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“Saving Savvy” by Kelly Hancock – Book Review

By David Bibby

Saving Savvy book coverOne of the biggest dilemmas facing today’s career-oriented woman is whether to continue working or to stay at home and raise children. For author Kelly Hancock, the decision to leave a successful career at a Fortune 500 company to raise her daughter at home full-time was not easy to make. Ultimately, though, Hancock and her husband took a leap of faith, and made ends meet with only one income – thanks in large part to the Hancock’s shopping and couponing savvy.

Hancock managed to trim a monthly food budget of $1,100 down to a mere $200. Realizing her talent to stretch her family’s single income, she began teaching couponing workshops in her area, sharing her secrets with others. Soon after, Hancock’s husband’s company downsized, and he lost his job. Instead of looking for new jobs, the couple began focusing on her workshops and on her website, Faithful Provisions.

Today, Kelly Hancock appears on radio and television programs across the nation spreading her couponing knowledge and her mission to “give generously.” Her first book, “Saving Savvy: Smart and Easy Ways to Cut Your Spending in Half and Raise Your Standard of Living…and Giving!,” brings her knowledge right into your own home.

Shopping Differently

Though one chapter of Saving Savvy focuses on couponing, the book does not focus solely on using coupons to save money. Instead, Hancock provides real world savings strategies you can use with or without coupons, focusing on three main points: planning ahead, setting up your environment, and never paying full price for the items you buy most frequently.

1. Planning Ahead

If you have a busy lifestyle, you can save money when you make to-go meals in small containers and store them for future use. Hancock explains family meal planning tips for home-cooked lunches and dinners, and how to package them to last longer in your deep freezer. Hancock encourages families to eat meals together at the dining table whenever possible, and by planning ahead, the time saved (in addition to the money) allows for more quality time.

2. Setting Up Your Environment

Before you go shopping, you have to know what you have on hand. By clearing out unwanted items from your shelves, freezers, pantry, and refrigerator, you make room for the influx of new food items. If you need additional space for stockpiles, you may need to add extra shelves in your pantry, laundry room, and closets. Hancock encourages readers to make space for their surplus before buying the surplus.

3. Never Pay Full Price!

Hancock suggests following the extreme couponing mantra – “Never pay full price!” – to fill up a newly created space for a stockpile. Even if you don’t use coupons at all, you can still save a significant amount by waiting for staple items to go on sale, and then stocking up in your home food storage. Buy items that your family needs at the lowest prices, so you can save money and, at the same time, have plenty of staples on hand for your family. By following these concepts, you will have no need to ever make late night trips to the grocery store for full-priced items.

list coupons

Book Features

Short on Time?

At the end of every chapter, two checklists entitled “If you have MORE time…” and “If you have LESS time…” help bring even more organization into your life. Many people live fast-paced, convenience-driven lifestyles. If you have a full schedule and can’t utilize all of Hancock’s suggestions, don’t worry. Hancock presents shortcuts for each chapter and shows readers who have limited free time alternative ways to save money. For example, someone with more time can flash-freeze fresh fruit and vegetables in their deep freezer. Someone with less time can use some creative packaging techniques. Alternative, time-saving tips to save money are featured throughout the book.

A Focus on Giving

Like many extreme couponers, Hancock believes in giving and sharing with others. When you learn how to shop effectively and to save money on groceries and other supplies, you accumulate a surplus of supplies – and extra money. Hancock suggests donating overstock to your neighbors, friends, family, and to local food banks. Hancock shares many heartwarming stories of people giving in extraordinary ways, including anonymous giving and acting as coupon angels.

Final Word

If you want to be a hardcore extreme couponer like Kathy Spencer, or if you just want to implement small changes to your lifestyle to save money, this book is for you. The techniques outlined in this book can save you 50% or more on your grocery budget. In addition to the financial benefits, Hancock’s advice can also reduce stress, promote family togetherness, and bring joy by giving back.

What are your thoughts on Kelly Hancock’s “Saving Savvy” book? Do you have any favorite strategies for saving money and using coupons?

Worthy Publishing, 217 pages, paperback

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

David Bibby
David Bibby is 35 years old currently living in Palm Bay, FL with his wife Catherine and two daughters. David is a Christian, writer, and programmer. He became interested in personal finance at age 20 while working for a credit union. He owns and operates numerous websites on topics ranging from finances to marriage help. His latest project CouponFedFamily.com might be his most ambitious yet!

