Help Set Our Goals For the Next 6 Months + A Few Days Off

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Today and tomorrow you may find the content around here to be a little lighter than normal. That’s because Laura, the Pocket Your Dollars team, and myself are taking a few days off to recoup, rest and revitalize after having completed a huge push.

If you hadn’t heard, I completed the rough draft of my book yesterday. To give you a sense of the magnitude of the effort, I wrote 9 chapters in the last 22 days. I’m eager to get outside in the sunshine, get some exercise and enjoy time with my family.

After I get caught up on email, bookkeeping and cleaning my house, I’ll get focused on making plans for the next 6-12 months for the website and our Pocket Your Dollars’ community. If you’ve been around here for any length of time, then you know I’m a goal-oriented person who typically shares a list of goals at the start of the year, then recaps them at year-end.

This year my list was different than normal with one major goal - write the book. In the weeks ahead we’ll be prioritizing site improvements, brainstorming content features and discussing an in-real-life Pocket Your Dollars event. (I so enjoy making goals and plans, that I found motivation in book writing when I’d consider that a reward of finishing would be the ability to make goals. Yes, I’m a nerd like that).

How can we improve?

This site and this community is a service to you. Our mission is to help you live life within your means so that you can get out and stay out of debt.

As we start making goals and plans, I’d love to have your input, ideas and suggestions. Readers have suggested almost every improvement we’ve ever made and I expect that to happen again.

Please, take a minute to leave a comment on this blog post or send me an email with your thoughts and ideas. If you’ve emailed me before about something – like having a “select all” feature on the shopping list – I’ve heard you and have your idea on my list.

A few questions you can think about to spark ideas include:

  • What frustrations do you have with the site – how it works technically, is laid out or with its content? (I’m happy to hear your frustrations, please be respectful in communicating them though, because if we know your pain points, then we can figure out how to fix them)
  • Which things or aspects of this site have been most helpful to you? (If we know what we are doing well, then maybe we can make it even better)
  • Are there topics you wish we were writing more or less about?
  • What is your preferred way to interact with Pocket Your Dollars? The website itself, Facebook, Twitter, RSS feed, email or some other way? Why? (I can get metrics about how many people interact each way, but those don’t tell me why people prefer one way over the other.)

Thanks for your ideas, input, suggestions and support. Enjoy the next few days!

Comments

  1. Susan says

    First, I think all off the pocketyourdollars team does an amazing job! This is my fave. website hands down! Everything on the website is very helpful! Keep up the amazing work! I can't wait to purchase your book Carrie!

    To improve the website, I would suggest creating an updated price list for the max. price to pay for certain items (ex: bread, laundry soap, diapers, etc.). I know there is one on the website, however inflation has occured since that last list and coupon values seem to be decreasing. :(

    Also, I would love to have Teal's Market on your shopping list since they now double coupons everday! If you need someone to create the list, I would be more than happy to help!

  2. Mikey says

    Sometimes, when I post a comment or reply it doesn't show up for quite some time or I don't think it's going to show up at all so I then re-post it and it shows up later as a duplicate. There seems to be a big lapse in the time from posting to seeing it posted. I've logged off and come back of even check out other parts of this site and come back and often it's still not there. Is this something others are noticing as well and is there a remedy for it? Thanks for all you do. I've saved a lot of money on grocery and household things using this site.

  3. Sheila says

    PYD has helped me out a lot and I am very grateful for this site. I do, however, find myself using it less than I did before.

    Part of the reason is that the Walgreens list comes out later than other blogs. I would prefer to use PYD as I started with you and would like you to have my clickthroughs as a way that I can give back to you for your help.

    I would like to see a "blog" button so that all the posts show in the order they were posted. While I know you have the "all posts by date" you have to go into each individual post. I would prefer to just be able to quickly scroll down a whole days posts.

    I would love to see more how to/content on the site. I would like to see more articles about ways to save. I also agree that an updated price list would be great.

    I get the e-mails and go to the website. I like coming directly to the site as I can click through the links as well as see comments. I tried to connect on facebook but it was too much. When I liked PYD I got a ton of posts.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Sheila

  4. Cheri A says

    First of all, a huge thanks to Carrie, Laura, and the special team behind the scene that work so hard to make this community so wonderful. :)

    I will admit, though, that I am couponing far less frequently than ever because I am choosing to feed my family more whole and organic foods rather than spend my dollars on the cookies, crackers, etc., that are the most prevalent in the coupons. This also extends to cleaning. I do not use many of the cleaning products anymore and opt for more natural solutions. I have not changed my food budget, per se, just spending it differently.

    I prefer to come to the web site to read your posts. I have an extreme dislike of Facebook, even though I am still on it. With every news article that I read or change of privacy policy to worry about, I like it even less. I'll leave it at that. I'm sure I'm in the minority, but that's how I feel. I have too much that comes in e-mail, so I am not getting the RSS feed.

