About LWSL

Ruth Profile 2013 Rounded

About Me…

Hi there, I’m Ruth!

This is what you need to know about me:

I am  a writer, entrepreneur, occasional DIYer, busy mom to two beautiful girls, wife to my wonderful husband of eight years, and above all, a child of a loving and gracious God who lifted me out of a life of depression and despair.  My greatest passion is my family and creating a home filled with joy and purpose.

How It All Began…

I started writing Living Well Spending Less in 2010 because my spending habits had become so out-of-control that my marriage was literally on the brink of collapse.  I desperately needed to find a way to hold myself accountable, and writing about my challenges with living well on a budget really helped.

Spending wildly wasn’t something I did intentionally, but the more I tried to fill my inner void with stuff, the more unsatisfied I felt.

But now, four years later, I have come to some important realizations.  First, I’ve realized that I actually like saving money.  Sticking to a budget forces me to tap into a creativity I never knew existed, and it is surprisingly fun and satisfying.

Second, and even more importantly, my definition of what “Living Well” means has changed.  I’ve realized that all those things I thought I wanted and needed don’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of things, and a life well lived is not so much about what we have as who we are.

About LWSL 01

What It’s All About…

Living Well Spending Less is the chronicle of my adventure of finding the Good Life (on a budget).  To me this means a life rich with faith, family, friends, & creativity, and I’m so glad you stopped by to join me on this journey.

If this is your first time visiting, I’d love for you to get to “know” me better.  If you’ve got lots of time, start by reading my depression story, and then read why I took all my kids’ toys away or  why I make my bed every day.  That will pretty much bring you up to speed with where I’ve been, who I am, and how I tick.

About LWSL 2

Here at LWSL you will find a selection of posts as varied as my own interests.  These are just a few of the topics I write about regularly:

What It’s Not About….

I don’t write specifically about the subject of blogging or how to start a blog here at LWSL, but I do love helping and mentoring other bloggers!  If you are interested in learning more about how to start a blog or how to make money blogging, please check out my best-selling eBook, How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul).  You also can check out my other resources for bloggers, including my free printable blog planner and options for one-on-one blog consulting.

Let’s Connect….

I’d love for you to join me on Facebook, either at the main Living Well Spending Less Page, where I share the latest posts from LWSL, or in the LWSL Private Facebook Group, where more than 26,000 readers gather to share money-saving tips, encouragement, and ideas.  I also welcome you to follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Instagram.  You can also email me at Ruth@LivingWellSpendingLess.com

Additionally, I appear regularly on SW Florida’s WINK News,write a bi-monthly column for Harbor Style Magazine, and am currently working on my next book, Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life (Zondervan) which will be released December 30th, 2014.

If you are interested in having me speak at your next event, please check out my speaking page.

About LWSL 3

I’ve Got Great Support…

Over the past few years, this blog and business has blossomed beyond what I can manage all on my own, even as a full-time job.  I’ve been very blessed with the support of some amazing people who work behind the scenes to keep this site running and still allow me enough time to write, create, cook, and keep my family a priority.

  • Chuck is my amazing husband, the stay-at-home dad to our two beautiful girls, the packer of lunches, overseer of homework, master of laundry stains, and daily runner of a gazillion errands.  He is the one who keeps me balanced and sane, the one who has eased into this completely new role with grace and patience and an attention to detail that I have never managed to master.  We would be lost without him.
  • Natalie is my absolutely incredible Executive Assistant, and pretty much the other half of my brain.  She keeps my work life running smoothly, manages my email and my schedule and just generally keeps me from losing my mind.  She handles all advertising & speaking requests, pays invoices, manages payroll, makes travel arrangements, helps research blog post topics, assists with social media, helps organize special events, giveaways, and projects, and moderates the private Living Well Spending Less Facebook groups.  She is also a huge source of encouragement and in general just a fun person to be around!
  • Bree is the most recent addition to the team, she is my very talented Graphic & Copywriting Assistant. She does most of the photo editing here at Living Well Spending Less.  In addition to some creative design skills, she is also a Marketing whiz – she helps to come up with unique ways to highlight all of the awesome stuff we do here at LWSL.
  • Heather is my super awesome web designer.  She keeps this site looking pretty and makes sure all the behind-the-scenes technical stuff that I don’t quite understand happens the way it is supposed to.  She also designs all my pretty buttons and series graphics.
  • Charles is my accountant and bookkeeper.  He makes sure I’m not spending more than I earn and that all this confusing business, payroll, & tax stuff of mine that is required for running a business is on the up & up.
  • Samantha is my PR Manager.  She and her awesome team at Pushing the Envelope help plan & coordinate media events, book promotions, & all other publicity.

 

All photos courtesy of Angela Clifton Photography in Tampa, Florida

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Printing a coupon or ordering a product through this link may result in a commission, which helps pay for the cost of running this site and keeps the content free. Read my full disclosure policy here.

{ 183 comments… add one }

  • Amy Dean January 11,

    Oh dear!! I need help… how do I get started?? I dont wanna turn into a Hoarder by buying stuff I dont use… HELP

    Reply
    • Ruth January 13,

      Try starting with week one of my Beginner’s Guide to Coupons (under Couponing 101 on the nav bar.) Stockpiling is definitely not the same as hoarding–you can always donate the things your own family won’t or can’t use!

      Reply
  • Shannon January 21,

    Hey,
    I got to your site via a comment by you on another blog. I’m going to Blissdom, too. Driving up to Nashville from the Pensacola area. And, we are both tall, except you are much taller. I’m only 5’10″ (and I don’t say “only” before my heighth very often!!!). I look forward to meeting a fellow blogger/tall girl/Floridian at the conference.

    Shannon

    Reply
    • Jesse November 16,

      Shannon, I would love to check out your blog!

      Reply
  • Kelly February 3,

    So glad I found this. Can’t wait to follow!

    Reply
  • micaela February 4,

    hey! i found your site via youtube, and it’s great! i was just wondering though if those were really your kids names? or if you just didn’t want to use thier real names (which is understandable) sorry if this is random! thanks for all you do!

    Reply
    • Ruth February 4,

      Thanks Micaela! I’m so glad you like my blog. To answer your question, those are just their nicknames. My husband and I decided it would be better to protect their privacy just a little (you know, aside from posting videos and pictures on the world wide web on a daily basis.) :-)

      Reply
  • Amy Dean February 22,

    Ruth, bout forgot , My friend and I started a “at home” business called Sophia’s Fancies ( named after her little girl that was born with Miller-Dieker Lissencephaly. We make Hair Bows and Diaper Wipe cases and flowers and such. I wanted to send some bows to Trouble and Princess but need your address. You can email me if you want so its not all over the web where you live. We are also on Facebook if you wanna check us out! Maybe Trouble and Princess could wear them in a trip to Publix!
    Amy

    Reply
    • Ruth February 23,

      Amy, that is so sweet of you! As the mom of girls, I am addicted to hair bows. I will email you my address. :-)

      Reply
  • trish February 26,

    I have to laugh so excited! I just heard about your blog from friend! When she was describing you, I was invisioning you. Only to find out, it is you. Congrads! on the blog! How is the house coming? The girls look great!
    ~trish

    Reply
    • Ruth February 26,

      Trish, I’m so glad to hear from you!

      You know you were partially responsible for this blog….you were the one that told me about Southern Savers, which is what got me back into couponing, which is what led me to start this little blog, which has sort-of taken on a life of its own! :-)

      The house looks a lot better now than it did when you saw it! We have floors and a kitchen, so that is an improvement. It is still not quite done, but very livable so we are happy.

      How are your kids? How’s the baby? How are you??! Shoot me an email or look me up on Facebook…I’d love to catch up!

      Reply
  • Mariel March 8,

    Hi Ruth!!!, I just starting couping about two weeks ago. Between being a single mom, two part time jobs, a full time student and helping with my parents grocery list as well, I decided to do coupons!. Now even my dad helps me out figuring out what to buy, its kind of cute I must accept!.
    I have gotten to save 50% percent of my bill, but my dream is to go far! ($200 like your last one!) .
    I kind of need help trying to figuring out how to stash the coupons to get the best out of them.

    BTW you got a beautiful family, trouble reminds me of my daughter at Publix, if I dont get the cookie first, the shopping experience might not be as pleasant lol.

    Mariel

    Reply
    • Ruth April 8,

      Thank you Mariel. I hope your couponing is going well!

      Reply
  • Sandra March 10,

    Hi, you’re such an inspiration. I’m going to start couponing, first things first

    Reply
  • Sandra March 10,

    Lol, I accidentally pressed enter. but first thing first I need to buy ink, lol. Anyhow but you know you can donate your expire coupons to military bases. Military commisaries are filled with coupons, which I love it takes away the leg work :). Here’s the site if you’re willing to donate those expired coupons up to 2 months http://www.ocpnet.org/.

