Monday, February 1, 2010

Advice Please!

I just received this anonymous comment below a recent post where I explained why I don't go into great detail below every single grocery post with pictures.

Anonymous wrote: "I thought the same thing about your Kroger post. For $5.91 you bought six boxes of Finish among plenty of food. I never saw those drop in price so much that they'd be free even with a $2.50 coupon. I feel like the pictures of your trips are pretty much useless if we don't have any info or tips to replicate the visit ourselves. I'd really stop the pictures if you don't offer any additional info and just focus on other things and your family!"

I share what I anticipate stockpiling in my weekly Grocery Game Plan posts, but these posts are very limited... to just the hottest items of the week that I am able to view in the weekly sales flyer BEFORE I even get a chance to step into a store. If a store happens to have additional items included in their sale, other that what they have chosen to advertise in their weekly flyer... then I am unaware- just like everyone else... until someone shares that sale/deal with me!

I feel like I do share, in writing, the details of the sale items including which coupons to spend to duplicate the deals that I anticipate to purchase and then I share what I have purchased in pictures. I also feel like grocery shopping is pretty subjective to each family's size and eating preferences, and so it seems nearly an impossible task for me to write/share in such a way that will please very single reader. My blog is meant to be helpful, but learning to grocery shop with coupons doesn't meant that ALL of the info that you are looking for will be available on a single blog site... often, it takes the reader doing their homework as well.

Often times though,we are lucky enough to have other SYS readers kind enough to drop us ALL a 'heads up' in the comments section of that particular grocery post- so YOU and I can both benefit! (I always check out Macomb Money Savers and the comments related to that particular weeks grocery post one last time before I head out for my own personal grocery shopping, to just double check and see if any additional deals have popped up!)

It is because many readers have asked me to share my grocery trips that I now share my shopping trips in pictorial format, especially since many readers are visual learners and prefer to see the actual products rather than just read the worded description. I also feel that if I show a picture of particular items, that a reader would be able to then pull the matching coupon from their stash and spend them.

I am very aware that my posts are hit and miss on whether that are useful to readers on an individual basis, but as a whole, I assume that most of my readers take time out of their day to stop by are take a look around because they find my posts encouraging and helpful! Ninety-nine percent of the feedback that I receive is positive, so less than kind responses, like the one above, catch me off guard.

If some or all of my posts are bothersome, or you are personally struggling with skipping over the posts that are unhelpful to you and your family, please feel free to discontinue reading. I take quite a bit of time to be a 'real' person behind my blog. It feels pretty crummy to receive anonymous comments like the one above when, with all sincerity, I post what I think would be beneficial for others to read and see.

I am happy to discontinue my grocery shopping pictures and my spending/saving Saturday posts if too many of my readers are silently frustrated by them. I initially began posting them because I was asked time and time again for them, but these posts can cease as of this week if that is what is most beneficial for my readers as a whole.

I'd prefer Sharpen Your Scissors to be a source of encouragement and education. I will continue linking to other blogs like Macomb Money Savers and Coupon Crazy Chrys for their entire store match-ups to for easy clicking to the BEST, most useful information that each of us can use in helping us purchase less expensively, the items that our family needs each week.

Please, as a personal favor to me, take a quick second to let me know if you'd prefer some of my posts to disappear, I'd really appreciate it!

Thank you, Laura

Just as a side note, I'd like to let newer readers know that if they click 'On a Personal Note', and 'About the Author,' and 'Tips and Tricks' along my right sidebar, you'll gain more insight into my personal spending habits!

59 comments:

Jen@Scrapingirl

I like the pictures. I am one of those visual people. :) I like to see how much you're getting, and for how little. Keep those coming. Please. :)

Anonymous

Laura, I would hate to see the pictures disappear. I understand some of the frustration some people are having. I was very confused when I started, but found the tools and help you have available to be great help! What I like about your blog is it that is shows how a real person can do this and what it looks like in your life. I visit many blogs when preparing for my weekly shopping trip to find coupon match ups and deals, but I visit your blog daily because I learn so much. I love all of the new formats you added and would hate hate hate to see them go.

Angie

I love your blog. Don't change a thing!!!!!!

