Ask Time 2 $ave: What is your favorite part of couponing?



What is your favorite part of couponing?

First, you might be surprised to hear – I don’t LOVE COUPONS. I don’t wake up every morning excited to cut up coupons or jump on every deal that I can find. Simply put – couponing just happened to be the tool that brought hope to my family’s finances. Most importantly it has afforded us the incredible opportunity to give into the lives of others in ways we never imagined.

When I say giving I’m not referring to giving just at Thanksgiving or Christmas.  You see, as I learned how to coupon effectively a light came on one day.  Every week there are items that are free or nearly free at grocery stores and drug stores.  What if I started looking for items each week specifically to give?  I began to look beyond my own family’s needs for opportunities to bless others.

Now, as a family we have become purposeful givers.  It has become a lifestyle that is just as important to us as shopping for our family’s needs.

What Does Giving Look Like?

Giving can be anything you want it to be for your family. The reality is no matter how you choose to give it is an act that has the power to bless you in amazing ways.  Here are a couple of examples of places that always need help to get you started.

What goes where?  Donation suggestions:

  • Grocery/ Personal Care Items / Household Items – Food Banks, Homeless Shelters, Battered Women’s Shelters, local church pantry, Salvation Army, United Way
  • Pet Food – Animal Shelters, Churches
  • School Supplies – Schools, Day Care, Salvation Army, Churches
  • Baby Items – Teen Pregnancy Centers, Food Banks, Homeless Shelters, Battered Women’s Shelters, Churches, Salvation Army, United Way
  • Homeless People – Make baggies of personal care items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, non-perishable food like snack crackers, Chap Stick, shampoo etc. to keep in your car.  As you see the need arise you are prepared.
  • Adopt A US Soldier–Gatorade, Crystal Light Singles, Beef Jerky, Beef Sausage (very popular), Candy, canned Meats, Chocolate (they don’t care if it’s melted), Cookies, Gum, Mints, Aspirin, Cough Drops, Dental Floss, Disposable Razors, Kleenex, Neosporin, Mouthwash (without alcohol), Chap Stick, Batteries, Pens, Your local newspapers/comics (great way to recycle all those extra newspapers)
  • Natural Disaster–water, personal hygiene items, baby wipes, diapers, nonperishable food items, Feminine Products, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, pet food, cough drop

 Time 2 $ave + Time 2 Give = Time 4 Hope

It’s not just about getting a deal; it’s about making a difference….


Don’t understanding how to coupon effectively?  Would you love to save money without investing all your time?  Check out my new book, Couponing for the Rest of Us: The Not-So-Extreme Guide to Saving More to learn how.
Available in paperback or on Kindle.

A “Tall Order”!

We got this email a little while back – and wanted to share:

“I just wanted to share a copy of my prized receipt from Publix. They had an awesome sale this week and it worked great for me.

I spent $54 and saved $258.  This is my 17y/o son standing beside it to show just long it was.

Have a great day!! Thanks for teaching me these techniques. I have loved it and we love out donation box that we have set aside for The Ronald McDonald House. We are making a visit to them this week with 2 boxes of goodies.  I cant wait.  I’m a single mom and love to help others, but never had the means to do it until now.  Its awesome and the kids have really gotten into with me.”

Sandy -what can I say?  You’re downright inspiring!  Thanks for sharing your fun picture and encouraging words, getting emails like this is one of our favorite things!

Do you have a picture or story to share?  We love to hear them!  You can email us or leave it on our Time2Save Facebook Page to encourage the whole community!

Time2Save & Time2Give Reader Testimonies!

As a community, we try to encourage each other not just in our struggle to save money – but also in our calling to give to others in need.  When you’ve come from a place of need into a place where you are able to give – you know what a joy it is!  So I have a few “Saving” and “Giving” testimonies to share with you today:

Terri French posted this on our Facebook Wall:

“Woohoo!!!! First time shopping while couponing. Spent $102 for $301 worth of product.”

Rose Thompson Smith got all this for $3.24!  Way to go Rose!

