Why I Blog and a Few Changes

DSC_0006 DSC_0004 DSC_0003 DSC_0002DSC_0007DSC_0005DSC_0008Here are the cupcakes I made for the baby shower last weekend. They were for a church sister that had just had twin girls. They were born prematurely and have been in the hospital now for quite some time, so this was more of a welcome-home shower. They were vanilla and chocolate/chocolate chip with vanilla buttercream frosting and fondant baby carriages. The colors were pink and purple.

When I look back at my life over the years, I realize that there were several things I always loved to do. One of those things is helping people. For my entire adult life, I have found myself helping people in various ways and it always brought joy to me. Things didn’t always turn out well, but I never felt that I should stop trying to be helpful.

One word that people have used to describe me is ‘resourceful.’ I have really enjoyed living up to that description. I think the reason they have done so is because I spend a lot of time doing research on things, and then I share this information with anyone that will listen. An example of this is when I started using coupons to save money for my family.

Several church sisters directed me to a website that taught people how to use coupons. Not only did the author of this coupon site have tutorials of how to use the coupons, but she also showed how to use her site. I learned so much from her, but I keep thinking about how I could do the same thing and teach my family and friends to also save money.

Within a few months, we had cut our grocery bill from roughly $800 a month to less than $150! This new figure included meat, paper products, dairy, fruits, veggies, and all other items. This was monumental because we are a single-income family. I try to do whatever I can to help stretch the money that we do make. As I’ve posted before, I love to shop (and I’m sure you know that hehe), but we save in so many other ways that this is possible. Also, we don’t eat out much. We save that for when we are on a road trip or going out with friends. We love to have homemade food and desserts, so couponing helps us to keep the house stocked with items we like. We were so well stocked with a lot of things that I haven’t shopped like that in almost three years. Sure we run out and pick up a few things, but not the way we used to. Also, I’m just now starting up my newspaper subscriptions again.

My natural response to learning how to use coupons was to try to teach others what I had learned. This was my first attempt at a blog. I wanted to combine teaching how to use coupons and sharing other ways to save, with writing about different topics that could be useful to families.

I didn’t realize how much work would be involved, but I stuck with it for about two years. I started the website and signed up to be a publisher with many different companies. I got connected with companies that provided coupons and savings deals. I paid for, and received access to a coupon database. I had someone help me on a weekly basis to match up the items on sale at various stores with matching coupons. In exchange for this service (because it was a LOT of work), I compensated her with paper products. I spoke to a company that would offer a deal on newspaper subscriptions, and I even taught free classes. Even though it was a tremendous amount of work, I was dedicated. I loved doing it. I loved…helping…

It got to the point though, where I decided that I would stop paying for my site, but I would continue teaching people how to use coupons. The only thing that kept me from continuing with my own coupon site is that very few people actually stuck with what I was teaching. I know that shopping in this manner is not for everyone, but it was costing me a lot of time and a lot of money to keep the site going. I was in no way trying to force people to use coupons to save money. I just had to look at the cost of running the website and the time that I spent updating it and looking for deals. It was very time-consuming.

I thought about teaching using the website that I had used when I first started using coupons, but then I ran into the problem of spending hours and hours…and hours with potential couponers, and then they didn’t continue. Again, I am not trying to say that I expected everyone to use coupons. I didn’t…at all. I just had to see whether or not it was worth my time to teach two-hour-long classes, sometimes spend hours on the phone walking people through their first few shopping trips, and then occasionally meeting them at the store to help them shop. It wasn’t worth it. I thought about different ways to be compensated for my time. When I started to think in that manner, then I knew it was time to stop. I wanted to help, but I didn’t start helping people to charge them. Could I have turned this into a business? Could I have charged people a fee to have me teach them? Yes, I could have, and I had numerous opportunities to do so, but I didn’t. Surely that would combat me feeling of being ineffective, but that’s not why I started the site in the first place.

So, I told you this long story just so I could tell you one of the reasons why I blog. There are other reasons that I will divulge in the near future, but for now, here’s the most important one: I blog because it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. That’s it. Of course there are other reasons such as sharing my personal style, my hubby and son, my baking addiction, my love of design, and other areas in which I’m interested, but this blog is about me. For the first time in my life, I am doing something about me and the focus is not on others.

I want to use this blog to get to know myself and other people. I don’t know if you agree with the Middle-Child-Syndrome, but I absolutely do. I have always been focused on other people and usually put myself aside. I have no plans to stop focusing on others. I just have to start focusing on myself a little too. I’ve spent too much time trying to keep the peace between certain family members and being expected to care more about them and their issues more than my own. I think I’m tired. (Say whaaat?!)

I absolutely love to write. That’s one of the reasons why I had started the coupon site in the first place. I wanted to write about resources that we can use to save money and help our families. This blog is not about that. The old site heavily depended on people in a different way for it to be successful. This blog will be successful if I can just pour out my heart in these posts. If readers share what I’ve written or leave comments because they can relate to something I wrote here, then this site will be successful. When I share outfits, I will sometimes try to list where I bought the pieces, but I will also try to list an alternative (if there’s one cheaper or if the one I’m wearing is no longer available). In posts about remodeling projects, I will try to list where I bought/found items used in my projects. The won’t be too forthcoming in the posts about baking because I do sell my creations.

I wrote all that to tell you about some of the changes that I’m making. One such change is that because I realized that I have a deep love for blogging, I want to dedicate more time to writing my posts. Of course some posts will be shorter and deal with light-hearted issues, but there will be some that will be deep in content and lengthy in words. If you are interested in receiving an email when I publish a blog post, please scroll up to the top of the site and look on the right-hand-side. You will see an area in which you can enter your email address to subscribe to this site.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO Delaine

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