I haven’t told you the whole story….




Has there ever been a time in your life where something just makes sense? It makes so much sense that you wonder why the heck you didn’t see it in the first place? Maybe what some call an epiphany?

I realize that when I announced that SCS would be taking a more all natural/organic route, it was really abrupt and maybe confusing to you. However, I promise there is a reason for this! ๐Ÿ™‚

8 months ago, we took our three boys to the dentist for a routine cleaning. Our oldest was the only one that I knew was going to have some issues– the poor guy has teeth that don’t fit his mouth and they are growing all over the place! During the exams, the dentist went through each boy and surprisingly, the oldest besides the obvious issue of him needing braces was checked out just fine.

The four year-old was another story.

The dentist let us know that he had a few cavities… okay, I was expecting one of the boys to have at least one– Teeth brushing is extremely important in our routine. Mostly because I am a freak about teeth and because I’ve always had a stigma about the dentist and not being blessed with the best teeth– I absolutely dread the dentist.

“He has eight cavities and it’s very possible that he needs a baby root canal” the words from the dentist.


Honestly, I was about to cry. Firstly, I felt like a terrible mother– I don’t know what I had done wrong. Being that I was so diligent about the health of their teeth I felt like I failed. I hated the thought of my 4 year-old needing fillings and the thought of a root canal? I was pretty much terrified.

I had let the dentist know that we were doing everything right (or at least thought) and I asking him how we could avoid this for the future. Of course, he said the usual things like brushing/flossing..etc. As we were talking, I don’t know what had striked the conversation but he mentioned that he had several kids who had problems with cavities due to vitamins. Particularly gummy vitamins. I was thinking to myself.. what? how does that make sense–vitamins are supposed to be good for you! He went on about how he doesn’t suggest any type of gummy vitamin due the sugar content and the vitamin sticking to your child’s teeth. He said it takes only 20 minutes for bacteria to thrive and start spreading while on the leftover gummy vitamin pieces.



Then it hit me. Every.single.day. we give our kids gummy vitamins– ugh. The most frustrating thing was that it was so obvious when he said it. How could I not realize this?? Worst of all, how could someone else control the fate my kids health? I gave my kids something that I thought would make them better.. instead it cost us quite a bit of money and pretty much erased all of the work we had done in trying to keep our kids teeth good. Even though it is a small thing, it is a big wake up call for us. It all made sense after that. We were feeding our kids unnatural sugars and dyes– I was letting them ingest things that shouldn’t be in something that you consume!


Long story short.. our 4 year old had two root canals the next week. He also had to have 4 fillings… for me, the whole procedure wanted to make me cry.. He is a strong-willed little guy and didn’t do so well.

From that point on– I’ve decided to look more closely at what we are putting in our bodies. We’ve gotten rid of the vitamins .. I’m looking into more natural forms of preventive care and just trying to be more aware of what we are consuming. This is just one reason why we’ve decided to try Essential Oils and go more organic.

So there you have it. My epiphany.

After that experience, I continued to blog about things that I didn’t feel 100% about. Certain products and food items. it actually made me blog less. made me depressed. I won’t lie– most of the reason I continued to blog was because this blog is powered by YOU. I felt if I stopped talking about all the free pads, free marchuan bowls, free toothpaste that you  would stop visiting. If you stopped visiting the blog– it would probably shut down because it costs quite a bit of money to run… (If I didn’t post anything on the site–it would still cost around $500 a month to run, then when you add in other things like the coupon database and tech support.. it is upwards of $1000 a month) I personally don’t have that much money just to keep the blog running just because. So, I blogged about the things I know that you all liked seeing… so you would come back and help it keep running.

After awhile, I started to feel like a cheat and that I wasn’t being true to myself.  After several conversations with my husband, conversations with mentors and friends.. I decided to take a different turn.  and hope that you would stick around. ๐Ÿ™‚ It just made sense to me– with all the changes in couponing and store changes in So Cal I was ready to find different ways to save and coupon for less processed food items. Things I had control over.

That is my story. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • christa says:

    you are not alone with the baby root canal and multiple cavity issue I had the same thing and had given my kids gummy vitamins as well

  • Jenn says:

    Our kid’s dentist has signs all over the place warning about the gummy vitamins. At least if you take them, brush their teeth afterwards. I’ve been giving my kids the old-dependable bad tasting ones, since they have iron in them and the gummies do not (and that’s what usually gives my kids trouble- their iron counts).

