This crazy journey I’ve been on the last 14 years (and yes, you CAN make money blogging!)

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This crazy journey I’ve been on the last 14 years (and yes, you CAN make money blogging!)
Yes, you can make money from blogging! In this post, I share my story — and I tell you how you, too, can start making money from blogging! How I Started to Make Money Blogging In 2005, I started this thing called a “blog” — something that most people in my circle of friends and family had never heard of before. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I had a big dream: I wanted to find a way to earn enough money from home so I can supplement our meager income to allow me to be able to stay home with our baby girl, Kathrynne. In addition to my big dream, I also had perseverance — something I was going to need in big supply over the next few years. I was very, very determined and that determination drove me not to give up even during the many, many times when I wanted to. That little blog had a few readers. Then a few dozen. I kept blogging, kept commenting on other blogs, kept writing articles for other sites and linking to that blog, and kept networking with other online entrepreneurs. Over the course of many months, that little blog grew a tiny bit and then a tiny bit more. Pretty soon, I woke up one day and realized that I had a few hundred readers. That idea just blew my mind. {My first official professionally done website header — added when I switched from Blogspot to Typepad.} The Income Began With a Little Trickle I started watching what other successful people were doing, read books and blog posts on monetizing a blog, and jumped out and experimented with a number of things. Pretty soon, there was a little trickle of income coming in from that blog. When I say “trickle”, I truly mean it. It started with $10 per month, then $20 per month, then $50 per month. If you would have divided my blogging income by the hours invested in blogging, I was probably making what would amount to a few nickels per hour. However, I was learning, the blog was slowly growing, and I was truly enjoying the process of writing and interacting on a blog. Speaking at my first blogging conference — I was a scared, insecure mess inside and I can see it written all over my face in this picture. Starting to See the Potential to Make Money Blogging As time marched on and I kept plugging away, I found other creative ways to make money blogging — like selling ebooks and then an online course on cutting your grocery bill. I went from making $50 a month to a few hundred dollars per month. I started to see the potential. And I began to believe that it truly would be possible to earn a part-time income from blogging someday. My husband and I began talking about adding a niche blog dedicated to frugal living. There was a lot of interest in the topic, it was something I was passionate about and experienced in, and I was pretty sure I could do some specific things to monetize a frugal living blog that I couldn’t do on the blog I currently had. My second blogging conference — I was still nervous and scared, but I felt more myself and more whole and I can see it in my face here. How MoneySavingMom.com Began It took about a year from the time the initial idea was birthed to when the final product, MoneySavingMom.com actually happened. But in the fall of 2007, I announced the launch of MoneySavingMom.com on the other blog I had. I still remember the post where I let the world know MoneySavingMom.com was official. I said that I was probably going to blog on MoneySavingMom.com “about 3 times per week”. {Yes, 3 times per week. That still cracks me up!} The first version of MoneySavingMom.com was on Blogspot. It was an all white background with capital letters at the top of the page that said MONEY SAVING MOM. {Clearly, I was very into bells and whistles. ;)} I had spent $10 to buy the website URL and that was all I could afford. Later, I paid $25 to have the teen daughter of a mom I knew design a header for me. But those were the very humble beginnings of something that I could have never imagined… My first radio interview — again, this was a completely unnerving experience for shy me. I felt like just going back to my hotel room and crying when it was over because I was sure I had totally bombed it. Rapid Growth Beyond What I Could Imagine Since I’d already put in countless hours to build an online platform over the two previous years, knew how to run a blog, and had a pretty good grasp on what topics people were interested, jumping in with MoneySavingMom.com was much easier than it would have been had I been starting from scratch. I also was at the right place, at the right time, because the economy was beginning to tank, coupons were becoming popular, and the media started to do a lot of coverage of money-saving ideas and frugal living topics. My initial readers told their friends who told their friends, people found me from random searches and stuck around, and within a few months, MoneySavingMom.com had grown to 14,000 to 16,000 pageviews per day. It. was. mind-blowing! I didn’t really know what to do, but I knew that I needed to continue to produce good content and continue to do all I could to help people save money. I also continued to learn all I could about win-win ways to make money blogging. My first book: basically an exercise in how to do everything wrong! I learned so much, and wished I could have done it all over again because there would be so much I would change! Fulfilling My Dream — and Making So Many Mistakes Within a few months, I was making $800 to $1200 from MoneySavingMom.com. And the income just kept increasing. By the end of the first year, I was making the equivalent of a full-time