Welcome to the Living Well Spending Less FAQ page!
We do our best to respond to as many questions, comments, and emails as we can, but unfortunately, there are many times we simply can’t get to them all. Even so, we do love reading all your questions and comments, and even if we can’t always answer directly, we do hope you’ll keep ’em coming.
In the meantime, here are some answers some of our most frequently asked questions:
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Why did you change your site design? How do I find the most recent posts?
We wanted to restructure the site to make it more user-friendly, as well as more mobile-friendly, and to reorganize our vast array of content so that it was easier to find. If you prefer viewing the site in a traditional chronological blog format, you can do so under the BLOG tab.
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What is Living Well Spending Less all about?
Our mission at Living Well Spending Less is to encourage, inspire, and empower our readers to strengthen your budgets, reach your goals, achieve your dreams, and serve your communities. All of our resources, articles and products are written and created with this in mind. Our goal is to help make life a little simpler so that you can have more time, money & energy to do all those things your really want to do. Ultimately, our philosophy is that a life well lived isn’t so much about what we have or how much we spend, but who we are. You can read more about LWSL here.
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I am new to this site. Where should I start?
If you want to know a little bit more about who I am, where I’ve been, and how I tick, you might want to start by reading my depression story and how I finally found financial peace. Where you should go after that will really depend on what you are most interested in. If you are looking to discover some new easy, budget friendly recipes, you may want to check out our Food Made Simple section. On the other hand you are looking for more personal inspiration, you might want to check out our Life Etc. Section. If you are looking for practical tips to get your home in order, you should head over to our Home 101 section. If you are in need of financial tips, you will definitely want to spend some time in our Smart Money section. Be sure to also check out our SHOP for a variety of incredible resources that will help you implement the helpful ideas found here at LWSL.
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I signed up for a challenge but I am not getting the emails. Can you help me?
Please note that our emails come from “Ruth Soukup” and NOT “Living Well Spending Less”—this confuses people sometimes! Also, be sure to check both your spam and “promotion” folder for your confirmation. 98% of the time, the email will be in one of those two folders! If you still don’t see the email within 15 minutes of signing up, please email us at email@example.com.
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Why do your recipes use processed ingredients? Shouldn’t you be using more whole foods?
Our recipes here at Living Well Spending Less are intended to be quick, easy, tasty, and family friendly, not gourmet. We are not “foodies,” we are busy wives and moms. While we have no problem with whole foods, we also realize that many of our readers struggle with getting dinner on the table, and often resort to eating out or ordering takeout because life gets so crazy sometimes.
In the end, we think it is more important to be able to sit down with our families to a semi-homemade meal than not at all. Most of the ingredients found in our recipes are pantry staples that go on sale frequently and can be easily stockpiled. If you have more time available, we encourage you to research creating your own processed food alternatives from scratch, but you probably won’t find those recipes here.
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I love your site and I want to help support it—do you accept donations?
While we do not accept donations to this website, we are grateful for our reader support! We invite you to support us by purchasing our products in the SHOP, and by sharing word about our site with your family and friends.
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Is Ruth available to come and speak at our event?
Ruth is available for a limited number of speaking engagements each year. She speaks on both personal and business topics. You can find more information about booking Ruth on her speaking page HERE.
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How does this website make money?
Living Well Spending Less Inc. is a for-profit S-corporation. On this website, we generate revenue in a variety of ways, including through advertising, sponsored content, affiliate links, and by selling our own products. You can read more about our advertising policies & our full disclosure HERE.
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How do I advertise on LivingWellSpendingLess.com?
Please refer to our advertising page HERE.
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Can I link to an article on your site or share your content in a print publication?
Please refer to the Living Well Spending Less Copyright and Reprint policy for all questions relating to reproducing content from the site.
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Where can I find you on social media?
We highly recommend that you connect with Ruth (@RuthSoukup) on Instagram or on Periscope, as that is where she spends the most time! That said, you can also find Living Well Spending Less on Facebook and Pinterest.
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I want to save money with coupons, but I don’t know where to start. Can you help me?