Candice

I wouldn't change a thing! You've explained numerous times that there are other sites (you even have links for them) that go into great detail about the sales and how to get them. I frequent your blog 3+ times a day because it is different! I like that your blog gives me things to really think about (who knew making stuff from scratch is so easy)! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Megan

I love the pictures and am glad that you have decided to include more of them. I actually didn't know about the electrosol deal until I saw your picture last week, so then I just went to my box and pulled out the coupons and was able to snag the same deal! I appreciate all of the hard work you and others do to help us all save a buck!!!

Elizabeth

Laura, I find the pictures very helpful. I always check SYS to start my list based on your pictures and stockpile list. Then I check Macomb Money Saves to finalize my list. You do a great job!

Christy

I enjoy your site the way you do it. I understand that you are juggling a lot and to shop (more than likley with your toddler in tow), come home and display everything before putting it away to take a picture is time consuming in and of itself. Then to itemize everything individually telling scenarious...... well I realize I prefer all of the other advice you spend your time giving. Keep up the good work!

Julie

I love your blog! Don't change the photos! I think it's great when you find more items on sale when you are out shopping. This is YOUR blog and you can organize it the way you want. There are many money saving blogs out there for people to find what they like. Yours is encouraging and I hope you keep up the good work! Thank you for all you do.

Tracey

Love your blog the way it is! You made it pretty clear that you don't list all the deals and coupon match ups because other blogs already cover that! Its super easy just to click on one of the other Blog links and pull them up. Thanks for all you do!!

Nikki

Hey Laura, I agree that I like the pictures. I go to Macomb Money Savers and Coupon Crazy Chrys for my match-ups. I love seeing the pics because I like to compare my shopping trips to yours. Your site is very personal and educational. Thanks for all you do!

Pat

I love the pix!!!

Anonymous

Hi Laura,
I'm thankful for your blog. It is one of the blogs I visit every day and if it hadn't been for "accidentally" finding your blog one day (before I began spending coupons), I wouldn't be saving the money I am for my family!

I enjoy your blog because of its variety. I enjoy the recipes, I loved your class, I find the videos EXTREMELY helpful, and I love seeing the pictures you take of your shopping trips. Yes, it takes time, so if you can manage it, I truly appreciate it!

Take care,
PAM

Nikki

I vote for keeping the pictures! Just taking those pictures is a lot of work!

On a weekly basis I visit no less than 3 different blogs to create my shopping lists. Saving upwards of 80% on your grocery bill is a lot of work! The boggers AND COMMENTS provide invaluable information, and since you have the info in other posts or only a click away to other blogs, I don't think it needs to be duplicated again!

Thank YOU Laura, for all that you do! I really appreciate how your blog IS unique!

Pam

Laura - Please don't let this one person spoil such great blog. I discovered your site last fall and I am hooked. I check in with you everyday. I hope you don't feel cyber stalked :)

Obviously, you put a ton of time and love into this project. I love it just how it is. You are a real mom, with the same issues we all have. I love your links, advice, pictures and support. It has truly changed how I shop. I must admit that I too get very giddy when I see the savings, it is an addiction. Keep up the GREAt job sister!!!!

Robyn

KEEP the pictures. I frequent about 6 blogs everyday and between each of them I am able to create my own shopping experiences, i've learned that it's never the same for anyone...sorry some have to be rude. keep up the good work!

Christine

I love the pictures. I know if you bought it there must be a great deal so I go looking for it :) A quick Goodle search will allow anyone to find deal specifics.

ashley

Keep the pictures! I know where to find the deals but it takes some work and your pics do encourage me to shop smarter. Don't take that 0.01% of people so seriously....they are greatly in the minority correct?!

Anonymous

Hey Laura,

I personally like the way you do things. Other blogs give lists of where and how to score the best deals. I think keep doing what you have been....although, I would like a few more of your cooking demo's. I LOVE to cook and always looking for new ideas for cheap and easy cooking. Have you ever checked out the hillbilly housewife website? Lots of great recipe ideas that use items that frugal and usually on hand.

