Saturday, May 15

This is my story

Now that Savvy Sister Shops is off to a great start, I want to tell you more about me! This is my family. We love to play together, laugh together, watch silly shows and movies together and we are a very musical family. I play the piano and teach piano lessons. My husband is an amazing drummer! My son has taken up the drums as his instrument of choice and plays them whenever he can get to them! (Incidentally, their drums share the space where our food storage is. The concrete spot is a great sound proof room!)

My daughters also play the piano and are invited to sing at different functions and at church often. There is always music playing somewhere in our home!

We have 4 children. Three children are with us and we have another sweet angel in heaven. Our children are ages 12, 9, 5, and our little boy, Matthew, was our special stillborn baby born in December 2007. I cannot tell you about our family without telling you about him. I'm sure many of you reading this have also lost children or babies. If you'd like to tell me about them, please send me an e-mail.

In 2007, our family was living in a very large home and my husband was working as a contractor building other large fancy custom homes for other people. Everything was perfect and we were on top of the world! Then, the "bubble" burst. Yes, the financial bubble that had been building up for years, and also our hearts broke when we found that our baby had died while I was pregnant with him.

We struggled through 2008 and finally decided to leave the contracting and building business. We then struggled to find work! I know that many of you reading this will be able to relate to that as well. It was a humbling time for us as we moved from our home and into my husband's parents' home. Finally, in January 2009, my husband landed a great job. A few months after that, we moved to South Ogden, where we live now. (This is where our story gets exciting!) This is when I began using coupons!

When we moved to South Ogden, our short-term food storage was basically depleted. I wanted to begin using coupons, but I didn't know how. I knew that I needed to get multiple Sunday copies of the newspaper if I was really going to get serious about using coupons!

One summer day in August , I was shopping at Smith's. I was filling up my cart with the ad items- probably a 10 for $10 sale, when a newspaper salesman stopped me and asked if I used coupons. I said no, but that I wanted to learn how. He said that all the items in my cart could be bought with coupons. What... really? I knew I could be saving money and cutting our budget if I used coupons with sales. To make a long story short, I got the multiple sets of Sunday newspapers subscription and started cutting and clipping! I also used many different blogs and sites on the internet that directed me to the very best deals.

I cannot explain what got into me after that. I was so DRIVEN to get our food storage back! My goal was to gather our 3-month short-term food supply A.S.A.P.! I was trying to store EVERYTHING that we might need in a 3-month span: soap, t.p., laundry detergent, deoderant, canned foods, frozen foods, cereal, etc. I even had a 3-month supply of juice boxes and applesauce cups for my daughter's school lunches stored away! And the great part was, I could but all these essentials with coupons!

Our monthly budget for groceries and supplies used to be $700 a month. In September 2009, I spent about $760 when I began using coupons. BUT, I was able to get 3 times MORE food and supplies in that time. In October, the amount spent on groceries and supplies went down to $260!

I had already built up such a wonderful supply, that I slowed way down on shopping and only bought the very best and cheapest deals I could find.

It was a good thing, too.... because we got some bad news at the end of October.

To be continued....


Jenni said...

Heather, your story is so touching. Thank you so much for sharing your life and your talent of couponing to save money. P.S. I'm ready to do a coupon night! So let me know when you can and I'm sure I won't have a problem finding loads of people to join me!!! Thanks again Heather. You are an amazing person!

Annie-Staten said...

to be continued...
Leave us hanging! lol. Can't wait to hear the rest :)

Tawna said...

What does your husband do now? Thanks for telling your story.

Jacki said...

I loved reading this post about you, Heather!
I'm loving your blog and I'm glad my sister and I were able to find you. :)
I also had a stillborn baby and know how rough that can be. Thank you for sharing your story.