About This Penny Pinchin’ Stuff . . .

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In October of 2010 I shared this with you guys, but since then we’ve added a reader of two!  It’s one of those things that I struggle sharing too often here on PPP, but it may be information that you’re interested in.  I made a few updates (as things have changed a bit!), but, here goes . . .

 

I started Passionate Penny Pincher (well, Publix Penny Pincher initially), as a way to share deals and encourage folks to donate to local food pantries, but also as a way to earn money for our kid’s college funds. When I prayed about starting this site, I felt God clearly saying He was okay with it (always nice to know, right?), as long as one half of any proceeds from the site were donated towards mission work. I remember mulling that one over in my head, then courageously tossing Him up a nice counter-offer including a 75/25 split.  (Can you guess how I planned to split it?  And yup, I could almost hear Him laughing too!)

 

Well, almost a year two-and-a-half years into this crazy blogging thing, I’ve donated one half of all profits from this site to the Tatum Family, missionaries from our church who’ve opened an orphanage in Costa Rica. There have been many days when I’ve added up my “hourly” rate and been thoroughly depressed at my whopping one dollar per hour earnings (really, what am I thinking???)  It never fails though, that on that very same day I get an encouraging email from one of you, or someone writes something nice on the PPP Facebook page, or I meet a reader in Publix, so I keep typing another day.  I’m slowly (ever……….sooooooo………s…….l……o……w……l……y……) seeing the benefits of these oodles of hours of labor pay off, and each month I’m a little more excited by the tiny additions to our kid’s college savings accounts.  But I am overwhelmingly excited about what our family is now able to give each month beyond our tithe towards help children in another country.

 

I share this with you all not in any way to boast or brag or anything. (Trust me, if God hadn’t clearly said it I clearly wouldn’t be doing it!) All I’m doing is what I think (I hope!) I’m supposed to be doing, and I love doing something for others outside my little nest.   It does however take a LOT of time from my crazy busy family.  I struggle daily with whether or not I’m in the right “season” of my life to keep this up.  I look at my Reagan (she’s still just three she’s now four, and will be turning five way too soon!) who pulls on my leg a zillion times each day while I glare into the computer screen and wonder if this is worth it.  I see zillions of other fabulous money saving blogs out there and wonder why on earth anyone could need one more?  Then I stay up at night, hoping to catch up, and type something someone will actually want to read, and wonder . . . whatever happened to sleeping?  (I do so  miss sleeping, but I am slowing down a bit!)  And then I realize that it won’t be long until that baby of mine is four, and then heading off to school with her big brother and sister, and it’s going to be awfully lonely around here . . . so maybe hanging out with you all each day will help ease those difficult first few mornings of kindergarten!

 

The reason I’m sharing this with you is so that you know what I know. I read money saving blogs for years before getting into this and had no idea why so many sweet mommy bloggers did all this work for us!  Well, believe it or not there are lots of big businesses out there that want you as a consumer to buy from them!  So they are so generous and pay (*desperately frugal*) housewives like me to encourage folks to use their products.  When you print a coupon from Coupons.com, Red Plum, or Coupon Network, companies like Proctor & Gamble, Kraft, and Betty Crocker give us a tiny payout.  And, if there’s an amazing deal offered from other companies like Amazon, or even Totsy, we also make small commissions off your purchases on those sites as well.  My promise to you is that I will never promote a deal that I would not actually do myself.  (In fact I get offers on a daily basis with deals that I pass on because I don’t believe them to be legitimate “deals”, so I promise I’ll keep watching!)

 

So there you have it!  If there’s a blog out there that you love, support it. Print your coupons from it, order from Amazon through it, and even start Swagging through it! All those penny-pinching-blogging-ladies (and a few gentleman. . . ) work very hard to earn your readership and support.  If you frequent a site and it provides you just the information you’re looking for, support them (they work for it!!!)  And, if you enjoy Passionate Penny Pincher (I really hope you do!), I’d love for you to support this site too! Each time you do that, not only are you supporting deals on this site, you’re also helping a family from right here in America bless children in Costa Rica.