Keep on inspiring us to save a few bucks ; )
Lori

*Kim*

Don't change a thing! I love your blog. And,while I'm not nearly as savvy as you when it comes to couponing, and shopping, I have used many of your tips and tricks when shopping to save a little bit here and there. I love seeing the pictures because it allows me to visualize what you're buying. I find them all very beneficial and I would like to see them stay! Keep it up, you're a blessing to so many of us and I've learned a lot from your blog in just a few short months of following :)

Anonymous

Keep the pictures. I think they are neat to look at and see what you are buying and I often try in my head after reading the other blogs on how you got to your total.

Maybe if you spend RR $ off your next order coupons you can list that out since they might help people know how the total might be lower than what we can get, if we don't have the RR.

karrieflood

I love your blog. Keep up the good work and thank you, I have learned alot.

Jessica

Your site is great! Don't change a thing. I also stumbled upon your site on accident, and now seem to be pulling it up multiple times per day just to make sure I've not missed anything!

I've utilized so many features of your blog and would hate to see you discontinue certain things just because a small amount of people are being hateful. As people have already said - it takes work to save money!!

And, for those people out there who are unhappy with Laura's posts - that little red X in the upper right hand corner should solve your problem quite nicely.

Laura, you are a blessing and the posts above are a testament to that. Keep up the fabulous work! God is truly working through you.

Kate

Keep the pictures! I'm always amazed with the deals you get. While I would love to know how many coupons, ECB, RR, etc., that you used to get the deals, I know you don't have the time. Love your blog and it's uniqueness! Don't let a couple bad apples ruin the bunch (especially if you can get them at a reduced price early in the morning at Meijer and make some cheap homemade applesauce)!

Anonymous

OMG! I just read the whole post by this person! (both of them) What a rude and awful person! I am sorry Laura that you had to get such mean comments. I like the way you do your blog. It is inspiring. I like that is different from all the other blogs. I have numerous blogs I look to each day and I picked your as one of them that I use because it isn't like all the rest. You have wonderful tips that you put together this month. I enjoyed watching them. I think that they are very informative ideas that many couponers could use. Thank you for such a wonderful blog that you obviously put your heart and soul into. I love the pictures the tips and links and everything else on this blog. Please don't change because of this one person. (Who should just not visit this site if they are so unhappy. And keep thier "sincere" rude comments to themselves!)
And as you can see by all the comments here.... you are offering us the "readers" somethimg important and useful. Don't let this one person get you down. Your blog is important to all of us.

Mom C

Laura, I love your blog. I visit it a lot and have been to your class 3 different times so I'm beginning to get this couponing thing down. I also know that I'll never be able to replicate and spend as little as you do. In fact, I find it quite amazing when I see your low, low totals. I was so excited to see that my January totals are only $350 and I am I tickled pink with that number! So many of us want to be spoon fed. I've checked numerous blogs in hopes of replicating a great deal but I also realize how much time it takes me so it must take you even more time to run your own family and then keep your blog current, informative, fun & different. Don't change anything. We all need to find our own way and you detailing everything down to the smallest iota really doesn't help us grow and learn. Thanks for helping me to be a better steward of all that God has given me! Have a wonderful & blessed day! Barb

booklover

Laura,
Let me begin with something my mom used to tell us when we would allow other people's mean words hurt us..."Don't let people live rent-free in your mind". Don't for a second let this mean spirited person ruin the blessings of your day!! I am so impressed you can take photos of your shopping...I can barely get mine out of the bags!!!
Keep up the great work...you bless a huge group of people who, like me forget to say thanks as much as we should!!
Nanc

~Janet~

Laura, I love the pictures! I check out so many blogs just looking at great savings pictures. I frequent MANY grocery blogs that help me put together my list of great deals. I feel like your blog does a great job helping me "every day coupon". You remind me of things that aren't necessarily store specific - like remember to grab the blinkies, or comparison shop, pay attention to prices, etc. Don't get rid of the pictures just because someone wants you to do ALL of the work for them, instead of working to help themselves!

Carrie

The Anonymous poster is just a big goober! If Good triumphs over evil, then hundreds of positive comments can certainly overwhelm one big, goobery comment. Buck up. Don't change!

*

First, I enjoy your blog.

However, respectfully, I could do w/out the pics of the shopping trips.

Although "anonymous" could have (should have) chosen her words more politely, I tend to agree with her...