Yes! Start here, with the LWSL Beginner’s Guide to Coupons. It is an eight-week course that breaks down the whole process into manageable “baby steps.” However, please note that coupons are not the only way to save money on food! If you are not sure coupons are for you, check out this post on how to cut your grocery bill in half.
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How can you use so many coupons at one time? Mine all say “One Coupon Per Purchase.”
A single item is considered a “purchase,” so “one coupon per purchase” really just means you can use one coupon per item. Every once in a while, a coupon will state “one per transaction,” in which case you will only be able to use one at a time.
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How do you save money on meat and produce?
Honestly, I save the most money on meat by not buying a whole lot of it. I am vegetarian, and while my family is not, we do eat several meatless meals per week. If cutting back on meat is not an option for you, then try to save on meat by watching prices and stocking up as much on possible when there is a good sale.
For more ideas on saving money on meat you can reference this post 7 Easy Ways to Save Money on Meat
As far as saving on produce, you can check out my tips here for 7 Ways to Save on Produce.
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I don’t have a big family. Can I still benefit from using coupons?
Everyone can benefit from using coupons! It doesn’t matter if you are single or have a huge family, have dietary restrictions or eat mostly organic. Granted, the degree to which you save might not be as significant as someone (like me) who is very strict about buying and eating ONLY what is on sale, but any savings is better than none. You can still use the methods and techniques outlined in this site to buy the things that are right for you and your family, in a quantity that is reasonable for the size of your family. Saving $25 a week of your groceries will put an extra $1,300 a year in your pocket.
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What do I do if my coupon expires before I can use it?
Don’t expect to use all your coupons. Don’t even expect to use half of them. The key to extreme coupon savings is matching up a coupon to a great sale price. Lots of times, a coupon will expire before a sale comes up. And that is okay. More coupons and more sales will come along, and there will always be more match-ups. But if you want to do something useful with your expired coupons, consider donating them to the troops, who can use coupons expired up to 6 months at the Commissary.
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I am afraid to print too many coupons because printer ink is so expensive! How can I save on printing coupons?
If you are serious about saving money with coupons, then I highly recommend investing in an inexpensive black & white laser printer. I personally use the Brother HL2140, but you can purchase the slightly newer Brother HL2240 on Amazon.com for less than $100. A high-yield toner cartridge costs about the same as an ink-jet refill, but will last anywhere from 4 months to a year.
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How do you organize your coupons?
The way I keep my coupons organized has evolved over the years, and will probably continue to evolve as time goes on. I started by using a Couponizer book ( currently out of print), then, as my coupon supply got larger, eventually switched to using a filing system, which I wrote about (and made a video about) here, where I filed my entire inserts by date and then clip only the ones that I needed for a particular shopping trip, based on my coupon matchups. I would still use my Couponizer ( currently out of print) to store my printables and loose coupons.
Some time ago I decided to try out the binder method, which I wrote about here. While I liked having all my coupons in a portable, ultra-organized format that I could take with me everywhere, I found that clipping ALL my coupons every week was just too much maintenance for me. So now I use a hybrid system that combines the Qubie binder method with the filing method; I use the Qubie to store all my printables, loose coupons, and any super high-value coupons that I notice when the new inserts come out on Sundays. Then I still file the whole insert by date and find the coupons that I need when I make my shopping list.
Don’t be surprised if the way you sort and organize your coupons changes over time too. For more information on where to find these items, go here.
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I don’t understand all these acronyms and abbreviations! Can you please translate?
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I’m still only saving 30-40% at the grocery store. How do I save more?
Mega-saving (70-80% or more) on a regular basis takes time. You need to first establish a plentiful and varied stockpile, as well as a good supply of coupons. You also need to commit to buying only what is on sale each week. A few non-sale–especially milk, eggs, dairy, & produce– or impulse items will really affect your bottom line. I personally almost always buy milk at CVS using Extra Care Bucks, and I usually buy eggs at Walgreens using my Register Rewards. But be patient and consistent, and you’ll get there. And remember, ANY savings is better than none!