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20 Sep 2019   ·   183

This crazy journey I’ve been on the last 14 years (and yes, you CAN make money blogging!)

Yes, you can make money from blogging! In this post, I share my story — and I tell you how you, too, can start making money from blogging!

My Journey to Making Full-Time Income as a Blogger

How I Started to Make Money Blogging

In 2005, I started this thing called a “blog” — something that most people in my circle of friends and family had never heard of before. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I had a big dream: I wanted to find a way to earn enough money from home so I can supplement our meager income to allow me to be able to stay home with our baby girl, Kathrynne.

In addition to my big dream, I also had perseverance — something I was going to need in big supply over the next few years. I was very, very determined and that determination drove me not to give up even during the many, many times when I wanted to.

That little blog had a few readers. Then a few dozen. I kept blogging, kept commenting on other blogs, kept writing articles for other sites and linking to that blog, and kept networking with other online entrepreneurs.

Over the course of many months, that little blog grew a tiny bit and then a tiny bit more. Pretty soon, I woke up one day and realized that I had a few hundred readers. That idea just blew my mind.

My first blogging header{My first official professionally done website header — added when I switched from Blogspot to Typepad.}

The Income Began With a Little Trickle

I started watching what other successful people were doing, read books and blog posts on monetizing a blog, and jumped out and experimented with a number of things.

Pretty soon, there was a little trickle of income coming in from that blog. When I say “trickle”, I truly mean it. It started with $10 per month, then $20 per month, then $50 per month.

If you would have divided my blogging income by the hours invested in blogging, I was probably making what would amount to a few nickels per hour. However, I was learning, the blog was slowly growing, and I was truly enjoying the process of writing and interacting on a blog.

Speaking at My First Blogging ConferenceSpeaking at my first blogging conference — I was a scared, insecure mess inside and I can see it written all over my face in this picture.

Starting to See the Potential to Make Money Blogging

As time marched on and I kept plugging away, I found other creative ways to make money blogging — like selling ebooks and then an online course on cutting your grocery bill. I went from making $50 a month to a few hundred dollars per month.

I started to see the potential. And I began to believe that it truly would be possible to earn a part-time income from blogging someday.

My husband and I began talking about adding a niche blog dedicated to frugal living. There was a lot of interest in the topic, it was something I was passionate about and experienced in, and I was pretty sure I could do some specific things to monetize a frugal living blog that I couldn’t do on the blog I currently had.

My Second Blogging ConferenceMy second blogging conference — I was still nervous and scared, but I felt more myself and more whole and I can see it in my face here.

How MoneySavingMom.com Began

It took about a year from the time the initial idea was birthed to when the final product, MoneySavingMom.com actually happened. But in the fall of 2007, I announced the launch of MoneySavingMom.com on the other blog I had.

I still remember the post where I let the world know MoneySavingMom.com was official. I said that I was probably going to blog on MoneySavingMom.com “about 3 times per week”. {Yes, 3 times per week. That still cracks me up!}

The first version of MoneySavingMom.com was on Blogspot. It was an all white background with capital letters at the top of the page that said MONEY SAVING MOM. {Clearly, I was very into bells and whistles. ;)}

I had spent $10 to buy the website URL and that was all I could afford. Later, I paid $25 to have the teen daughter of a mom I knew design a header for me. But those were the very humble beginnings of something that I could have never imagined…
My first radio interviewMy first radio interview — again, this was a completely unnerving experience for shy me. I felt like just going back to my hotel room and crying when it was over because I was sure I had totally bombed it.

Rapid Growth Beyond What I Could Imagine

Since I’d already put in countless hours to build an online platform over the two previous years, knew how to run a blog, and had a pretty good grasp on what topics people were interested, jumping in with MoneySavingMom.com was much easier than it would have been had I been starting from scratch.

I also was at the right place, at the right time, because the economy was beginning to tank, coupons were becoming popular, and the media started to do a lot of coverage of money-saving ideas and frugal living topics.

My initial readers told their friends who told their friends, people found me from random searches and stuck around, and within a few months, MoneySavingMom.com had grown to 14,000 to 16,000 pageviews per day.

It. was. mind-blowing!

I didn’t really know what to do, but I knew that I needed to continue to produce good content and continue to do all I could to help people save money. I also continued to learn all I could about win-win ways to make money blogging.

My First BookMy first book: basically an exercise in how to do everything wrong! I learned so much, and wished I could have done it all over again because there would be so much I would change!

