Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Couple of Changes...and a Request for Support

I've been thinking about writing this post for a while now, and been a little nervous about doing it. Then I saw another blogger I respect write a post like this recently, and that made me feel a bit better about the idea. So, here goes!

First, I just wanted to mention a couple of small changes I'm making to the blog. Starting this week, if I find a particularly noteworthy deal on a food or natural product (personal care, cleaning, etc) I'm going to post it at the top of the blog for the week. I've got a deal at Shoppers Drug Mart up there as my pick for this week. I have no intention of becoming a "deals" blogger, but I figured it would be fun to share the best deal or two of the week so you can make sure you don't miss it (these will largely apply to my Ontario and/or Canadian readers, depending on what the deal is). I also want to start supporting more local and Canadian bloggers, so you'll see some changes in the "Blogspiration" links on my sidebar (you can check out Crackers and MyEdit if you want a taste of other Hamilton bloggers!)

Second (and this is the part that is difficult for me) I wanted to ask for your support. As my long time readers will be aware, I'm a pretty DIY kind of gal, and it can sometimes be hard for me to ask for help. I've been writing this blog for over two years now, and it has been a mostly fun and rewarding experience. There is no denying, however, that it takes a big chunk of my time that could be spent focusing on my home and family. I want to keep writing posts that will help you to live well without spending a lot of money - and the time has come for me to ask for a bit of assistance from you, my readers.

One of my goals with this blog was to keep it ad-free. I know quite a few bloggers generate a decent revenue through advertising (and I'm not criticizing them) - I'm just saying that it doesn't feel right for *me*. We are bombarded by so much advertising these days, and I want my blog to feel like a haven from all that noise. Yes, I advertise my own book on the blog, and occasionally include Amazon affiliate links in my posts, but other than that I have not taken on any advertising. I have done a couple of paid product posts in the past, and found that didn't feel particularly good to me, either. I would much prefer to have a reader-supported blog, and I know that's possible because other people have done it :)

So, if you appreciate the information I provide, here are some ways you can help support me so I can continue to write this blog (and most of them won't cost you a thing!)

1. Use my affiliate links if you're making a purchase on Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs.  Clicking on my book image (further down in the post) will activate my affiliate account; you don't have to purchase my book once you arrive on the Amazon site, but most purchases you do make will result in me receiving a small commission.

If you click on this banner:

Mountain Rose Herbs

or the one at the top of my blog page, it will activate my Mountain Rose affiliate account. I am really proud to be an affiliate of this company; they put a lot of thought and care into everything they do and offer great prices on the highest quality organic herbs, spices, teas, and other herbal and personal care products. They also pay a very generous commission to their affiliates (much higher than Amazon). I can't say enough good things about this company, so I hope you'll consider supporting them (and me!) by purchasing their products through my affiliate account.

2. Connect with me on Facebook (I have a page for both my blog and my book), Twitter or Pinterest

3. If you find one of my posts particularly useful, share it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

4. Leave a comment! As a blogger, sometimes it can feel like you're talking to yourself if no one comments on your posts. I know you're out there reading them because I can see it in my blog stats, so please let me know if you found a particular post helpful. It seems like a little thing, but a few positive comments can really make a blogger's day :)

5. If you have something you'd like to say, but would rather say it in private, you can email me at abundanceonadimeATgmailDOTcom.

6. Let me know what types of posts you'd like to see here. I'm basically guessing at the demographics of my readers and writing what I think will be helpful - but maybe you'd like me to write about something else! For example, I don't write much about living frugally with babies and young children, because my kids are well past that stage. I do have a wealth of experience in that area, though, so I could write more posts focused on that topic if that's what my readers want. So leave a comment or email me to tell me what topics you'd like to see me cover.

7. Let people know about my book. I'm not into traditional, aggressive marketing techniques, so I'm relying largely on "soft marketing" and word-of-mouth to sell my book. I've gotten terrific feedback from many people who've bought it, and it's gotten several 5 star reviews on Amazon. A couple of people have liked it so much they've bought 8-10 copies to give away to family, friends, or clients! Still, I need a lot of help to "get the word out" and let people know it exists. If you've already bought a copy, I really appreciate it! If you love the book, writing a review on Amazon would really help me out (the more great reviews it has, the better). While we're on the topic of Amazon, entering the Amazon site by clicking on my book in the sidebar (or below) will activate my affiliate account, and I will get a small affiliate commission for most things you buy on the site after clicking through. Mentioning my book on Facebook and Twitter (maybe commenting on a specific recipe your family particularly enjoyed) is a great way to let people know about it, too. Requesting the book for purchase at your library and linking to it or reviewing it on your blog are other ways to help spread the word. If you happen to have a great independent bookstore that you frequent, suggesting that they stock a few copies wouldn't hurt, either!

