Read part 1, part 2, and part 3 of this series.
So, when Wes and I married, I had debt. He didn’t.
I remember the conversation we had when I revealed to him the debt I was going to bring into our marriage. He responded with such graciousness. We committed to eradicating this debt within the first year of our marriage.
This was good. Becoming completely debt-free is one of the best decisions we have ever made.
I am a pretty low-maintenance kind of girl, so I quickly adapted to the way Wes handled money due to his frugal up-bringing. I did have a few ground rules, however:
- NO milking our own goats
- NO hatching our own chickens
- AND ABSOLUTELY NO COUPONING!!!
Oh, every once in a while, I would buy a Sunday paper and make a lame attempt at using a coupon or two. Instead, the stack of coupons would usually just sit there laughing at me that I had spent a whole $1.50 on them. I was convinced that when God was handing out the couponing gene, He skipped over me.
It took Wes’s lay-off a little over a year ago for me to realize that there was so much more that I could do to save money. I was pregnant with our second son and would be giving up my part-time job as a result. Who knew how long we would be without an income? I had no choice but to learn more about those evil things called coupons.
I began asking my friend Beckie, whom I lovingly referred to as the Queen of Freebies, to PLEASE mentor me through this foreign world of coupon clipping, deal hunting, and freebie finding.
Little did I know that my world was about to change.
I wrote this in my other blog a few weeks later:
Hi. My name is Kaley and I’m an addict.
I never thought it would come to this.
I’ve become a coupon/free stuff junkie.
It all started because of Beckie’s influence and now I’m having a hard time pulling myself away from my coupon clipping, ad-scanning, web-surfing addiction to even tell you about it.
My mind is overflowing with CVS extra bucks deals and Rite Aid single check rebates and Price Chopper’s triple coupons and the sale prices of dozens of items.
Beckie tells me that in a month or so, I should be back to my normal self. I will no longer have nightmares about missing out on a free after rebate deal. I will stop making my husband wait for 45 minutes in the car while I just “run in” to CVS….for the third time that week. And I will be able to dedicate a little bit more time to the non-essentials in life like cooking and cleaning.
Eventually life did return to normal–but a new normal. My inner deal-hunting diva was discovered and I realized how do-able saving money really was.
Soon I began sharing what I was learning on my blog and quickly realized that I enjoyed helping others find deals as much as finding them myself. I mentioned to Wes one day that I might actually enjoy creating a blog, chronicling our journey of saving money. He loved the idea.
And that, my dear readers, is How We Got Here.
(And I haven’t had to milk a goat yet!)
Thank you for sharing the beginnings with us. I once was a casual couponer. I never really got into the watch for the super saving ads and jump on that double whammie deal like a hawk on a hen. (I grew up on a pig farm and we had goats, chickens, ducks and a menagerie of other weird but semi-tame fowl.) We witnessed the hawk flying away with a hen about once a year and it would be the one that was rebellious and refused to go back into the coupe at night. We had a pet turkey and a very large pet owl that was rescued with a broken wing. Recently, I have seen myself as that injured owl. Surviving a divorce after nearly 29 years of marriage, failing health and dealing with the inability to work and provide for myself and my youngest daughter, I have learned to rely on extreme couponing to provide for the essentials. The BOGO Stayfree deals and the Angel Soft deals has blessed this old owl with a broken wing. Friends who call me and give me info on the upcoming deals has really been a life saver for me. Pinching everything I can out of my $395.00 monthly income has given me a new look at couponing and surviving. I still find myself blessed and highly favored by the Lord and continue to give Him praise for carrying me through the rough times.
Thanks so much for sharing your story of God’s grace on your life! So much of your story resonates with my own family’s, as I’m sure it does for many others! (We’re in the Philly/bucks county area, so I hear you about cost of living!) Praise God for the way he’s gifted you to encourage and enlighten others about ways to run your household more efficiently…thanks for your candor and humility as well! You’re doing an awesome job!!
Thank you, Meghan! Your encouraging words mean a lot to me!
oh and I forgot to mention that my first born is named Kaylee!!!! 🙂
I must say I LOVED reading your story!!! I found the link to your website on “The Centsible Sawyer” . You are so funny and have a wonderful sense of humor. I have been couponing/rebating/good deal hunting for a while now but am ready to take it to a new level. I am a mother of a newborn, 10 year old and 7 year old. I can’t wait to look around your site. Thanks for creating the blog and starting my day off with a smile!!!! 🙂
You are too funny!
Natalie Briggs says
yea, don’t knock the chickens. They’re low maintenance and high reward!
We had them growing up and I LOATHED getting the eggs and then when the day for slaughter came I was even more awful! However as an adult, if I had the space I just might do it all over. Don’t tell my parents though!
BTW, we’re getting chickens next spring. It’s not that hard, and the eggs are great! I dare you!