    Reply
    • Ruth April 8,

      Thanks for the tip Sandra! I will definitely do that.

      Reply
  • Shaina March 13,

    Hey Ruth,

    I have some Huggies coupons. I also have a Dominick’s Freezer Coupon book that I’m not going to use…. interested? They’re all manufacturer coupons.

    Reply
  • sandi March 14,

    I like that…I am not a cheapskate; on the contrary, I love to shop. (My husband might tell you that I live to shop). My husband would say the same! Saving money is like a fun shopping game! lol

    Reply
  • jean March 16,

    Hey Ruth! I love both of your websites! I would love for you to post something specifically about shopping at Publix in Florida since they have different policies on BOGO than other states. We live in Georgia but often go to Florida to a family home there. I am becoming adept at shopping in Georgia, just not sure how it would change at the Florida Publix stores. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Amy March 17,

    I am about 3 weeks into my “extreme couponing”. I stick to Publix mainly but have made some trips to Kroger and Walgreens. My question is how do you get multiple printable coupons for one item. When I print online most of the time I can only get 2. I was lucky enough to get 4 country crock coupons for Publix this week but all the others were only 2. Thanks.

    BTW- saved $200, paid $84. Between 4 shopping trips so far.

    Reply
    • Ruth April 8,

      The limit for most coupons is 2 per computer, so you have to use multiple computers. I use my 2 very old laptops to print additional coupons, but only if I really need them because they take forever to turn on and load!

      Great job!

      Reply
    • sherrycarter May 5,

      I would like to learn how to coupon. I would like someone to show me how to do it. thank you

      Reply
  • Liz March 28,

    Hello Ruth,

    I found your website via you tube and i loved the videos ..Your girls are just gorgeous and your clips are so real , when we going shopping we have good days and some not too good days , but as a mother we know how it is .I loved the videos and i will be following your website. Now I followed southern savers and Faithful Provisions I am in Nashville ,TN and I will be relocating to Florida in Summer and I heard that Florida don’t have a lot of the grocery stores like here we had Kroger, Food Lions etc. I love Publix and i hope i can still find awesome deals over there. Thanks for the time and efforts that you make for us … We know is a lot of work …gracias.

    Reply
    • Ruth April 8,

      Thanks Liz. We definitely don’t have the nice variety of stores here in Florida that you do in TN. I mostly shop at Publix, but occasionally at Winn-Dixie. Albertsons is also found in some places, but not where I am. Luckily Publix has some great sales almost every week, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out too much. For drugstores we have CVS and Walgreens. No stores double coupons in Florida per state law.

      Reply
  • Mara April 8,

    I too am in Florida. So when you shop and I watch your videos it is a little more realistic to me. Since you are speaking of the same sales and stores. Beautiful family and I think at some point we all realize and look at our accounts and say ” there has got to be a better way”. My husband laughed as I started getting I would say obsessed with finidng ways to save money. But now it is the topic of his conversations with friends. lol He is so excited to come home and see what deals I have found. I dont have a crazy stockpile. I find what I can even if it is one item I can get with a deal at the store. But when he sees the pennies I have paid. The look on his face ” priceless”. Keep up the great work.

    Reply
  • Brittany April 8,

    Hi Ruth,

    I found your blog after searching “Extreme Couponing” on you tube! :) I just started couponing a couple of months ago. I loved your videos but I live in Tennessee and we don’t have a Publix grocery store here. I do all my shopping at Kroger (and do the whole CVS thing) since they seem to have the best prices. They don’t have a lot of store coupons or coupon booklets like it appears Publix does, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to save as much as you seem to. Do you have any tips for shopping at a store that doesn’t offer store coupon booklets (like Kroger)? I always seem to be able to save at least $30 on each shopping trip, but I still seem to spend at least $60 and with our limited budget these days, I want to get it way down like you always seem to!

    Can you please help?

    Thanks!

    Brit

    Reply
  • Brittany April 8,

    One other question I forgot to ask: Do you have multiple newspaper subscriptions to get all your coupons or do you subscribe to a clipping service? Newspapers in Knoxville are EXPENSIVE, so I can’t afford to get multiple subscriptions, but it seems silly to pay for coupons, too, so what do you recommend?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • jennifer April 11,

    Hi Ruth!

    I recently lost my job and I am horrified by the (minimum) $200 grocery bill I spend each week. I have two boys who eat like horses and they are mortified that our pantry is empty. I told them to hold on,,,,I’ve stock piled coupons and I’m learning a new trade. Your website is a blessing and I’m taking my first baby step tomorrow to Kroger to shop for my three items. I’m really nervous, it sounds so confusing, but I am confident with you on the I Phone that I will do great! Thank you so much for putting this out there and sharing with all of us your wizdom!

    Reply
  • Kelsey April 12,

    So glad I found this! I found your videos on youtube and am loving them. I’ve been using coupons for months now, but need to get better about couponing. I also noticed you mention in your “Mom’s Night In” post that your husband graduated high school the year before you were born. My boyfriend and I are the same way – I love running across people who have age differences :)

    Reply
  • Stacy April 18,

    Ruth,
    I just wanted to say thank you for posting the “how to” videos on the web about couponing. I have always loved to shop and get a real kick out of all the B1G1 free deals at Winn-Dixie but have very rarely used coupons before. However, my husband and I are trying to be good stewards of the money and resources God has given us… which lead us to start to couponing. Funny enough we make more now than we ever have our 11 years of marriage. It has only been two weeks since we started but I went on YouTube to try and figure out the best way to do this and was a little frustrated with the all the videos that had such little information and a ton of fluff. However, with your videos I found just the opposite. While waiting in the doctor’s office for my mother appointment to end I watched every video you have posted on my iphone. I love how you filmed while actually at the stores. You make it seem easy and not so overwhelming. Because of your helpful tips in two weeks we have saved over $300. That is money that we would have spent anyway. And on Friday I got my first free item! 3 bottles of glass cleaner for free and with two small children at home we use it! Thank you, thank you, and thank you for all the wonderful resources you provide.

    Reply
  • Marie April 20,

    Dear Ruth,
    Your website is awesome! I stumbled across one of your videos on Youtube, and then started reading everything on your website. My first day I got 2 candy snickers easter eggs for free!! The next day I put together everything to organize my coupons, and made a couple more trips to different stores and I saved a minimum of 49%, and its only been 4 days since I started! Your Beginner’s guide is great!
    I’m looking forward to getting even better at this and getting even better deals. It’s so much fun. Thank you!
    I do have a question about “money makers”, what are those and how do they work? and is that why some people get paid at the end of their transactions?

    Thanks again!

    Marie

    Reply
    • Ruth April 20,

      Thank you for your sweet comments Marie.

      To answer your question, a “money maker” is an item that is less than free after coupons and/or drugstore dollars (Register Rewards, UP Rewards, Extra Care Bucks.) For instance, if X brand pasta is on sale for $0.75 and you have a $1/1 coupon for X brand pasta, you will make a profit of $0.25 for that item. Some stores allow overage and some don’t, but at stores that do allow overage, the “money makers” can help pay for the rest of your groceries.

      Reply
  • Josie April 22,

    Hello, I live in Florida too very close to you, I found you via you tube and I have just started to coupon I was wondering where you get all your coupons from is it just the newspapers and stores ads??? THanks,

    Reply
  • Debbie April 27,

    Thankyou Ruth! I always have used coupons but I never get any BIG saves.. I have a tendency to cut out more then I need.. But I never really thought of the CVS deals etc. Until recently, I got the Nivea body wash @ .88 and the Schick Hydro 5 deal. My husband is set for razors for the next year! lol .. Anyway you get some awesome deals, wish I could get some like that but many of our stores don’t do the BOGO free deals. that’s the bad thing. Those that do are usually Jewel and they are so overpriced anwyay! But I’m definitely going to start paying more attention to CVS/Walgreens deals and watching my coupons for the best deals. I’ve got a family of 6 along with 2 dogs and 3 cats that I need to cater too.. And given gas prices here in IL (4.28 a gallon today) it can only help me! Thanks so much!

    Reply
  • Nicole April 28,

    Hi Ruth.I just love your sites and all the helpful tips you give on how to save with coupons (I’m on my fourth week now) but the biggest problem I’m having is knowing what items are really a good price.I know that just because it is on “sale” doesn’t mean “rock bottom.” I am trying to start a price book and wondered if you have done this or what your opinion about a price book would be. Or have you ever thought about putting together a list of grocery items and the best prices you have found for them (as if you didn’t have enough to d0)on your site?

