Hi there! I’m Crystal Paine, the blessed wife of Jesse and mom of three precious children (Kathrynne, Kaitlynn, and Silas). I’m first and foremost a child of God. I’m passionate about glorifying Him and making the most of my days on this earth. All I have and all I am is thanks to my Creator and Redeemer.
I’m also a homeschool graduate, sister to six, and daughter of the best parents ever. I owe so much to them—including being financially-savvy.
My Frugal Journey
My mom was the one who first introduced me to couponing, made me my coupon organization box, and gave me a copy of Miserly Moms. Not only that, but she also put me in charge of the grocery shopping, menu-planning, and cooking for our family of nine for a few years while I was still living at home. Talk about great practice for the future!
When my husband and I first married and were living on a beans-and-rice budget in order to stay out of debt while he went through law school, I thrived on coming up with creative ways to pinch pennies. I didn’t always enjoy barely making ends meet, but I certainly loved the thrill of getting the best bang for my buck.
One way we saved thousands of dollars during those lean years was to keep our grocery and household products budget to $35 a week. I had fun taking couponing to a whole new level — I spent at least a few hours each week becoming proficient in “couponese” and playing the “Drug Store Game.”
In 2006, I briefly shared a bit about bargain-shopping on a former blog of mine… and I was quickly inundated with questions on how we managed to live on such a small grocery budget.
The questions kept coming despite writing a blog series, an ebook, and an ecourse on the subject of Supermarket Savings.
As time marched on and the questions, requests, and emails continued to pour in, MoneySavingMom.com was born! It’s been quite the adventure and has far exceeded my wildest imaginations thanks to the many wonderful readers who have spread the word. In less than a year, it quickly became one of the highest-trafficked personal finance blogs on the web. And it just kept on growing!
Thanks in part to the revenue earned from advertising and affiliate sales on MoneySavingMom — and the fact that we stayed out of debt during law school! — we were able to save up enough to pay 100% down for our first home near the end of 2009. We’re committed to giving a percentage of all proceeds from MoneySavingMom.com to life-impacting ministries.
I’m Not Doing This Alone
This blog has mushroomed beyond what I can handle on my own while still keeping my family as my first priority; and we’ve been blessed to have some very skilled people join our team:
- Brian Scheer & Joy Groblebe from The Frontline Group are my managers. They oversee a myriad of details related to the day-to-day details of the business — things like negotiating contracts, managing projects, and talking with potential sponsors or those who are interested in partnering with me on something. They are involved in all business decisions, make sure I don’t take on too much, and help me to be strategic and wise in what I commit to. I am humbled to have the opportunity to work with such experienced managers!
- Ashley is my executive assistant and road manager. She helps me on a day-t0-day basis with a myriad of tasks to simplify and streamline my life, including answering emails, making phone calls, helping out with social media, running errands, and much more! She also travels with me to events and takes care of all the behind-the-scenes details so I can focus on speaking and interacting with attendees. I’m so very thankful for all the brain space and time she frees up for me!
- Joy from Five J’s handles all the graphic design work here at MoneySavingMom.com. This blog would not be anywhere near what it is without Joy’s creativity and design skills!
- Andrea from AndreaDekker.com simplifies and organizes my life by coordinating, editing, and scheduling all the guest posts, helping with social media, and various other odds and ends.
- Amy from Amy’s Finer Things coordinates all of our giveaways, and she does an amazing job of answering and prioritizing emails for me.
- Gretchen (my sister) does an incredible job of taking care of all the many details related to running the store deals section of this site, shares some of her shopping trips on the blog, and also formats the drugstore, Walmart, Target, and dollar store deals posted on MoneySavingMom.com each week.
- Brigette (my sister) inspires us all by sharing about her family’s weekly shopping trips and menu plans, as well as sharing recipe posts that are simple, delicious, and of course, frugal!
- Christy coordinates and schedules all the advertising on MoneySavingMom.com. Her organization and attention to detail helps our team out in invaluable ways!
- Allison is my research and writing assistant. She helps me with special projects I’m working on — pulling together and editing content for products, writing marketing copy, and helping me with all the details related to launching a product. Her attention to detail and thoroughness has been an amazing gift time and time again!
- Heather, Kristin, & Beth from Choice Publicity are my rockstar publicity team. They handle all incoming media requests, help me craft messaging for media opportunities, and oversee brand representation and strategic partnership opportunities. They are top-notch publicists and I’m honored to be working with them!
- Brian and Carla Moyer from Moyer Financial Services handle our payroll, accounting, and taxes. We’re so thankful for how they keep all the financial aspects of our business organized and running smoothly.
- Mark Shead is the brilliant brain that takes care of all technical aspects of keeping this blog up and running, fixing glitches, and making sure that readers experience as few site hiccups here as possible.
- Danny from Ad Thrive is our sidebar ad manager. He does a fantastic job ensuring that we maximize the ad space here, only run ads from ad networks that are family-friendly, and get the best return on our investment from ad networks we work with.
In addition, I am indebted to my husband, Jesse. He is my biggest cheerleader, best friend, sounding board, and ever willing listening ear. Jesse oversees all the financial and legal aspects of running MoneySavingMom.com, as well as overseeing special projects and giving insight on product development and product launches.
Who knows what the future holds? One thing I do know is that any success is thanks to the Lord, to my parents, to my wonderful husband, and to the loyal readers who constantly push and stretch me to be a better home economist myself.
Things I Love
My three precious children (right to left): Kaitlynn (born in 2007), Silas (born in 2009), and Kathrynne (born in 2005)
When I’m not bargain-shopping, or blogging, I enjoy tweaking recipes and baking big batches of things for the freezer, hanging out with friends, engaging in thought-provoking discussions, drinking a good cup of coffee while reading a good book, or spending a quiet day at home with my family.
One of my favorite things is getting to meet some of you as I share at speaking engagements at various events around the country. In 2012 I published, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life—an ebook that has sold many more copies than I could have ever envisioned!—and my newest book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, released in early 2014 and is a New York Times bestseller.
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