It’s hard to believe that it was one entire year ago, May 11, 2014 to be exact, that Saving the Crumbs was born. We still scratch our heads sometimes about what got into us that made us start this little hobby. But along the way, we’ve been simply amazed (and surprised!) at the interest out there to read about frugal living and our weirdly thrifty ways. We’ve been stopped more than once at random places by people remarking how much they’ve enjoyed reading our blog. It’s especially been encouraging for us to hear of how people’s lives have improved because of the things that they’ve read here. If our musings, rantings, ramblings, and other sundry stuff have helped someone out there, then we are richly satisfied.

In the past 12 months, we have written just shy of 100 posts (99 including this one). And if I estimate an average of 1000 words per post, that means we’ve written about 100,000 words in that span of time. This is a pittance compared to many of the more active blogs out there, but according to our friend Google, this equals approximately 400 pages of writing. So why was it so painful to write those 20-page papers in college?!

So in reflection over the past year, we would like to share our top 3 posts by traffic, our favorite posts, and also a cool testimony from a friend.

Top 3 Posts

Naturally, the earlier posts have a marked advantage over the later ones since they’ve had more time to be viewed. But since I’m not conducting a scientific study here, I won’t go through the trouble of averaging the traffic based on days released. These are just based on total pageviews. So without further ado, our top 3 posts in the past year are…

  1. Why You Should Consider Online Banking: Ally Bank & Capital One 360. Posted on July 1, 2014. We were a little surprised that this post was ranked so high, but it became apparent that much of the search engine traffic we were getting were coming because of this page! Evidently lots of people are curious about Ally Bank and Capital One 360! We’re still using both banks and still would recommend both of them.
  2. How We Eat for Less Than $60 a Month: A Peek into Our Food Budget. Posted on June 17, 2014. I predicted that this would be a top post even before Deb released it last year–I was right! I figured that the title would play on the incredulity of people and lure them in by the sheer shock factor. Apparently, it worked because this page also gets a lot of search engine traffic too. Only thing though, the dollar amount in this post is slightly misleading now, because since we wrote it, our food budget has gone down to $50 a month!
  3. Planning a Wedding for Less Than $3,000. Posted July 13, 2014. Another excellent source of search engine visits. I guess there are plenty of desperate brides out there (or more like parents of brides!) trying to keep wedding expenses from rocketing into the stratosphere. If it means helping newly wed couples start their lives together on the right foot financially, we are happy to help.

You’ll notice here that even though Deb writes about one-third of the total volume of posts, her posts make up TWO-THIRDS of the top three! Clearly, there’s a lesson to be learned here about quality over quantity! 🙂

Our Fave Posts

Even though we’re glad that those three posts are at the top of the heap, Deb and I still have our personal favorites. So here is each of our personal favorite posts from this past year.

Deb’s Favorite: India Showed Me Why I Save. Posted Dec. 1, 2014. Looking back over our posts, I realized that while the practical tips we have shared are useful, this post demonstrated the most important value I could share: the shift in perspective I received after my trip to India. It’s so easy in this whole budgeting/thrifty mindset for me to focus on myself. It was seeing others in need of much, but content with little, that helped me realize that saving money wasn’t all about me and how I could benefit. It was something bigger – having purpose, helping others, and loving people.

Al’s Favorite: Driving Off a Cliff with a New Car Loan. Posted July 10, 2014.  It was tough picking a favorite because it almost feels like picking a favorite child…they did all issue from me, didn’t they?  But this one took the top honors mainly because it’s one of those posts that deals with an assumption that many people have, but one where a slight adjustment in perspective can result in a HUGE impact on the Crumbstash.  Moreover, I got to rant.  I think it was somewhat therapeutic.  So buy used cars, and don’t borrow money to buy them.

Crumb-Saving on a Commercial Scale

So a couple days ago I got a phone call from a friend who said he wanted to share a testimony of how some tips from our blog have helped him save some major crumbs. He manages an entire portfolio of apartment complexes for the organization he works for and he was looking for ways to cut the maintenance expenses of these properties by 10%. He recalled what we had written about using Cardpool to get discounted gift cards for Home Depot, and he also recalled a tip from another friend who purchased coupons off of eBay. So he purchased $7000 (yes, you read that correctly) worth of gift cards from Cardpool at an 8.5% discount, saving him nearly $600. Then he purchased a coupon that’s good for an additional 10% off . So he is getting $7000 worth of supplies, equipment, and other products for $5700! Hopefully my friend gets a raise for saving the business so much money!

What does the future hold?

As most of you probably already know, we’re expecting our first baby this August, and so our lives will certainly be in for some changes. However, it’s been so much fun writing here that we plan to keep doing it. We may not be able to post as often as we like, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated on the latest Crumb-Saving adventures—especially with a little one.

So thank YOU for making us feel like we actually have something worthwhile to share, for sharing with us your own tips and experiences, and for being a part of the big Crumb-Saving Family!

Looking ahead to many more years of Saving the Crumbs!