income from blogging. All of a sudden, I woke up and realized that not only was I living my dream, it was a LOT more work than I could have ever imagined — especially as the blog continued to grow! The past 14 years have been a journey… one riddled with many ups and downs. I’ve made many mistakes, let people down, and sometimes posted things before taking time to really think through what I’d written. Over the years, I’ve also been arrogant, said and written hurtful things, and taken on too much and stretched myself too thin. Many times, I’ve had my priorities out of whack and given my family the leftovers instead of my best. Through it all, I’ve grown, matured, been humbled, had to ask forgiveness, and learned a great deal about my own limits. I’ve gone from a very black and white person who thought she had everything figured out and thought she should share her very legalistic, dogmatic views with everyone, to discovering this beautiful thing called “grace” and realizing that there are very few hills worth dying on. My first TV interview — I was a complete nervous wreck. Literally shaking from head to toe! I’ve grown up a lot,  faced a lot of fears, and done things I never thought I was humanly capable of. In addition, I’ve confronted many of my long-held insecurities head on. And I’ve had many opportunities to work through my long-held tendencies to be a people-pleaser. Scared of the Scrutiny from Making Money Blogging You see, as the blog took off and became something more than a little mommy blog, I struggled a lot. Part of me was so excited about the growth and the possibilities. The other part of me wanted nothing more than to just run away from it all and go back to being a stay-at-home mom. As a normally private person, I hated having my life scrutinized by people I didn’t know. I was scared to come out and talk much about the business side of my life — the meetings, the responsibilities, the opportunities — because I knew some people wouldn’t be happy and would criticize the fact that I was making a good income, was running a thriving business, and was no longer just the frugal stay-at-home mom blogger struggling to make ends meet that I had b [...]
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Last Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Menu Plan

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Last Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Menu Plan
Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.). For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here. I’ve been finding a LOT of random markdowns at Kroger recently, so my shopping trips this week were mostly made up of those! Kroger Shopping Trip #1 Kroger Eggs — marked down to $1.29 Cinnamon Raisin Bread — marked down to $1.29 2 cans of canned Pineapple — marked down to $0.49 each JIF peanut butter — marked down to $0.99 each Kettle cooked chips — marked down to $0.79 Kroger sour cream — $1.39 Deli chicken — marked down to $2.39 Elbow macaroni — marked down to $0.39 1 bag of peppers/squash — marked down to $0.99 Kroger peanuts — marked down to $0.89 Sirloin Steak — marked down to $4.40 1 bag of cucumbers — marked down to $0.99 Strawberries — $1.50 2 cans of Kroger soup — $0.79 each 1 bag of lemons — marked down to $0.99 Bananas — marked down to $0.39/lb. = $0.71 Tyson Frozen Chicken — $6.99 2 cans of salmon — marked down to $1.99 each Package of Kind Breakfast Bars — marked down to $0.99 2 cans of green beans — marked down to $0.29 each Simple Truth organic seltzer water — marked down to $0.99 each 2 boxes of Rice-a-Roni — marked down to $0.49 each Kroger taco seasoning — marked down to $0.19 Total with tax: $41.96 I was excited about the Weekend Deals at Kroger this week and am going back to hit some of the others on Monday! Kroger Shopping Trip #2 Salad Kit — $1.99 Nature Valley Granola Bar — marked down to $0.69 Kroger eggs — marked down to $1.29 Annie’s Mac & Cheese — marked down to $0.59 each Capri Sun — marked down to $0.69 JIF Peanut Butter — marked down to $0.89 3 packages of Smithfield Bacon — $2.99 each with Weekend Deals Kind bar — Free with Free Friday coupon Creamed Corn — $0.99 Kroger Green Beans — $0.59 5 Lara Bars — $0.50 each with Weekend Deals Franks Red Hot Sauce — Well, I thought this was supposed to be $0.99 with the Kroger Weekend Deals but as I was typing this up, I realized that I think I actually paid $2.99 for this!! Now I’m trying to decide whether it’s worth taking back to the store. Probably not? But I kind of surprised that I didn’t catch that I overpaid for this. 🙁 I usually am really good at carefully checking everything. Here’s another good reason why you should check your receipt really thoroughly before leaving the store! Lettuce — $1.79 Total with tax: $26.18 What We Ate This Past Week Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand. This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate. Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here. Breakfasts: Cereal, Toast, Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches (Silas and Kaitlynn have been loving this for breakfast recently!), Eggs Lunches: Ham Sandwiches, Granola Bars, Yogurt, Capri Sun, Salad, Leftovers, Fruit Snacks: Cookies, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Go-Gurts, Apple Crisp, Fruit, Veggies Dinners: Sunday — Fend For Yourself Monday — Slow Cooker Teriyaki Beef with Pineapple over rice, fruit Tuesday — Slow Cooker Chicken Tetrazzini, green beans Wednesday — Breakfast for dinner: Pancakes, sausage, fruit Thursday — Barbecue Chicken, Noodles, Fruit Friday — Smoked Ribs, Green Beans with bacon/garlic/onion, creamed corn Saturday — Leftovers Total spent on groceries: $68.14 Cashback earned this week: 50 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards [...]