  • Josie says:

    Imagine there are a lot of parents out there who think they are doing the right thing by this.. but they don’t know what they can really do. Makes me sad.

  • Zoey says:

    I love the new direction! I’ve been slowly changing what we have been eating cutting out as much processed foods as possible. And then couponing less. I feel like after you have an established stockpile, I get/got so bored couponing, and I don’t need to run after “hot” deals. For the past 2 years I’ve been feeling like this!

    Love you Josie for all that you do! Thank you!

  • Luv ur blog says:

    We’ll I’ve been following u sinse 2011, I believe, but any who I would only by the gummies when they were almost free and honestly I am glad we have been so busy because I have sadly not couponed in a long time so have not bought any but thanks to you I have a great stock pile. ๐Ÿ™‚ As mom of 4 little loves…6 5 3 & 2 we never want to fail our kids or feel like we have and things happen and we learn from them and I am greatful to you to share ur knowledge because it does help others. I too am trying to fuel my kids with nutritious foods lots of fruits and veggies and limit sweets and processed food but when I’m strapped for time I cruise through El Polo loco and grab my kids a burrito. Also have u looked into the benefits of soaking ur rice I had read an article that just cooking rice with out soaking it actually takes nutrients out of your body and they found that that too caused cavities in teeth. Well thank you for all ur time and work! I will still follow u! Thank you!

  • Tara says:

    Trust me, I am FAR from a perfect mom, I let my kids eat junk more than I’m willing to admit, but I have to say, I always thought giving gummy vitamins were weird. It seemed like giving kids candy, so I never bought them. After your story I’m really glad I didn’t! I am going to have to tell my sister-in-law this. Her son has had to have MAJOR dental work, and they are diligent about brushing, wonder if those vitamins could be the problem?

    PS I have been following you for about 4 years, and I’m not going to stop now! I just hope you aren’t sick of it, and it isn’t too hard on yourfamily!

  • Stephanie says:

    Funny you write this just about a month ago I took my kids to the dentist and my oldest has 9 CAVITIES!! I was shocked to say the least especially since we recently bought her an electric toothbrush and it seemed to be helping and her teeth were looking way better than before. The dentist never mentioned gummy vitamins but I just now realized because of your post that could be the reason for so many cavities Because like you I have been giving my kids the gummy vitamins And had just recently switched to hard Flintstone vitamins. Now I will be looking into other forms of preventative care. Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed of reasons you make some decisions.

  • Claudia says:

    I’m glad that finally I follow someone that trying to find organic I made that change about 3 months ago and I know it might be difficult because it’s easier and cheaper to eat junk I’m really looking forward for great deals on organic food. I’m staying by your side

  • Diana says:

    It has nothing to do with what you eat being a dentist it has to do with your saliva glands

  • Yvonne says:

    Thank you for sharing, I would love to have more healthier options because now days with the food industry putting pesticides and other unhealthy things that cause cancer and illnesses to our body I would love to have an more healthier route to go for myself and family due to me having a breast cancer scare it was a fear that I wouldn’t want anyone to experience. I fear death, my kids not having me around and me leaving my husband with it all to handle. Im so thankful that it was nothing but it was a wake up call. So now we have cut out meat to only twice a week and hopefully we will not have it anymore. The dr said that the hormones that they put in the animals that cancer feeds off it. So its a change that my family is doing. Thank you again for your testimony and all the work you do for scs.

  • Griselda says:

    For the longest I was into the whole couponing train and trying to get all of the “free” deals. Until my husband opened my eye’s and mentioned to me that we didn’t need half the items I was apparently scoring.
    I love getting a deal and being able to have a stockpile. But, now when I do shop I have to think about my family. My kids are young and their tiny bodies are growing, I don’t want to feed them something that their body is going to have a hard time breaking down (digestion).
    I am proud of all the hard work you do. Thank you for opening the doors into your life.

  • Denise Munoz says:

    Josie thank you! I love the new direction you are headed in!

  • Viviane says:

    I am very excited to see future changes focused on a more Organic healthier life style. I try my best to buy my 6 yr old Organic items but they are very pricey. I used to give him SmartyPants gummy vitamins which are really good if your kids must have gummies. They use the organic sugar not the high fructose corn syrup that all the others do. However, I learned that gummy vitamins are not as potent as others. So I got my son used to taking pills, he doesn’t like it, but he takes an Omega 3 gel vitamin every morning (by Nordic). It helps keep him focused in school. He has been doing this for a while and is used to it.