    Reply
  • Ashley May 12,

    OK, so I have a question about the laser printer you suggested in your beginners guide to couponing. Does it only print in black? Will stores take the the printed coupons when they are only in black and white b/c I saw a post on another site that said one lady tried to use black/white coupons but they wouldn’t take them b/c the store said they were copied not printed. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Alexaus Hardy May 15,

    What a cute family you have! I really enjoy your blog and I I get excited when there is a new feed on my google reader (RSS). I really enjoy the videos and I love how organized your site its. It’s so easy to navigate.

    Reply
  • Angela May 16,

    Hi Ruth. You have an amazing website. I’ve been to other websites and I must say, yours is organized and very well put together. I’m trying to figure out this whole couponing thing. I recently statred school and I am sick of peanut butter sandwiches. :) I also work at walgreens, so if you have any walgreens related questions, you can feel free to ask me. You also show what couponing is like in the real world. It’s great to see that real people can do it, and not that we’re buying things that can’t even use. You seem to only buy things that you can use, which I admire. You’re not wasteful.

    I was reading the couponing 101 and I saw that you suggested to try to get the newspaper company to try to give you more than one insert. How do you suggest I do this? Thank you. Angela

    Reply
    • Ruth May 17,

      You could just try calling the subscription department to see if they would be willing to cut you a deal or give you extra inserts. It is a long shot, but you’ll never know if you don’t try.

      Reply
  • Christine May 17,

    I’m so glad I found this! I was watching Extreme Couponing on TLC last night for the first time and decided I’d love to start couponing to save my fiance and I some money before we get married and -viola- I stumbled upon YOU! :]] I can’t wait to start learning from you by reading all of your tips! I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

    Thanks!!

    Reply
  • Angela May 19,

    I went grocery shopping last night and saved $58! The most I’ve ever saved in one trip. It was awesome. My husband even gave me a high five as he saw the cost on the register going down! :) Thank you! :)

    Reply
    • Ruth May 20,

      Woo Hoo! Great Job Angela!

      Reply
  • Cindy May 19,

    Hi Ruth,
    I know that this should go in the gardening post of yours but I can’t find it right now. I am an organic gardener and feel chemical are not good for anyone especially young children. This website is a good one. I have used others too from search engines. http://www.organicgardenpests.com/organicpestcontrol3.html
    One website I found said to sprinkle cayene pepper o the leaves. It does help keep rid out of those pesky bugs. You have to sprinkle some on the leaves every other day or sooner if it rained to keep them away from eating the leaves. I would also do a search for whatever other animals are local to your area. Here in my area, I have to worry about rabbits and dears eating my leaves. squirrels taking blueberries off my blueberry bushes. I have a small wire fench around to try to keep rabbits and deer out.
    Good luck and happy gardening!

    Reply
    • Ruth May 20,

      Thanks for the advice and the link Cindy!

      Reply
  • dalitza rivera May 22,

    Hi I live in Puerto Rico and I have trouble finding coupons I dont know if you now any adress for mail coupons I hope you answer me.

    Reply
  • Jana Collier May 22,

    I am new with this coupon system but I want to learn more in order to help out my family. My dad shops all the time at grocery stores and said that you can only use one coupon per item. He is trying to say that if you buy multiple deodorants then you can only use one coupon for all of them. Is that true? Thanks and look forward to hearing from you soon. Also, do you know anyone in Dallas, Texas that is doing this. I would love to talk to them or even shop with them so I can learn the system better.

    Reply
  • Jana Collier May 22,

    Now, my dad says that you can use 1 coupon per item. I misunderstood him. Thanks.

    Reply
  • My3SonsPA May 25,

    It is nice to see another mother of young children deal hunting. It is nice to see that someone else has the same challenges I face with 3 under 3. Not being able to go shop with kids in tote, ect :)

    Reply
  • Elizabeth June 19,

    I cannot seem to print out any ‘printable’ coupons from my and it’s making me crazy! I know that I’m missing out on a lot of great coupons. Any suggestions form me? Because I can’t figure it out. I have an Apple computer… maybe that’s the reason? Any help would be so appreciated.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  • Marcella June 22,

    Ruth-

    I really like your site. May questions are as follows:
    1-Where is the free ebook available at? I can’t see to find the link to download the pdf
    2-So, I am Brand spanking new to this. I have been in the hospital for 3 1/2 weeks almost now due to a serious infection and surjury of my left hip joint and I have become “addicted” to the extreem couponing tv show and CAN’T wait to get started. I watched your very helpful info. video and plan to download your thoughtful free ebook (thanks – by the way!) However, I feel I speek for others when I say I’m interested in this new hobby, but with the many “extreem couponing” sites available, I don’t want learning how to do this to become confusing. I need to follow one method, one set of instructions and have it be very clear cut. Now that I’d watched your video, should I download your ebook and just follow it, sitcking to your site primarily to avoid convusion until I truly learn the ropes enough to go out and look at other sites and learn their methods too? Please , I need your friendly advice on this before I get started. I love your site and methods and feel in my heart that’s the best thing to do so I don’t get all scattered brained! Thanks! =)

    Reply
    • Ruth June 23,

      Here is the direct link to the eBook: http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/wp-content/documents/LWSL%20Beginner's%20Guide%20To%20Coupons%20eBook.pdf (copy & paste–for some reason it won’t hyperlink the whole thing)

      You can also access it by clicking the Coupons 101 tab above in the navigation bar, then scroll down to “LWSL BGTC Free eBook”

      To answer your second question, I am a big believer in starting slow, which you will discover very quickly if you follow the BGTC plan. There is so much information available that it is easy to get overloaded and overwhelmed. Hopefully LWSL (along with my sister site http://www.savingwellspendingless.com) will give you everything you need without overwhelming you. That said, there are lots of other great websites about couponing and saving money out there. I would start here, then, as you get the hang of things, add more if you feel you need it!

      Hope that helps & hope you are out of the hospital soon! :-)

      Reply
  • Stacey June 27,

    I just wanted to say, I love your website and videos!!! I have been on mutiple sites and find your site is the best. I will be telling all my friends and family about this site.

    Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Mike Smith June 30,

    I don’t know for sure, but I think I am the first male to comment here. J.K. (who cares anyway!) Me and my wife ran accross your you-tube work and both of us are impressed with what your doing. We only have four kids of our own and find just finding time to shop at all is a tall order. You have given me something no one else has on the internet and that is guts to go to the store with my kids. (Just kidding again). Being a stay-at-home dad I have found is no easy win, but I have ordered a Brother printer and am getting organized as I type, to save my family some cash. Thanks for the information you are providing!!! Don’t stop what you do! The Smith’s

    Reply
  • Nancy Rice July 18,

    Just found you via Angie in Punta Gorda. I am going to start couponing this week and have already told myself that I WILL NOT go to another grocery store etc…without coupons! I do have a questions though…what do you know about saving money on organic foods? We have really changed the way we are eating and I am thinking I will not be able to save that much on food but will on some other products. Do you know of any local place that sells organic and takes coupons? I am in Venice. Thanks, Nancy

    Reply
  • Nancy July 18,

    Me again…I found some coupons for organic foods at http://www.choicesnaturalmarket.com and find link to coupons. There is a Choices in Venice!

    Reply
  • Debbie August 9,

    I’m so excited I found ur website! I can’t to get started .. I love to save money so I’m looking forward too being ur friend and save lots a money!!! Have a Blessed Day! Debbie

    Reply
  • Jenia August 25,

    I have a question.. Could you email me about what you do with your expired coupon’s! My family is currently stationed in Okinawa Japan and we can use coupons for 6 months past expiration date.. Was wondering if you could put it out there in your videos that we are able to do that? Please email me if you can! Thank’s

    Reply
  • Hodgie Mama September 10,

    Why in the world does this woman not have her own television show? When you tell us to play nice and use the coupons the way they were intended, it is like the best Mom in the world telling children to play by the rules!
    Seriously, the networks are crazy not to have you doing a normal/nice/realistic show about couponing.
    Thanks so much for the sanity!-JMH

    Reply
  • lorel September 21,

    Hi Ruth!
    I’m a newbie to couponing. Realizing that if you can’t earn more you need to save more I tuned into TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” show over the Summer. Although that really is overboard for me to conceptualize how they buy $1000 for $10 bucks – my lightbulb went off. I was super excited to see “normal” couponers like you and your followers. My question is: How many or what is the quantity of each item should I aim for to start building my stock piles?

    Besides fresh produce & meat, I noticed most of our money was being spent on kid snacks, condimets & sauces, and toiletry items – which are often the most expensive things. How many of each item should I try to keep in stock or start my stockpile with?