The posts are really meaningless without any guidance as to how to achieve the same result (presuming that is the goal of the reader).

I much more enjoy/personally benefit from the grocery game plan and things like your recent 31 video tips.

However, in the end, it is *YOUR* blog. You do with it what you wish....as a reader if I don't benefit then I can simply not follow it anymore....as I have done very recently with about 40 other blogs (seriously!)

Sandy

I *love* your blog!! Don't change a THING about the blog or yourself. You are a wonderful gift to all of us. I pray that you can forget that negative comment and focus on these positive ones (maybe print them out?). THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all the hundreds of hours you spend to help others!!

*

(Wow. Just read all of the other comments....I feel like a salmon swimming upstream :)
At least I was nice though!)

Becky C

Laura...you are an inspiration to SO many (as evidenced by all these positive comments).
Please don't let snotty anonymous comments make you think for a second that you have done something wrong here. You offer such valuable information...for FREE. Your blog has been truly budget-changing for me and my family. Keep up the good work!

jskell911

I think, we as bloggers, tend to forget that we MUST write first and foremost for ourselves. It is great to have readers (and yeah we crave the feedback LOL), but at the end of the day it is our blog to do with what we prefer to do. Honestly, if we do not follow that golden rule, then it's just another job isn't it?

Audrey From Indiana

Thank you for all you do. Those who don't like you can, well, not read. I like your pictures because I can visually take in information from Macomb Money Saver and Coupon Saving Chrys and "see" how is translates.
Thanks for everything!
~ Your faithful indiana follower!

Saving in the "D"

I would just ignore the comments like that, Laura. As shown by your growing followers and most of the comments made above, people love your blog! If they didn't, they wouldn't be reading it. I love your shopping pictures and it gives me something to strive for! As far as how you achieve these results, I think you make it pretty clear that you use other blogs such as Macomb Money Savers or Coupon Crazy Chrys to snatch these deals. I have never been perplexed as to your results (without doing a little research and reading viewers comments). I don't think you are trying to hide anything, you are just trying to preserve time with your family. I respect that!

SARA

I think that lady was having a very bad day and decided to take it out on you. You are doing a fantastic job, you provide a great service that so many people obviously use, and it is impossible to make 100% of people happy. 'Nuff said.

Laura Webber

Thank you so much for all of the kind responses! I had been assuming that the majority of my readers either were OK with the pictures or were indifferent to them at least.

I just don't want to be writing specific posts each week that are not helpful to my readers!

Seriously, you guys are the the BEST!!!

Carrie

Hi Laura - I'm going to chime in and say I love the pictures too. If I see you saved $ on something I didn't know was on sale, it's rare. And that inspires me to check out Macomb Money Savers or your "game plan" posts again to figure out the deal!

I agree with someone above who said if you are spending RR or a Catalina you got in a previous week to lower your spend, then you might want to mention that when you put in the total. Otherwise I think it's pretty easy to go from the game plan to the totals. I know the Electrasol specifically, you mentioned that it was part of the Mega deal. Or wait, was it Ms. Macomb Money Savers that did? Either way...I pulled up that particular Kroger picture and totally "got" what you did.

I'm also kind of a ball-park girl, so if it is easier to omit the "cents" part of the figures - I'd do it! However, I've noticed that many couponers tend to be really into the cents!

Keep on it, Laura! You're doing a great job!

Julie

I, too, vote to keep the pictures.
Not all your readers have access to the same stores you shop. I see no need to breakdown each trip into sale prices and unadvertised specials and clearance finds and their matching coupons. Simply seeing the savings between the shelf price and your out of pocket is inspiring and reinforces the idea that you really do know what you're talking about.
I haven't been following your blog all that long, but I guess if you came across something so wonderful that no one else in the blogosphere discovered yet, you would probably share the details.
Thanks.

Coley

Laura, I love your site especially because it is different than other sites. I love MMS and Jolyn for her matchups, but I dont feel like it would be helpful to see that twice. I like that you tend to give us more of a view of life as a couponer/mom/frugalista.

Coley

Laura, I love your site especially because it is different than other sites. I love MMS and Jolyn for her matchups, but I dont feel like it would be helpful to see that twice. I like that you tend to give us more of a view of life as a couponer/mom/frugalista.