Fulfilling My Dream — and Making So Many Mistakes

Within a few months, I was making $800 to $1200 from MoneySavingMom.com. And the income just kept increasing. By the end of the first year, I was making the equivalent of a full-time income from blogging.

All of a sudden, I woke up and realized that not only was I living my dream, it was a LOT more work than I could have ever imagined — especially as the blog continued to grow!

The Story Behind MoneySavingMom.com

The past 14 years have been a journey… one riddled with many ups and downs. I’ve made many mistakes, let people down, and sometimes posted things before taking time to really think through what I’d written.

Over the years, I’ve also been arrogant, said and written hurtful things, and taken on too much and stretched myself too thin. Many times, I’ve had my priorities out of whack and given my family the leftovers instead of my best.

Through it all, I’ve grown, matured, been humbled, had to ask forgiveness, and learned a great deal about my own limits. I’ve gone from a very black and white person who thought she had everything figured out and thought she should share her very legalistic, dogmatic views with everyone, to discovering this beautiful thing called “grace” and realizing that there are very few hills worth dying on.

My First TV Interview

My first TV interview — I was a complete nervous wreck. Literally shaking from head to toe!

I’ve grown up a lot,  faced a lot of fears, and done things I never thought I was humanly capable of.

In addition, I’ve confronted many of my long-held insecurities head on. And I’ve had many opportunities to work through my long-held tendencies to be a people-pleaser.

Scared of the Scrutiny from Making Money Blogging

You see, as the blog took off and became something more than a little mommy blog, I struggled a lot. Part of me was so excited about the growth and the possibilities. The other part of me wanted nothing more than to just run away from it all and go back to being a stay-at-home mom.

As a normally private person, I hated having my life scrutinized by people I didn’t know. I was scared to come out and talk much about the business side of my life — the meetings, the responsibilities, the opportunities — because I knew some people wouldn’t be happy and would criticize the fact that I was making a good income, was running a thriving business, and was no longer just the frugal stay-at-home mom blogger struggling to make ends meet that I had been when I started blogging.

My Second Book

Growing Into My Own Skin

I love being a wife and mom, managing my home well, saving money, and getting great deals. I’m also a business woman who loves marketing, entrepreneurial ventures, and strategy and monetization.

It took me awhile to be brave enough to say that I am both out loud. But once I did, it has freed me up to make decisions that were best for our family.

Knowing who I am and embracing that has been so freeing for me. Yes, I still regularly get emails and comments from people who wish I was different. However, for the most part, this community has rallied around our family. You have no idea how much you bless us.

allume-conference-smilebooth-0154My 4th(?) blogging conference: This time, I went with the sole desire to pour into others and look for other people to bless. Guess what? I completely forgot about my usual insecurities and ended up having a blast!

I Would Have Never Imagined This Life

Looking back over the past 14+ years, I never would have imagined what my life would look like today. I never would’ve pictured myself running a business with multiple team members, speaking at events, working with brands, teaching people how to blog, doing media interviews, or being a New York Times bestselling author.

Nor would I have pictured that this blog would be the catalyst for our family to get in a much better position financially. I never, ever envisioned blogging would allow us to no longer live on a beans and rice budget.

And I couldn’t have dreamed that blogging would allow us to could pay cash for a house and give generously. Or, that it would open the door for Jesse and I to work together from home.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to get to work together with my husband and best friend! While we have our disagreements and struggles, we are a definite team. I wouldn’t be who I am today without him encouraging me, supporting me, and being my biggest cheerleader.

THANK YOU For Being a Big Part of This Journey

You all have been a big part of this journey. This blog would never have grown like it has nor would the doors of opportunity have opened without you. I am forever humbly grateful for each of you.

While the income from this blog has been a blessing, the community I’ve found in you all has been priceless. You’ve supported us, loved us, prayed for us, and cheered us on — through thick and thin. And you’ve forgiven me when I’ve made mistakes and you’ve been incredibly loyal.

Looking Ahead to the Future

I don’t know what the next 14 years of my life will hold. Right now, I’m just focusing on living one day at a time!

I want to live each day that I’m given to the best of my ability. As long as I’m given the privilege of blogging here, I want to use this platform to make an impact.

Blogging has broken me. Blogging has healed me. And, more than anything, blogging has taught me that perseverance pays off.