And now for a story we received from a sweet lady this week (Grab a Kleenex!):

“This last Sunday in our life group meeting (some call it Sunday School), a lady told us about an unchurched family, where the dad has lost his job, they have no car, and there are 4 children ranging from 8 to 16.  School is about to start and then I actually found out that the oldest son and his dad were sharing the same pair of shoes.  It was through the love of Jesus Christ and the Ministry that you have brought to some of our church ladies that enabled us on Thursday morning to take 2 boxes of slightly used clothes and 2 boxes of food and staples, and school supplies to help this family.  My husband said that they were so appreciative.  I would have never thought 3 weeks ago that we would be able to do this.  God has truly blessed us.  Thanks again for all you have taught me.   The bible says that before we start telling, to start by showing.  I believe that we truly got to show Gods love this week.”

Kathy Smith

Time 2 $ave ~ Time 2 Give ~ Time 4 Hope

It’s not just getting a deal, it’s about making a difference!!

Those of you who have already attended a workshop know that Time 2 $ave isn’t just about saving money.  God has spoken a vision of ministry in our hearts to teach people how to save for their family so that they can then turn around and make a purposeful committment to give to others.  Thus creating hope in the lives of hurting people.  We received the testimony below today and had to share it with all of you.  What an inspiration of a heart to bless others. 

I attended a workshop at the end of March @ Allen Elementary in Soddy Daisy. When I left I was so excited! Not only because I could help my family save money, but because I felt like I could do something else…something MORE!! I think it is awesome how you followed what God was leading you to do regarding giving, and am excited to say your workshop has been an answer to my prayers!!

My son Nikolas, who is 3 1/2 was diagnosed last year with Wilms Tumor. This is a form of kidney cancer. You can read his story at

On our year long journey I have come to realize how a cancer diagnosis, while not something you wish to encounter, can be a ‘blessing in disguise’ – we just have to ask God to pull the mask off and reveal the blessing to us!! I have become more patient with my children, appreciate the ‘mundane’ things, and am more quick to lend a helping hand. When Nik was diagnosed, he was admitted to TC Thompson and we were blessed with wonderful nurses and doctors. Not only that, the Ronald McDonald House Family Room was right there on the Oncology floor – not even 2 minutes away from our room. If you have never heard about the Family Room, go to This small area was a great place for me to go get a cup of coffee, take a real shower, or just sit and get my thoughts together. While there I could also wash my clothes or get a snack – sometimes even a full meal. When we left the hospital, I knew I wanted to help Ronald McDonald House Charities, but wasn’t sure how.

Nik started chemotherapy at TC Thompson Oncology Clinic and, again were blessed with wonderful clinic nurses and staff. Chemo days are not easy for anyone – The patient, for obvious reasons, and for me as a caregiver, the days were long. While OUR days were long, we were blessed because Nik had his chemo administered via a push, and was not hooked up to an IV for hours, some kids were there 8, 10, sometimes even 12 hours! The longest part of our ‘chemo days’ were waiting for the blood work to come back letting us know if Nik’s counts were high enough to get his dosage. I am thankful to say he was able to get all of his chemo and was never admitted to the hospital – he even overcame the dreaded Swine Flu!! He has been in remission since October and just yesterday he had his port where the chemo was administered removed!!

Many times while we were in the clinic we would visit the kitchen for something to eat or drink. The kitchen was stocked with sodas, juice, Little Debbies, cereal bars, and some non perishables like microwavable mac and cheese, soups, and peanutbutter. This got me thinking how hard it is for a caregiver to be in the clinic over the lunch hour – while these foods are good, they don’t really ‘satisfy’. I have petitioned businesses, churches, and organizations to commit to supplying a full meal to the clinic – with zero luck.

The good news is though, with the gift of knowledge of how to save money by using coupons, I can make a difference at both the Ronald McDonald House Family Room AND the TC Thompson Children’s Oncology Clinic!! I plan to take $20 each month and use it with my coupons, of course to get things that are needed – from food to laundry soap.

I began praying about 6 weeks into Nik’s journey how I could ‘give back’ and am excited and thankful God lead me to your workshop so I can.

Thank you again for this great opportunity to share blessings!!

~D. S. ~ married 15 years with 3 children, working PT, saving money on my groceries and making a difference to cancer families!!!!