    Thank you,
    L

    Reply
    • starbucksgirl October 5,

      L,

      You are going to save quite a bit of money if you spend in the areas of snacks, condiments, sauces and toiletry items. These items are usually free or close to free so you should do very well. Welcome to the world of couponing.

      In answer to your question there is no right answer to what you should purchase. Some people buy enough to last them through the next sales cycle. Most sales cycles run on a 3-month schedule although some have a shorter timeframe and some have a longer timeframe. If your family uses a particular product that is a very good price then you might want to stock up with as much as your family will use. There are some items that only go on sale once or twice a year and I usually stock up on these items for the whole year.

      Just remember that you can stock up on the item and get a raincheck if they are out of stock.

      Have fun!
      Kelly

      Reply
  • Dawn Sketch October 17,

    Reply
  • Adriana November 16,

    Ruth,
    Really enjoyed reading your About Me and visiting your site. Your experience sounds a lot like what I’m going through and feel compelled to share. I look forward to sharing stories with you!

    Adriana

    Reply
  • Karen November 30,

    Hello everyone, I just joined and have been doing this for a while but not saving very much especially at the CVS and Walgreens. But after watching your video and separating your order that may be my problem. I didn’t know you could do that. I need help in this area. And making my lists and how to keep your coupons. Any one want to help me out? Karen

    Reply
  • Amit December 23,

    Hi Ruth,

    I learned alot about couponing by watching your youtube videos.
    I havent seen any new videos on youtube since episode #13. Have you stopped recording your shopping trips?

    -Amit.

    Reply
  • MUGI January 28,

    I LIKE YOUR WEBSITE. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU THAT WE ARE FAMILY OF THREE. HOW MANY INSERTS DO I HAVE TO BUY TO SAVE MONEY.

    Reply
  • Melony February 2,

    Ruth,
    I starting watching on YouTube Saturday, bought two papers Sunday and started printing coupons off the web. I set out on my first shopping trip today buying only things I needed, (some of which I didn’t have a coupon for). I saved about 30% at Target ($27) and 50% at Walgreens ($29) today! Compared to your savings that’s just a drop in the bucket but I am so excited! I know my savings will improve as I begin to stock up and gather more coupons. Thanks for all your help. I could not have done this without you!
    Sincerely,
    Melony in TN

    Reply
    • Ruth February 3,

      Those both sound like awesome first trips to me! Great job! :-)

      Reply
  • Rob Kelly February 28,

    I have a wordpress blog, too. (totally deferent subject than yours…) Wordpress is hosting it and I do not yet have the traffic to post advertisements. (Currently about 10,000 views a month)They offer lots of options to allow advertising. What worked best for you? How did you find quality affiliates? Ones that generate revenue…

    Reply
  • Alina October 16,

    Hi,
    I want to start couponing but what I’m wondering is how do you know how much of stuff do you get and what to get?

    Reply
  • Mayda October 19,

    Hi Ruth,

    You have a beautiful family, my blessings for all. My question is where do you recommend me to go, I live in Central Florida and you know that in here we just have Publix, Winn Dixie, Aldi or Save-A-Lot, also Walmart Supercenter and Super Kmart. Where do you recommend me to do my groceries. I always go to Walmart.

    Thanks,

    Mayda

    Reply
  • Sharonda January 12,

    Hi Ruth,

    I’m a single mother of an 18 year old college student who is also is his schools band, and I really need tips on how to save money and provide for my home and his home away from home. I feel as though the money I’m spending on stuff can be money given to him while in college and traveling. I’m ready to be frugal!

    Reply
  • Kelly January 28,

    I just stumbled upon your site the other day and I love it! Especially your recipes and coupon 101. Very helpful!

    Reply
  • Nana March 12,

    I read you depression story in one sitting. Isn’t God amazing. I’m so glad you found your way back to God and to all of us. You have touched all of us with you candid story.

    Reply
  • Sandy March 13,

    I came to your blog thru Pinterest and your Spring Cleaning post. I just read your story. Thank you, thank you for being vulnerable and telling it. Bless you.

    Reply
  • Melissa March 24,

    Dear Ruth,
    Thank you for your great step by step on how to coupon. I have always been very skeptical about using coupons and normally only shop at walmart and buy the great value brand because it seems to be the cheapest. After reading your information, I decided to go to my local Kroger and get a Kroger plus card. I went to coupons.com and printed out a few coupons and thought what the heck I might as well try to save a little cash. I dont have an extreme story to tell or anything, but I am super excited that I saved $13 this week. With my coupons and Kroger deals, I only purchsed items on sale and my total was $42. Then input the coupons and Kroger discout I got out of there for $29!!! This was just my first small trial run, but I am so excited- That $13 saving buys me some “guilt-free” trips to starbucks!
    THanks a bunch!
    Melissa

    Reply
  • Bruna Marques March 25,

    Hi Ruth! I really like your blog/website! You’re very creative and passionate. I’m trying to start a blog and I’m not sure how to start. Do you have any suggestions? God bless you and your beautiful family :)

    Reply
  • Heather April 3,

    Hi there! I would love the opportunity to reach-out to some of your followers ((and you!!)) in the Michigan or California regions. I know you do a lot with coupon-cutting, money-saving, and giveaways, so I figured this was right up your alley! My work rents cars from individuals for a day at a time to do measurement testing and pays people for the use of their cars for the day. We’ve been doing this for almost 15 years now and are constantly looking to grow our list of resources. It’s a great way to make some extra money (I’ve made thousands off of this program!) and there’s no harm to your car. Intertek is the name of the company – you can check them out at http://www.intertek.com. Our small division of it isn’t advertised on the main website (it’s a VERY large company), but more details can be found at http://www.carsearncash.com.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • Cathy April 11,

    Hi Ruth,
    I’m just begining reading all the wonderful advise and helpful hints your sharing, and I am confused on the coupon example using hamburger helper for 1.99 bogo. I understand that would be 50% off, but if you have 1.00 off of 2 boxes wouldn’t that be .99 we pay? I’m confused. :( Please clear my math boggled brain! lol
    Thank you!

    Reply
  • Kirsty Colquhoun April 22,

    Thank you so much for your writing, especially your Amazing Grace story. While not to the same extent, it definitely struck a cord with me and my anxieties! I truly appreciated your honesty and the integrity with which you wrote it xxxxxx

    Reply
  • Andrea (Andy) Deatherage April 22,

    Hi Ruth. Just wanted you to know that I’m gonna give this the old college try and positive that with what you’ve written about the couponing. I will succeed. Thank you for doing this blog.

    Reply
  • Aly April 24,

    I just wanted to tell you that I read your story about getting rid of all your kid’s toys and it was sooooo amazing. I started a tradition with my daughter (my son is a little too young to do this with yet) that on her birthday and holidays (we celebrate Chanukah and Christmas) we no longer give toys. Instead, we give her a choice of an EXPERIENCE that she may have. Getting horseback riding lessons, going away for a weekend somewhere, going to the waterpark, etc. Most things are done as a family. My parents give her money to buy 1 item from the gift shop as a memory. At first that item was always a toy. Now she buys t-shirts, hats, sunglasses, hair accessories, jewelry, and the occasional doll. I have slowly been downsizing our playrooms…yes, plural…and your story was the support I needed. My family just doesn’t understand. And they really hate it when I say, “If you buy them a toy, we will donate it to someone who needs it.” Thank you for writing your blog.

    Reply
  • Jackie May 6,

    Hi Ruth! Your blog is so cool! I came over from Pinterest from your “10 Reasons to make your bed” :) and just had to sign up. There is so much here to learn from and enjoy. Your posts about depression really touched me. I feel like there is a Part 5 out there. I love that you came back to Florida after Hurricane Charley. I am in Central Florida so I know how challenging that was. You have both inspired me & encouraged me. God bless!

    Reply
  • Ely May 8,

    Hi Ruth,
    I just read your blog, your Amazing Grace and I was touched. I have not been affected by depression the way you have, not even remotely so. I admire you very much and I am proud that you feel complete and that you have found what you have been looking for.
    I will continue reading your stories, so I can catch up and understand you.
    Thank you for sharing your story,
    Ely

    Reply
  • Lainie Anderson May 14,

    Found your website from The Nourishing Gourment and I love the look and feel of your blog and your heart felt approach to writing is refreshing. Will keep coming back to learn more and enjoy your blog.
    Lainie – Australia

    Reply
  • Amy S. May 15,

    ok i am so not able to get this coupon thing. i can’t find coupons for any thing i need. i am now desperate to cut down my food costs. please help.