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Sign up for the 14-day Back to School Fitness Challenge for just $7! {last chance!}

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Sign up for the 14-day Back to School Fitness Challenge for just $7! {last chance!}
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Need some motivation to workout, get a little more fit, and feel more energized? Join the 14-day Back to School Fitness Challenge! It’s just $7 through the end of today! If you’ve been following me on Instagram recently, you know that I finished a 21-Day Squat Challenge. I have never done squats for 21 days in a row. In fact, I thought I despised squats. But I decided to challenge myself to sign up and do it anyway when I saw my friend, Sarah Haley, was running the challenge online. To my great surprise, I ended up actually sort of falling in love with squats. And I even got some of my best friends to join me in the challenge, too! I think my favorite part about challenge was that it pushed me but it was something I could easily fit into my life. And it made me feel so accomplished and energized. Plus, I loved the accountability of the worksheets, the videos, and the Facebook Group of women who were doing it alongside me, too. When the 21 Days of Squats Challenge was almost done, I realized that I was going to really miss having the accountability and the daily workouts planned out for me. So I reached out to Sarah Haley and said, “What’s next?? Can you please offer another similar challenge? Because I loved this one so much!” 14-Day Back to School Fitness Challenge And that’s when she told me about her 14-Day Back to School Fitness Challenge she was working on. I was all YES! YES! YES! She just launched it and I already signed up! If you need some inspiration and motivation to get in a little exercise each day, I’d love to have you sign up and join me! The workouts can be done in just 10 minutes a day — and right now, it’s only $7 to sign up for the Back to School Fitness Challenge (the price goes up tonight to $14)! When you sign up for the Back to School Fitness Challenge, here’s what you get: Downloadable Print Outs that you can print out (or save to your phone) to help you remember all the exercises and keep track of your progress. Video tutorials to teach you the correct way to perfect each exercise as well as follow-along workouts Daily accountability through check-ins on the private Facebook Group where you can share your progress and struggles with all the participants. Music playlists to keep you motivated THIS YEAR’S BONUSES: Self Care Snacks e-Book & Sweat Stretch Download (an additional $10 value) Go here to sign up for the 14-Day Back to School Challenge. But hurry, because it’s just $7 through midnight tonight on August 30, 2019! Let me know if you sign up! I’ll make sure to look for you in the Facebook Group! The workout challenge officially begins on September 4, 2019. [...]
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{Last Chance!} Get the Eat at Home Menu Plan Service for 30% off!

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{Last Chance!} Get the Eat at Home Menu Plan Service for 30% off!
