How my 2016 will be different

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ahh! Another year gone guys. The even crazier part is that it went by with a blink of the eye.

I’m not much of a resolution person..but I like to choose ONE word instead…. 2016 is Simplify.

What a small word– but it honestly has SO much meaning. I can already tell you several things that could be more simple in my life. :) This year, I felt like George and I got waaayyyy off track in life. We were very much living in the moment of things and while it was exciting, I’m kind of ready to be grounded again.  I felt like we  were speeding by at 90 miles a hour and we were missing important stops along the way. I’m ready to take in more. SEE more.

of course I DO have plans to work on getting healthier.. This is something I’ve been doing anyway.. but I’ve been struggling with somethings that I plan to share with all of you. I want to share more personal experiences with you in the new year, hopefully you all are ready for them!

2015 was pretty awesome and I am so glad that you were a part of it :)

 

 

One thing you must know about me.. I’m a Planner Hoarder.

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I have an unusual obsession with planners. There is just something about having every single detail of my life planned out! Every year, I go through a process of looking for the perfect planner..  Being that I have so many activities going on at one time, I realized that a regular planner just doesn’t work for me.

Several years ago, I purchased a discounted Voucher through a daily sales site for Erin Condren Planners. I honestly FEEL IN LOVE! At the time, I didn’t realize how much I needed something so awesome and detailed in my life– then, the year ended and I was left with the an empty feeling and a panic at how I was going to stay organized.. without hesitation, I purchased another and I am SOO glad I did! Snip20151228_3

 

Some of you may see the downside to this planner as they are not cheap! However, I think they are totally worth every penny. It is so customizable and allows you to pick your own layout. I prefer the hourly layout.. so I can list everything that I want!

If your goal this year is to get organized– I would definitely take a look! :)

Erin Condren planners <<— Use this link to get $10 off!

Join Me on Periscope for daily #saverscopes

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Have you joined the craze over Periscope yet? I’m not one to usually “jump” into new social media because there is just SO much to keep up with– but I’m LOVIN Periscope! If you don’t know what Periscope is–think YouTube but LIVE! Yes, you get to be the “fly on the wall” so to speak into others everyday life. You get to chat with them and see them in the moment–it is pretty awesome.

If you’ve been around for awhile you know that I’m not big on video. I have a Youtube account–but I haven’t done anything with it for YEARS! So, I’m hoping that Periscope will bring me out of my shell. Plus, you get to chat with me DAILY (because I will be scoping daily) and you get to go with me everywhere. :)

I hope to be able to take you along with me while in Ireland and show you where we are vacationing. (as long as wifi permits)

SO PLEASE join me! I’ll be scoping later today with a fun money saving tip.  I’d love to see you there!  Once you download the app, be sure to search my name “Josie K” or “Southern Cali Saver” to follow me!

Working Smarter, not harder: I’m trying to be a mom/blogger and everything in between.

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I so need a fist emoji in the title of this post! It’s Monday.. a new week of deals and coupons. Mondays have become a favorite of mine because it means a new week to be your best. :) Every once in a while, I like to break up the money-saving posts with a post about what is going on in my life. Just so that you can see that I’m a REAL person.. with real feelings and a real life. 😉 As much as I would like to be a full-time robot (Imagine how clean my house would be!) I’m not. Just a mom who eats too much chocolate and tries to be super woman to my kiddos.

So, there have been SO many things going on in the Kapetsonis household. We are close to leaving for our trip to Ireland (something we’ve been planning for a YEAR!) and summer break around here has been chaotic. Usually I blog non-stop like the rest of the year but this summer has been different as my kids are at that age where I need to entertain them. They no longer take naps (YIKES!) and always want something to eat. So, blogging has been suffering.. I’m sorry to those that come here looking for certain things that usually happen regularly. However, my motto is family first.. I’m sure you all understand :)

With that being said…

If you’ve been here for awhile, you know that the blog has gone through changes over the last 5 years. For the most part, I like to think that most of the changes are positive and have made you all better shoppers. With that being said, when I do make changes.. I am always super scared to because I know it will not make some of you very happy.

I hope you realize that while this blog is 100% free to you– it DOES cost me money. So, I hope you can understand that the reason I might change things is because its helping me, HELP YOU. If I didn’t make some changes.. I probably would have to stop blogging… and we don’t need that!