    Reply
  • Bek {Just For Daisy} June 4,

    Glad to have found your blog via Pinterest! :) Will be sticking around to read a little (or a lot!)

    Reply
  • Dee Horn June 5,

    Loved reading your story. Very inspirational. God Bless you!

    Reply
  • Amanda June 12,

    I just found you on Pinterest and realized we live in the same area. I live in Port Charlotte. I look forward to following your blog and on pinterst and facebook. I have not been couponing lately but want to get back into it. I work full time and have two active girls and a husband who works long hours. I want to start saving more money and look forward to getting back into it!

    Reply
  • cjeanies June 12,

    I love your blog! I was wondering, though, on one of your videos on youtube you said that you posted the results of your shopping trips on Sundays and Thursdays. I can’t find them. Do you still do that or am I looking in the wrong place? Thank you.

    Reply
  • Cathy Green June 17,

    I, too, need to live more frugally. My husband works for Boeing in the IT sector and we’re just a few years away from him retiring. The job climate is uncertain; Boeing could change their minds and decide we have to relocate to St. Louis or N. Charleston, SC. The very thought makes me panic. In the meanwhile, MY job is to get debt eliminated, including the mortgage, and reducing spending is a key part of that. I tried couponing for about a year and a half, but found our home is too small for a stockpile and besides, who really needs 5 years’ worth of razors? I also found that couponing takes an inordinate amount of time, clipping, planning, researching sale flyers. About the only things I will stockpile now are laundry supplies, TP, paper towels, and bathroom cleaning supplies.

    Reply
  • yaplog June 20,

    Thanks so much for providing individuals with an extraordinarily brilliant opportunity to check tips

    Reply
  • Missy Sanders June 26,

    Just read “How to cut your grocery bill in half”. We are a family of 5 and are so guilty of running to the store everyday after deciding on what we want for dinner. We eat out a lot too. I am looking for ways to save on our grocery bill and your tips are great!! I can’t wait to start my own stockpile of food. Just hope I will stick with it! Thanks!

    Missy

    Reply
  • Jaina June 27,

    Hi Ruth!!

    My boyfriend and I are like all young couples trying to make ends meet and eat well too. And thanks to you! we have been able to! Your blog about couponing was very educational! And today was my big trip! I saved 105 dollars!! I just wanted to email or write a note saying Thanks!! Thank you for teaching the best ways to use coupons! If only the rest of the world would understand! :) :) CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH !!
    -Jaina

    Reply
  • Brittany July 4,

    Hi Ruth,
    You are a blessing from God! Thank you for your kind, caring, and honest writing. I read your blog to organize my pantry- (honestly, I dislike to read blogs because they make me feel inadequate) but yours is SO different. I knew that I had to tell you thanks. 1 Thess. 5:11 “Build each other up.” and I thought I should tell you that God used you to tell me in black and white what I’ve been struggling with since I became a mother. I’ve been trying to squeeze the most out of life, but sometimes it just feels like I’m squeezing the most out of myself. I run myself crazy sometimes for the silliest things!! Yikes! It is so easy to get away from the life God wants for us. It is so easy to let the world tell you how to live. And it is way too easy to let the joy of the Lord be just a phrase. Praise God that He helps us gain perspective when we need it. And Praise be to God that He loves us despite all our fears, failures and lack of faith. He is an awesome God–thanks for being an obedient servant to Him.

    Reply
  • JoAnn Hammen July 8,

    Ruth
    This is the second time I’ve “stumbled” onto to your site through other links. You are an amazing and inspirational woman. Blessings to you and your family!
    JoAnn :-)

    Reply
  • Nanette July 14,

    Hi, I Googled “how can I clean my house?” and that’s how I found you :) I am on the other end of the life spectrum, but I’m thinking I can learn a lot from you! I am 52, my two sons are grown (although one still lives with us due to his Autism). I have retired from working due to a disability and have found myself at home while my husband works. I want to find ways to get my “house” in order (literally and figuratively) and hoping I can find inspiration from you, since many days that is what I am lacking.

    Reply
  • Penny Merritt July 16,

    Glad I bumped into this site , we have a lot in common and I homeschooled my nephew years ago and now he is a juvenile probation officer in Knox Tn Graduated Maryville College and I am proud to be a big part of his life . I spend to much and try to overcompensate everything with things that can be purchased . I lost my husband motorcycle accident three years ago this Aug 7 and I have been taking care of my dad (dementia) for the last 8 yrs. I also took care of my mom for years before she died in 2000 . I love being needed but it is a depressing position to put oneself in I want to care for them and I wouldn’t change a thing . I just need to regroup and again I am glad to find your website thanks penny

    Reply
  • Lindsey July 18,

    I am only 11 but I want to coupon. I did the math and in the last week we spent over $100 dollars at the gorse ray store. I want my family to save money.

    Reply
  • Lindsey July 18,

    I meant Grocery store.

    Reply
  • zoleka July 22,

    I want join couponing systems .

    Reply
  • Anonymous July 26,

    As soon as I read the results of taking your children’s toys away I thought adults need this lesson even more. From a grandmother who will be careful what I buy for my grandchildren and I will continue to give away and declutter. WAY TO GO-Live simply that others may simply live

    Reply
  • Lorri July 27,

    I’ve been quite depressed for a few years now. We have several circumstances in our family and home that have contributed to this. If you had asked me several years ago if I thought I’d ever struggle with depression, I would have been completely confident that I never would. Never say never…..Today was particularly hard. I just stumbled upon your blog and then your Depression Story. I just read the first installment. Thank you for being brave enough to write it down and then to share it with complete strangers like me.

    Reply
  • Brandi July 30,

    Hi Ruth! I found your site via Pinterest and have been looking at your various articles all day. I just wanted to say that I LOVE your blog and love what you are doing! As a young mom with a little one under 1 year, it has been very difficult transitioning from school/working into full-time Mommy. But it is by far the best job I have ever had! Thank you so much for making me feel like I am not alone and that I CAN do this and that my “simple” lifestyle is perfectly okay! I have often felt judged in so many ways as a new mommy- I don’t give my child enough “stuff”, I coupon and ad match so I must be a cheapo, I’m not working at a “real” job so I am not trying as hard as other moms… the list goes on! Thank you for just being you. God has given you a gift of being able to reach others through words.

    Reply
  • s. July 31,

    i found your site via pinterest and am looking forward to reading! your site gives me hope that perhaps i can get my finances in order(-ish, haha) after all. :)

    Reply
  • Michyelle August 1,

    I just wanted to let you know I just bought the couponizer and I am so excited to get started!!!

    Reply
  • Anonymous August 5,

    I found your site today and read your “Amazing Grace” life story. It is truly amazing how much our Heavenly Father loves us and manages our lives. He chooses to bring us the experiences that will weave within our life’s tapestries truth, wisdom, patience, strength, forgiveness and joy. God bless you Ruth and your sweet family. Keep the faith!!!

    Reply
  • Anonymous August 5,

    Dear Ruth,
    My name is Jamie Wheeler and I have a startup called Gradify (www.gradify.com) that is a college gift registry site that welcomes friends and family to gift towards a child’s education during life celebrations. It’s our mission to help kids grow up to be what they want in life. A good education with minimal debt is a good way to start. I would love your opinion on the site, as I think we share the same philosophy on spending and saving wisely. Thanks, Ruth!

    Best regards,

    Jamie

    Reply
  • Jamie Wheeler August 5,

    Dear Ruth,
    My name is Jamie Wheeler and I have a startup called Gradify (www.gradify.com) that is a college gift registry site that welcomes friends and family to gift towards a child’s education during life celebrations. It’s our mission to help kids grow up to be what they want in life. A good education with minimal debt is a good way to start. I would love your opinion on the site, as I think we share the same philosophy on spending and saving wisely. Thanks, Ruth!
    Best regards,
    Jamie

    Read more at http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/about/about-me/#qg84WDT0bJso1YC2.99

    Reply
  • Vicki August 13,

    I really enjoy your blog. I have been fighting with my iPad to read “how to sell my things on line”. I desperately need to sell my things. When I try to do this I go around and around trying to open the book. I even went on your web sight. What can I do? Vicki

    Reply
  • Ashly August 14,

    Hello Ruth.

    I just want to say that I find your blog so inspiring and uplifting. I read your story on depression and the grace of God and found it to be so encouraging. It has helped me bounced back from the rut I was in. I have been reading all your posts and your blog is up on my computer all the time. Thank you for allowing yourself to be used by God! You are truly special.

    xoxo. Ashly

    Reply
  • Irene H. August 14,

    Ruth,

    Thank you! There is a song by Anna Nalik called “Suddenly I See”. Now I see who I want to be! You are an inspiration. I would love to bore you with my life story but the short of it is I had a rough child hood. There are many basic things that I had to learn as an adult. Coming across this website has really helped me come into my own. THANK YOU! Be assured that god blesses you in this endeavor.

