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Home > SaverTime » SaverTime Hero(ine)

Nominate A SaverTime Hero(ine) Contest. Enter to Win $500!

We got so many great entries - thank you for sharing your stories. In the end, we
decided to have two first place winners, so each of our four winners will get $250!

We asked you to tell us about people you know who are helping inspire others (in your workplace or otherwise) during these tough times and we got some great nominations - thank you!
Check out the winning nomination below, as well as a few of our other favorite submissions. Need more inspiration?
Watch our SaverTime music video!

My mom is such a "penny pincher" she makes Lincoln blush! From as far back as I can remember, certainly long before it became popular my mom was a conserver-preserver, making the most of everything and not wasting anything. Once when things got a little tough she bought a single turkey, on sale and after dismantling it and using fresh vegetables, soups and condiments, that one entree lasted us for a week, and because she was so creative in the variation and presentation, we never thought of it as a hardship. She encouraged us to limit our snacks to the healthy ones and on the sweet treats our typical limit was two, as in two cookies, not two rows of cookies. Coupons were clipped, wrapping paper trimmed , paper bags used and reused for lunches as well as book covers, She ONLY shopped for sale items and we had a chest freezer which she used to stock up on bulk amounts as available. From tape to thread, and paint to glue, she repaired and rejuvenated rather than replace items, we needed; a cousin, ended up with a wonderful living room set after my mom, transformed torn seat cushions by hand sewing coordinating fabric to the attached covers by hand, with fishing line, no less. She was creative for parties and occasions, as for one Halloween, homemade, and prizewinning, my sister once as a, "rotten apple". Flea markets, garage sales, and thrift shops were her treasure hunting grounds and she would study the current styles in the local stores before heading out, so we never fell out of the loop with our school friends. Car trips were consolidated as much as possible walking or biking, when we could. Friends invited to the house to eat and hang-out, watch movies, even sleep over rather than hit the malls or cruise around town. She taught us how to be frugal, and forthright and alot of what I practice today much the same as when I was younger. So, even if she made old Abe blush, she's been a great Penny saving mom, and gets my nomination as a model to follow...except maybe for the book covers!
I would like to nominate my mother. I have seen my mother raise my 3 siblings and her hardest job was raising my autistic sister. My autistic sister is 10 years old and was diagnosed as being autistic at the age of 2 yrs and 9 months. My mom was on her second marriage when she had my sister Sophia. My mother hardly slept for the first 3 years of Sophia's birth. She couldn't just get up and go with us to do things such as family outings or vacations because my sister was and still is very difficult, but my mom never complained of how hard it was to deal with Sophia. She finally left my ex-step-dad, because he couldn't deal with having a disabled daughter. My mom didn't know what she was going to do without having a job or a steady income, but my mom managed to move us into a townhouse and find herself a part-time job. Driving all of us to two different schools then therapy with Sophia, my mom still took great care of us and sacrificed everything for us. Now that my sister is 10 and weighs about 70 pounds, she is still doing it all by herself and she still is a happy mom. I am now 20 years old and have a son of my own, still live at home and admire how my mom has done it all. I know that my mom is a very special person and has taught us about compassion and having lots of patience in dealing with a very special little girl.

My brother-in-law George Vehanen is one of the few people during tough times who is actually leaving a very small carbon footprint. Instead of driving a Prius, he doesn't own a car at all, and only rents one on occasions when he needs one. He lives in a small studio apartment without appliances like a washer and dryer. He rides his bike to work and wears casual clothes, so no big fashion expenses for him. He's wearing the same perfectly good clothes he wore 15 years ago. He's my hero! -- Jean Vehanen

Evelyne Broitman is an 85 year old lady from El Dorado Estates in Long Beach. I saw her ad in the PennySaver. It said room for rent 625, so I called. She pleasantly, and graciously offered to show me the room. It was in a beautiful house on a pretty, quiet street in Long Beach. The room, she said, used to be her daughters'. She had explained that she had been renting the room for the last 40 yrs. I was impressed that she would open her house to so many, mostly students who attended a local University. She had pictures of family and friends decorating a hallway to the room which she happily described to me. One in particular stood out. It was a black and white picture of a lady in a wedding gown next to a sailor in a navy uniform. The bride reminded me of Elizabeth Taylor. It was Evelyne and her husband, Ben, who had passed away 10 years ago.I was touched by all this and a lady that students had called "Grandma" for so many years. Evelyne, thanks for your kindness for renting the room to me, you're a great person and a kind soul. -- Francisco Reyes

My house burnt down May 20th 2008. I stayed away until I could deal with the clean up without going into total depression. My life was in that house. Since March, when I did not have $1,800 to pay someone to clean it up, I had to do it myself with some help from my friends. The one friend who has been there from day one is Herb. He helps every weekend and I am within 2 weeks of getting it to the point where I can finally set up a mobile home to live in. My heart goes out to Herb for being there every weekend to help physically, mentally and financially when I was ready to give up. -- Katt Lewis

Due to the recession, many qualified, low-income students cannot afford college. My older brother, Ly Hua, not only decided to return to his alma mater to teach high school science and help these kids, he also decided to coach basketball alongside his former high school basketball coach. To date, he's helped several students obtain much needed jobs, kept countless more away from the ravages of gangs and drugs, and most recently, wrote a letter of recommendation for a superstar student from a disadvantaged background, who ended up receiving a $140,000 full 4-year scholarship to Emory University. -- Hong Hua

Two years ago, Willie Bassett, my mate of five years abruptly lost his job that had lasted twelve years. He was a property manager so on top of losing the job (the apartment building was sold) we lost the roof over our heads as well. It was devastating! All the financial responsibilities fell on my shoulders, and I could barely keep up! Most people would withdraw into depression faced with the reality of being in their 50's and unemployed in this economy. But most people are not like Willie!! He is so optimistic and hopeful, which makes me optimistic and hopeful! We are going through a hard time, and have been now for two years, but without his sense of "its going to be alright" I would have given into the stress a long time ago. We also ended up inadvertently rescuing some abandoned animals (the houses around us were foreclosed and the people abandoned the animals)...it was alot to suddenly take care of, but Willie felt that if we can't help these truly helpless animals, they would surely starve. So now we are the proud owners of 15 ducks, 7 baby kittens, a rooster, chicken and a very sweet dog! The animals are a handful, but they also distract me from my problems...and actually are a blessed distraction. So life is hard...but good, and when you have a hopeful, optimistic person by your side you can truly make it through everything!!! -- Denise Kramer

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