One year ago, I posted for the first time on Macomb Money Savers. The website has come a long way since then, to say the least! This week, I’d like to celebrate with you, my readers, for making all of this possible. I’m hoping to feature one giveaway each day for the next week – along with stories from other loyal readers!
Every blog has a story. Did you ever wonder how this website began? Just in case you wanted to know how it all fell together, here’s the story:
My name is Jolyn and I was taught from a young age to spend my money wisely. I have used coupons all of my adult life, and more earnestly since becoming a stay-at-home mom, but only when I stumbled upon the forums at A Full Cup did I start to realize that there were deals still to be found. I began purchasing extra papers and asking for coupon inserts from family and friends – and building a stockpile of items that had been purchased at rock-bottom prices.
My friends always knew I pinched pennies – partially as a necessity, partially as a strange hobby. I would send out emails when the deals were especially good – free items at Meijer, nice samples by request, high-value coupons for printing. I tried to email everyone I thought would be interested…but there would always be someone who would hear about the deal later and lament, “Why didn’t you tell me?!”
Then one day near the beginning of 2009, my friend Holly called asking for advice. Her husband was laid-off and she was working part-time, attempting to feed four teenagers on a very limited budget. She knew how our family shopped. I shared my favorite websites with Holly, directed her to visit some helpful frugal blogs and hoped for the best. Not long after, she called again. The websites were difficult to understand – so many abbreviations, deals involving too many coupons that didn’t exist in our area – and it was only frustrating. What could I do to help?
I thought about it for a while. I knew there wasn’t a blog for our area that detailed the best deals – I had searched high and low. Without knowing entirely what I was getting myself into, one afternoon I started a blog account. I wanted to focus on deals in and around Macomb, so I called it Macomb Money Savers and introduced it to people on my email list along with a few Facebook friends. Word spread more quickly than I’d realized. 10 readers turned into 100 and then into 1,000. The numbers are still growing, which is unbelievable to me. Now over 12,000 unique visitors drop in each month and over 1,300 fans hang out on the Facebook Fan page. And it’s quickly becoming a part-time job just keeping up with the best deals around town!
Today, I’m happy to report that Holly’s family is well-fed. Her kids were amazed that they had more food in the house with dad out of work than ever before! Within months, she was teaching a coupon class to her friends!
My hope is that you will also learn how to stretch your budget to help your family in our challenging economy. And, when possible, that you’ll also help others by sharing money-saving ideas with your friends – and donating items to food banks and charities. It’s just one small way to make a big difference!
Just a side-note: If you didn’t believe sales are cyclical, you might want to take a look at the sales at Meijer from one year ago, including free Chex Mix, Betty Crocker frosting and Warm Delights, etc. (which are also on sale this week at Meijer)! It’s an interesting study in Grocery 101!