12.4.17 Online Savings

Family Friendly Frugality: Shopping Expert Heather Shaw Helps Consumers Strategically Stretch Their Limited Budgets

By: Jon McDonald

The Crunch: The average family on a limited budget can lose thousands of dollars annually by not taking advantage of coupons or store sales. Heather Shaw, strategic shopping entrepreneur and founder of Family Friendly Frugality, helps those families maximize their money through coupons and planning. Budget-conscious consumers can save anywhere from 5% to 60% at the store each week by learning about frugal shopping strategies, couponing, and buying low-cost store brands. Heather’s site features deal listings and freebies for families as well as plenty of thrifty tips and how-to guides. The site’s focus on the household is why Family Friendly Frugality has built an audience of more than 35,000 visitors per month and counting.

Many limited-budget families struggle with high grocery bills as they try to strike a balance between eating healthy foods and meeting their nutritional needs each week. Heather Shaw, Founder of Family Friendly Frugality, counted herself among that group.

“It was not out of the realm of possibility for me to walk into a grocery store and walk out $250-$300 poorer,” Heather wrote on the website. “I had a budgeted amount to spend. I was just incapable of sticking to it.”

Heather Shaw started Family Friendly Frugality as a way to share her couponing experience with others.

She didn’t know that shopping frugally and strategically could save her thousands per year — and many other consumers are in the same boat. But when Heather needed to get control of her finances, she turned to couponing and became well-versed in the tricks of the trade.

Strategies like buying store-brand products instead of brand-name products alone can save up to 60% on a grocery bill — and there isn’t much difference in quality. It pays for families to know such information, and Family Friendly Frugality now allows Heather to bring that knowledge to consumers.

Heather teaches consumers about the culture of coupons, bargains, and frugal living, and wants to help families save without sacrificing quality. She encourages readers to shop strategically, find the best values, think frugally, and to use coupons according to grocery needs.

As she earnestly states on her website, it’s not about how well you shop, but what you get out of shopping. She learned the hard way how to optimize her limited family budget and is frank about her early shopping struggles — which she wants to help others avoid.

A Growing Family Need Spurred the Creation of a Business

Heather is a married mother-of-two from Texas who started Family Friendly Frugality in 2007 as a small blog for family and friends. She wanted an outlet to write about her struggles balancing budgets and shopping. In the beginning, Heather used coupons simply because they were available instead of researching to optimize them for her family’s needs. As she states on the site, “I realized that I was never taught how to shop. I was never educated on how to get the most bang for my buck.”

The turning point came when she frantically searched for a wrapping blanket to calm the crying fits of her firstborn child. She searched until she found one that was both affordable and suited her needs. As she taught herself how to become a better shopper, Heather wrote e-books on the subject and professionally launched Family Friendly Frugality in 2010 with the goal of paying her knowledge forward.

Heather Shaw launched Family Friendly Frugality as a way to share her savings knowledge with others.

As a self-taught entrepreneur, Heather strategized how to leverage her site’s authority to provide her readership with the latest information and the best shopping deals. Heather soon secured partnerships with some of the largest retailers and well-known store brands.

Because of those partnerships, she can provide families with even more savings on the items they need. Family Friendly Frugality stands out from similar sites for its dedicated business focus of spotlighting family-themed deals, bargains, giveaways, and experiences to benefit consumers.

A Thorough Resource with Tips & Giveaways for Thrifty Shoppers

Heather’s primary goal is to help consumers provide for their families by optimizing limited budgets. Over 90% of Heather’s audience is female and over half of the site’s demographic is in the 25 to 44 age range.

Family Friendly Frugality features listings for products that include apparel, appliances, toiletries, and more. The site houses a coupon database where readers can quickly search for brand-specific coupons to suit their needs. Family Friendly Frugality features updated giveaways and freebies for products, restaurants, and experiences, as well.

Users can search the Family Friendly Frugality coupon database for items they are looking to buy.

The site offers contests and sweepstakes opportunities for free or discounted passes to national parks, skating rinks, family restaurants, and amusement/entertainment centers.

And Heather’s site has plenty of advice on couponing, efficient food stockpiling, and pharmacy shopping tips to free recipes and more. She also sells her e-books on strategic shopping and provides links to her guest-writer articles for various outlets like Momtastic, Mombloggerclub, and SheKnows.

Heather continually updates the site with news about her family and how she still supports it through frugal shopping.

Heather Encourages Readers to Add to the Discount Database

By taking advantage of coupons or the savings that come with buying store brand products, the average consumer family on a tight budget can save anywhere between 5% and 60%. That can add up to a savings of thousands of dollars a year.

That savings potential is why Heather shares her knowledge with readers, and they have rewarded her efforts in the form of site visits and social media attention. Family Friendly Frugality sees more than 35,000 monthly page views and over 7,700 daily page visits.

The site’s social media presence is also strong, with about 110,000 Facebook friends and 13,000 followers on Pinterest. That following can be attributed to Heather encouraging readers to add their own discounts to the site’s massive database, her engagement with visitors, and the site’s dedication to posting family-themed bargains and experiences.

According to Heather, “Real wealth, the kind that doesn’t come from a windfall or a fancy inheritance, is built bit by bit, penny by penny, deal by deal.”

About The Author

Jon McDonald is a contributing editor for DealCrunch with over 15 years of experience editing, writing, and designing at numerous publications. His passions include digging into emerging trends and seeking out the companies making an impact on the retail industry.

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