 Our vision is to inspire consumers across America by creating Hope.
Time 2 Save = Hope 4 your family’s finances
Time 2 Give = Hope for your community
Time 4 Hope = Hope for eternity

Time 2 $ave – In the News

It still cracks us up when we are asked to be a part of a TV segment or newspaper article.  We started couponing because of our own families financial distress – we never dreamed it would be a tool that God would use to give hope to so many people.   
Two Area Coupon Queens Reign Over Grocery Stores
Sunday March 14th Edition of The Chattanooga Times Free Press or HERE 
Watch the Video Enormous Savings through Coupons HERE
TIME 2 $AVE – We’ll be a part of!!
We are so excited to be a part of a group of moms, just like us, who are looking to help their families in any way that they can.  Thank all of you for your continued support and encouragment!! 

Starting Wednesday – see the Life [taste] section for questions and answers from TIME 2 $ave coupon-clipping experts Kasey Trenum and Kelly Thompson. Also check out for a growing archive of information on coupon clipping tips and a link to the Time2Save Web site.


~Testimonials from recent workshops~
Thanks to all of you who have attended Time 2 $ave workshops. Your testimonials are awesome!! Keep sending us your savings and examples of your giving. Your hearts to give are such an inspiration, and will encourage those who have not yet attended a workshop the added benefit to saving is being able to give.

Let us know how you have been able to bless the lives of others through such an unlikely source,”couponing.” You can be the hands and feet of Christ reaching out to a desperate nation.

~Time 2 $ave, and Time 2 Give!!!~
Email us your stories at

I wanted to tell you both how much I enjoyed your class. I think I had a preconceived notion that this would not be a “fun” class to attend. I stand corrected. :) You both had a wealth of knowledge, you engaged the crowd, and kept it upbeat and positive! I was amazed that two hours had passed by so quickly. Thank you again for the wonderful service you provide our community, especially during this tough economic climate.

Tori M.
received via email 8/16

I had my first transaction yesterday where they actually owed me money. At Walgreen’s I bought the Neosporin ($2.00 Activity Book coupon and $1.00 manufacturer coupon) and Baid Aids (50/1 coupon)and 2 of the Listerine Agent Blue (B1G1 coupon and $1.00 off coupon), total out of pocket was $6.57,and then I got RR’s for $4.00 on the Neosporin deal and $3.00 on the Listerine deal. I then turned around and bought 3 Huggies diaper wipes ($2.00 activity book coupon x3, 3- 50/1 coupons), 4 Velveeta cups ($1.00 Back to School book coupon, 2-B1G1 coupons), 1 3-pack Orbit gum at $2.00, 1 4-piece set of children’s squirt guns clearenced priced at $2.50, also got 2 free Sharpie Highlighter packs (2- 99/1 coupons)and 1 free Ecotrin (1- $2.25 coupons. I used a $3.00 off $15.00 money coupon then the $4.00 and $3.00 RR’s and then my manufacturer’s coupons then the Walgreen coupons and with that layout of coupons I had not problems and they owed me .14 cents, had to buy a sucker and give them .47 cents but what the heck. Ah the thrill of the deal…….GG

Thank you so much for all you do to keep us informed.

Just wanted to post another deal I did at lunch in case someone wants to try it……..I bought 2 boxes of the character band aids (used the $2.00 coupon in the activity book and 2- 50/1 manufacturer’s coupons) and bought 2 Listerine Cool Blue rinses (used B1G1 manufacturer’s coupon, 2 $1.00 manufacturer’s coupons and the $1.00 coupon out of the activity book) Total out of pocket was $5.27, would have been $4.27 but she took off the free one before running the $1.00 coupons so it would only take 1. I received a $4.00 RR and a $3.00 RR for this transaction……I then bought 4 Huggies Wipes (used the $2.00 coupon in the Back to School coupon book and 2- $1.50 off Huggies Diaper Product that I found on Coupons.Com, they work for the wipes). I bought 4 Soft Soap pumps at 2/$2.79 (used 4- 2.00 coupons) and I bought 2- 3 packs of the Orbit gum at 2/$4.00. I gave her my $4.00 RR and the $3.00 RR and my manufacturer’s coupons and when all was said and done I owed them .03 that’s right 3 cents and got a $1.00 RR to use the next time. This coupon stuff rocks……….

