One year ago today, I started a blog. It wasn’t called Family Friendly Frugality. In fact, it was actually called A Passion for Savings. It didn’t take me long to realize that there actually is another blog titled Passion for Savings (ironically owned by a woman named Heather as well), so I quickly brainstormed another name.
Family Friendly Frugality started with 3 posts.
- How to Save Money Grocery Shopping
- How to Play the Drugstore Game
- 5 Ways to Put a Little Wiggle Room in Your Budget
These posts would end up being the pillar articles for this site and really defined it’s purpose from early on.
I had been a stay at home mom for over 3 years by this point (I worked part time at a local Mother’s Day Out 2 days a week, but that’s it), and I had learned a LOT about living on one income. We didn’t start off our marriage as wise spenders, that’s for sure. It took our electricity getting disconnected, I don’t even want to think about how many late fees and a LOT of mistakes to get to where we finally found our feet on solid ground. It was an education, that’s for sure. It was a time period that we really struggled through. Luckily, we found our way out to the other side.
I wanted to share what we had learned with other families. I knew if I could help even one family avoid the pain and frustration of having too much month at the end of their money, it would be worth it. (and I’ll admit, I wanted Swagbucks referrals as well!)
Throughout the past year, I’ve logged more hours on this website then I should probably admit. I went MONTHS without earning a dime and with an audience of a few dozen.
In January though, I reached out to a few bloggers and I formed a blogging group with them. This blogging group was a total game changer for me. For once, I had a group of ladies beside me who understood what this crazy internet job was all about. We began to bounce suggestions off each other, and team up on projects. Little by little, I started to understand the value of networking and reaching out beyond my tiny little blogging bubble.
The more fans I received, the more emails I received. Complete strangers thanking me for helping them save money. I’ve even received emails thanking me for saving marriages! I started to realize that maybe I had a knack for helping others with this money saving stuff. As the blog began to grow and started to generate an income, I started pouring that money right back into more resources to help my readers.
I moved to a hosted domain to allow for more traffic. I added a Coupon Database. I hired a designer to give the entire site a re-design to make it more user friendly. I hired my friend Katie to help with some of the workload. I invested in prizes to thank my loyal fans for sticking around with me.
And somehow…from that tiny little blog….a business grew.
Just Thankful, So Thankful
Whether you’ve been a fan of FFF since 1 year ago today, or you just became a fan today…I’m so thankful.
I have fumbled my way through this year.
Trying to learn HTML, spending 30 minutes typing up a deal scenario only to have the deal go dead the moment it published, fielding questions and negativity from naysayers, trying to make the hours spent away from my family worth their while and trying to learn how to find my own little niche within the very heavily populated frugal blogging community. Dealing with email overload from PR agencies who actually think I know what I’m doing (I’m getting there!) and feeling the drop in my gut when I realize a coupon code I posted is dead or a freebie isn’t valid. Just wanting to be at my best for all of you, at all times…has been a humbling and educating experience.
It’s been a year of tears and triumphs, but every lick of it has been worth it.
So I just want to say Thank You. I want to say it to each and every one of you, right to your faces and follow it up with a big ol’ hug. But I’ve got some social anxiety and meeting all of you in person is not really likely…so I’ll just throw some goodies at you!
First though, I want to thank a few really REALLY important people:
- My husband. I did not get a SINGLE check for over 6 months. That man watched me slave away over a tiny little website for hours on end, and didn’t bat an eyelash when I QUIT my job to work on the site full time…never knowing if it would ever be worth it. He trusted me and had faith in me in a way that I’m not really sure I deserved! I know many women claim to have the perfect husband, but man…I KNOW I do.
- My family. My kids have adjusted to work at home mommy with nary a tear. My MIL has given me plenty of words of wisdom as a veteran business owner that I have applied with wonderful results. Even those family members that have never said a word about the site…I see them following on Facebook and “liking” a company soon after I post a freebie. Even that quiet support means the world to me.
- God. Well…duh. Without Him nothing is possible. He put this task on my heart a long time ago. He knew my strengths and He knew my weaknesses and He knew that I had something to give back to the world. I am so thankful that I listened (because I don’t always).
- My fellow bloggers. I know I will leave some out. I know it. So I’m not going to list them. They know who they are. If you are in Blogging Friends…I am indebted to you for the rest of my life for opening up my eyes to the possibilities. If you are in Bargain Network, wowzers! Thanks for the HUGE push and the daily votes of confidence. To all the other bloggers I converse with on a daily and weekly basis…THANK YOU! Together, we make a much better team then alone!
- My readers. This would be a very boring and inactive site without all of you. Sharing my content (even when Facebook makes it so gosh darn difficult), and telling your family and friends about the site, you have no idea what that means to me. My readers ARE what Family Friendly Frugality is all about. I hope to always make you all proud.
So without further ado…here goes the Birthday Bash!
The Birthday Bash
Here are the prizes:
4 Lucky Readers will win $10 Starbucks Gift Cards
3 Lucky Readers will win $10 Amazon Gift Cards!
2 Lucky Readers will win $10 Walmart Gift Cards
2 Lucky Readers will win $10 Target Gift Cards
1 Lucky Reader will win $25 Paypal CASH!
1 Lucky Reader will win a Coupon Clutch Gift Certificate ($55)
Grand Prize Winner will receive: $215 Paypal CASH!
That’s over $400 worth of prizes…and 14 winners!
Entry into the birthday bash is easy.
Here are the various options available to earn the most chances to win:
- Subscribe by email (You must confirm! If you don’t confirm, the entry will be invalid)
- Follow on Facebook
- Follow on Twitter
- Add FFF to your Google Reader (directions HERE)
This giveaway will end on August 22, 2011 (my birthday!).
This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by Facebook, Amazon, Paypal, Coupon Clutch, Target, Walmart or Starbucks. It’s all sponsored by ME!
This giveaway is open to residents of US/Canada 18+ but all gift cards and funds will be paid out in US dollars.