Teresa Mears is a website publisher, consultant, content strategist and editor who was raised to be frugal. In her 40 years as a journalist, she has written for papers ranging in size from the weekly Portland (Tenn.) Leader to The Los Angeles Times. She’s editor-in-chief and co-owner of Living on the Cheap. She worked as an editor for the Miami Herald for more than 17 years, overseeing coverage of home, real estate, family and other subjects, as well as editing national and international news. She has also been a contributor to The New York Times, The Boston Globe and other publications. &World Report. Teresa owns and operates the On the Cheap websites in Florida, including Miami On The Cheap, Fort Lauderdale On The Cheap, Palm Beach On The Cheap, Orlando On The Cheap and Florida On The Cheap, plus the new website Music in South Florida (https://musicinsouthflorida.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wrote this book with Laura Daily, my business partner at Living on the Cheap. We had a lot of posts about couponing, and we thought readers would benefit from having it compiled into a concise, easy-to-read guide.
What is your book about?
Our book is about how to save money using coupons. But we don’t mean people should spend hours to save pennies. Our book is about smart couponing – saving the maximum amount of money in the minimum amount of time.
What one key takeaway you hope someone gets by reading your book?
That you can save a significant amount of money just by doing a few small things.
Who should read this book?
Anyone who wants to save money on groceries and other activities of daily life.
What are you working on now?
We’re always adding new posts to Living on the Cheap, and we’re adding new features to our local On the Cheap sites. I also started a new website called Music in South Florida.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I procrastinate too much when I should be writing.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I don’t believe in writer’s block for nonfiction. I started my career as a newspaper journalist, and that meant you had only a certain amount of time to research and write a story. If you can’t figure out how to start your story, start writing the middle part and go back to the beginning later.
What does your writing space look like?
My workspace is hard to photograph because it looks out a window at a canal. But here is a photo that includes several of my assistants.
What are your top three favorite books of all time?
“With Love From Karen,” by Marie Killilea. The writer had a daughter with cerebral palsy at a time when the recommendation for handicapped children was to put them into an institution and forget them. This is the second of two books her family. I first read this book when I was 11, and when I finished it, I started it again and read it six times straight. Marie Killilea was a writer by profession, and her use of language was lovely.
“In This House of Brede,” by Rumer Godden. Godden’s use of language is unusual and lyrical, and this novel about a businesswoman who becomes a nun is one of her best. I’m not spiritual, but I like the book.
“The Women’s Room,” by Marilyn French. This was a seminal book on feminism (even though it’s a novel) when it came out in the 1970s. I don’t know how well it holds up today, but it spoke to me when I was a young woman.
Where can people find you?
I have multiple identities, so I am easy to find. Here are a few links:
Living on the Cheap (https://livingonthecheap.com)
The Ultimate Guide to Coupons: https://amzn.to/2O8wMNQ
Miami on the Cheap (https://miamionthecheap.com)
Music in South Florida (https://musicinsouthflorida.com)