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Comments

  • Anonymous

    @Lucky……….I c?n’t b?leive…..M? fri?nd’s sist?r m?k?s 96/hr on the L?????. Sh? h?s b?en un?mplo??d for 10 months but l?st month h?r incom? was 8253 USD ?ust w?rking ?n th? PC f?r ? f?w h?urs. G? t? this w?b sit?….http://alturl.com/c92f9

  • http://twitter.com/Tifflonn tonya rader

    My best tip for saving money is Research if first! I can’t say it enough and before I make ANY purchase, I search online for the lowest prices, reviews, coupons and also buy one get one deals because I save lots of cash by doing this…sometimes I even get items for free after all the discounts, cash back and mail in rebates take effect.

  • http://www.snowballinhawaii.com Snowballinhawaii

    I agree with Tonya. You can save a lot if you just do a little research. One place I like to price compare at is Google Shopping. Lets you compare sellers across the internet and is searchable and sortable by price. I also read as many reviews about a big purchase before I buy it. Amazon is a great place to find reviews about nearly everything.

  • Britt

    Be patient. The product you want may go on sale or offer a promotion at some point, but you may have to wait. When it does go on sale, prepare for the future by purchasing more to save for later. Just leave some for everyone else. :)

  • Cristl_2000

    Research and Patience!~ With two small children in diapers and one on formula I had to cut our grocery budget back since we were spending so much on just those two items. Now I price check everything at the stores, clip any and all coupons I even think we might be able to use. I have even gotten time to myself by couponing. Since it’s not easy to shop with two small children let alone try to use coupons, I get to go bymyself and daddy has some nice alone time with his boys! I figure I am just practicing for when they are teenagers! ;)

  • Cookiehawk77

    Using a coupon isn’t getting a bargain if you buy something you didn’t need or end up spending money you wouldn’t have otherwise. I have to be careful not to waste money by taking advantage of a deal or a coupon. Plan ahead!

  • Kaffeine_0751

    Always research prices online and at competiting stores before making a purchase! Lots of times you can find it cheaper online and no worries about sales tax.
    Make sure you only use coupons to buy things you need – don’t buy it just because you have a coupon for it.

  • Joanne

    It just seems like there is so much to learn and I’m trying my best and teaching the kids. I would love to have this book so I can figure out where I can still cut spending. I make our own laundry detergent for our family of 7 to cut back on costs.

  • Aemgronda

    USE CASH!!!

  • Erika B

    make your own/grow your own. We get many fresh foods from our garden in the summer at a fraction of the cost (and they taste better too!). We get items we don’t grow at the local farm market, which has lower prices than grocery stores. We make our own baby wipes and baby food for a fraction of the cost of purchasing them pre-made.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Chozengirl78 Melissa Wallace-Herrera

    KNOW your different store’s prices. Just because something is on sale for one price at a particular store, it may be that price originally at the store that is either closer to you or one you frequent more often.
    Also, know your stores that price match. Saves you trips, time and gas!

  • Lindseycoplin

    Realize that everything you have (i.e. money, kids, and life itself) first belongs to God and that we are only stewards of these earthly possessions to show our faithfulness to Him. Having this attitude, knowledge and faith will allow you to make wise, selfless Godly decisions with money leading to blessings in ways that we cannot imagine!

  • karen

    tithe first. then do a little research on what things are easily, quickly (or in bulk) and less costly to make yourself at home. When you find others in your church, neighborhood, etc. who have started being saving savvy or a just beginning join forces when you can because if you find a great deal on a bulk item that you wouldn’t use on your own you could split the cost and half it and both reap the benefits…plus, you can comunicate deals you find back and forth as well as share lists for different stores to cover more groud, get more deals AND save gas money because where you may each have had to go to 2 stores to get all your deals, if you were both going the same way one could go get the deals at one store and the other at the other store and therefore save the arguement of “yes, I saved some money, but was it worth the gas I used running all over town?” AND you have saved time.

  • Lharrsn

    I have gotten where i never pay full price for anything! Just doing a little work beforehand will save you hundreds. I depend on about 15 different coupon sites to find the best deals and best coupons the quickest. It took patience and practice but it has all paid off over and over again.