So no matter where you are in life right now, I want to encourage you: Keep on. Press forward. Keep learning, keep experimenting, and keep holding onto hope. And most importantly: don’t give up! The best is yet to come!

Want to learn how to make money from blogging?

Are you a new blogger or a longtime blogger? Are you still trying to figure out how to really make money from blogging? You don’t want to miss my new brand-new class on How to Make Your First $100 From Blogging. Best of all, it’s FREE!

In this free class, you’ll learn:

  • 5 tried and true ways YOU can make money from your blog today
  • The #1 mistake most bloggers make that keeps them from earning an income
  • My secrets for building a 7-figure blog on a shoestring budget
  • Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me your burning questions about monetizing a blog

>>Yes! I want to learn how to make money from blogging!<<

20 Sep 2019   ·   11

Costco Membership Deal: Pay $60 for a Membership, $20 Cash Card, & FREE products {HOT!!}

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Woohoo! This super duper HOT Costco membership deal has returned!

{Wondering if a warehouse membership is for you? Check out these posts on if a warehouse membership can save you moneyif a warehouse membership is a good fit for your family, and how a warehouse membership compares to Amazon Subscribe & Save!}

Costco Warehouse Store Front

HOT Costco Membership Deal

Groupon brought back their very popular Costco membership deal again! For just $60, you will get the following:

  • A One-Year Costco Gold Star Membership, which includes a membership card for the primary cardholder as well as one free Household Card
  • $20 Costco Cash Card
  • Exclusive coupons for FREE products ($39.98 value)
    • Free Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean HE Laundry Detergent Pacs ($17.99 value)
    • Free Kirkland Signature Create-a-Size Paper Towels ($15.99 value)
    • $10 off Fresh Meat (beef, chicken, pork, or fish; excludes deli items)
  • $25 off an order of $250 on Costco.com

This Costco membership deal is valid for new members only, for a limited time. Not valid for those with a current Costco membership or for memberships that expired after May 1, 2019.

This deal only comes around once or twice per year, and it always goes lightning fast! Hurry!!

Get this deal for just $60 from Groupon today.

20 Sep 2019   ·   23
FabFitFun Fall Box

FabFitFun Promo Code: Get $240 worth of full-size products for just $24.99 shipped!! {HOT!}

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

If you’ve been wanting to try the FabFitFun box, now’s your chance to try it at a RARE discount with this promo code!

FabFitFun Fall Box

Looking for a FabFitFun Promo Code?

For a limited time only, FabFitFun is offering new customers 50% off your first box with promo code OMG50 at checkout.

That’s an extra $25 off the regular introductory offer! You’ll pay just $24.99 shipped for a huge box full of $240 worth of full-sized goodies!

I don’t think we’ve *ever* seen a discount this great on FabFitFun! Hurry — it won’t last long!!

What is FabFitFun?

FabFitFun is a seasonal subscription box that is filled with all kinds of brand-name beauty, fitness, fashion, and lifestyle products.

And the best part? They’re all full-sized products — no samples!

FabFitFun has sent me several boxes in the past, and I’ve unboxed all of them on FB Live video. I’ve been pretty impressed with the quality and quantity of products!

Some of my favorite products have been the travel makeup bag I use all the time when I travel and the bubbly face masks Kaitlynn and I had fun with!

a photo of a FabFitFun box

How does FabFitFun work?

When you sign up for this introductory offer with the FabFitFun promo code, you’ll be signing up for a seasonal subscription and will receive a box automatically every 3 months.

This is a no-obligation offer. After your first box, you can cancel at any time by contacting the FabFitFun support team.

(Don’t worry! You’ll have plenty of time to cancel before your next full-priced box ships out!)

What’s in the FabFitFun Fall 2019 box?

Each box is slightly different, but here’s what you might find in your Fall FabFitFun Box:

  • Anthropologie Travel Yoga Mat
  • Twine Living Co. Cheese Board with Plate
  • Afterspa Hair Towel Wrap
  • Harber + Ari Exfoliating Sugar Cubes
  • Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair
  • Cosmedix Pure C
  • Human + Kind Body Souffle
  • Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Mask
  • Amika Strand Perfect Ceramic Styler
  • Kut From the Kloth Slim Striped Wallet
  • Baublebar Ear Crawlers Earrings
  • The Better Skin Co. Better Skin Lava Magik
  • Kate Spade Lunch Tote

Psst! Want to take a peek inside the Fall box? Check out my FB Live unboxing video!

