|Hi there! I’m Crystal Paine, the blessed wife of Jesse and mommy to three precious little 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.”
Several years ago, 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 a 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’ve now committed to give 100% of the proceeds from private ad sales to Compassion International and Show Hope.
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.
Erika is my personal assistant. She willingly does whatever needs to be done — from answering emails, running errands, picking up the mail, placing orders, and making phone calls, to watching the children while I take a business phone call, keeping my office organized, and just generally keeping me on task. She’s my right arm… and my left arm. I feel so blessed to have her help!
Liz is my speaking manager and travel assistant. She oversees all the details related to speaking events — from negotiating contracts, booking my travel arrangements, to coordinating my itineraries. Then, she 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!
And then I have a fabulous virtual team who works remotely from all over the country:
- Joy from Five J’s handles all the technical and graphic design work. This blog would not be anywhere near what it is without Joy’s creativity.
- 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 and organizes all of our giveaways, and she answers and prioritizes emails for me.
- Gretchen (my sister) takes 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.
- Nathaniel (my brother) handles much of the accounting work and many other odds and ends.
- Brigette (my sister) writes regular recipe posts that are simple, delicious, and of course, frugal!
- Ashley from Ambient Promotions is a powerhouse of productivity, overseeing my ebook production, launch, and marketing. She is also managing advertising sales and implementation.
In addition, I am indebted to my husband who is my biggest cheerleader, best friend, sounding board, and ever willing listening ear.
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): Kathrynne (born in 2005), Kaitlynn (born in 2007), and Silas (born in 2009)
When I’m not homeschooling my children, bargain-shopping, or blogging, I enjoy tweaking recipes and baking big batches of things for the freezer, engaging in thought-provoking discussions, trying to keep up with politics, drinking a hot cup of tea 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 have another book coming out in 2014 published by Thomas Nelson.
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