My sweet kids that put up with this craziness every day . . . so thankful for them!
In October of 2010 I initially 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 since I posted it last (back in January of 2012), 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!)
almost a year almost four seven! years into this crazy blogging thing, I've donated one half of all profits from this site to missionaries, primarily to the Tatum Family, missionaries from our church who are seving 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 six ten!, and growing way too fast!) 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've gotten much better about sleeping, and usually aim for at least 6-7 hours per night, way better than what I got in those early days!)
And then I realize that it won't be long until that baby of mine is 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 or Red Plum, 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 Zulily, 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!)
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 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. She handles all of the coupon matchups, the saving and giving posts, store trip posts, 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 even almost four years in!) 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.
More updates! (as of December 2015)
- We're now able to give to several missionaries thanks to the proceeds of PPP ~ my favorite times of the year are when we're able to send out those donation checks twice annually (so thankful that we're able to do that ~ I never-ever-never would have dreamed that when starting out six years ago!)
- I've been able to hire more help on PPP which makes it all so much easier to manage! Shannon continues to manage the store deals on PPP, Cheryl does most of the graphics for the site as well as just about anything I ask her to do, Nicole writes many of the deal posts that we share, and my friends Jamie, Misty and Staci help out hunting down deals at Kroger and drafting other posts for the week whenever I ask.
- I continue to just love what I do. I work a lot (way more than I want to most days, but I'm working on finding more balance ~ we'll see!), but am so thankful for the growth of PPP. I so so so love hanging out with you each day! 🙂
- Read more on how I earn a full time income as a stay-at-home-mom-blogger here.
If you're interested in learning more about the Tatum Family or making a donation directly to their mission, visit Mission Costa Rica.