    • mrl says

      I will second the FB comment. I quit my FB account last year. In my opinion, the benefits (a lot of coupons are only available on FB) don't outweigh the negatives. I get your daily email, but admittedly don't read it (I just get too many emails every day and find I delete most, if not all, of them that are generated by coupon blogs and the like). Instead I prefer to come to PYD once or twice a day. It's one of my favorite coupon sites (I also like cuckooforcoupons for their kmart match ups). Typically on PYD, I check out the new comments and updates on my favorite store listings (Walgreens, Target) and look to see if there are any good daily deals (I've gotten some great deals on swim suits from Maidenform that I found out about on PYD). The thing I probably like most is PYD's Open Mic on Thursdays. I have learned a ton from these Open Mics. Great info from fellow PYDers who are always eager to help and are always full of helpful tips.

      Best of luck as you come up with your plans. Your hard work is appreciated!

  5. says

    When looking for shopping lists – I think more need to be listed on the page or smaller or remove the how to's at the top of the list as the first posted shopping lists (usually Walgreens and CVS) get pushed back to an "older" page.

  6. Erin says

    I would LOVE to have a way to search for the best place to get the best deal on toilet paper (or bread, or milk, etc.) when I realize that I have failed to plan and am desperate for a particular item. I know that this idea has been brought up in the past, and I would absolutely love to see it implemented. It would be a wonderful resource and a HUGE time saver! Thanks for all you do, Carrie and the team!

  7. Saff says

    I like reading about real-time results from shopping trips. It helps me figure out what went wrong/right in my own experiences.

  8. Angie says

    You are so helpful! I appreciate the comments under items about whether it is a good price or not. I wish there was a place easily reachable where you list bottom dollar prices and the max you'll pay for something and consider it a good deal. I like your tool box, but find it hard to find the article I am searching for. Could you have a page that organizes the articles by topic (each set of articles has a button like family fun, entertainment, bills, organic, etc).

    Keep up the great work!

  9. Alice says

    First off, thank you for all of the work that you do! I can't even begin to estimate how much money I've saved since I've started using your shopping lists for Target and for Rainbow Double Daze!

    My one small request/suggestion would be to include a link for "Older Comments" at the top of a page's comments section instead of/in addition to the link at the bottom. With the current set-up, I usually don't realize that I've started in the middle of the comments until I reach the very end. :)

    (I also have a problem with the page bouncing back to the top when I try to go straight to the comments, but I don't know if that's a problem with the site itself or with my browser…)

    Other than these small issues, I love the site!

  10. Carol says

    Enjoy your time off!

    (Since I'm moving back to the metro within 2 weeks, I'll definitely be able to take advantage of more of the local deals.)

    Re: feedback –

    >I don't "do" Twitter, Facebook (no interest in either), get too much stuff in my email, & don't even know what an RSS feed is, so only use the website, where I can pick & choose what I want to read when without the extra "clutter."

    >I've noticed there are certain issues which tend to repeat in the Open Mic due to participants either being new to the site or experiencing that issue for the 1st time, making me wonder if there's a way to link to past interactions by the same topic, thus cross-referencing them, rather than having individuals review oodles of past Open Mics to find the topic in question. I realize that could take an enormous amount of work, & some of the info could be out-of-date, but I would imagine there would be a whole lot more useful info than not.

    Even though some have already been listed, a few glitches I've encountered with the site include:

    >When posting a comment, my computer screen will report the website is down temporarily, so I just leave the site & return later. Most times my comment is posted, but sometimes it's not. Usually I don't attempt to repost it when that happens, as it might show up later, or (if it's a deal I've found) I figure at least I've tried, but it's not my loss.

    >Although I've been limited to CashWise & Coborns for the past few months (I realize most Pocketeers don't use them), occasionally coupon sources sent in the mail for those chains aren't covered (I've been thankful for the genuine attempt to include those stores otherwise.)

  11. sarah says

    My screen also pops back up to the top as it continues to load, would be nice if it could be fixed.

  12. sarah says

    I would love to be able to receive a shopping list news feed without commenting. I don't always have a comment but it would be nice to get email updates

  13. Sarah says

    Enjoy the break PYD team! A few things that I believe have been mentioned before:

    - The option to send your grocery list to a mobile device (vs. printing it)

    - A list of "one stop shop" for basic items (I realize you would need to define a basic list, but items such as bread, milk, eggs, etc. I guess it would be Aldi's most of the time, but for those that don't have access to that.)

    - A new rock bottom price list (again it's the Aldi's list, but something in a more readable/printable format to take along to the store)

    - More articles related to saving money. I think you've gotten away from that, but I think it's really helpful.

    I too, have switched to eating more whole foods and have been doing less couponing, but I still find your grocery lists invaluable. I still refer many people to this site to get them going on couponing. Thanks for all the hard work. Look forward to seeing what goals will be implemented!

    • Darrick says

      I also have couponed a lot less this past year because I'm trying to eat less processed foods and cook from scratch. There generally aren't as many deals for that kind of diet or I'm just clueless if there are.

      I second the idea for sending the list to your phone! That would be a nice option to have, especially if you are out of ink or don't have access to a printer.