    ~Irene R(ruth) Hoskins

    Reply
  • Cheryl Jones August 20,

    I am a stay-at-home Mom who struggles with my own health. I have a husband, of 20 years, who is in the process of being diagnosed disabled. I have two children. My girl spends weekly to monthly at doctor appointments up to two hours away from home. My son has Aspergers/Autism and I home school him which takes three times longer than an average child to teach. Housework is a joke because no one feels up to helping or can’t focus on it. I am a shopaholic and use that time to get away. Usually I am not up to organizing what needs to be bought and after the fourth store because of food allergies I am barely walking. Our closest store is at least 25 miles away. Any suggestions to helping me.

    Reply
  • Anonymous September 2,

    I can’t remember how I found this page. Perhaps someone put it up on Facebook and I clicked the link when I had a little time to spare. I had a quick glance “Liked” the page and receive all the updates on my wall which I rarely have time to more than glance at. Today I just said “Stuff it” and came in with a cup of coffee to have a REALLY good look. 2 hours later I am still here and have loved every minute of it. I have read your inspiring story, gotten some time saving tips and filed some recipes in my head for later use. LOVE YOUR SITE! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  • Jenna September 4,

    So I am a young, single mother living on a VERY tight budget. I want to start couponing and plan to follow your steps, but I am really afraid to use the couponing sites. I read reviews on some of the top sites and a lot of people are saying they got viruses from installing the coupon printer software. have you had any issues with these sites, or any advice about the sites or software? The last thing I need is to pay someone to fix my computer.
    Your feedback would be much appreciated!

    Reply
  • Tori September 10,

    I am completely inspired by your blog and story. :) My views on life are almost exactly as yours! God has richly blessed me in ways I didn’t know existed, all because I have a great amount of faith that HE will provide. I have been married for 2 years, and I’m only 22 years old. (No kids yet.. :) We just purchased our first house. Both my husband and I work full time, but we are far from being big money makers. But we both agreed that a BIG house, Fancy Cars, Extravagant vacations, a life consumed by “things” will lead us nowhere but self pleasure in a world that is lost. I hope to one day drop to part time, so I can focus on my family than a job. We are big on camping and sight seeing National Parks. My husband is a science teacher. I am just excited to read about a blog that someone has the same values in life as I do. I want to be the best wife and future mother I can be, on a budget. I want my future kids to have a good childhood where they can use their imagination and not have so much “stuff.”

    Thank you again for sharing your story. Like said, I am very inspired. :)

    Reply
  • Glenda Pfannenstiel September 10,

    Ruth,
    I am trying to make the DiY burlap wreath tutorial that you had on line. I don’t quite understand how you weaved it to the frame on the back. Is there any other directions or help you could give me? I am actually wanting to make around 10 of them for a wedding rehearsal dinner. I plan on laying them down on the table & having a vase in the middle with candle or something like that for the centerpiece. I need to make one & play around with what looks good. Then after the dinner plan on giving the wreaths to grandmas, mothers, & aunts for a wreath for their door for this fall.
    I just like how fluffy yours looks from the front, but don’t know for sure how to get it to look that way. Do you weave it through the wires on the back or just push it in?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Best way to communicate with me would be my e-mail address.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  • brenda app September 13,

    I just wanted to say how moved I am by your story. I married a man 20 years older and everyone thinks I am crazy. We have 4 wonderful children together. I am trying to figure out the path of my own live at this point and I loved the point where he told you it is ok to quit. I am very strong willed and I can see you are too. It really hit home and made me appreciate a little more what I have.

    Reply
  • Ayesha September 15,

    Hi Ruth,

    I love these tulle skirts! I’m thinking about making something like this for a peacock costume. I have no knowledge about sewing, so this is perfect. I’m just not sure how much tulle I would need as an adult. I’m 4′ 11″ and I would like the skirt to be floor length. Do you have any suggestions as to the amount of tulle I will need?

    Thank you so much!

    - Ayesha

    Reply
  • Sanjay September 18,

    Hi Ruth,
    Your website comes across as a lively,full of freshness and clutter-free site.Very different from others yet very effective.I happen to chance upon your website thru Pinterest and it was a WOW.
    Do keep sharing and continue making the world a better place to live.

    Reply
  • Jean September 18,

    Great site, wish it was here when I was raising my kids. there are still a lot of freeway ideas to apply to my life and I can share with my girls who are raising their babies:) God bless you!

    Reply
  • Nadine September 26,

    Hi Ruth,
    We had a devastating fire during an international move and we lost 90% of our things: a heavy, handmade silk kimono from China that my father gave to my mother upon his return from a business trip close to 40 years before, furniture, art, books (my weakness, I’m a writer) and tons of photographs. Our things were in storage waiting to be loaded on a ship. Once settled, I slowly outfitted our home and tried to provide toys and such for our three young boys – then under 3. Another international move beckoned and we were without our things… but we did not really start replacing them, even though it would take 6 months before the goods would arrive…
    Fast forward to now – two garage sales and several trips to GoodWill to get rid of the clothes and toys the boys have outgrown. Like you, after having picked up their for the umpteenth time, I started confiscating them… The boys NEVER noticed what went missing.
    I stopped threatening to take their toys away if they were not put away and they never, ever asked for what was missing. The only items that made any difference were their books, art supplies and stuffed animals!
    For their birthday parties, we ask for $1 or $2 to be put in their cards instead of gifts, so they can each buy one important item. That was a hard sell, at first, but now… they’re happier about it and I think the parents are, too. Good toys have gotten so expensive these days!
    We will be downsizing our home soon (who needs 3500 square feet, REALLY? I freelance and have 3 boys and a dog… cleaning the house to my standards is a whole other job!) and none of us have a problem purging. Not only is it necessary but it is gratifying, too. We don’t need much to be happy – like you, screen time is limited to 3 hours a week and the rest of the time we hang out, read, go to the playground, do crafts and play games or do puzzles.
    I’m happy to not have the pressure of 1 whole day’s worth of house work to do per week, ditto for the laundry and ironing (I’m big into the capsule wardrobe concept now though am finding it hard to abandon my footwear addiction!)
    We – and our kids – generally have too much stuff. Keeping it simple is best!
    Thank you for your posts!

    Reply
  • Marcie September 29,

    Where have you been all my life?!? This is the best blog EVER!

    Reply
  • Kristi October 1,

    Just have to say that your blog is truly inspiring! I find myself telling my husband about things you have said and ideas you have! I have had a spending money problem for most all of my 13 year marriage. At times it has been better but overall not so great. Husband has stood by me through all the mistakes I have made and helped me to put things back on track. I too try to fill some kind of void with things…. And try to live some kind of image with certain brands… But recently I lost my job and am now for the first time, a stay-at-home mom and I LOVE it! Your posts seem to speak right to me! I admire you and hope that you continue to post your words of wisdom!

    Reply
  • Megan @ MommaLovesMoney October 1,

    Wow, you have truly put your heart and soul out on display and I applaud you for it. You have done such a great job on this blog and I am sort of using you as my success-model. I can only hope to have the dedicated followers that you do one day.

    Reply
  • Mel October 2,

    This is really inspiring. I’m not sure if this question has been asked before, but I’m a first-time mum to my little boy of 6 months and I admit I overbought in my enthusiasm. He has, for example, a number of cloth books and toys which pretty much do the same things but I could not resist! I think most of what I buy is really what I like rather than what my son would like – honestly, I think he could not care less because he doesn’t even know these things exist! I really would love to support my child’s development by reading to him, playing with him and being with him , but hubby and I both have to work, and grandparents (who are our current caregivers), well they have other methods like putting him in front of the TV (for like 30 minutes on kids’ programmes), or talking to him.

    What advice would you have for a working mum to declutter the toys, but who is still concerned about her child’s learning and development?

    Reply
  • Nikki October 2,

    Hey Mrs. Amy!
    My name is Nikki, and I am currently a college student. I am about to move into my first apartment, and I am planning on using some handed down furniture to furnish my new home. Like you, I LOVE throw pillows. I totally agree with you on that they definitely set the tone to a room. I am on a low budget, and am trying to make do with what I have. I love your burlap pillow tutorial, however is there a method to making burlap pillow covers for those who do not possess the skill of sowing (like me!)? I would really appreciate your help!
    …Nikki
    Birmingham, Alabama

    Reply
  • Olivia @ Snyders Tell All October 3,

    Hi Ruth! I’m so glad I just found your blog! You sound very similar to me! I write a very similar blog about saving money and our debt free lifestyle. I cannot wait to dive into more posts…your blog is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Megan @ MommaLovesMoney October 3,

    I just noticed that you said you appear on WINK News. I grew up in Alva, Fl.! Small world!