GG -
received via email 8/13/09
Just wanted to let you both know what a blessing you have been to so many people. Thank you ,Cennetta C.
received via email 7/27
************************************************************************************* Good morning!
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your workshop at Sherwood this past weekend. You have gotten me absolutely on fire for couponing!!!

I’ve got my 5 meals (with ingredients) planned out, my “must-haves”, and bought 2 copies of the Sunday paper (it’s a start!)..

I’m starting by checking out Publix’s B1G1 and matching them up w/ coupons from some of the sites you recommended. My kids are SO excited about the future “gift boxes” we’re planning to give to the local pregnancy center, and an in-patient drug rehab center that a friend of ours runs (looking forward to your class on CVS and Walgreen’s for that one!).

I talked to 3 people already that missed your class and had wanted to attend.
Can’t wait to hear back from you!!! You have an absolutely wonderful – and needed – ministry! May God bless you and your families a thousand-fold!

Pat F.
received via email 7/27
************************************************************************************* Hi Ladies! Thank you so much for all of the info you shared last week at the coupon 101, 102 and 103 classes in Cleveland – I really learned a lot. I have done back to school shopping and regular grocery shopping – using your tips – I have saved over $200. This is very exciting for my family! The past couple of years we normally would have bought the minimum and the off brand things to get started for school – but this year they will be starting with enough supplies that are known and trusted brands for a fraction of what I have spent in the past for cheaper items. Also – the pantry and my two freezers are beginning to fill – and this is thrilling for everyone in my home.

Thank you again – the rest of the year is already looking much brighter now. I think we are going to be okay.

Tiffany F.
received via email 7/23/2009
************************************************************************************* Hi, Thank you so much for yesterday’s workshop @ Omega Harvest Church.
I really enjoyed it & all the information you shared. I hope to be able put it all to use.
You are doing a great service for a lot of families by sharing your knowledge.

Amy M.
received via email 7/19

Our 1st receipt when we saved more than we spent-yeah!
David H.
received via email 7/16

Last week I found my 1st “find”. My Publix had a display for Pepperidge Farm bread on sale for $2 per loaf. The vendor had placed a $1 off mfg coupon on it. I had target coupons for $.75 off for Pepperidge Farm bread. Before the $2 sale went off, I had bought a dozen loaves of bread for a quarter each! Thanks for teaching us how to do that!

I can’t tell you how much I’ve saved already because I haven’t taken time to add it up. But from my normal budget last week I had $20 leftover that I didn’t need to spend!

Sharon D.
received via email 7/06/09
************************************************************************************* Hi Ladies,

I wanted to tell you again how much I enjoyed your Sunday PM workshop. I hope I can find a way to attend the first and third classes.

I’ve filled up my baseball card holders already and am anxious to get out and get more. I saw someone else from the class at Publix tonight, so your disciples are out and working!

I think you’d be proud of my trip. I bought a few items that weren’t rock bottom, but that I really like anyway :)

Here’s what I got for 21.53 incl. tax:
2 large coffee mate liquid creamers
4 boxes Kotex liners
1 Kraft and Shells meal
2 jars Claussen pickles (which are yummy–I’d never bought them before)
2 packages Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
28 pack Publix water
6 packs Athenos feta
1 Apple juice (penny item)
1 Pepperidge Farm Bread

So 21.53 OOP, 33.50 saved. This is the first time I tried to use a competitor coupon with a mfr. The cashier wasn’t sure about it, but I swore I’d checked the policy and wasn’t trying to do anything wrong.

Thanks again. I enjoyed meeting you both. Your personalities complement each other well and you make a good team!

Sharon M.
received via email 6/29/2009

Wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the couponing classes. They are really coming in handy. I am saving a bundle. Thanks again!
received 6/22 via email


Time 2 $ave ~ Article in CTFP Saturday, June 27th

Did you catch the article about Time 2 $ave in the Saturday Edition of Chattanooga Times Free Press?

Ministry of coupons
Saturday, June 27, 2009

By: Clint Cooper (Contact)

When Cleveland stay-at-home moms Kasey Trenum and Kelly Thompson started a ministry and business in February teaching the art of couponing, it wasn’t to pass the time between manicures.

For both women, whose husbands’ jobs were affected by the downtown in the economy, it was out of financial necessity.

“Being two stay-at-home moms with five children (among them), this is our job,” said Mrs. Trenum.

