Some of you may or may not know I am a Savings.com Deal Pro. I am currently in N.Y. attending SaveUp 11 which is a conference for like minded money saving bloggers.There are over 40 money saving experts attending.Savings.com has challenged us to share our savings story, although I have this in my bio I don't think I shared this on the actual blog.
I am 36 years old and I just celebrated 16 years of marriage with my husband on October 7th. I have 2 children & 2 dogs,. We live in Edmond,Oklahoma. I have also been a member of Edmond Road Baptist Church for 30 years where I participate in the music ministry. I was a stay at home for 12 years and started my site to help friends and family learn how to save money. It was a great hobby for me and it felt great being able to contribute to my family.
In 1996 my daughter was born and the Dr's told us she had a 50/50 chance of living. After spending a week in NICU we were able to bring her home.At that time our insurance did not cover pregnancy and on top of that we had the expensive bills from the NICU Unit. I was a nervous wreck on what we were going to do.
In 2005 my husband was rushed to the emergency room on Easter morning and was later diagnosed with a degenerative disease called “ankylosing spondylitis”. Our life was totally about to change. Since there is no cure for this disease we have spent lots of hours in and out of the hospital, several surgeries and more meds than I can count on my fingers. My once small time hobby of pinching a few pennies here and cutting a few coupons there turned into a necessity. The Remicade infusions that he takes are $8,000 every 6 weeks. This is just one of his many meds .Without insurance it would be a scary situation. My mom has has Klippel-Feil Syndrome which she has had from birth. Basically she has fusion of the last 2 cervical and all of the thoracic vertebrae which causes Scoliosis. The last 3 ribs in front are also fused. She also has a splitting of the Spinal Cord in the cervical area about 1 to 2 cm. In 2009 my mom got very sick and had to go on disability. In Jan. of 2010 we made the decision to have my mom move in with us.(2011 My mom is now living in her own apt.)This has been a struggle both financially and emotionally for our entire family. But I have a strong Christian faith and God has helped us get through this tremendously. He has helped me see that there are many families out there struggling just like us and has blessed me with the ability help teach others about my frugalness. That’s when my hobby became a ministry.
In 1996 Morestealsanddeals.com was formed which is now called ConsumerQueen.com. The original purpose of the website was to help other families struggling and in very similar situations like us feel good about being able to contribute so much just by clipping a few coupons. ConsumerQueen.com has grown extensively over the past 2 years with over 24,000 members across the United States. While members get great deals and awesome savings on things that their families use every day, many members “pay it forward” by donating some of the name brand items that they receive for free or at a very low cost to local churches and shelters. ConsumerQueen.com has been and always will be a free site for all who wish to register. Deals are broken down by store and explained so people new to couponing and those who have years of experience can all understand every deal. Every member is encouraged to post deals and to brag about their shopping adventures.
I think my eyes were really opened up about couponing the day I walked out of a local Albertsons towing 3 grocery carts behind me that totaled $1880 and I only paid $19. I was able to provide enough groceries for my family and had plenty left over to donate to my church as well as the battered women’s shelter. Now this was one of my more extreme shopping trips but still to this day I am able to usually save 50 to 75% off my grocery bill if not more. I have been invited to do interviews with several local TV stations and newspapers. I currently do “The Deals of the Week” on the Jack and Ron morning show on Kiss 98.9FM every Wed. morning . We have also been featured on the Today Show as well as newspaper and magazine articles.We are looking to expand our media exposure as we feel the more people we can reach the more people we can help.
It’s not about how much money “I” can save, it’s about how many more people can we reach and help! Anyone can be a “Coupon Queen” it just takes a little bit of dedication and self discipline. Now that I am working full time I do struggle with not being able to do as much shopping as I use to but feel good knowing that I am still helping others. One day I hope to find a job working from home, making the same salary I am now and still have the insurance benefits. I now work for Fast Fixin as their Internet Marketing Manager full time and still run my blog.