Friday, September 28, 2012

Survey Wrap-up and Giveaway Winners

Let's take care of the most important thing first....the winners of the spice packs!

The 3 winners I drew, using's Random Number Generator were:
1.  Tara V., who said "I like the Recipe Round-up and check it weekly for recipe ideas to match up with what is on sale.  I like the new I am in a hurry format better because I can look for what type of recipe I need at a glance."
2.  Joshua and Sharla, who said "One thing I would love to see or read more about is Kitchen Organization tips...or any type of organization in the home.  Not sure if you want to go that route but that is what I would love to read more about."
3.  *carrie*, who said "Hey Lisa.  I enjoy reading your blog, especially the recipes and money-saving tips!  Of course, I don't live anywhere near a Meijer, so I don't really read the Recipe Round-up.  I'd love to have something like that for Fareway!"

Congratulations to all of you!  Please contact me to claim your prize (dblisamarie {@} ~ remove spaces and {})  If you know me personally and/or live near me, I can get you your prize soon.  Otherwise, I will need your address so that I can ship the prize pack to you. 

Thank-you all SO much for all of your feedback and opinions!  I wasn't expecting the flood of "we love your blog!" (nor was I fishing for it by conducting a survey), but it is nice to hear, and it inspires me to continue blogging. 

I'm going to address some questions and various things that were brought up in the comments and in emails to me.  If the answers and results don't interest you, feel free to quit reading here...because the rest of this post is pretty long!

Use of the Recipe Round-up: 
After tallying up the comments, Facebook messages, and emails I received, it looks like about half of you use the Recipe Round-up.  The ones of you who do use it were pretty emphatic that you "love" it, so don't worry, it's not going away.  Meal-planning is something I try to encourage, so maybe if I keep publishing the Round-up, I'll convince the rest of you :)   (Although for those of you who don't live near a Meijer, it makes sense that you wouldn't use it.)

Format of the Recipe Round-up: 
In all honesty, the old format is kind of a time hog.  Most of you were OK with switching to a new format, but one commentor said that she likes seeing what's on sale next to the recipe.  She likes to know if she has the ingredients on hand or not, without even clicking through to the recipe.  I also received some similar comments via email.  I can see their point!  For that reason, I'll try to use the old format whenever I have time, but if I have an extremely busy weekend, I won't list the ingredients.  I will, however, change the old format to be organized by categories, since some of you like that about the new format.  I'm not sure why I never thought of that before!

Favorite thing about Cooking Up a Sale: 

Recipe Index and new recipes were the themes I noticed.  The Recipe Index is a "freebie" for's easy to keep up, and it definitely helps keep my site organized.  So that's certainly not going away :)  You may have noticed that I've slowed down my posting from three recipes each weekend to only one.  It's not that I'm running out of recipes, but more that I'm running out of time.  I like to get the sale ingredient recipes in front of you before Sunday, because I know some of you do your menu-planning on Saturday or Monday.  Right now we have three soccer games on Saturdays, so if I don't get the new recipes out by Friday, I really don't have much time to work on the blog on Saturday.  I will almost always post at least one new sale recipe, but three is probably pushing it for this stage in my life.  I will, however, try to do more "random recipe" posting during the that don't necessarily match up to sale ingredients, but are just something I'd like to share.

The rest of your favorites (and things you'd like to see more of) were a variety of things, but I'll adress a few here:

Money-saving tips:  For those of you who said that this is your favorite part, or who said you'd like to see more of this, you are in for a treat!  Check back here tomorrow (Saturday) for a big announcement!  I can tell you this now:  it's a series, and it's a looooonnnnggggggg one!  I'm super excited to get going on it, and I hope you enjoy it!

Organization:  Ahhh, yes.  This was was surprising to me.  This is a recipe/money-saving blog, but since I do love to organize (for myself, as well as for family and friends), I've written a few (two, right?) Before and After posts.  I've hesitated to share more, because I don't want to get too far off my theme...and not all of my completed projects have to do with the kitchen.  However, quite a few of you asked for more of this!  I've thought of a few ways I could do this: 
  1. I could start a separate blog for organizational stuff...but I need to decide if that's a good use of my time right now. 
  2. I could start a Pinterest board with my completed projects, and then when I upload new pins, I would post a link from my blog to the new pictures.
  3. I could just keep posting my Before and After pictures on the blog.  After all, this blog is for you, so if that's what you want to see, then it just makes sense to keep it on here.  If there are some readers who don't care about that kind of stuff (gasp!), then I suppose they could just skip over it.
If you have an opinion about how I should share my organizational ideas, feel free to share it in the comments below!

Favorite Type of Recipe:
Main dishes and desserts seem to be the most popular, but some of you asked for more side dishes.  I'll continue to include a variety of recipes, but for those of you who like side dishes, don't forget to try out the couscous.  I know it sounds weird, but seriously, it is so tasty ~ and fairly healthy as well!

A few more things:

A few of you have asked (via email) if there is a good way to print recipes.  I know the big, fancy cooking sites have a little "printer-friendly" button that you can click, and a nice, formatted recipe will spit out of your printer.  I would love to switch my blog over to that someday, but I'm guessing it's pretty technical.  Currently, if you click print from your file menu while looking at one of my recipes, my header/title will print out (wasting a LOT of colored ink!), as well as the ads and everything in my sidebars.  To fix this (until I can get the "printer-friendly" thing figured out), just use your mouse to highlight the recipe and any tips/options you want to include.  Right-click and hit "copy", then open a new Word document (or whatever word-processing program you have) and right-click to "paste" in the body of the document.  This will help you avoid wasting paper and ink.  You'll also be able to format the recipe any way you want after it's in the Word document. 

I'd also like to address the email newsletter issue.  After I told you that my list of email subscribers was wiped out, I received a few helpful emails from you, my readers.  Some of you confirmed that you were no longer receiving the emails, and some of you said that even though the email addresses had disappeared, you were still receiving the feed/newsletter.  Hmmm.  I am not very tech-savvy, so this has me stumped.  Furthermore, since my "Technical Difficulties" post, my list of email subscribers has magically reappeared.  So maybe you'll start receiving the newsletter again, and maybe you won't.  Sorry, I have no good explanation for any of this!  I have, however, copied all of your email addresses into a Word document, so that in case something happens again, I have them all!  Don't worry, you won't get any spam from me, and I won't give out your email address to anyone. 

Finally (whew, this is a long one!), if I had to pick my favorite part of Cooking Up a Sale, I'd say "the comments".  I love love love to read what you have to say.  And I'm not just fishing for "Great recipe!  Delicious!" (even though those are nice as well).  If you have a question, a positive or negative review, or you just have something to add to whatever I wrote, feel free to comment!

Thanks again for helping me build a better blog by taking the time to answer my questions!

Happy Cooking!

No comments:

Post a Comment