And while it’s a job for both women, it’s also a ministry. Both believe the roots of their work — called Time 2 $ave — came from a Beth Moore Bible study they were taking on the biblical book of Esther.

“We believe God called us for such a time a time as this,” Mrs. Trenum said, citing a passage in Esther. At few other times has there been a time, she said, “where people would be so hungry.”

The two women teach three different two-hour couponing workshops, covering everything from why it’s important to use coupons to the importance of stockpiling to the secrets of getting the most out of drug stores.

When more than 200 people came to a free February session at a Cleveland church when they were helping out a friend, Mrs. Trenum said she and Mrs. Thompson realized they could make a difference in their families and in the lives of other people.

Since then, they have offered a dozen or so workshops at churches in Chattanooga, Cleveland and the surrounding areas and have additional ones scheduled from Ohio to middle Georgia.

Their workshops offer common sense on dollars and sense, but they also bring in people who may not have set foot in a church in years.

“We’re meeting people where they are,” Mrs. Trenum said. “We share testimony throughout the whole thing.”

More than half of the 150 people who attended a workshop at their home church of North Cleveland Church of God, for instance, didn’t attend church there.

“In our economy,” Mrs. Trenum said, “people are desperate.”

Some 45 people attended a couponing workshop earlier this month at Dallas Bay Baptist Church.

“I thought the response was wonderful,” said Amy Phillips, director of women’s ministry. “We had nothing but positive feedback. Just last week, somebody shared with me how they had implemented some of the (suggested) practices on a recent shopping trip” and saved 50 percent off their grocery bill.

What she liked, she said, was that consumers can take small steps and don’t have to implement every piece of advice at once. It builds on itself, she said. You learn as you go.

Jennifer Butler, wife of John Butler, pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church, said she previewed a couponing workshop before her congregation decided to host one in August.

“They’re very careful about how they present this,” she said. “It’s not just about saving money, it’s about honoring the Lord with our finances. (He wants us) to be good stewards over whatever given us.”

Mrs. Trenum said she and Mrs. Thompson, who had grown up very frugally, had done couponing before their economic problems. Now, she said, the grocery store doesn’t determine her shopping. A trip to the grocery store that once cost several times as much now might cost her $30.

“It’s a completely different lifestyle,” she said. “The additional benefit is more time at home with our families.”

Mrs. Trenum said things had gotten so out of hand with their constantly eating out that when they began to eat at home, her children would state what they wanted to order.

“We needed to retrain them,” she said. “This is teaching them self-discipline and self-control instead of instant gratification. It’s teaching them lifelong lessons.”


A recent trip to Publix for Mrs. Trenum yielded nearly $150 worth of savings for her family from coupons and in-store bargains when she purchased the following:

1 gallon milk

8 individual Publix spring waters

14 4-pack canisters of Crystal Light

4 boxes of 10-packet single servings of Crystal Light

1 gallon Hawaiian Punch

4 Chef Boyardee Micro Dinners

2 bottles of Kraft BBQ Sauce

2 bottles Lawry’s marinade

1 6-pack spring water

1 can Duncan Hines frosting

1 package fresh ground chuck

6 boxes Ritz crackers

6 boxes Wheat Thin crackers

1 package Hefty OneZip gallon freezer bags

1 snack size Ziploc bags

1 package Oreo cookies

1 package Chips Ahoy cookies

1 fresh pineapple (peeled and cored)

3 6-pack bottles of Diet Coke

1 box Capri Sun Sunrise juice

Total before savings: $177.82

Savings (82 percent) from coupons and in-store bargains: $146.80

Final total: $31.02


* Omega Harvest Church, 4904 Dayton Blvd. — 10:30 a.m. July 18 (Couponing 101), 2 p.m. July 18 (Couponing 102).

* New Bethel Baptist Church, 8740 Harrison Bay Road — 7 p.m. Aug. 14 (Couponing 101), 10 a.m. Aug. 15 (Couponing 102), 1 p.m. Aug. 15 (Couponing 103).

NOTE: A Times Free Press representative is available at each local workshop if attendees are interested in subscribing to the newspaper for its coupon savings.


