There are just soooo many great blogs out there. We know it can be hard to keep up with the ones you love, let alone find new ones. So to help you out, we’ve created a new weekly column here at JoeShopping.com called “The Blog Spotlight”!
Each week, we’ll cover a unique money-saving blog that’s doing something a little bit different than just your average penny-pinching blog. So if you have or know of a blog you’d like to submit for spotlight consideration, please shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with all the info!
Meet Lisa Koivu from FantabulouslyFrugal.com
If you’re a deal hunter like Lisa, you’ll want to pay attention to what she’s up to. You might call her a “deal big game hunter” because she’s got deadeye aim at the really big deals. She’s into helping others like herself save money and find great deals on fashionable finds, and she’s psyched to do it!
How did you first get started blogging?
I was looking for a hobby in March of 2009 because I was about to finish grad school and didn’t know what I was going to do with my free time. I spent one long sleepless night brainstorming blog ideas and FantabulouslyFrugal.com was born the next day.
What 3 words best describe your blog?
Bargains, Shopping, Fun
Okay, how about describing your blog in 5 sentences or less?
Fantabulously Frugal is a site for women who enjoy bargain shopping. When I started this site I was mainly reading mom blogs because they were writing about shopping deals – sure, sometimes I had to skim through toy deals and diaper deals, but it was worth it because I would generally find out about sales before everyone else. (Mom bloggers tend to be on-the-ball!) At some point it occurred to me that I could start my own site but gear it for other women who were in a situation similar to mine: single women with disposable income that they like to spend on themselves…without breaking the bank, of course! This means you won’t find deals for men, children or babies on Fantabulously Frugal, but you will hear about sales for anything from high fashion to Target, home discounts to travel, daily deals and online sample sale sites.
What’s your favorite part about blogging?
There’s two things I really enjoy: I love when I find a deal that I just KNOW is one of those incredible deals that doesn’t come along very often. Those posts are really fun for me to write, and you can tell just how into it I am because I have a tendency to really overuse the word “really.” Really. Second, I love when I get an email from a reader telling me about a great deal that they found themselves. Saving money on the items you already wanted to buy really can be fun, and it’s fun to have a community of readers and writers who love saving money on the same types of items.
I’m not certain I could live without my computer at this point in time! I’m going on vacation in a couple of weeks and have decided not to take my computer because I know that if I give myself the opportunity I will spend time posting instead of enjoying the trip. At this point it’s like a child to me – I just can’t stand to be away!
What are your favorite places to shop?
On a regular basis my favorite places to shop are pretty basic: Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic. I prefer these three stores because they always have the best coupons – just about every 2 weeks they release a new promo code. I’m also a big aficianada of the online sample sale sites. I check Rue La La, Ideeli and Gilt every morning as soon as each site opens. The sites really do offer such good deals that I just can’t stay away.
How can you tell if a deal is legit or not?
Go with your gut instinct!
Well, it’s not the last book I read, but it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read that I recommend to everyone: Jhumpa Lahiri‘s Interpreter of Maladies. They are beautifully written short stories about family and love and generation gaps. It was Jhumpa Lahiri’s first book and she won the Pulitzer Prize for it!
How has blogging helped you save money?
This may sound a little counter-intuitive, but actually since starting FantabulouslyFrugal.com, I shop less than I did pre-blog. I spend all day long scouring the internet for fashion discounts to write about. I might see a deal that I love someplace and think “Wow! I need that!” Usually I instantly forget about the item as soon as I find the next great deal. At this point, the item and the deal have to be pretty phenomenal for me to grab my wallet.
What’s your best advice for saving money?
Wait and do your shopping on long holiday weekends because everything is on sale! This doesn’t mean you have to just wait for Black Friday to roll along; you’re going to find comparable deals around New Years, Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day weekend. Sure, Black Friday is great when you’re shopping for other people, but if you’re shopping for yourself any long holiday weekend will do.
What’s THE best deal you ever scored online?
I don’t know if it’s the best deal I’ve ever scored, but this is the one I was most excited about. Late last fall Old Navy had a sale where they were offering 50% off all of their winter coats. I hemmed and hawed a bit and didn’t buy one until the absolute last minute. Literally, it was 11:45 p.m. But because I live in Chicago, it was already the next day in the eastern time zone, where everything is based. So at that point I’d already received an email from Old Navy that had a coupon for 40% off any one item. Miraculously I was able to stack the coupon with the 50% off sale and I got a brand new winter coat for just $22!
Visit Lisa at FantabulouslyFrugal.com
and be sure to tell her that JoeShopping sent ya!
A super-terrific thank you to Lisa for taking the time to answer our questions! If you’d like to be spotlighted in a future post, please shoot an email to email@example.com with all the info!