    Reply
  • Kim Fabrizio October 7,

    I am wondering. How old were you and your children when you began this journey in 2010? I am encouraged and very discouraged at the same time. I had a meltdown last night after reading a bunch of your posts and I woke up this morning wondering where to start. I am terrible at prioritizing and setting goals. God has been speaking to my heart about this issue for weeks now and I need guidance and encouragement. Thanks Ruth.

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup October 7,

      My kids were 1 and 3 when I started blogging, and I was 32. Have you signed up to receive my goal setting workbook Kim? It gets sent to you automatically when you sign up to receive my weekly post recap emails. If you are already receiving them you can just shoot me an email at admin@livingwellspendingless.com and I will get it sent out to you. It is a great place to start with setting goals and priorities! xoxo

      Reply
      • Kim Fabrizio October 7,

        I just got it today and I am excited to work through it. My husband and I went through our kids toys today. While they still have a lot of them out about 70% of them are packed away to give away or sell. I feel so much better. And I feel like a few months from now I will downsize even more! I am 25 and have a 4 year old, a 2 year old and a 4 month old. As you could imagine I get a bit overwhelmed at times and frequently look right past God’s grace on my life. I have supermom tendencies that I often have trouble shaking. In my mind, I’m either not teaching my kids enough scripture, or feeding them well enough (while my passion is nutrition and wellness), or I’m not encouraging their creativity enough, or I’m letting them watch too much TV. I just want you to know how much I appreciate your blog and the wisdom you share so transparently. I’m very excited that I have stumbled up on it. Or I could say it was very intentionally set before me. :-)

        Reply
  • Lacy October 11,

    Hi Ruth. I just wanted to say that I’ve spent a good portion of the day reading through your blog, and am really grateful I came across it. I’m a stay at home mom and Navy wife, and really appreciated reading different posts, especially the ones about taking away toys, and dealing with picky eaters, as well as the spending freeze. It was very refreshing to hear someone say that it’s okay to NOT have everything. Thank you again. :)

    Reply
  • Lisa Montgomery October 11,

    Do you have it available in true book form or just to read off of a kindle? Thank you so much! Lisa

    Reply
  • Carla Smith October 12,

    The pumpkin bread looks amazing- what size are the cans of pumpkin are you using?

    Reply
  • LaTRICE Brandon October 21,

    Hi Ruth!

    I do not have a Kindle but would like to order your best selling book “Living Well Spending Less.” Are there other wways I can go about obtaining this book besides through Kindel?

    Thanks,

    LaTrice

    Reply
  • Sherri October 23,

    how do I sign up for your website?

    Reply
  • JT November 1,

    Hi! I noticed on your November-December calendars that you include Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Can you please add Small Business Saturday, to remember small mom and pop shops, too? Thanks for not leaving anyone out!

    Reply
  • Janice November 8,

    Ruth, thank you for allowing the Lord to work through you. You snagged me with the budgeting tips. You won me over by having God’s footprints all over the page. I am married and a mother of two. I am college-educated and have been blessed with many gifts and talents. My husband works hard, our middle-school kids are absolutely thriving…and I am morbidly obese and unemployed (very stressful for our family, but I am physically unable to work at present). The printout you provided is going up in our bathroom. I am starting with those very honorable and simple steps, and I know the Holy Spirit will guide me further. I didn’t just happen upon your blog. I was led. :)

    Reply
  • Sylvia November 8,

    I just love your column and all the neat ideas. I’m an x corporate fanatic turning DIY and love the simple wholesome life it is producing. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  • online inventory November 18,

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    Reply
  • Steph November 22,

    Ruth, I have been following your blog for a while now and I have to compliment you on your newest photo. Whoever took that photo did a magnificent job on a pretty lady. I am so pleased to see all the directions your blog has gone and I get something new out of it every week. I am sorry to say I don’t read it every day but simply not in the time budget. God bless you and your family.

    Reply
  • Sara Denise Rodrigues November 25,

    Hi Ruth!
    I just happened to stumble upon your blog after browsing a couple if things. I haven’t read it thoroughly yet (but I will ;) but the little amount I read has gotten my full attention already. You seem like an amazing person and you have a lively family.

    My current situation isn’t all that great. But ehat keeps me going are my 2 amazing little boys ; Daniel Caleb of almost 3 and little Noah that will be 6months soon. I have a loving family but sometimes I just get so overwhelmed with everything. We have recently just immigrated to Canada from Portugal and all our family is back home. I’m now a 28 year old stay at home mom, which I love, but has gotten me to realize that I’m not as organized as I thought. There’s just so much that has to be done and so much that I want to do. I really hve to learn how to prioritize things. Right now we’re in between moving and sticking to a budget has been hard because we’re starting from “0″. I’ve been looking at DIY projects and I’m really excited to start. I’m also thinking about finally satrting my own blog which has been on my mind for quite some time now but I thought it would never be possible with being a stay at home mommy :) i do consider myself creative and crafty (I went to university for 3yrs for Graphic and Communication design but didn’t finish my masters degree :( and then took an intetior decorator course. But with all tht I have done I’ve never put anything to practise because of my fear of failing.
    ( sorry I’m taking up so much of your time) I would just really appreciate if you could give me some advice on where to start and how it’s possible to be able to get everything done with 2 little boys.

    Thanks so much for your time and insight and for sharing this wonderful blog with the world. Wish you all the best.

    Reply
  • 1 December 1,

    1

    Reply
  • Stacey December 8,

    I was reading your story and you seem like such an amazing person. I actually live in Palm Harbor.
    I actually was readibg about your tip fir makibg your own cleaning products and then your story about depression caught my eye wow what an amazing story Congratulations for your success and what you have overcome.

    Reply
  • Elizabeth S. December 9,

    Can I subscribe to your blog or do I just need to keep checking it? You have some very valuable information on your site!

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup December 10,

      There is a “Stay Connected” box on the upper left hand side of the blog where you can enter your email address. I send updates in a fun newsletter every Friday!

      Reply
  • Trishna December 16,

    I loved your blog. m not a blogger, but this is a 1stop destination for me….
    Amazing!!!!!!!!
    kuddos to u, great work……..

    Reply
  • Deborah Shaw December 21,

    Is there a subsatute for the coconut milk my granddaughter dosn’t like coconut .
    But i realy want to try this.

    Reply
  • Heather December 24,

    This is so neat! I was looking for spa/ homemade facial ideas on google and I came across your website! I have read I think everything that I possibly can on here and I keep looking for more! I have read through your lowering grocery blog and liked that you are also a Publix shopper as a lot of people don’t know what Publix is. When I was reading about selling on ebay/craigslist/facebook I realize that we live in the same area! What a small world!! I will def keep checking back here for more updates and follow you on Pinterest!! Thanks for sharing your fabulous ideas!

    Reply
  • judy osborne January 2,

    I am a 76 year old widow and not very computer savvy, but I am trying

    Reply
  • Jen Gray January 19,

    You are a blessing! I am going to attempt the sandcastle birthday cake and I am so excited to follow your blog.

    Reply
  • Pamela January 28,

    I have wanted to learn how to use coupons to get products for much less (and possibly free) for years. I came across your site today and decided to start a group for women just like me (coupon wanna be’s)! Our first meeting is Tuesday, and will initially be my two sisters, daughter and myself. I’m so excited, I can’t wait till next week, because with the direction from your site I really feel like we can be successful! Wish us well as we all have families and could us the savings and would love to be able to bless others as we learn.

    Reply
  • beth m February 19,

    I found your webpage after reading Proverbs 19 and Googling “prudent” and “prudent wife”. I was looking for the definition of prudent as I’m always trying to improve on being a more efficient, and godly, wife and mom. Anyway, I printed off the first three pages of the Living Well & Spending Zero challenge and am looking forward to completing it. I have to be honest, I’m a bit apprehensive, too. I’m excited because this will give me an opportunity to paint my pantry (finally!!), which I’ve been putting off since I moved into my home 6 years ago! Thank you for your free resources and guidance.

    Reply
  • sherri February 23,

    In November 2013 my children and I lost our home and all of our belongings to fire. Since that day I have woken up every morning and thanked God that I am alive and that I still have my beautiful children. There are times when I go to look for something and then remember that I don’t have it anymore, but on the whole, none of us ever really miss what we had. Sure there was the initial grieving time but we are coming to learn the value of just having each other. This year I plan to buy a caravan and not rebuild our house. I will home school my children and hit the wide, open road and experience everything this great country has to offer. I am looking forward to getting back to absolute basics and teaching my kids the importance of life experienc es and adventures.