Some changes you might have noticed (or not):

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1. The new mobile layout. Some of you have asked about it and here is the explanation: In late April, Google made it a requirement of ALL websites that you most follow certain mobile criteria… if not, you will be penalized. You will find that a lot of websites will slowly make changes via mobile. This one really was not my choice.. it was google. Hope you can understand! If you want to view the site in a regular format–be sure to visit via desktop

2. Ralphs Meal Plans: These are so fun! However, they take up SOO much time. I started it because I noticed a lot of you asking for help in making meals that were affordable and honestly, I love doing it.. but the time it took each week was a little much. I DO plan on coming back with these. It will probably be once school starts– I also plan on doing more than just Ralphs. hoping to add Albertsons in the mix as well.

3. Weekly Wallet Watch. I’ve been doing this for over 3 years!! Can’t believe that it has been that long. If you didn’t notice– I did stop the weekly wallet watch. Why? because there is a AWESOME new feature (that actually has been around for almost a year) called “need a deal”. This tool IS AWESOME! As you can see, this is a great way to find a deal on the items you need.

 

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4. In-store deals. You know, over the last few months with all of the changes in our So Cal grocery stores this has been hard! I’ve been trying to focus on a few of the most popular stores (Ralphs, Sprouts and Albertsons) however, lately I’ve been finding that the stores don’t offer too many unadvertised deals! To be completely honest, I don’t “run” to the stores when there is a deal anymore– because I probably have too many of that item as it is! Unless it’s something like really cheap milk, or free meat– I usually just stay home. Maybe I’m the only one? what do you think about this? Do you run to the store for a deal?  In all, I usually prefer to post in-store deals that I know will be around for a couple of days.. so that you can enjoy them as well.

I appreciate all of you SO much and thank you for sticking around. I hope you understand that I have to adjust accordingly as my family grows and thrives. Sadly, they are not the babies they used to be when  started blogging 5 years ago!

I don’t always have it together…

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If you may notice– there are some days where I get quite a few blog posts up. Some days, I get just a few. You see.. I’m not the super woman that you might think I am :) The last few weeks, I’ve been putting in a lot more time in the gym (which takes away from blogging) and getting our garden together (huge deal for us to get those veggies growing) and sometimes things just don’t.work.out.

A lot of people ask.. How do you do it? How do you blog, manage a household AND go to the grocery store to find deals? The truth is……

 

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and sometimes, I drink coffee at 8pm to get caught up.

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I can be all things to all people…

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See these kids? They are my life.. They are everything that I inspire to be, I love them.

Lately, I’ve suffered a burden. The “I can be all things to all people” burden. Actually, the last five years I have suffered that– see, blogging is more than a full time job. Its almost a 24hour type of job. In the very beginning, as a deal blogger– you sat down at your computer for hours and hours at a time. Trying to be the first blogger to post a “HOT” new coupon… you always had to be the first to post something because if not, it would be old news– and no one would visit your blog. Truth is.. I sat down at my computer on average of 10 hours a day. 7 days a week. for almost five years. I’ll tell you what.. the pay of a blogger is not worth the 24 hour schedule.

Being a “deal blogger” as people like to refer it to– is actually a lot less popular now. People are moving on from coupons and finding new ways of saving money– I bet there are a couple deal blogs that you follow that have changed drastically within the last year. Why is this? because it is absolutely exhausting. 

So what have I done? I’m simply taking a step back from the daily grind of being a blogger.. I’m not going anywhere but I am going to post less– probably not answer my email fast enough. I will be working on more meaningful content. I don’t know if you’ve noticed–but I LOVE to write. I LOVE to garden and I am passionate about helping others use money wisely.  

I will still post deals–maybe 5 or 6 a day. Not nearly as much as last year (10-15 a day) and you will see more of ME.

However, I do have one announcement:

Sadly, last year was my LAST Black Friday/Cyber Monday adventure. I will no longer post endless deal after deal during that time. I won’t refrain completely but you might see one or two deals that I just can’t resist to not share. 

The reason for this is a hard one. Even though I’m happy to find these deals for you.. They are a true burden to me during the holidays. Sitting hour after hour waiting for the best deals on select hot items of the year.. I miss out on a lot during the holidays.  My days turn into 18 hour days.. my family suffers, my wellness suffers.

I totally understand if you aren’t interested in some of the things I have to say.. that is okay, I’ve tried to understand that I can’t help everyone.

