Subscriber Swap Saturday: Northern Cheapskate

by Kevin on December 13, 2008

This is the third edition of Subscriber Swap Saturday. I highly encourage all of my readers to subscribe to Northern Cheapskate for one week and see if you like what you find! Read more about Subscriber Swap Saturday at the link above.

Northern Cheapskate is a stay-at-home mom knee-deep in little boys on a mission to live a happy and frugal life!  Her mission (other than staying sane) is to help others embrace a frugal lifestyle by sharing coupons, freebies, and money-saving tips.  You can subscribe to her blog via RSS feed or email.

1. Your blog is all about helping me save money with coupons and being frugal. What got you “in” to being frugal? Were you frugal before you had kids, or did they necessitate it?

I joke that I was frugal before frugal was cool! I have always been a saver; when I was little I would plan out how many weeks it would take me to save for things.  I really got into being frugal after hearing a radio interview with Gwendolyn Gabriel, author of  the book “Become Totally Debt-Free in Five Years or Less.”  Until that time, it never really occurred to me that we could be debt-free. I always thought everyone had mortgages and car payments.   I read her book and then went on to read many more about budgeting, personal finance and frugality. Fortunately, my husband was easy to convince that debt-free was the way to live. We worked hard to pay off all our debts (except our mortgage), and were able to build our dream house three years ago, just as our first son was born.  I really wanted to be a stay-at-home mom – especially after our twins were born two years later, so I’ve really had to step up my frugality game to do that.  My blog grew out of a desire to stay motivated, and hopefully help others, too!

2. Tell us a little bit about your radio and other media exposure. How did it happen?

My husband and I are both journalism people by training – he’s been an editor of a daily newspaper, I’ve been an assistant editor at a daily, and he’s done radio.  I got noticed by KAXE radio when a staffer saw my blog mentioned on my husband’s blog.  I’ve been recording short segments for their morning show ever since.  Most of my print coverage has happened due to word of mouth – or because I’ve pitched stories to reporters.  I haven’t been on TV yet. I’m a bit camera-shy!

3. What’s Minnesota like this time of year? Brrr!

As I am writing this, it is -15 degrees and we’re expecting 8-12 inches of snow over the weekend.  It’s not always like that, but we do get a lot of cold and snow.  I tend to get heatsick when it’s hot out, so I love the climate here.  We joke that the cold weather keeps the riff-raff out!  I think it helps save money since you don’t want to leave the house as much in the winter!

4. What is your proudest frugal moment?

My proudest moment is being able to say we’re debt-free except for our house.   It has given us the freedom to live where we want and how we want.  There’s no better feeling!

5. How has being a blogger changed your life?

I really just started Northern Cheapskate on a whim.  I was already keeping a journal about my frugal living ideas, and my husband encouraged me to start the blog.  I was actually quite surprised when people started reading it!  I’ve since met many wonderful, inspiring people through blogging.  It has definitely helped me counter the isolation you feel sometimes as a stay-at-home mom.  I love that I’m able to stay at home with my kids,and still feel like I have a professional side to me, too.  I’m an information junkie, and I love reading what other people are doing to save money.


Thanks, Northern Cheapskate, for participating. Although I can’t imagine why anyone would love freezing cold temperatures all of the time I certainly admire your frugal nature!

Want to be interviewed? Check out the Subscriber Swap Saturday page.


Philip December 15, 2008 at 10:50 am

There is no link to go directly to their website. I just typed in the address, but it would make sense to have at least one link to her site.

Kevin December 15, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Just noticed that, Philip. Making the change now.

Claire at Choyster Cash December 16, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Twitter is really an amazing resource for frugal types. I think the best use of it is the people who send “instant deal” flashes!

Comments on this entry are closed.