An Interview With Money Saving Guru Denise From CouponsForYourFamily.com
My name is Denise and I am the owner/publisher of CouponsForYourFamily.com. I'm a mom to two teenage boys, ages 14 and 16, and future step-mom to my fiance’s boys, ages 13 and 15. Yes, that is correct--13, 14, 15, and 16 year old boys that are all taller than me! I love being a mom to all of them and they are a lot of fun, but by the time they started hitting the teenage years and playing every sport imaginable, we really were not able to keep food in the refrigerator or body wash in the shower. I work full-time outside the home as a Business Sales Professional, therefore, my time is limited for trips to the store. Plus, our wallets always seemed empty from not being able to plan shopping around sales. I have always used coupons but I was not using them enough. I began getting more papers and researching online deal blogs to save more and was able to cut our grocery expense by 50%. My friends and family wanted to know how I could do this and I was encouraged to start blogging about the deals I was able to get. Thus, CouponsForYourFamily.com was born! It has steadily grown over the last two years and I'm incorporating more retail deals and freebies into the site as time will allow.
I love blogging and although I sometimes feel as though I am working around the clock, it has been a life changing experience for me. Not only am I helping my family save money, but all of my readers too!
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
I love to read and learn. People don't know that because I have very little time to read! I am able to sneak in a few reads online while I'm blogging so it keeps me satisfied.
What is your biggest challenge as a mom?
My biggest challenge is scheduling and giving my boys individual, loving, mom time, while also giving love and attention to my future step sons. Keeping a blended family running smoothly can be quite a task. The scheduling of all of our activities and functions sometimes felt impossible but our boys have grown up to be wonderful, independent, young men despite my worries!
What are the main things kids do that you wish they wouldn't?
Leaving a trail or mess behind them in their travels throughout the house!
What common mistakes do you see moms making that you wish they wouldn't?
Doing their homework for their children! Over the years, I saw many moms take over school projects from their children or making it right for them. I always helped my children, but felt they needed to do it on their own to build their own confidence and learn. That is what school is about, not getting an A because mom and dad did the homework for them.
What are your top 10 tips for moms?
1) Eat a family meal together once a day. After dinner is the perfect time to discuss the days events and future plans. It gave our family bonding time to discuss our feelings, both happy and sad, and helped us all to grow together.
2) If you do not want to give up your career to have children, find a job that has flexible scheduling, so you can be at all of their important events and be a mom too. Rather than quantity of time, make it quality time that you spend with your children. My boys are secure, confident, independent and loving, and I attribute some of that to being a working mom. Reworking my schedule allows me to be there for them during important moments, while also giving them room to grow up and be more independent
3) Try to be calm, regardless of the stress we go through as moms. If mom isn’t happy, the rest of the family isn’t either. My boys know when I have had a rough day, but I try not to let it affect their day.
4) Involve both you and your husband’s families in your children’s lives. I have seen many moms keep distance from their husbands families, for whatever reason, and I feel they are cheating their children out of some great experiences.
5) Discipline your children when they are young. Doing so will make everyone’s life much happier and less chaotic, and it teaches them right from wrong. It is too late to discipline them when they are older.
6) Practice what you preach. Children learn more by example than words.
7) Teach your children the value of a dollar. Even if you have enough money to give them everything they want, don’t do it. Also, make them earn the money to buy some of the things they want and to save money in a bank account of their own.
8) Always be honest to yourself, your family, and everyone around you.
9) Have faith.
10) Use coupons even if you don't have to and put the extra money in the bank! Almost everything you buy, there is some type of coupon, code, or discount out there-you just have to look for them!
What are your favorite brands and where do you buy them?
My favorite brands are Gain and Tide laundry detergent and softener and most P&G products. I have this obsession with having a great smelling house and clothes. OxiClean is the only item that takes the stain out of my boys baseball pants. If I find a product that does the job I need it to, then I become very loyal and tell everyone I know about it. I buy them wherever there is a sale and can use a coupon too-Target and Dollar General for these items mainly.
Are there any other bloggers or sites you would recommend?
The blogger that inspired me the most at the beginning, and still does now, is Crystal from MoneySavingMom.com. Her blog is full of great deals, but she also adds great writing content on family living, budgeting, crafting, cooking, and much more. Each of her articles is truly a learning experience and at the same time pleasurable reading.
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