 

And now, for a few more updates to the original post:

  • I usually do make more than a dollar per hour these days. (Thank goodness . . . but some days it still feels like I fight for it!)
  • Because of the growth of the site, I am crazy fortunate and was able to add my friend Shannon to help with the site last summer.  She handles most of the coupon matchups, Pantry 911, and just about anything else that I ask her too.  The most exciting part of working with her is that her heart is crazy about missions too, so I feel like God incredibly blesses the work that we do every day.  (Seriously, it’s amazing!)  I also have two other friends that help by running to Kroger each week as well as adding extra posts as I need them.  I’m so blessed to have such sweet friends help, as I really was way over my head for at least the first two years (and I still feel that way most days. . . yikes!)
  • I love what I do.  I am so thankful that you read this stuff everyday, and being able to make some income, send some to missions, and have a bit of a life outside cleaning up after my kiddos, helping with homework, and cooking meals has been so good for my brain. (Do you know what I mean?)  However, it takes a ton of time and is way more work than I ever imagined (especially since I really am a homemaker at heart!)  My brain really doesn’t ever stop though, and I worry constantly that I’m not posting enough information to be helpful to you, or that I’m posting too often deals on the site that do make money.  (I do work though incredibly hard to promote only deals that are legitimate offers for you!)
  • I’m so thankful for you.  When you leave a comment here, on the Passionate Penny Pincher Facebook page, or by e-mail, it truly makes my day.  (Seriously, almost every comment you leave gets passed on to my hubby. . . I’m afraid he gets PPP overload!)  If it weren’t for you reading, none of this would happen, and I feel incredibly blessed to have such kind and supportive readers.  Thank you for taking your time to read this stuff (especially this crazy long post. . . )  And may God bless the work of your hands too.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Tatum Family or making a donation directly to their mission, visit Mission Costa Rica.

 

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Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing!

    After 10+ years in the accounting field I decided to stay home with babies too. I recently started doing some contract work from home and man, there are days it seems that an INSANE amount of work goes into that dollar or two I am making but people like you that help us spend that hard earned money wisely are ABSOLUTE blessings to all us penny pinchers out here! Keep it up, we appreciate it!!

  2. One thing I love about you Laurie, is how honest and open you are about what you do. Anytime someone blogs with integrity it impresses me, because I believe the sites who truly do are few and far between. And thank you for supporting missionaries in Costa Rica. Our church actually has a short term team down there right now helping one of our missionaries I believe. The Lord is surely blessing you and your family for your faithfulness. :)

  3. Shannon Cape says:

    I am very Thankful you started this site, as my favorite site you have helped me manage to keep food on our table when things are tough. And keep a little money in our pockets when things aren’t so tough. This year our goal is to put a little money back each month to put towards our principal on our mortgage at the end of the year. If we only manage to save $1000 we will still take almost a year off our mortgage! I would never be able to do that without all your hard work! So again I Thank you for working so hard for us!

    • Shannon Cape says:

      I forgot to mention that with all the freebies you post I have been able to donate a lot more as well. This town will never need pasta or toothpaste again! lol

      God has blessed us all in many different ways and he will never let us down. When we ask ourselves is something worth it he is always there to let us know!

  4. Thank you for all you do. And thank you for letting God use you. He blessed you with many gifts and talents and He is using them to encourage His children who follow your blog. My husband and I had let our budget go toward the end of last year. I was still couponing and we were still looking for bargains but we weren’t doing a very good job keeping up with our expenses. This month we have really worked on our budget together for the first time in over a year. We’re making a fresh start. Already God has worked out little things in my shopping to help me come in under budget even when I didn’t think there was a way. And on top of that we were given almost a month’s supply of baby formula from a lady at church the other day who just didn’t need it. Then I received free diapers and wipes through a Buzz Agent campaign I’m participating in. Coincidence? I think not. Thank you, God, for your faithfulness, and thank you for your daughter, Laurie who helps us in so many ways. : )

  5. Laurie,

    I <3 this site and I <3 your heart for missions. That is one of the main reasons I pass along this site to so many friends who are looking to save. Also your drugstore scenarios ~ well they are the best!!

  6. You do a great job with this site. I’ve just started following PPP after I noticed that IHP kept referring to your site. I absolutely love the recipes you post, the 5 minute challenges, and that your site supports mission work. Most of all, I like that your posts are personal and relatable to so many moms out there. I can’t imagine how much work you put into this site, and I am so grateful that you do. I work full time and your site enables my family to live like no one else. Thank you!

  7. Laurie,

    I too so appreciate all your work, because I do actively use your site every week (well, almost every day!) to do my grocery shopping. I LOVE it that you’re local, and that you have such a sweet heart. And I love being able to use what you’ve taught us to teach others. I helped two other friends of mine last week get into couponing and took one to the grocery store and showed her step-by-step how to create a shopping list from your site to get all my weekly Publix necessities AND save 56% in the process. I truly do appreciate you. There are other sites out there, but I rarely use them, because your site has everything I need. Praying for you and your work for yourself, your family, the Tatums, us (your readers) and our LORD!

  8. You know how much your hard work has helped me out. Thanks so much for all that you do for us! We are truly blessed to know you and your family.