  • Joi says:

    Josie — You started it all for me. I was a confused wanna be couponer trying to save a buck. You gave me great inspiration over the years and I have been able to share “my wealth” with all of my family and friends. I love the new approach and am excited about trying to live a healthier lifetyle.

    I cannot thank you enough for all that you do! Thank you!

  • Mary D. says:

    LOVIN IT!!! Thank you for being so real and transparent. We all go through life making mistakes, but as I tell my kids, “It’s not the mistakes you make in life, it’s how you continue after you have made the mistakes.” YIPPEEE, you learned something important and are now moving forward in a positive way. Thank you for sharing your life and experiences with us. I have been Couponing for well over 15 years and been following you for a very long time. IDK how long. LOL. Southerncalisaver is the only website I FOLLOW. I welcome the new change. My Couponing has changed over the years and I don’t allow it to run my life like it used to. :). Thanks for all you do.!!!

  • Julie says:

    Josie, you’re a great mom! I had the same thing happen with my middle daughter. Instead of the gummy vitamins, hers were most likely from fruit snacks! That’s one of the easiest things to coupon for too! ๐Ÿ™‚ Our dentist said anything chewy/gummy that sticks to their teeth. So anything chewy/sticky were no longer allowed in our house. Now it’s chocolate for special treats. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am very thankful for your “new” site/blog (and even more thankful for YOU!)!! I’ve been wanting to eat and feed my family more healthy, but felt lost. I don’t as much now that I have one more thing to look to you for!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Going to Sprouts later today. ๐Ÿ™‚ As I’ve said in the past, your name is well known and used in my house…and it’s all good. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you again Josie!!

  • Marlene says:

    Josie, I admire you! You are quite an awesome person and mother. We cannot keep our eyes on everything 100%. I am not raising children anymore; however, I have an older husband with health issues and that has made me more contious of everything. Another reason I love your new direction with Southern Cali Saver. I can appreciate how impacted your days are. I did send you an email a few weeks ago about some completely natural products including dental care. Let me know if you would like the information.
    Thank you again for your dedication.

  • Haz says:

    I’m proud to say my 11 year old has never had a cavity and my 9 year old has had two. BUT! 22 year old has had many many many cavities. LOL I don’t know what I did different. LOL

  • Heather says:

    i understand where you are coming from for both kids. I had teeth like your oldest and had extra teeth and my daughter at age 2 had to have teeth extracted and many cavities at well and I felt like I was about to have a breakdown in the office when it all took place. Her dentist mentioned all gummies/ fruit snacks. We now try to avoid them but when food 4 less had the 20 free boxes it was hard to pass up. If she gets them now at 6yrs it’s a “treat”. And then he also said she is very cavity prone so some are just bound to get them. Thanks Josie for your honestly.

  • Rochelle says:

    Be encouraged! You have totally taken the right steps. I actually stopped couponing for the exact reason. We were moving to a healthier lifestyle that just wasn’t fitting the items that most coupons were for. We are essential oil lovers and have a need for finding doctors that use integrative medicine. You’ve regenerated my excitement to start looking at the sales and coupons again! Way to go and THANK YOU!!

  • Missy says:

    i love your blog and I love the new daily email I receive. I’ll be following

  • Joan says:

    Hi Josie, First of all, I just have to put in my two cents about dentists. Some of them are crooks who are just after your money. I’ve found that when I went for a second opinion about dental issues a different dentist would have a totally different opinion—for example, one would say I had a cavity that needed to be filled and another one would say I just had the “beginning” of a cavity that might NEVER need to be filled. I’m especially cautious with my kids and dentists because I don’t want to them to develop the fear of dental work that I have. I really wonder if kids need to have all the dental work done that they say they do—these are just baby teeth so aren’t they just going to fall out anyway??? I know it’s too late now but next time you might want to get a second opinion. Secondly, I totally understand that you are changing your focus on this site but I have to say I am a bit disappointed. I really do appreciate the posts on bad-for-you foods such as fruit snacks, hostess cupcakes, etc etc. I think we should eat everything in moderation and it’s ok to have fruit snacks or a cupcake once in a blue moon. Anyways, I support you and am grateful for your website and all the great deals I’ve found from you. I think you are doing great and being true to yourself is the most important thing–and that is what you are doing!