Christine Bare heart4splkidz

Please dont allow one or 2 people cause you to stop what youre doing. I am sorry that you have to encounter such negativity. I have been truely inspired by your blog and as a single mom on a tight budget without child support I grately appreciate all the effort that you put into your blog. The tips were awesome. I just started this past month with coupons and weekly sales. I still have a lot to learn. I feel that you help me to get on that path and I do check out several other blogs as well that you list.

Anonymous

Hi Laura,

I love the pictures. It's like "proof" that the scenarios we're all trying to duplicate really work. It's encouraging and exciting to see them. Keep up the great work. I visit every day and love what you do!
Merri B

Shannon C

Don't let some grumpy person make you second guess what you are doing. I think the majority of us enjoy every part of your blog.. and if some people do not.. then thay can go find some one else to pester. You are a Wife and Mother first, I wouldnt waste your time reposting what others have on their blog. I look at your blog for an idea of what is going on that week.. if I want more detail I go to macomb money savers. I have you both saved on my favorites so it is just one click away. You are an amazing woman who has taught this stay at home mom, how to save money and how to give back to my community.. so thank you for all you do.

Tamara

I love the pics! Keep them coming!
I am sorry you got such a rude comment.
Also, your thirty one tips video series was great! My favorite tip was the paperclip one. I can't believe I never thought of that! Saves me SO much time!

Anonymous

Wow,apparently some people are unwilling to make the effort to work for the results. I am so pleased that you and others are willing to share their knowledge and w/o reserve I might add. I love to see the pictures. Please know the one does not speak for the many. Sad for them.

Lisa

Laura, I can't imagine how anyone could find your blog UNhelpful! I have come across countless couponing/frugal living blogs over the past several months and yours is one that definitely stands out. I check in every single day. I especially enjoyed your January Tip of the Day series. As for the comments that prompted this post, I suspect that for some people, nothing you can do short of actually going out and doing their grocery shopping for them will be enough. Everyone wants the fabulous deals that are there for the taking at the stores with coupons, but not everyone wants to do the work it takes to bring them home. Just a long-winded way of saying don't change a thing, I love your blog!!

Amy

It is out of your grace that we are able to learn what we learn. This is all free assistance and I for one am VERY grateful. I say take what you can from it and ignore anything that is not helpful (it's all helpful for me though).

You are truly a blessing for me. I am sad your Jan visual tips are done. LOL They were very helpful!! I looked forward to them EVERYDAY!

Many blessings to you and yours Laura,
Amy Arnaut
Livonia, MI

The Pohl Family

WOW! Ok first as many others I know Laura, we attend the same church, and I have attended a class. However, I didn't know Laura (even though I had been attending church for over a year) until I read the article in "The Parent Journal". This is how I came to meet her and her site, then introduced myself to her at church. The best thing I ever found and did, when it comes to saving and finding an "honest, truthful" person.

As many others and myself, Laura has a family, she has a toddler who keeps her busy as does mine. Whew, that should be enough said.

Seriously though I just don't get what is wrong with some people? Just like over at macombmoneysavers.com, people keep taking her info without giving her credit.

Laura, you do a wonderful job, and you have more then made it clear that you are not going to be as detailed as some other blogs. You direct us to where we need to go to find more details, just as some of these other blogs do. You have never ever miss lead any of us to believe that you would do other wise.

I faithfully check your blog as well as many many others, and I have many on my facebook page where I see deals faster then checking in on these blogs.

I glanced at each post and they seem to be pretty much the same, "stay the way you are". Pictures are the best thing, they give us a visual, which I love.

You also said something that is very true. You post what your plan is, but once you get in the store you may find something that is a good deal that has not been posted or put in the ad. I find these deals all the time. I know the rule is to go in with a plan but we always shop all the clearance Isles, and go Isle to Isle so we don't miss a good deal. I always have all my coupons with me.

I hear all the time from people "I have no time to coupon" , "I work full time". Very true that it is time consuming but if you really want to save you have to find time, most of these blogs can help with some of that, but we can not rely 100% on these nice people, such as Laura, to do all the work. These bloggers get tips from others daily (I see it all the time on FB) and this is how "We all work together".