  • Julia

    Saving savvy is my new way of life… I would love to have a copy of Mrs. Hancock’s book to learn even more helpful tips!

  • Lisa

    Ask the check out person if there’s a discount. 9 times out of 10 there’ll be one.

  • Sweetsistersbakery

    Since the dawn of the internet, before saving was “hip”, my sister and I have googled just about everything before making a purchase, going out to dinner, or taking a trip. You would be amazed at what pops up that you never would have known, especially when taking trips to new locations. Hidden gems, reviews and savings.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002235729363 Jenna Pie

    Never spend a dime. Litterally! Any time you get coins as change, hang on to it. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can accumulate several dollars to stash away in the bank.

  • http://www.familybalancesheet.org Kristia

    An easy money-saving tip is to always pay close attention at the check out. At my grocery store, if the scanned price doesn’t match the sale price, then the item is free. It happens all of the time. I have gotten free baking products, tortilla chips, and produce.

  • http://bucksomeboomer.com Bucksome

    It’s important to only use coupons for items you would normally buy. Sometimes people end up buying something they won’t use or want because it’s so cheap after coupon.

  • JP

    Wow! I need this book. I am struggling with this decision currently. I want to stay home, but am terrified to make the leap and just can’t see it as a real option. I would love to learn Kelly’s tricks so that I can really make this a viable option for my family.

  • EllenC

    Follow Faithful Provisions daily. Kelli always has good money saving tips ! She is the “go to” to find what’s on sale and where.

  • Megan

    To save money I try to shop only every-other week and always with coupons. Also, try to shop alone because I buy a whole lot less snack items without my husband around :)

  • Cindy

    Be PATIENT!!!! Big savings take time and effort. Extreme couponers didn’t become extreme overnight, millionaires didn’t become that way overnight, and debt did not happen overnight…so be patient with your efforts! You will reap the rewards, but don’t get discouraged.

  • Tatwymer

    Instead of using my refridgered milk for cooking I use powered milk. Also, I save my jars and when I can afford it I buy a large bulk item and split into these jars. Right now I have pasta and powder milk. I’ve only been couponing two months. It seems I spend all my time trying to find the bargins. I really want to focus on food items since I don’t seem to be saving any money or time on grocery items.

  • Rsmonson

    The best way to save money is to not go to the store. Unreasonable , so at least go with a specific grocery list and coupons. Do not buy anything that is not on the list and for me definatley do not take the husband to the store, he just doesnt understand coupons and grocery list.

  • Toririd2

    The two best things we’ve found to positively affect our budget have been 1) setting aside money from the get-go for tithing (you’ll be amazed at how much God provides when you follow His instruction) and saving (even if just a few dollars a month); and 2) using cash only for groceries. There is a marked difference in the amount I spend when I use cash as opposed to my debit card.

  • Traciestokes

    Just be balanced in what you use, and you won’t waste anything and will save natural resources.

  • Anna

    I would love a copy of this book! I have been trying to coupon but seem to be missing something. I am definitely not saving like it seems everyone else is doing. I need some help!!! :-)

  • Granny

    I look forward to your email daily. I enjoy the tips and savings you offer. Thanks for your time and effort.

  • Marla

    I get a lot of help from your emails. Keep the savings coming!

  • Aminah

    Use savings/coupon sites and only use the coupons for the items that you need or use. Also when you find a great deal on non-perishable items, stock up! I also google to find ways I can use items for other purposes to get the most use… like when you have whipping cream or heavy cream left over from a recipe… use it to make your own butter, something you can even get your children involved in:

    Butter:
    Place the cream in a small jar and shake it till chunks of butter form
    Strain the liquid (which is buttermilk and can be used in pancakes or ranch dressing)
    Press all liquid out and add a little salt if you like… and..
    you have butter (and some buttermilk)!

  • Tammy

    I am new to this but I think using coupons on everything you purchase shop and plan meals according to sales.. Also I believe sharing with those in need I believe you do have to give to receive… My life is changing daily by listening to special deals on groceriesto how to winterize your home on

  • s. barrett

    Whenever I get one of those cash register coupons, that give you money on your next shopping trip, I always go right back into the store and use it to buy something on sale, to avoid forgetting about it and finding it when it is expired.

  • Amy Osborn

    Where I live there are not any stores that double coupon. I think my best tip is watching the sale papers from two stores in the area. This gives me my best idea of what to shop for-and where.