  • Miss LaLa says:

    Poor baby! I would never have imagined that a root canal would be necessary for a 4 year old – let alone TWO! I hope you’re both recovering. I loved what you wrote and I will echo many others in saying that I want to steer my family towards less sugary and processed foods. Keep it up! We will totally keep visiting!

  • I want to encourage you that you’re not alone. I’ve been in the deal blogging world since 2011. I used to post every amazing coupon offer that came around and would usually snag the deal myself. I turned around one day and realized that all this processed food I was keeping on hand was not worth the price when it was something that was going to encourage an unhealthy family. In the last 2 yrs, we’ve switched to a mostly real food diet in my family but it felt wrong to still post all these amazing deals that I didn’t really believe in myself. On Jan 1 of this year, I re-branded and have been slowly transitioning away from coupon deals/posts. It’s feel amazing and your personal posts here and there have helped me have the courage to do so!

    My oldest daughter (now 10) too had massive cavities at 4 yrs old from vitamins. I stopped giving them to her that at that time and she’s never had a cavity since! And my youngest (now 7 yrs old) has never had a cavity in her life which I believe is due to eating a good diet and not having chewable vitamins.

    Thanks again for sharing & following your heart!

  • Shelley says:

    Josie, I love the new direction! I have been incorporating more and more organics, grass fed meats, etc into our diets since April. Since your change, I’ve done much better at Sprouts. i love it! Thanks

  • Michelle R says:

    Your poor baby!! And poor you!! I still love the free toothpaste deals

  • megulle says:

    I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again. I’m completely on board with your new direction and I’m really glad that I know I can turn on you when it comes to good deals on healthy foods. Thank you for giving out that advise regarding gummy vitamins! I guess that explains why I wasn’t so disappointed when I missed out on the Lil Critters deal from Target a few weeks ago. I went to a few Targets only to find empty shelves, surprise, surprise lol! I’ve been thinking about switching my son’s vitamins to a plant based one that he’ll actually liked. I recently switched mine and could really see the difference. So please, if you do decide this route, please share which vitamins your boys actually like. I’m currently on the hunt. Also, look into the benefits of Kefir milk if you haven’t already. My son calls it yogurt milk because that’s exactly what it taste like. Although, making your own would be cheaper. We’ve added Kefir into our diet for over a year now and it became a must. He’s immune system has gotten better and barely get sick and so do I.

  • tita says:

    I have been following your site for 4 years faithfully. I will continue to follow you, it’s so hard to eat healthy and save money. But, I agree with you that health overruns cutting corners. I appreciate your hard work. Thank you for all my savings. I love your site and going back to school I am living off my stockpile. You are Awesome, thank you I have been able to stretch my budget thanks to your hard help. Thank you

  • Myth says:

    Josie! You are in the correct direction. We r always there to support you…

  • Lindsey says:

    Hi Josie,
    So I wanted you to know that I have been reading your blog for almost 2 years and in the last year I actually spent less and less time here…… The reason is I discovered exactly what you have discovered. I have reduced processed foods and try to buy organic foods. My children also had a issue with their teeth and I felt horrible! The way they were looking at me like I wasn’t caring about their teeth……. Ugh it was horrible!

    So……. Here we are and I am thrilled that you have made this change! I have now been able to keep up on what’s on sale, and I love it!

  • Kim in Rancho SD says:

    Wow!!!! My 9-yr old gets his gummy vitamins every morning too… Thanks so much for the warning and for your honesty. We r with you!!!!

  • plumaria says:

    I kept my children away from juice and suguar as much if I can. My daughter is 6, never had cavities. I on the other hand had lots as kid n teeth problem so aweful! I’ve learned that flouride isn’t good for you. I switched to brushing with unrefined Coconut oil. That’s all my daughter use. After 3 months, I’ve noticed my teeth aren’t sent it I’ve or painful as it used to be. After my anxiety attack 2 years ago, I too have switched to organic. My therapist used to give me depression pills which did worse then help. After research n talking to my docter, I’ve learned it’s the food we eat. That caused all these. It’s not easy to switch to herbal/natural meds and organic food but it’s a start. Good luck

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