  9. Lisa Scott says:

    I am fairly new to your site and have never read your story before. Thank you for sharing and for your strength in working for the Lord. God is good and is so faithful!
    What a blessing you are. And God says we are blessed to be a blessing.
    Thanks again
    Lisa

  10. Thank you all so much for being so kind! I really feel so very blessed, and am so incredibly thankful that it helps your family’s budgets. As there are so many great websites to visit each day, I feel so fortunate that you all choose to visit PPP too. Thanks so much for your encouragement!

  11. Thank you for sharing! Just wanted to tell you that I really enjoy your site. Some of the others post deals that seem shady! Thank you for all your hard work to help us stay on track. I really enjoy your Publix match-ups(my favorite place to coupon). I love your recipes also! I’m really proud that some of the money goes to missions! You will be blessed!
    God bless!

  12. I just wanted to say thanks so much for all your hard work to help all of us save our hard-earned money. I must say this is my favorite deal blog site that I visit… I especially enjoy the extra deals you post for grocery stores like Publix and Kroger, the deals you wouldn’t know about unless you perused the store (which you so kindly do for us!). My favorite part about your site though has been the wonderful recipes you share! Every single one I’ve tried (and it has to be close to the double digits by now) has been wonderful and made several times now. THANKS again and keep up the wonderful job!!!

  13. Thank you Laurie! Your site is the first one I visit each day. It makes my shopping so much easier. I love the fact that you are local to my area. That helps me a lot, especially for the Kroger deals. I feel like you are such an honest and caring person.

    I want to thank you again for helping me promote the Care Package for Kids program after the tornadoes last year. It was such a blessing to help so many kids and their families.

    Love your site! Keep up the good work. Ann

  14. Fb followew

  15. Thank you for the explanation! I heard about your site from a member of the Northcutt family in KY, and when she told me that you and I are neighbors, I knew I had to follow your blog. But, my friend in KY didn’t tell me how you donate your proceeds. I am also passionate about missions and love the work your church does as well as the Tatum family. Thank you for sharing your blessings with others!

    • The Northcutt’s are so sweet Cheryl! So glad you’re here, and what a small world that we’re from the area. Thank you for your kind encouragement!

  16. oh my goodness, I can relate to this post so well and feel pretty much exactly how you do. maybe i will do a post like this soon. seriously i totally hear ya!!! i wonder the same things, feel the same things, love comments, etc!!!!!

    • I’d love to tell you that it gets better Steph! Getting to a place where I could hire help definitely made a HUGE difference (really, those first 2 years were so incredibly difficult), and I’m really praying about how to limit my screen time in 2013. I love what I do (so very much), but also would like a life outside of blogging. :) Hang in there!

  17. Thank you for all you do! It has kept my family afloat during a layoff and losing our home. Without your site and a couple of others; I honestly don’t know if we would have been able to eat during our hard times. You are a blessing to more people than you realize. Happy new year !

  18. Laurie, You are amazing! Your time spent pecking away at your computer researching deals and keeping us informed is very appreciated. I started couponing just over a year now. Before my pantry was empty , we would not think twice about paying $4.00 for a half gallon of milk basically full price for anything. We have saved so much money, and it is amazing how much easier it is to plan meals because the pantry has items :). I know this is the story of most couponers.
    But I also wanted to share a unique story. About 6 weeks ago, I was talking to my dad, and he was sharing how when he receives his disability check he goes and stocks up on dried beans (because they are extremely cheap). I knew he was struggling, but not that bad :(. Then he shared a story about my aunt and uncle who really are struggling badly. There are days when they do not have food and they frequent a church food pantry. I had an “ah ha” moment. I can take my love for couponing and saving money and help my own family. We traveled to Florida at the beginning of December and my car was packed. There was so much I literally had to take items out of the bag and find tiny spaces. My dad and aunt were beside themselves grateful. Of course, I loved helping, but it is because of your work that I was able to snag those deals and feed my family. I teach kindergarten in Birmingham. I would never have time to investigate deals and teach my babies whom I love to pieces. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! Your work is very important to my family and me.

  19. Hey Laurie,
    I have always used any site that made it easy for me to gt the coupons that I need. But I will make it a point to use your site from now on. I am in our church’s ladies mission group and we recently had a missionary come speak to the group. The needs they told us of were heartbreaking. I am supporting them with some of the proceeds of my couponing. But I love the fact that you have a heart for missionaries.
    Cathy

    • Thanks so much Cathy for your sweet comment ~ I’m so glad you use PPP (there really are so many wonderful sites out there… I’m just glad I’m one of the ones you use!) It is amazing to think of all the needs there are out there (we are just so blessed!), and I love being able to help in some (very small) way. :)

  20. Wow! I just found your site last night and I have to say that I am impressed. I have been browsing your site over the last day or so and really enjoy your content. It’s wonderful that you give to missions work! I hope to do something similar someday although I have just started blogging and am a long way off from that goal :) Anyway, I appreciate all the long hours of work you have put in…Thank you!

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