Laura I am so sorry that someone can be like this. You have taught me so much, and directed me in all the right directions. I am so glad that I ran across that article and glad that I have been able to personally meet you.

Theresa

I always think of those picture posts like a puzzle...kind of like "Coupon Sudoku!" I work backwards and try to figure out what you did.

Anonymous

I LOVE your blog! I have been super couponing for more then a year now and usually know what you are doing by seeing your pictures. For instance I used your picture last week to see that huggies wipes were on sale and stocked up!!!

I do wonder... silently though... how using all of your walgreens/cvs rewards factors into your overall spending. We just started a budget at the beginning of 2010 and I was trying to figure out if this would be good for our family. The only thing I think, is that if you use all of your walgreens rewards at the grocery store, then your overall spending would be way different.

For instance, you might spend $15 at walgreens to get the rewards (so you have high spending there with no savings) and then you would only spend $2 at the grocery store using your register rewards.. right? So it maybe be helpful to track along side your minimal grocery spending... your drugstore spending - which I always just assume is very high.

I wouldn't change anything AT ALL! I love your blog, especially the cooking sections!!!

Lisa

Laura-
I love the pictures. Many times I would have missed a great deal had I not seen your photos. The photos are also a great visual to help me look for the product on the shelf. They really are helpful. I'm sorry that one persons negativity weighs so heavily on your shoulders. You are amazing and I wouldn't change a thing.

Lisa

Staying Lean

I vote to keep the pictures as well. I think the pictures and the final results are a quick reference for everyone to show what you can get to if you implement the strategies. I think that people need to understand that the reason there are so many bloggers and room for many more is that everyone takes their own approach and highlights different things. There is a metro Detroit blogger that details all her trips adn if you need that go to her blog for that come here for something else and go to another blog for match-ups. That's just the way it is. If you aren't getting all the information you would like from this blog try following 3 or 4 more metro Detroit blogs. If you do that you should have a complete picture and have everything you need.

Wesley and Laureen

I like the pictures. It helps to see the actual product you bought. And knowing you only buy items with coupons, I can check out other sites for those coupons. It's not really going to hurt anyone to do a little work themselves when it comes to couponing; whether that be tracking down a website with coupon info or not.

Keep up the great work!!

camiller1234

Laura-Please keep the pictures coming. If someone has been couponing for any amount of time, they will find that deals vary by region/store. I have found many great deals (on blogs) at for instance, Wal Mart, only to find my Wal Mart did not offer the item at that price. One store does not fit all, if you will. Your pictures/scenarios give you an idea of a deal that COULD be found at your local store, but they should check to be sure!
Keep up the good work!!

Mom to Alexa, Elyse and *Audrey*

Hey Laura - so I must confess I may have helped start this problem in the first place, since my suggestion on what I wanted to see in 2010 on your blog was MORE PICTURES!!!! They are not the most informative, but they are inspiration so please, keep 'em comin'!!!

Kathy

Laura, I found your bog through our caseworker for Adoption, Heidi. First, I enjoy your blog just the way it is. Second, after volunteering many years for various organizations, a rule that all have is that a comment/letter which is not signed by the author receives no attention or action. Simply because how do you resolve "an issue" with no one. Additionally, if your name is attached to your words, usually you are more polite. That's my two cents for what they're worth.

Thank you for the time you spend sharing what you can.
Kathy

Gina

Hi Laura. That was a little harsh. If she doesn't like how you do it, she should read a different blog (said in the nicest way possible!). I love seeing what you get and often go out and do the same thing. Keep em coming!

Kristin

Hi Laura... I appreciate EVERYTHING you do!!!! I love the pictures because typically that is when I call hubby over and say LOOK... here is proof that couponing works and see how much SHE paid and saved. Hehe. He loves it! We've gone shopping twice together and been able to save 49%, and 55% respectively and he was amazed. He tells me all the time, thank you for working so hard to save us money. I could NOT do that without you, MMS and other sites!!

I think you put it very eloquently- if you don't apppreciate it, then don't read! Someone cannot expect you to hold their hand through all the motions. I still have to clip my coupons, organize my plan of attack, and save money myself!! This person should realize they have to do the same- if you want the result, you have to put in the effort!!

:) Keep it up, you are fabulous!!