* Couponing 101, $10, covers: Why coupon, how to get started, where to find coupons and how to organize coupons; matching coupons with sales to get lowest prices; introduction to saving 50 to 90 percent off grocery and household expenses.

Couponing 102, $15, covers: Strategic shopping tools, the purpose of stockpiling, incorporating a meal plan that coincides with sales and pulling it all together/using online resources to match sales.

Couponing 103, $15, covers: Untangling the wild world of drug stores, CVSing — how to earn and roll ECBs, Walgreen’s — the rules of register rewards, Rite-Aid — single check rebates, and restaurants, Internet, birthdays, rebates, freebies and more.

For information, visit

Jamie’s Testimonials

Here is a testimonial from Jamie, who attended the first coupon class that we were asked to help teach. After that class we started Time 2 $ave and have been “busy as beavers” teaching workshops ever since. (That’s what my dad always said)

Since attending the workshop Jaime has not only been extremely successful in saving her family tons of money,but has also started her own website. Go over to and check out her money saving tips. The gals got a good thing going:)

My name is Jamie Miles. I have been married to my husband Matthew for almost 10 years and I have 4 beautiful boys. I am so lucky to be able to stay at home with my family, but it doesn’t come easily. To make ends meet, I started selling Vintage clothes on eBay about 4 years ago to supplement our income. It wasn’t enough. We had to go on food stamps and WIC, because we had no room in the budget for food. But despite our monthly stipend and extra income, we still ended up putting groceries on the credit card a couple times a month. We were digging ourselves in deeper and deeper. I started looking into part-time work, just hating that things were coming to this. That’s when I started hearing the buzz around the grocery about a coupon class.Here’s the thing. I am a thrifty person. I was raised to be a thrifty person. I take pride in being able to make do on very little. I consider it an art- the Art of Making-Do, and it is one of the few talents I have. Besides that- I am exceedingly cheap in a way that offends my husband’s generous nature to the core. All that to say: I didn’t think I needed anyone to tell me how to save money. When I heard about this new coupon class, I dismissed the idea at first. A 50¢ coupon seemed a sad reward for all the clipping and organizing and planning it takes to actually use them. Okay, yes, I will collect dryer lint and egg cartons and stuff old candle remnants in the cabinets for months just so I can make Boyscout campfire starters….. So maybe the coupon game was something this make-doer should look into after all. When I heard that there would be free child care (The Holy Grail of the stay-at-home-mom!) it sealed the deal- I signed up right away.I walked in about 10 minutes late, as usual. The room was packed with women of all ages. I slid into a seat at the end of a table and glanced down at the packet of papers in front of me. It correlated to the PowerPoint presentation being given at the front of the room- and it was…… Daunting. There were rules, lingo, several different store policies, organizing options – in short, ALOT of work! Then again, what worthwhile thing comes easily?I looked around at rows and rows of housewives who had their eyes glued to the instructors, hanging on their every word. An exciting atmosphere of subversion hung in the air- it felt as if we were being initiated into some sort of underground, anti-establishment movement. We were a veritable army of hunters and gatherers struggling to protect our families from uncertain times. We were a frugal sisterhood.I left that meeting with a thrilling sense of purpose. I called my mom, I called my friends, and I talked to my husband about it until his eyes glazed over. I dove into couponing headfirst and I’m not sure I’ve come up for air yet. Besides the occasional meat or produce purchases that I cannot wait on a sale to buy- I generally save 50-75% off every receipt nowadays. This shift in spending has allowed me to take our inadequate monthly food stipend and stretch it far enough to not only cover our grocery expenses without using the credit card, but I even have enough food stamps left over each month to pick up essentials for a single-mom friend of mine. If this seems like a loaves and fishes story, it’s because it is. God blessed what was meagre and it became more than enough. We are not out of the woods yet, we have a lot to learn about spending and discipline and a lot of debt to shed in the long years ahead. But what I took from that class back in February has been a huge blessing to my family in just helping us make it paycheck-to-paycheck. I’m thankful. I love that this movement is a serious thing- that there are tenets for success, efficiency guides for storage and usage, coupon “lingo”, and real need behind it. I love the thrill of finding an amazing deal! I love that even though it’s time consuming, it is of real value to the family budget. I might not be able to make my family recession-proof, but I’m confident that I can do my part to ease the strain.