Back in 2008 when I started using coupons to save my family money we were in a desperate financial season. My husband had just gotten laid off from his job in pharmaceuticals, and we had two spec homes that sat for over two years without selling. In addition to financial pressures, my 3-year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, my father was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer, and my marriage was falling apart. Add to that the death of my father and another layoff the following year the day after my father’s funeral and I was a hot mess. We were broke; I was emotionally exhausted and weary. I felt like every area of my life was under attack, and I was broken. Couponing became a wonderful way to escape my life while at the same time saving my family incredible amounts of money, which was crucial to our finances. Also, I was able to get so many items for free or very little costs to give to others. This left me feeling empowered since it enabled me to be in a position to serve even while I was still in need.
I never intended to start a business. It wasn’t even on my radar, but God opened doors and before I knew it Time 2 $ave was a thriving business that grew very quickly. Couponing was very popular back in 2009, and everyone wanted to know how to do it. It was an exciting time to share what had blessed my family so much and to be able to inspire others to give when they were in need themselves. I was able to travel and speak at women’s expos all over the southeast, teach workshops to hundreds of people, and jump head first into tv and radio segments. As couponing continued to get popular, so did Time 2 $ave and before I knew it, I had a book deal with a major Christian publisher. I always loved sharing my message of couponing with others because I saw it very differently than most. You see, I never loved coupons, and I wasn’t an extreme couponer. Instead, they were just a tool that brought hope to my family’s finances and countless others.
Then, my season began to change. Life became more normal, and God began to heal my heart and soul from losing my father and the heartbreak in my marriage. Slowly but surely, God began to put me back together piece by piece. My healing didn’t happen overnight but through a series of several years my marriage was completely restored and redeemed. As I healed, I began to step back from the business more and more and Jamie, my fabulous friend and head blogger, took the reins here at Time 2 $ave. I am so thankful that she has always been such a faithful friend and hard worker. I knew I needed to concentrate fully on being with my family and savor every moment. In the years that were so difficult, I felt like I lost so much time. Not that we weren’t physically together, but I was such a mess emotionally that the years became a blur. Not having to worry as much about the responsibilities of the business as Jamie handled all of the day to day posting was such a blessing. I stepped down from my weekly TV segment on WDEF Channel 12, my weekly newspaper article, and said no to other media opportunities that came my way.
As we healed emotionally, we realized that we had been in survival mode for years, and our health had suffered. You know when you are in a season of “just getting by” everything else gets put on the back burner? So, we made a commitment to our health and made major health change in March of 2013 when we started on AdvoCare products. Although I had not used coupons consistently for groceries in a while, when we started eating mainly fresh fruits, veggies, and lean proteins there was no longer coupons available for the foods I was buying. We also discovered that by sharing with others what we were doing that had completely transformed our health (my hubby lost 43lbs and 30 inches, and I felt better and had amazing energy) we could earn a substantial plan b income that would afford our family opportunities that we hadn’t had in a long time. Instead of being always worried how I was going to save $0.50 here or $1.00 there, we began to add income to our family budget. It was so very freeing to not constantly worry about saving money everywhere we turned.
Fast forward to three years ago and I found out we were expecting our third child. After suffering my second miscarriage the previous year, we were elated to find out we were pregnant again. With homeschooling my two older kids, growing our AdvoCare business, and the responsibilities of still managing Time 2 $ave I knew something had to change. But, I was afraid of change. Afraid that the audience I had built here at Time 2 $ave would be disappointed or that I would completely lose my faithful readers that I had worked so hard for so long to grow. So, I sat back and continued to manage Time 2 $ave while Jamie took care of the daily deal posts. I knew in my heart that I had to follow my heart and that my passion had changed, but again I continued to shrink back in fear feeling paralyzed.
A couple of months ago, I stepped out in faith and started making changes here at Time 2 $ave. I discontinued the weekly grocery match-ups because I could no longer justify the cost. I toyed with the idea of selling the blog, but in the end, I knew it was time to step out in faith, follow my heart, and obey God. So what does all this mean? In the next couple of weeks, I will be retiring Time 2 $ave as you currently know it and will be relaunching a newly redesigned and rebranded blog that will contain content that God has been speaking to my heart about for years. Jamie is still here helping me with online deal posts on a part- time basis. Even though I no longer coupon for groceries, I do love to find awesome online deals and will continue to share those with you. I know I have a story of hope that many people are desperate to hear. I have been through the fire and come out on the other side a better woman who is healed, redeemed, and restored. I will be writing about marriage, parenting, being a mom, how to cook healthy and meal plan, healthy recipes, and so much more. I want to include tips that will help you in your everyday life and share about experiences that will encourage you and speak hope to your heart.
I pray that you will stick around and continue to support me as I step out in faith. My heart is so full of excitement and expectation of what the future will hold and how God will use this blog to help others. Thank you for being faithful friends and readers over the years. I am overcome with emotion today as I think about the millions of people who I have been able to help with this blog over the years. Yes, when I checked my analytics I was blown away to see that millions of people have visited my blog since I started. That in itself is crazy as I’m just a homeschool mom doing my best to raise my kids and love my family. You just never know God’s plan and how he may use us to reach others. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and blessings to each of you. Keep your eyes and ears open over the next couple of weeks as the brand new blog is launched. I hope you’ll come along with me on this journey.