we were saving 60-70%, but now it's more like 35%. I like to buy my produce at the farmers market. I focus a lot of my savings on household items. This week, for example, I bought six laundry detergents, four fabric softeners, two dryer sheets, for less than eight dollars. I look for more deals like that on those items.
We still tithe, but now we give food or household items on days other than Thanksgiving or Christmas, whether that's through church, or someone who's experienced a loss.
Image by gracey
4. How much money have you saved, in total, since you started couponing? 5 of 10
I have to admit I am not a spreadsheet, receipt keeping kind of girl so I don't have hard numbers as to how much money we have saved. I can tell you that my husband has gotten laid off unexpectedly 3 times over the past 5 years. Couponing helped my family survive financially. So much so, that it has become a way of life for us. In almost everything we do, we usually are able to find ways to save money. Every little bit counts. I would say that considering all the ways that we save, it easily adds up to over $1,000 a month. Surprisingly, according to a recent research by ValPak not one survey respondent was aware that couponing has the potential to save them as much as $10,000 annually.
Image by cohdra
5. How much time do you put into couponing each week? 6 of 10
I don't spend any more than an hour a week prepping for a shopping trip. Like most, I'm a very busy work at home mom. I don't have a lot of extra time, however it's necessary that I save money where I can.
Image by ReasonstoSave
6. Is it really as extreme as the television makes it seem? 7 of 10
No! At least not for me.
Image by Savings.com
7. What would you suggest a beginner do first, when it comes to couponing? 8 of 10
When I first started couponing I had no idea what I was doing. I had to figure it out with lots of trial and error. I would suggest attending a coupon workshop. I've been teaching classes for 4 years and have found that attending a class greatly reduces the learning curve. In fact, many people save up to 50% the first month. To find a local savings expert in your area visit Savings.com/dealpros. September is national Coupon Month, visit www.ReasonsToSave.com and enter to win $10,000!
Image by cohdra
8. Do you buy things your family won’t use? If so, what do you do with those items? 9 of 10
If an item is really cheap or free, we often buy just for the purpose of donating. We have learned that even during the most difficult time in our life financially we were able to give more than ever before. Instead of just giving at Thanksgiving or Christmas, couponing opens the door to become purposeful givers all year. It's an incredible tool to teach giving to your children.
Image by mconnors
9. Where do you find coupons, usually? The paper or online? 10 of 10
The Sunday newspaper is still the greatest resource for coupons for grocery, personal, and household items. Next, is printable coupons. To save on entertainment, dining, services and more ValPak has a great app.
Image by Valpak