Get a discount with this FabFitFun promo code!

Interesting in getting your own FabFitFun Fall box (or maybe giving it as a gift to someone you know)?

Be sure to use promo code OMG50 at checkout!!

Click here to get your first FabFitFun box for just $24.99 shipped!

20 Sep 2019   ·   0

Snapfish Promo Code | 20 Free Photo Prints + Free Shipping!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

This is a RARE Snapfish promo code to get completely FREE photo prints!

{Psst! Looking for other ways to get cheap photo prints? Check out these other great online photo printing deals!}

Snapfish promo code for free prints

Wow!! Snapfish is offering a 20 free 4×6 photo prints with free shipping!

Just use Snapfish promo code 20FREESEP at checkout to get this deal.

This is a HOT deal, because free shipping is usually not included with these freebie deals!

Valid through September 21, 2019.

Thanks, Freebie Radar!

20 Sep 2019   ·   0
EmaxDesign 18-Piece Makeup Brush Set

EmaxDesign 18-Piece Makeup Brush Set only $5.49!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

This EmaxDesign 18-Piece Makeup Brush Set would make a great gift idea!

EmaxDesign 18-Piece Makeup Brush Set

Amazon has this EmaxDesign 18-Piece Makeup Brush Set for just $5.49 when you clip the $2 off e-coupon and use the promo code VC2BLAG7 at checkout (regularly $20.99)!

Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get free 2-day shipping. And don’t forget you can sign up for Swagbucks to earn free gift cards to use on deals on Amazon.

Thanks, Midwest Money Saving Mommas!

20 Sep 2019   ·   0
Coleman 50-Quart Xtreme 5-Day Heavy-Duty Cooler with Wheels

Coleman 50-Quart Xtreme 5-Day Heavy-Duty Cooler with Wheels only $29.82!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Looking for a deal on a cooler? This Coleman 50-Quart Xtreme 5-Day Heavy-Duty Cooler with Wheels is perfect for camping, tailgating, games and more!

Coleman 50-Quart Xtreme 5-Day Heavy-Duty Cooler with Wheels

Walmart has this Coleman 50-Quart Xtreme 5-Day Heavy-Duty Cooler with Wheels for just $29.82  right now (regularly $49)!

Choose from several color options.

This cooler keeps ice up to 5 days, features a locking telescoping handle and heavy-duty wheels for easy, reliable transport, and can hold up to 84 cans.

Choose free in-store pickup to avoid shipping costs.

Thanks, SwagGrabber!

20 Sep 2019   ·   0
What comes in a Kidpik box

Kidpik Coupon Code: 50% Off + Free Shipping and Styling!

If you have a daughter who’s been wanting to try Kidpik, don’t miss this exclusive Kidpik coupon code!

{This deal post is sponsored by Kidpik and contains affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.}

Kidpik coupon code

What is Kidpik?

Have you heard of Kidpik? It’s sort of like Stitch Fix for young girls at a really affordable price! With Kidpik, you can subscribe to get a girl’s fashion box every 4, 6, or 12 weeks.

Your daughter gets to take a style quiz so that the fashion box is customized to her preferences, and then the box arrives with 7 pieces of clothing, accessories, and shoes — which can be mixed and matched for 3 different head-to-toe outfits!

Kidpik is available for sizes 4-16.

collage of kidpik models

Kidpik Coupon Code — Get 50% Off!

With Kidpik, there are no styling fees. And shipping, returns, and exchanges are always FREE!

If you’re interested in trying Kidpik, I have an exclusive coupon code you can use to get 50% off whatever you decide to keep from your first box!!

Just use coupon code MSM50 during checkout!

Valid through September 30, 2019.

kids with Kidpik boxes

Go here to get started with Kidpik.

20 Sep 2019   ·   3
Deep Pocket Microfiber Bed Sheet 4-Piece Sets

Deep Pocket Microfiber Bed Sheet 4-Piece Sets only $13.09!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Need a set of sheets for the guest bedroom? Grab one of these Deep Pocket Microfiber Bed Sheet 4-Piece Sets for 45% off right now!

Deep Pocket Microfiber Bed Sheet 4-Piece Sets

Amazon has these Deep Pocket Microfiber Bed Sheet 4-Piece Sets for 45% off right now!

Prices start at $23.99 so you’ll pay just $13.09 after the discount. There are lots of colors to choose from.

