Shopping Deals, Recipes, Money Saving Tips for a Healthier, Smarter Living.
Hi, I’m Heather! I am the happy wife to a wonderful husband, father and my best friend, and mother to two beautiful boys that are the center of my universe. I love to save money and equally enjoy sharing the deals I find with others. Most people would call me “motivated” – I always have goals on the horizon and have an everlasting desire to strive them. I have accomplished many goals in my life including receiving my MBA in Finance – sounds fitting for somebody who is good with money, right?! One of my lifelong goals when I met my husband 18 years ago was to live debt-free. I am so very thankful that (with the exception of our home mortgage), we have been able to live debt-free! I would like to tell you a little about our journey which has allowed us to get to where we are today.
For the first 10 years of my husband and I living together, we were a single car household. To say this wasn’t a struggle is saying the least. We were in constant limbo with transportation, especially since we were both going to school and working different jobs. It took a lot of coordinating of schedules and dedication on both ends to pick each other up and drop each other off – sometimes at not so ideal times. As inconvenient as it was, we made it work for a long time. Unfortunately, we learned a valuable but costly mistake about taking care of cars when our only car we had blew an engine on the highway that set us back several thousands of dollars in debt on our credit cards.
From that day on, my goal was to pay off our high interest rate credit cards and get out of debt. I set a goal to pay “x” amount of money each month until I paid of the credit cards. Slowly I chipped away at the credit card bills. Sometimes I paid more – but never less than what my goal was. The only way we were able to pay off our debt at the time was by working our tails off and living on a budget. We even took a side job delivering phone books to help with our debt – unfortunately, that only set us back – we had a very small garage where we stored the phone books and while pulling our car into the garage, we knocked off the side-view mirror on our car when hitting the phone book stack on the side of the garage. Talk about Murphy’s Law! We quickly found that having a budget to save money worked better for us than taking on side jobs to supplement our income.
Like anything, living on a budget does take effort. I started using coupons – matching up store ads every week to the coupon inserts and purchasing only items that were on sale or at a price point that was acceptable for our means of living. The more I used coupons, the more excited I became about the money I was saving. Hubby even fed my coupon addiction by dumpster diving in the recycling bins for coupon inserts so I would have plenty of coupons to purchase enough items to have a stockpile. We drove to one local store in the area that used to double coupons and I would be the “super couponer” of the area walking out of the store with over $100 worth of groceries for under $10 or less! To be able to do this was exhilarating and even more-so when I walked away with items for free when I got paid to take them when stacking coupons with rebates! We even took it to the next level of selling our extra stockpile items on eBay or at the local flea market to make a few extra bucks off of it.
Once we had our boys, my focus changed where I couldn’t keep up with couponing. We are your average family with a full load and days that are never long enough to do everything we want, so we have had to pick and choose how we better manage our time while living smart. We shop around and visit a few different stores offering the most competitive prices on groceries. On the same note, we are choosey about we buy – we do not buy that unhealthy or unsafe something just because it is cheap. We have become savvy internet shoppers and have come to depend on online shopping and comparing prices while saving money.
Even with my busy schedule, life still exists outside of work and deal hunting. Our lifestyle isn’t lavish, but our choice to shop and live smart has allowed us to be able to take family vacations and outings which for us is a very important part of our sons’ development in learning about new places and things through exposure to new experiences. Part of this achieved by taking advantage of free programs and events offered in our community and at local businesses. We have started and are admins on several local buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook which has taught us how to enjoy new-to-us items and selling items we no longer use to others in the community. By doing so, we are not only able to shop and live smarter, but also helping the environment at the same time. I have also been able to apply my money saving skills to help my oldest sons’ PTA with new ways to generate additional revenue that can be put to use at the school level. When I’m not deal shopping, I enjoy reading a good book, traveling, trying new recipes, growing my garden, and spending quality time with what matters the most: My Family.
After sharing many deals I have found with many local friends, I have had a huge response from many friends that they enjoy learning about the deals I find which has inspired me to start this website and Facebook page so I can continue to share the ways I save money to live smarter. My hope is to motivate the rest of you, my readers, to live a smarter, happier life and I hope what I share makes it easier for you to do so!
Thank you for reading and I hope to inspire you too!