To Blog or Not to Blog?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 by Jen · 4 comments
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I began Cents in the Cities in February 2009 because I wanted to talk shopping deals--specifically at MN stores. At the time, I had just started reading lots of blogs, and there were no blogs out there focusing on the MN grocery stores that I shop at--Cub and Rainbow. I spent lots of evenings (and late nights), while my husband was working and the kids were sleeping, pouring over the technical details of running a blog and trying to decide what I really wanted to say. And I loved it! It became a new outlet for me to express myself.

Since then a few things have changed and I've learned a few things:

Coupon Match Ups Are Time Consuming
One thing I learned was I really don't like putting huge coupon/store flier match ups together--it's a lot of work, and I'm not very fast at doing it! And though there are accepted practices of borrowing shopping lists from other blogs and and coupon forums--even when giving credit--I didn't feel comfortable borrowing someone else's complete list -- the librarian in me couldn't get past the copyright implications.

I'll just say that I wanted to do the work from scratch, and that kind of workload wasn't reasonable for me (especially for a blog I was running for fun). Since February 2009, there are quite a few blogs popping up that are now talking about Minnesota store deals, and they are doing a great job!

Babies Like to Be Held in the Evenings
One change is that my evening time is limited. After my two older kids "hit the hay," my little, little guy LOVES to nurse and be held. . . and it is wonderful! I love cuddling with him until he totally zonks out for the night, which is usually around 9 or 9:30. So this leaves me less evening time to write.

I Love Blogging
The main thing I have learned over the past few months, is that I love, love, love writing on Cents in the Cities! I love sharing my story and talking about our family's attempt to live a simple yet rich life. Even during these many months when I haven't been writing, everyday something would happen or I would do something that would make me pause and gasp, "I have to share this on Cents in the Cities!" I love sharing my cooking triumphs and failures. I love talking about the crazy things I do to save a buck! I love talking about life in MN and how wonderful it can be--even snow in October!

To Blog or Not to Blog?
So to finally answer the question that began this post -- YES -- I am carrying on with Cents in the Cities, and I'm taking it into a new direction--less of a deal finding blog (never really was one anyway) to more of a frugal family blog. And though I am mainly writing for my own satisfaction and to get some thoughts out of my head, I'm hopeful that others might enjoy reading, giving us the opportunity to create a dialogue. My Mom has finally made it over here (quite a feat), and she liked the looks of my peach pie, so I'm optimistic that my readership will continue to grow, or at least I can talk to my Mom.

And if you read the blogs just to find the deals, I hope you might head this way every once in a while, because I still will talk about MN deals and saving, but just in my own way, with my own twist. It's not "just the facts Ma'am" at Cents in the Cities, but a whole lot more. Check out my updated About Page in my next post to read about the new direction for Cents in the Cities.

Thanks for sticking with me and for reading!


4 comments to "To Blog or Not to Blog?"
  1. I'm sure your blog will still grow just fine. I started my blog in May with a slant for saving money, but I have so many other interesting things to discuss, so I let that slide a bit and my blog still grew. I have over 400 followers now. :)

  2. Jen:

    I missed ya! Glad the baby is doing well. We have been in school almost 2 months already in St. Louis. How the time flies.
    Looking forward to your new posts!

  3. Jen,

    Keep it up. I have been trying to pinch as many pennies this season as well. An example, I found on a blog just like yours. I have been saving 50-80% off retail on their .99 auctions. I am about 1/4 down my list. I am going to stay tuned this holiday season. We need all the help we can get!

  4. I think this is a great direction to take. We should each be able to match up our own coupons for our particular stores, but reading about how a family is actually living frugally adds a human element to it.

    I didn't know you were a librarian . . . that was my pre-mom life as well.

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