  • kimberlee

    I love how each chapter ends with options for the readers’ time. I’m new to this smart couponing. Where I do the bulk of my shopping is a small store that doesn’t sell brand names, so they don’t take coupons. Sometimes there will be a brand name as a special buy.

  • Elizabeth Mudler

    The best way to save money is not to spend it unless you have to. Don’t try and keep up with the Jones’ and don’t hoard. Give a lot to God, it’s all his anyway! And…even in the tough times don’t stop tithing!
    I would like to enter to win the “Saving Savvy” book!!

  • Gcfp22

    Hi, my name is Pamela Lee. I live in Woodstock, Ga and am just learning this great new world of couponing. I still need a lot of help hince the reason for commenting. I need your book really, really bad. There is still sooooo much I don’t know. Plz consider me for your give away!!! Thx in advance! Pamel Lee

  • Sally14

    I have saved a fortune over the years by sewing clothes, drapes, gifts etc. as well creating things through quilting and crocheting (all of my girlfriends are getting designer quality cowls this this Christmas with a cost to me of about $4 each…plus a lot of love). These skills are not difficult to learn, tutorials abound online. By searching for bargins which are frequent at fabric stores you can have a lovely home and wardrobe, plus there are many discount catalogue companies.

  • http://twitter.com/candyland0606 Anne Lehnick

    I love to use coupons and daily deal sites to get the best bang for the buck. I also buy in bulk to saving shopping trips and money.

  • Sushil

    If I always think that I do not have enough to make savings,I will have no savings,but if I start from a buck per week,I empower myself which in the long run will have more at a certain period.

  • Stephanie Beard

    I cook extra and freeze it as another meal or two in a microwaveable dish. Now if I need a last minute meal, I microwave defrost, then heat and serve. It prevents fast food stops on busy days. I also repackage leftovers in small, disposable containers (from a local restaurant supply) and pack (or freeze) leftovers for lunches.

  • Stephanie Beard

    I make most of our Christmas and birthday gifts

  • Traci Amacher

    We live simple. No cable (we do use Netflix… much cheaper and no commercials), we don’t go out to eat very often, I make most of our food from scratch, we plant a garden and freeze or can what we get out of the garden to help with our grocery bills. I don’t buy many commercial cleaners (vinegar, alcohol and homemade detergents/cleaners) and I have found that for somethings I can barter for what I need: example…. I have a friend that has a dog grooming business, she grooms my dog for free because my teenage daughter helps her in her shop. She loves to help her and I get what I need ( a clean and wonderfully groomed pet) out of the barter. And my daughter is learning a new skill … everyone wins! Other ways of bringing back a barter system…. ask friends/people you know to trade skills… do you do car detailing …. need a computer fixed? Ask a friend that is a skilled computer repair tech for a trade…. most times you can find someone who is willing to trade skills for some need they might have!

  • http://bucksomeboomer.com Bucksome

    Kelly’s site was one of the first I found when starting to use frugal websites. I use coupons with items are already on sale which usually makes them free or darn close!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Zussino/1761744222 Steven Zussino

    It is important to know the coupon policies of your local stores and coupon matchups.

  • Debbiefink

    Before buying anything online, look for a coupon code!

  • Dwmosley88

    Plan your everyday trips according to your schedule and don’t make unnecessary trips to the stores just to get a “deal”. You could be spending more in gas and time, if it’s not something you have to have! Don’t buy something just because you have a coupon!

  • Ema12779

    I definatly use coupons and go to multiple stores to save….

  • Hllywood82

    We follow a budget and when i go grocery shopping I head to the checkout first and put my months grocery budget on a grocery gift card and then i begin my shopping. At the end of the month, if i have any leftover on the card, I put it towards gas at my grocery store. If i use my monthly grocery budget before the end of the month, then we come up with unique ways of eating/cooking whatever is in the fridge and pantry.

  • Rhonda Marsh

    I like to save…would love to know more on how to cut our monthly food budget in half…I was excited on saving $20 once, it was gas money :)

  • Cullygirl2947

    I like to get things when there on sale, especially the 10 for 10. If I have a 50 cent coupon, I get it free when the coupon doubles! And I don’t get coupons for things the kids or I won’t eat. I’m not saving if I have to throw it away!

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