It’s the LAST DAY to get a subscription to Eat at Home Menu Planning service for 30% off! If you haven’t taken advantage of this deal yet and have been meaning to, this is your gentle reminder that you need to run over and purchase — because the deal ends at midnight! I’m just loving getting these messages from those of you who are signing up: My Top 3 Reasons I Love Eat at Home My favorite thing about the Eat at Home Menu Plan Service is that — unlike many other menu plan services — you don’t have to pick one menu plan — you get access to four complete menu plans every single week. Yes, that’s right! I also LOVE that the plans were put together with busy families in mind — and many of the recipes can be made in less than 15 minutes. Finally, the recipes are GOOD! Someone asked this morning on Facebook Live whether we like all of the recipes and I could genuinely say that we typically love 50% of them, that we like 40-45% of them, and there are just 5-10% that aren’t necessarily ones we like. I think that’s pretty impressive considering we’re feeding 5 people here who have different palates! On the Fence About Purchasing? Many of you have already purchased the Eat at Home menu-planning service and have written to tell me you are excited about all of the time and effort and money you are going to save with it. But others of you are still sitting on the fence and wondering whether it’s worth the investment. And I totally get that. I don’t want you to spend your hard-earned money on something that isn’t going to be a great fit for you. But I also don’t want you to miss this opportunity to get such a great deal… because this deal only comes around two times per year and it’s the lowest price that you’ll ever find this menu-planning service. If you’re on the fence about purchasing, I want to help you out. Here are three steps I encourage you to take to make sure this is for you: 1. Leave a Comment… I’m Here to Answer Your Questions! I will be checking comments here this afternoon and evening and am happy to answer your questions about the Eat at Home menu-planning service. Just leave a comment and ask whatever questions you have. I’ll personally do my best to answer your question or to find out the answer for you! And trust me, I will be incredibly honest with you and let you know if I don’t think this menu-planning service is a good fit for you. 2. Download the Sample Menus Want to see some samples of what the Eat at Home menu-plan service is like? You can view a sample menu plan for each of the 4 different menu plans you’ll get when you sign up for this service. Just go here to check out the sample menu plans here. 3. Try it Out for 30 Days Eat at Home offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you think the service might work for you but you’re not sure, I recommend that you go ahead and signed up and try it out for a week to see if it will work. If it doesn’t, you can just email in and ask for your money back — no questions asked! Have Picky Eaters? Someone asked in the Eat at Home Facebook Group whether the Eat at Home Menu-Planning Service would work if you have picky eaters. I can’t promise or guarantee you anything, but here were some of the responses: You can go here to read the rest of the responses to this question. What You Get When You Sign Up When you sign up for the Eat at Home Menu plan service (it’s just a few dollars per week — or less!), each month, you’ll get: An entire month of No Flour, No Sugar menu plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions An entire month of Traditional Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions An entire month of Slow Cooker/Instant Pot Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions (this is my favorite!) An entire month of Whole Food Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions Each menu plan comes with recipes created for small family (3-4 servings) and large family (6-8 servings) Color-coded grocery lists make it easy to swap out ingredients or whole meals Printable Menus to hang on the fridge or near your calendar, so you can easily see what’s for dinner that week and your family can, too Access to the entire month at once! 1 Hour Freezer Stash Plans – a new plan each month to stock your freezer with 6 meals in 1 hour! You can choose to stick with just the traditional menu plan or just the slow cooker menu plan or just the whole foods menu plan or just the no flour, no sugar menu plan. Or, you can rotate different menu plans on different weeks, depending upon what you feel like cooking or how much time you have! Go sign up here — and use coupon code YES at checkout to get 30% off! That makes the annual plan just $1.13 per week! If you have any questions about the Eat at Home Menu Plan service, just leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer your question promptly! P.S. Don’t forget, the Eat at Home Menu Plan service is only on sale until tonight at midnight! Use coupon code YES at checkout to get 30% off — that’s the lowest price you’ll get this year! Find more details on these fantastic menu plans here. Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we will receive a commission — at no additional cost to you! Thank you for your support. [...]
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*HOT* Get 65% off Adidas Shoes + Free Shipping {Last Chance!!}

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*HOT* Get 65% off Adidas Shoes + Free Shipping {Last Chance!!}
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. If you haven’t had a chance to check out these HOT deals on Adidas shoes, be sure to do so today! This sale ends tonight. This HOT promo code ends tonight!! Right now, Adidas is having an End of Season Sale where you can save up to 50% off select shoes and apparel! Shipping and returns are FREE. Plus, through July 5th, if you’re an Adidas Creators Club member (free to join!), you can save an extra 30% off when you use the promo code SAVE30 at checkout! (Note: You MUST be logged in to get this code to work for you.) Here are some deals ideas… Men’s Cloudfoam Racer TR Shoes – $38 (regularly $75) Use promo code SAVE30 (30% off) Shipping is FREE $26.60 shipped after promo code Adidas Women’s Quesa Running Shoes – $38 (regularly $75) Use promo code SAVE30 (30% off) Shipping is FREE $26.60 shipped after promo code Adidas Men’s Lite Racer Shoes – $35 (regularly $70) Use promo code SAVE30 (30% off) Shipping is FREE $24.50 shipped after promo code Adidas Kids Seeley Shoes – $28 (regularly $55) Use promo code SAVE30 (30% off) Shipping is FREE $19.60 shipped after promo code Kids Lite Racer CLN Shoes in cloud white and grey – $25 (regularly $50) Use promo code SAVE30 (30% off) Shipping is FREE $17.50 shipped after promo code Women’s Purebounce+ Street Shoes in white and grey – $40 (regularly $80) Use promo code SAVE30 (30% off) Shipping is FREE $28 shipped after promo code Shop the Adidas sale here. Valid through the end of today, July 5, 2019. Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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