7. Purchase a book or Budget Menu Plan subscription or make a donation. 

Yes, here is the part where I finally ask you to consider providing some financial support. I know there are some people who are not in a position to do this (believe me, I *totally* understand!). However, I know there are others for whom this might be a possibility, so I'm just asking you to consider it if it feels right to you. You probably know at least one person who could benefit from the information in my book (heck, one of my friends told me she saved $300 on groceries in the first month she used the strategies in my book!). So, please consider it when you're thinking about gift-giving. If you collect Swagbucks, you could even get it for free with Amazon gift certificates.

I also have Budget Menu Plan subscriptions for sale at very affordable prices - again, if you need a gift for a busy, overwhelmed mom, why not give her the gift of never having to worry about what to make for dinner again? More information about the menu plans, along with a link to a sample weekly plan, can all be found HERE.

Finally, I have now put a "Donate" button on my sidebar. If you feel so inspired, you can donate any amount you'd like (really, no amount is too small and I will appreciate any and all contributions!) Again, I know it's something not everyone can do - so please don't feel bad if it's not something you can consider right now. It's simply there as an option for those who are able and feel so inclined.

Oh yes, and one final thing: Whether you choose to do some, all, or none of the above, I appreciate you stopping by to read what I have to say! Thanks for being here :)


  1. I borrowed a copy of your book from a friend and I have to admit it's the first cookbook I read from front to back. (normally I just skip to the things I want to try ect) I'm going to try out most of the recipes (except the fish and quinoa kinda ones because nobody in my family would touch them) Many of the other idea's that you touch on I hadn't really thought of. (such as knowing your prices...common sense I know but previously if I needed it I bought it and if it happened to be on sale... bonus!) Of course I'm about to purchase me own copy of the cookbook (since I don't want to give the one I borrowed back). And lastly...I'm a pretty big fan of yours. I read all of your posts and have a great admiration for what you do, mostly because I completely lack the patients but know I could really use the extra pennies it would gain me. So keep it up because you are such an inspiration.

    1. Jenny, thanks for your encouragement. It's great to hear that you're enjoying my book so much. I really appreciate hearing from you :)

  2. Hi Karen,
    I'm reading your book right now---I got my local library, the King County Library System (circulating 22 million items in 2010) in the Seattle area, to carry it. It's also on my Amazon list of books to buy when I have another gift certificate. I told my son (10) that it feels like I'm reading a book written by a friend, since I've been reading your blog so long that I feel like I know you in person. Keep up the good work, it really is appreciated, even if I don't always have the time to make a comment. And keep spreading the word about how living a frugal life frees up time and money for things like homeschooling, which we also do. It's such a blessing to have my son home with me, I'd much rather have this simple life than any amount of Stuff!
    p.s. we just helped the Canadian economy last week by visiting Whistler, B.C. for our first family vacation in 5 years. Two nights and three days of fun and sun. ;-)

    1. Great to hear from you - I'd been wondering if you were okay since it's been a long time since you've left a comment! Thanks for getting my book into your library system - it is a great way for it to both get more exposure and also allow people to access the info even if they can't afford to buy it themselves (well I guess that second one is the purpose of the library in general, lol). That's neat that you feel like you know me so well from reading the blog, I also feel I've gotten to know a fair bit about some of my long term readers who comment often. I think it's one of the best things about the internet that we can connect in this type of way with people we otherwise would never know at all. I'm a bit jealous of your Whistler trip :) Haven't been there yet myself, I keep going out east because I love it so much. Sounds like your Canadian experience was a good one!

    2. I love Canada, and would love to live there. I joked to my husband that once over the border, I would proclaim myself a refugee from the American health care and apply for asylum. He wouldn't let me do that. ;-) We traveled a lot in Western Canada when I was younger because my parents' business took them there often. I visited Toronto and Montreal when I was a teenager but never made it farther east than that. I'd love to go to the Maritimes some day. Anyway, I'll being trying some of the recipes in the book soon and will let you know how it goes. Your chocolate zucchini muffins and potato bread are already family favorites here!

  3. stumbled on your site a while back. check in now and again. keep up the good work.

  4. I enjoy reading your site. I have occasionally used the recipes and really enjoy the yard sale posts. Also enjoy the posts on general frugality. Keep up the good work! But remember, only do it if you are enjoying it. No one is asking you to mortgage your family and friend time just so you can entertain and inspire us. God speed.


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