Now you must know I am so very thankful for all of you – my readers, because when I’ve let  SCS slip a bit and not allow it to be the focus of my attention you all have been faithful to visit the blog and support me.  When I take hours off at at time on random days to do some crafting.. you told me you weren’t going anywhere.  So for that, I say a big HUGE thank you.     

 PS: everything will stay the same here on SCS. Just less posts and WAY less holiday deals.

I haven’t told you the whole story….

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Has there ever been a time in your life where something just makes sense? It makes so much sense that you wonder why the heck you didn’t see it in the first place? Maybe what some call an epiphany?

I realize that when I announced that SCS would be taking a more all natural/organic route, it was really abrupt and maybe confusing to you. However, I promise there is a reason for this! :)

8 months ago, we took our three boys to the dentist for a routine cleaning. Our oldest was the only one that I knew was going to have some issues– the poor guy has teeth that don’t fit his mouth and they are growing all over the place! During the exams, the dentist went through each boy and surprisingly, the oldest besides the obvious issue of him needing braces was checked out just fine.

The four year-old was another story.

The dentist let us know that he had a few cavities… okay, I was expecting one of the boys to have at least one– Teeth brushing is extremely important in our routine. Mostly because I am a freak about teeth and because I’ve always had a stigma about the dentist and not being blessed with the best teeth– I absolutely dread the dentist.

“He has eight cavities and it’s very possible that he needs a baby root canal” the words from the dentist.

WHAT?!

Honestly, I was about to cry. Firstly, I felt like a terrible mother– I don’t know what I had done wrong. Being that I was so diligent about the health of their teeth I felt like I failed. I hated the thought of my 4 year-old needing fillings and the thought of a root canal? I was pretty much terrified.

I had let the dentist know that we were doing everything right (or at least thought) and I asking him how we could avoid this for the future. Of course, he said the usual things like brushing/flossing..etc. As we were talking, I don’t know what had striked the conversation but he mentioned that he had several kids who had problems with cavities due to vitamins. Particularly gummy vitamins. I was thinking to myself.. what? how does that make sense–vitamins are supposed to be good for you! He went on about how he doesn’t suggest any type of gummy vitamin due the sugar content and the vitamin sticking to your child’s teeth. He said it takes only 20 minutes for bacteria to thrive and start spreading while on the leftover gummy vitamin pieces.

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Then it hit me. Every.single.day. we give our kids gummy vitamins– ugh. The most frustrating thing was that it was so obvious when he said it. How could I not realize this?? Worst of all, how could someone else control the fate my kids health? I gave my kids something that I thought would make them better.. instead it cost us quite a bit of money and pretty much erased all of the work we had done in trying to keep our kids teeth good. Even though it is a small thing, it is a big wake up call for us. It all made sense after that. We were feeding our kids unnatural sugars and dyes– I was letting them ingest things that shouldn’t be in something that you consume!

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Long story short.. our 4 year old had two root canals the next week. He also had to have 4 fillings… for me, the whole procedure wanted to make me cry.. He is a strong-willed little guy and didn’t do so well.

From that point on– I’ve decided to look more closely at what we are putting in our bodies. We’ve gotten rid of the vitamins .. I’m looking into more natural forms of preventive care and just trying to be more aware of what we are consuming. This is just one reason why we’ve decided to try Essential Oils and go more organic.

So there you have it. My epiphany.

After that experience, I continued to blog about things that I didn’t feel 100% about. Certain products and food items. it actually made me blog less. made me depressed. I won’t lie– most of the reason I continued to blog was because this blog is powered by YOU. I felt if I stopped talking about all the free pads, free marchuan bowls, free toothpaste that you  would stop visiting. If you stopped visiting the blog– it would probably shut down because it costs quite a bit of money to run… (If I didn’t post anything on the site–it would still cost around $500 a month to run, then when you add in other things like the coupon database and tech support.. it is upwards of $1000 a month) I personally don’t have that much money just to keep the blog running just because. So, I blogged about the things I know that you all liked seeing… so you would come back and help it keep running.

After awhile, I started to feel like a cheat and that I wasn’t being true to myself.  After several conversations with my husband, conversations with mentors and friends.. I decided to take a different turn.  and hope that you would stick around. :) It just made sense to me– with all the changes in couponing and store changes in So Cal I was ready to find different ways to save and coupon for less processed food items. Things I had control over.

That is my story. :)