Frugal Living Interview

Clair Boone

Clair Boone has mastered the art of finding a great deal! She finds amazing things for free or close to it using "a few coupons and a little know-how". Her blog, Mummy Deals is full of frugal tips, easy recipes, encouraging stories and freebies.

Clair is with us today to share some of her secrets! Welcome, Clair!

1. Hi Clair - thank you for joining us today! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what prompted you to start your successful blog, Mummy Deals?

Originally from England, when I arrived in America I was amazed at all the money saving my mother-in- law did and over the years I've become a semi-expert. In 2008 I bought diapers at Walgreens for 20 cents a pack and shocked my friends. It was then that I decided to help others save money by blogging about my finds. My aim is to help you save money but not consume tons of time doing it. We won't clip 25 cent coupons (unless really worth it!) but we will learn all about how to save big so we can bless others and have more money for fun stuff (READ: shoes!!)

2. Where do you find all of your deals?

Oh goodness, that's a tough one! From a variety of places including readers, emails from companies and online forums that I'm part of and participate in.

3. Since you are from the UK, what lifestyle differences do you notice between there and here in the US? Do you think Americans are more wasteful?

There are a lot of differences between us and a lot of similarities. Besides the speaking and the fact that every time I ask for a "tomato" in my sandwich at Subway and someone gets confused, there are other things. In England most stores close around 6 during the week and people are a lot less likely to be materialistic in that sense. As they're simply isn't as much disposable income people don't own two pairs of scissors or 5 cars. It's not a big country (it'll fit into Texas nearly 3 times!) and so there isn't much room, houses aren't big enough to store it all.

The other huge difference is food. As it's so expensive to eat out, people don't plus if you do the portions are significantly smaller, in fact mostly half the size of what we eat here.

4. In my experience, a lot of coupons and free offers are for packaged items that I don't usually buy. How do you incorporate these into your menu plans?

There are lots of coupons out there and sometimes they're for items that you would never use. Then don't buy them. However the best way is to combine a fabulous sale with a coupon for maximum savings. Maybe it's something that you wouldn't normally get but if it's super cheap or free I'll meal plan around it or donate it to a food pantry/friend in need. What I always encourage is making it yourself from scratch. Typically pre-packaged food isn't good for you and will cost more. Start from scratch and add a little more time into it and you'll see the savings.

5. I may be weird, but I enjoy finding a bargain, and I think being frugal is fun! I get the impression that you feel that way, too. What is the most fun you have had saving money?

I'm a shopaholic on one income. Hubby works and I work hard to stretch that money and not spend unwisely but if I can go to the store and get things we need for free, I get a buzz from it. Now if I can go to the store, buy some for us, get some to donate and not spend a lot for it then I'm giddy!

My favourite places are Walgreens and CVS where I constantly get free things or even make money on items. For sure my favourite memory was of the diaper deal. After I'd bought my 38th pack of diapers for 20 cents the cashier literally stood there and clapped me! Now every time I go in and see her she calls out, "diaper girl!"

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