  14. Addelynn says

    I LOVE, LOVE your website!

    I wondered if you could have a reader's tips section that kind of groups reader's advice into categories. Maybe there is a furniture section and a reader could post a great deal, ways they save, ideas to make your own, etc. Other sections might be cable/internet, childcare, clothing, office supplies, etc. It's almost like a more organized Open Mic but then when I'm furniture shopping, I can click there to go get some ideas. I also think it would be great to see more articles on saving money written by staff and also readers.

    Thank you for the great work that you do and for asking for suggestions!

  15. AsUntoTheLord says

    Hey PYD team,

    I know you'll enjoy the time with family. :-)

    One thought I've had relates to some of the things others have suggested. I haven't done a search in a while, but the last time I did, it was very unhelpful as the list that came up was in random order. It seemed to be powered outside the site. If it was improved, I would like to see the ability to search for key terms (like "Lysol" or "Coffee") and get a list sortable by date or store (or???) from all blog posts. I don't know if this would be a huge undertaking or not, but it was just a thought I'd had. :-)

  16. Annie says

    I know this would be a tremendous amount of work for the team… but if we're throwing out our hopes/dreams, I second this idea!

    It could start out with a few basics – based on the deals from each of the main stores (Target, WG, CVS, Rainbow, Cub) each week.

    Toilet paper, paper towels, milk, toothpaste, shampoo, meat, and whatever is "in season" as far as deals go (soda, sunscreen, etc).

  17. Morgan says

    I think it would be great to have an open mic area for daily use or every other day. I often think of things to share that are one day only type things our forget about open mic on Thursdays until later evening. I find if you post anytime after the lunch crowd check your post doesn't often get a response. It would be nice to a forum type place where we could just post it as it happens or ask a question as you think of something. I use babycenter community groups for those needs and it's a really great set up.

  18. Annie says

    First of all, thank you all for your hard work! I started using this site a little over a year ago, while on maternity leave, after watching too many episodes of "Extreme Couponing!" I have learned so much about the reality of using coupons. I have saved money in two ways:

    1. the obvious… paying MUCH less and stocking up on frequently used items.

    2. Fulfilling my urge to shop by enjoying the planning of shopping trips around coupon usage and finding deals. I rarely go to Target, for example, "just for fun" and end up with a cart full of things I don't need.

    Next, my list of what I love about PYD:

    1. early lists for at least a few stores – I have two little kids and am often home early on Saturday nights… so I love being able to plan ahead!

    2. the format of the lists – by far the most readable and easy to follow of any site I've seen! Prices and coupons needed are clear. The "deal ideas" make planning easy.

    3. when Carrie, Laura, or anyone else indicates whether a deal/price is not great, decent, or rock-bottom.

    4. open-forum

    5. updates on stores' coupon policies – so that we can all follow the rules easily!

    I would like to see:

    1. updated price lists – indicating "buy price" and "rock-bottom price"

    2. the ability to search for a certain type of item and get a list of prices/deals at various stores – or just the best price that week… or a list of the very best feals on even a few items (toilet paper, paper towels, etc)

    3. a list of the free and rock-bottom-priced items from all stores for the current week – for when time is tight!

    4. a breakdown, by insert, of coupons to clip for each shopping list. It would be great if, when I checked the box to add an item to my list-to-print, I would also get a list of which coupons to clip from which inserts/print from which websites. I hand-write such lists often because it helps me streamline the preparation for my shopping trips. This is probably WAY too time consuming/difficult for you to do… but a girl can dream!

    5. the ability to send a list to phone/ipad

    Again, thanks for all your hard work – and for using our input so well! I know you'll always do what you can to make PYD the best, most user-friendly couponing website!

    (: Annie

  19. Lisa says

    First of all PYD team, thank you for this site and sharing your knowledge with others. This has made a huge difference in my family. I love the site and if I could make one suggestion it would be to be able to save a shopping list that I have gone and checked what I need to print later. Also lwold lik e#5 on Annie;s most. I often find myself looking at the lists, checking what I need and not being able to print right away (usually for some reason such as…my kids discharging a bottle of spray sunscreen on the carepet). It would be nice to come back and be able to have saved what I did. I often lose lists due to interruptions, etc.

    Just a thought but other than that…the site is free and super useful so I can live with a couple of "re-do" lists.

    :) Lisa

  20. Kris says

    This is one of my favorite features too. Many times I don't know if something is really an incredible deal unless there is a comment like "this is not a great price" or "this is rock bottom price" Those comments really help me plan. Some items I have missed because I assumed the price was pretty average and it had turned out the item was 70% off the normal price. My fault totally, but the comments help me SO much.

  21. Kris says

    Yes please!! I realize groceries are getting more expensive and so this list would need to be updated periodically, but I would find this SO helpful.

  22. JoAnna says

    Until that feature is up and running copy and paste into an email–save as draft or email it to yourself.

  23. Cara says

    I totally agree – these comments help me so much and are a big reason why I keep coming back. Please keep those up!

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