Can I tell you a secret? Deal Detecting Diva’s time is running short. Let’s have a moment of silence before I move on.
Sniff sniff, and pass the tissues.
When I started using coupons ten years ago, I did so to save our family money. We were freshly home from our son’s three month hospital stay, medical bills were piling up, diapers were expensive and I had not been working. Paul had not worked for the majority of our stay (12 whole weeks he was able to stay with us at the hospital in Kansas City before returning to work in Wichita!) and long story short, we were going broke and digging our way even deeper into credit card debt. Something had to give.
When we brought Caden home from the hospital for good, I was 23 years old and I had no idea what I was doing with my finances or my life or with my 7 month old son. At that point he had already had two open heart surgeries, a heart catheterization, was on a feeding tube for his paralyzed vocal chords, was undergoing both physical and speech therapy multiple times per week in addition to weekly doctors appointments and lab draws to monitor his blood thinner medication, all while taking NINE other daily medications. It was crazy and it was scary. I honestly don’t know how I held it all together.
Remember, Paul and I each brought our own financial past to the marriage, and adding medical bills to that pile? Coupons it was!
I began blogging at Deal Detecting Diva as a hobby after I started the most boring receptionist job ever (not my current job 😉 ), when Caden was old enough and healthy enough that we felt comfortable leaving him with a sitter. I was bored at work and this gave me something to research, something to get excited about, something to get good at, and a point at which I could focus my 100 mph mind.
I didn’t start Deal Detecting Diva for the sake of starting a blog, or to earn money. I started it because I needed something to occupy my time – and BONUS! – using coupons saved us money. A lot of money. And I was good at it.
Two birds, one stone.
We must also remember that these were the days of double coupons at Dillons, double $1 coupons (FIVE “like” coupons!) at Homeland, price matching was easier and certainly faster, rain checks were easier to come by, the coupons were much higher value ($1 off ONE package of hot dogs?! Now we see 50¢ off of THREE!) and the sales were better. Rebate apps were just in their infancy and everywhere you looked you could score free coupon stuff.
You know what? Those days are long gone. Shall we have another moment of silence?
I had no idea that Deal Detecting Diva would grow into what it has today. My baby, my blog. ♥ I will always identify as being “The Diva” and as DDD, but things are about to change.
Don’t freak out!
Bloggers earn an income. Some bloggers earn a lot of income. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not DDD and keeping a regular blog is hard work. So much more demanding than it may seem. Since I started DDD I have put in a minimum of 50-60 hours per week and when Paul left his job at the cable company to start helping me here, he starting putting in at least 40 hours per week as well.
When I say deals and coupons never stop – I mean they NEVER stop. For years we have spent all day on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Christmas Eve and yes – even Christmas Day, posting online deals, coupons and savings. No one forced us to, and I realize that, but there is a feeling of guilt associated with not posting and keeping everyone informed. It is unreal and it is suffocating.
While DDD has never been a huge coupon blog, it did give us the additional income (while we were both working full time) needed to pay off our credit card debt (along with a lot of going without) and to build up a cushion, allowing Paul to leave his job and stay home with our boys, while helping me in the process. It has been wonderful. But…
With the changes in the coupons, and the lack of deals lately, something has to change. I find that I, myself, am using less and less coupons (I haven’t had a good coupon haul in months) and more importantly, I am printing less coupons. While coupon prints used to make up the majority of our income, that number has dropped by about 75%.
I understand it, I feel it myself as a couponer, and I know that you long-time couponers are feeling it too. Our stockpiles are dwindling, our budgets are near to bursting and the coupons just aren’t there anymore. Do I still coupon? YES! Will I ever stop? Probably not.
Short story: If no one is printing coupons, we can’t pay our bills. There are many hidden expenses in operating a blog of this size as well as tax money to set aside and other variables.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t so bad. I still work outside of the home and am considered full-time, and the amount of savings that we have built as a result of paying off our credit card debt? That’s there IF we NEED it. But I don’t want to need it. You feelin’ me?
So what is going to happen to Deal Detecting Diva? She’s retiring.
Paul and I aren’t going anywhere, we are creating two separate websites.
I am starting a BRAND NEW website to share my articles. Those including the new “how to” posts and our frugal living articles, food recipes, crochet patterns, financial tips, homemade cleaning recipes and heart related and family posts. I might even write more of the Open Letters I had so much fun writing last week. It is going to be AWESOME!
I’ll be able to open up and share more about our lives, our financial goals, Caden’s heart history, discuss current events and more. I have always been afraid to sway too much from coupons here. Contrary to what I may (or may not, lol) have led you to believe, I’m quirky and quite frankly, I have a lot to say on a lot of different topics. I hope you’ll love it!
I’ve also got three different half-way written books in the works. I’ll be able to focus on bringing the goal of becoming an author to fruition as well. One of them may or may not be riské *gasp* and I’m confident that at least some of you will thoroughly enjoy it. *wink wink*
What’s happening to Paul? He will be managing the coupons and online deals at his very own, BRAND NEW website. Don’t freak out! You are NOT losing me. I want you all to know that I sit right across from him as he works. See? We work together.
He will always have me for guidance, and so will YOU. We will keep the Deal Detecting Diva Coupon Group on Facebook open and ACTIVE. He will continue to post all of the amazing daily online deals, the NEW coupons every single day, the 17 different weekly coupon matchups as we have been, and Stevie, (my CCBFF (cyber coupon best friend forever)) will continue to help by finding stellar online deals while Paul matches up the day’s new coupons to current sales around town.
I. Am. Pumped.
This will all happen sometime within the next several weeks. I will never leave you out in the dark, and I will never abandon you. Paul has learned so much in the past two years that he has helped me on DDD as well. He’s pretty amazing, and he will only continue to grow.
We aren’t going anywhere.
I will keep you informed every step of the way. In the end, I think separating the new articles that I LOVE writing from the coupon deals will be a benefit to all. I get that some of you come to our blog ONLY for the coupons, and I don’t want to deprive you of that.
I have to go where my heart tells me to go too. I ♥ you, and I am so glad that we have each other.