Valid through September 24, 2019.

Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get free 2-day shipping. And don’t forget you can sign up for Swagbucks to earn free gift cards to use on deals on Amazon.

Thanks, Midwest Money Saving Mommas!

20 Sep 2019   ·   0
Large Hymn Prints

Vintage Canvas Hymn Prints only $5.65 + shipping!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

These Vintage Canvas Hymn Prints would make great frugal wall decor!

Large Hymn Prints

Jane has these Vintage Canvas Hymn Prints for only $5.65 + shipping right now!

Choose from six sizes and tons of different prints. These would make great gift ideas!

Shipping is $3.89 for the first print and $0.89 for each additional print shipped within the same order.

Psst! We love Jane! Looking for other great Jane deals? Check out our custom Jane page for more of our hand-picked favorite deals each day!

20 Sep 2019   ·   0
ThinkFun Escape the Room Secret of Dr. Gravely's Retreat

ThinkFun Escape the Room Game only $9.97!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Love board games? Here’s a great deal on this ThinkFun Escape the Room Secret of Dr. Gravely’s Retreat.

ThinkFun Escape the Room Secret of Dr. Gravely's Retreat

Amazon has this ThinkFun Escape the Room Secret of Dr. Gravely’s Retreat for just $9.97 right now (regularly $21.99)!

This game has great reviews and looks like so much fun.

Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get free 2-day shipping. And don’t forget you can sign up for Swagbucks to earn free gift cards to use on deals on Amazon.

Thanks, Kosher On A Budget!

20 Sep 2019   ·   0
Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner only $2.22 shipped!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Love Mrs. Meyer’s? Get this Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner for the lowest price on record!

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner

Amazon has this Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner, Lemon Verbena for only $2.22 shipped when you checkout through Subscribe & Save!

This is the lowest price ever on record!

Note: Once your order ships, you can go into your Amazon account and cancel your subscription if you don’t want recurring orders.

20 Sep 2019   ·   0
Baby Bodysuits

Old Navy: Baby Bodysuits only $3 Today!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Wow! Score $3 Baby Bodysuits at Old Navy today!

Baby Bodysuits

Today only, Old Navy has their Baby Girl’s and Baby Boy’s Bodysuits on sale for just $3 both in-store and online!

There are SO many cute ones to choose from. These would make great gift ideas for new and expecting parents.

If shopping online, choose free in-store pickup to avoid shipping costs.

Valid today only, September 20, 2019.

20 Sep 2019   ·   0
Women's Skechers BOBS Leopard Slip On Shoes

Women’s Skechers BOBS Leopard Slip On Shoes only $25.48 shipped (Reg. $50!)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Oh my goodness! These Women’s Skechers BOBS Leopard Slip On Shoes are SO cute!!

Women's Skechers BOBS Leopard Slip On Shoes

Right now, Famous Footwear is offering 40% off select Bobs by Skechers! Plus, you can get an extra 15% off when you use the promo code FEELINFALL at checkout!

Shipping is free for members (free to join).

Check out this deal idea on these cute Leopard Slip On Shoes:

Bobs by Skechers Leopard Print Flat – $29.98 (Reg $49.99)
Use promo code FEELINFALL
Shipping is free for members
$25.48 shipped after promo code

Thanks, Passionate Penny Pincher!

20 Sep 2019   ·   0
Fall Layered Necklace Collection

Fall Layered Necklaces only $11.99 shipped!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Looking for a great fall necklace? Check out this Fall Layered Necklace Collection.

Fall Layered Necklace Collection

Jane has these Fall Layered Necklaces for just $11.99 shipped!

Choose from 14 different styles.

Psst! We love Jane! Looking for other great Jane deals? Check out our custom Jane page for more of our hand-picked favorite deals each day!

20 Sep 2019   ·   0
Stainless Steel Salt & Pepper Grinder Set Only $13.56

Stainless Steel Salt & Pepper Grinder Set only $13.56!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

This Stainless Steel Salt & Pepper Grinder Set would make a great gift idea!

Stainless Steel Salt & Pepper Grinder Set Only $13.56

Amazon has this Stainless Steel Salt & Pepper Grinder Set for only $13.56 when you use the promo code MODETRO15OFF at checkout!

What a great gift idea!

Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get free 2-day shipping. And don’t forget you can sign up for Swagbucks to earn free gift cards to use on deals on Amazon.

Thanks, Hip2Save!