GrowingSlower: A Mom's Guide to Simple Living
7.20.16 Savings

GrowingSlower: A Real Mom’s Guide to Living Simpler, Healthier, & More Affordably

By: Amber Brooks

The Crunch: Begun in October 2011, GrowingSlower is a blog that encourages families to adopt a healthier and more affordable lifestyle. Shannon Brown, the founder of the blog, offers pointers based on her personal experience as a stay-at-home mom running a household of four. From menu planning and recipe lists to paying off debt and working from home, this real mom’s guide to simple living is full of insightful ideas about what you can do to make your kids stay healthier and your budget go further.

In 2011, Shannon Brown had baby fever. Pregnant with her first child, she was planning up a storm to get her family ready for its new addition.

“I was obsessed!” she writes. “I even had a spreadsheet with every conceivable expense related to having a baby and the dates when we might be able to afford it. It felt like we would never get there.”

Then the parents-to-be put their heads together and came up with ways to live greener, healthier, and simpler lives for the sake of their child. They made changes to their spending and eating habits, and they discovered that a minimalist lifestyle made them feel happier and healthier.

To share her family’s success, Shannon founded GrowingSlower, a blog about how to live a simple, low-cost life. This resource of cheap and healthy alternatives offers encouragement, budgeting help, and strategies to save money on everyday expenses.

The blog is as entertaining as it is helpful. You can read about how the Brown family paid off over $22,000 in debt in less than a year or browse through a list of 29 organic foods that can be bought at Costco. Anything Shannon feels is relevant and useful to her family, she makes available to her readership.

She has even compiled her knowledge into a series of ebooks, courses, and coaching that can be found at the GrowingSlower Bookstore. With its learning tools and instructive articles, this blog helps thousands of average people lead healthier lives, on a small budget.

Shannon Brown: A Mom on a Mission to Save More and Live Better

As a new mom, Shannon felt passionate about embarking on a more organic lifestyle — but she didn’t want to pay a high price for it.

Shannon Brown, founder of GrowingSlower

Shannon Brown is the founder of GrowingSlower.

She had to be a little creative, but she soon mastered certain tricks to stock up on healthy groceries without paying an exorbitant amount of money. Once she saw how much she could save every month, this savvy mom knew she just had to share all of her secrets with other moms going through the same dilemma.

On October 5, 2011, mere months after the birth of her oldest son, Shannon launched her blog. “I wanted to share what I learned along the way with my readers,” she said. “I wanted to serve them and offer some good tips.”

Today, the blog is full of family stories, recipe lists, budgeting strategies, and general housekeeping and child-rearing recommendations for moms and dads. Check out the blog’s top articles on saving on groceries to get inspired when meal planning. With Shannon’s guidance, a healthful lifestyle is well within any family’s means.

GrowingSlower Offers Simple Budgeting Tips for Families

Making a budget is a necessary chore, but sometimes even the word “budgeting” can fill a person’s heart with dread, especially someone with kids. However, GrowingSlower makes budgeting easier and less intimidating with step-by-step articles that show how Shannon tackles controlling her family’s spending. From Budgeting 101: Dealing with Bills to 18 Commonly Forgotten Budget Items, the blog is filled with practical tips to save money and pay off debt simply by planning ahead.

Stacks of pennies

GrowingSlower helps you live a better and more frugal life.

Feedback from her readers made Shannon realize that budgeting was a struggle for many families. To remove the stigma of family budgeting — essentially that it means depriving yourself and your family of anything beyond the basics — she launched the 2015 Family Budget Challenge to help people set financial goals, design a spending plan, and stick to it.

Her budget challenge was an instant hit. Soon, she was coming out with more money-related challenges geared toward families.

Shannon takes on the challenges herself, and then relates her personal experience with her typical can-do attitude. For her annual No Spend Month Challenge, she put her money where her mouth was and made a plan to spend as little as $609 a month for flexible and discretionary expenses including groceries, dining out, clothing, household and baby supplies, chicken feed, and gas.

The challenge prompts readers to ask themselves, “Can we live on less?” More often than not, Shannon believes that the answer is “Yes.”

One reader, Lydia K., wrote in a beaming testimonial: “I have been following and implementing your budget challenge, and it has TOTALLY changed the way I look at money. Thank you so much for sharing,” she gushed.

It’s for readers like Lydia that Shannon keeps posting, emailing, and coming up with new ways to help families. She now offers educational courses where you can watch videos to learn how to live organically and within your means.

Readers can subscribe to GrowingSlower for free and receive motivational emails that encourage both responsible budgeting and healthier eating habits.

Motivated to Constantly Improve and Do Better for Her Loyal Readers

Behind every article and tip, Shannon provides useful advice that readers can use to change their lifestyles. With about 5,000 readers signed up by email and over 9000 likes on Facebook,  GrowingSlower is a popular source of information on the web.

Taking a vested interested in her audience, Shannon personally handcrafts every email she sends out. She tries to foster a community atmosphere and values the dialogue created by her blogging.

“I need that core group of people to help motivate me to know what tips help them the most,” Shannon told us.

Screenshot of Growing Slower's homepage

From low-budget recipes to do-it-yourself tutorials, GrowingSlower suggests many different ways to save money.

Whether you’re looking for fun, healthy recipe ideas or 97 easy ways to save money, you’ll find a generous number of guiding articles at GrowingSlower. Shannon’s goal is to give the best and most relevant advice that parents need to live frugal, sustainable, and healthy lives.

Blogging Her Way to a Brighter (and Healthier) Future

With the birth of her child, Shannon realized the need for careful planning and budgeting when raising a family. Her blog is a bastion of encouragement for parents looking to live simple, affordable lives.

As she continues blogging and inspiring readers, Shannon hopes to provide fantastic tips that will lead to a more fulfilling lifestyle without going into debt. From the 2015 Family Budget Challenge to do-it-yourself tutorials, GrowingSlower has many opportunities to grow, learn, and improve the way families manage spending so they achieve their long-term goals.

Her readership follows her progress as a mom, takes up her budgeting challenges, and gives tremendously positive feedback. Oftentimes Shannon is just as inspired by their stories as they are by hers.

“My goal is to keep growing my relationship with readers as much as I can,” she said.