    Reply
  • Judy March 2,

    Just read about making butter in a kitchen aid mixer. My husband bought me the as I call it The Industrial size of Kitchen Aid Mixer. Do you or did you write of other recipes on your site you have made with this mixer? Sort of interested in what all it can do. Thanks

    Reply
  • Lori March 12,

    Hi Ruth, your story hit me hard in a lot of ways. The biggest that my 43 year old sister, who also lived in Punta Gorda, died a little over a year ago. About 10 days later, I tried to take my own life. A friend found me and called 911. Ended up at psychiatric hospital for a few days, etc. Still struggling. I don’t talk to God anymore. Was just looking at Pinterest and saw the cleaning post. Because I thought that if I can get my house in order – literally – then I could also get my life in order, too. I want to thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
  • Anna March 20,

    Hi, Ruth – I’m not sure if this is the right place to tell you this, but I hope you’ll see it anyway. For quite a while, your blog hasn’t been loading right for me: several days will pass with no new posts, and then a bunch show up at once. At first I thought you were just getting behind and back-dating your posts, but then I realized the posts were there, but just didn’t show up on your front page – I only saw them if I picked the particular topic they were filed under (e.g., “household tips,” etc.). So I was using that as a work-around, but now that you’ve gotten rid of “Thrifty Thursday” as a heading at the top of the homepage, I have no way to see those posts until they randomly show up several days later. Anyway, I don’t know if others are having the same problem, but I thought I’d let you know. (Otherwise what can I read with my Thursday morning coffee?)

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup March 20,

      Hi Anna,
      I’m so sorry you’re having that issue. I’ll defiantly look into it! Here is the link to this week’s Thrifty Thursday: http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/03/20/thrifty-thursday-week-52/
      Enjoy! :)

      Reply
      • Anna March 20,

        Thanks! And in case it helps figure the problem out, the most recent post that shows up for me – if I don’t use this link you just gave me – is the one on cleaning your living space.

        Reply
  • Anonymous March 26,

    want to follow your page

    Reply
  • Christian Soukup March 27,

    Hi Ruth! My name is Christian Soukup and I love your page! A FaceBook friend asked if we were related so I took a look at your website and love the content. My wife Kelli is a huge coupon cutter and we save a lot of money every week. We live in SW Florida too.

    Reply
  • Lydia March 30,

    Thank you so much! Your story is amazing, I’m only 17 and have struggled with depression for a long time. I found this one night while laying in bed crying. I’m glad to see some how, some where there will be a good ending! God bless!

    Reply
  • Debi Heron March 31,

    Hello I loved your story and feel bad that there are “nay sayers” about what a wonderful truth you were able to find. Yes we do have to much, our children have to much, I remember one Christmas with my family (mom dad sister and brothers ) when my children were very young and how many gifts they got that year and with in a few days they could not remember who gave them what gift and didn’t remember the gifts I had removed and put away, because the excess was so great. I vowed never again that year, from that point on each of our children would get one outfit of clothing and one toy. We made family gatherings the greatest gift of all. My children are grown now, they each are married with families of their own and have carried on our newly founded tradition. No one stresses at Christmas because they do not have the money for a gift, they are happy and totally enjoy our Christmas, Easter and Birthday get togethers . I would like someone to tell what greater gift there is than that! I love the less is more concept, and when people ask us what we are doing by giving up our things, I simply reply “we are de-materializing” .There is so much more I would like to share but for now I will keep it short. Oh, and Thank you for starting this blog I love it.
    d:-D

    Reply
  • Jennifer Wetherington April 1,

    I am so glad that I came across your blog. I read your story and I just cried…. I’m so proud all that you have overcome. God is good all the time. He’s an on time God. I love all your tips, tricks and just plain laughs. I love that fact that you are so real. I can so relate to you on so many levels. Too many. Thanks for all you do.

    Reply
  • Sherry April 3,

    When will Part 5 be available?

    Reply
  • Jess April 14,

    I need help to save money and to start couponing I live in New York , and I am Disable too it stinks, please help me.

    Reply
  • Amanda April 14,

    I’m in Pensacola and just happened onto your website needing serious help to get serious about couponing. Thank you so much for this website!! I am a single Mom of two kids, and need desperate help. Thanks again!!

    Reply
  • Y Caulder April 23,

    Hi there..
    Just read your Why I took my kids Toys away after seeing it posted on FB… It totally hit a nerve wtih me… a good nerve… then I quckily scanned your website and am overwhelmed… It always amazes me when the universe lends a hand.
    Currently I am struggling with my depression and my purpose. I am also a mother of 2 and a wife to the most gracious man for almost 9 years and counting. Over all, my life is very happy… on the outside. It seems though from some of the quick reads I have already done on your site, you were once where I am today… I’m eager to read everything you have from top to bottom. I hope you connect with your followers because connection from someone who understands what I am feeling right now is truly what I need.
    TTFN

    Reply
  • Anonymous April 26,

    Hi Ruth,
    I observe some young people conspicuously consuming as adults, but also for their kids and it’s really heart-breaking as it teaches the kids to adopt those values and become addicted to having “the most,” and “more and more” and the illusion of “the best” and so on. It ends up being poor stewardship of what our Creator has given us. I was fascinated to read your story about your taking your kids toys away. I pray that more parents will wake up and come to understand what you have realized and the much more healthy way of raising children and living that results!

    Reply
  • Joshua Ceballos May 20,

    My family saved money

    Reply
  • Sunny June 2,

    Hi I would love for you to come and give a hands on demonstration about couponing to our ladies ministry. Is that something that you would do? and even share your testimony? Please contact me. Thanks

    Reply
  • Anonymous June 12,

    I just stumbled across your site via pinterest and i haven’t read too much yet, but I think this may already be towards the top of my favorites list! Looking forward to learning new things and possibly adopting a new perspective on some things. Thanks in advance:)

    Reply
  • Anonymous June 17,

    How can i get start with the coupons. I have a lot of coupons that was given to me on Sunday.I want to send some overseas to the Military Families. What must I do. I do not have an email address yet.

    Reply
  • Kristi June 19,

    Your blog is awesome! Thank you for being soooo honest and helping so many with it! I love your style.

    Reply
  • Michele June 22,

    Thanks for the recipes! They tasted amazing and I shared my experience cooking on my blog! You blog was such a great help for a newbie like myself!! Thanks again!

    Reply
  • Melissa July 11,

    I can’t seem to find a link to email you directly so I am not sure you will even be able to see this. But I stumbled across your blog this week and have been reading like crazy!! I love it!! Everything you talk about relates to my family so well. It really encourages me and it has already changed my heart and my mind set when it comes to doing things to simplify my life and to be more engaged with my family. The 31 days of no spending has been awesome to! we are only like 4 days in but it feels great to spend nothing!! Can’t wait to continue reading your blog and thank youuuuuuu for all the great posts! God bless!!

    Reply
  • Georgie McGrew July 14,

    I am doing the 8 weeks to coupon saving and I have ran into a snag. CUBS was my store..So if one of you pro’s could HELP me it would be greatly appreciated!!. I am on the first part where you find your coupons. I got on some site called pocket your dollars. I printed myCUBS shopping list which gave me my shopping list with what I needed.it stated.. I wanted quilted northern bath tissue (12ct. dble roll)5.50 (limit 2) Use in-ad coupon..Here come the problem there is no in ad coupon for that item …UGH…Then I went on to pepsi…etc…… (6pk) or cans ( 8pk)use cub coupon from booklet plus, earn: .25/1 pepsi, diet pspsi. etc. (checkout 51 deposit) (exp 7/16) final price: as low as 2.50 after coupon and cash back.. After 3 hours of trying to find these I gave up with no success. What the heck am I doing wrong? I hope this gets easier
    Thanks..Coupon failure

    Reply
  • Allison July 14,

    Hi Ruth, My husband and I stumbled upon your blog/site while looking into how to coupon. lets just say we both have fell in love with your writings and your advice. We are new to couponing but we are excited about it. Our first trip was this past weekend, and although we “hap-hazardly went with the flow” we did a pretty good job, I think.
    I am new to blogging myself, I took it up after being diagnosed with PPD a couple weeks ago. I was put on medication, but I would rather take a more natural approach, and writing has always been an outlet for me. Blogging and herbs have definitely helped manage my day to day stress with two under two (girl and a boy) and has allowed me some “mommy time” I’d love for you to check it out, and give any advice you have about blogging.

    Allison L.

    Reply

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