Friday, December 5, 2008

An Interview with Angie of BabyCheapskate

Don't forget to sign up for our giveaway which ends Monday, December 8 at noon!

I recently had the opportunity to interview Angie, the owner of BabyCheapskate, one of my favorite blogs. I actually respect her as somewhat of a superwoman. Besides being a mom, she owns several websites and forums including Freepeats, Blog Coach (which is a blog as well as a community of bloggers), and some off-shoots of BabyCheapskate including Cheep Peeps and BabyCheapskate Coupon Traders.

Angie is definitely on that list of people you should know. Not only is she the queen of "saving big bucks on baby stuff" (BabyCheapskate's tagline), she also helps other bloggers out (like me) with ideas for making their blogs better and more successful. Be sure to check out all the sites Angie has her hands in, you'll find some great gems there!

Angie and I have traded e-mails for the better part of a year now (she's really sweet and indulges me with answers to all my crazy questions), and here are some of the answers to my most burning questions!

We love reading BabyCheapskate for the tips on how to do all kid things frugally. When and why did you start this blog?

I started Baby Cheapskate shortly after my son was born in 2005. I was sitting on the couch poring over circulars to try to find the best deals on diapers and formula when it occurred to me that I could save other frazzled new parents time as well as money by posting my findings online. I looked around to see if such a site already existed and didn't find much at all, so I created Baby Cheapskate. At first my posts were primarily about sales on diapers and formula. I also wrote about how I saved money on baby gear and other items by shopping thrift stores and consignment stores and sales. Eventually I started including posts about great deals that I found online.

We know you have another site, Freepeats.org. What's that all about?

Freepeats.org is a way for parents to pass on gently-used baby, kid and maternity items (and coupons) for free to local families who can use them. So much of what we buy for babies and young kids is used only for a very short time--just weeks or months. And a lot of that baby gear is pricey, too! There's still plenty of life left in these items, and by passing them on we not only save other parents money, but we keep usable items out of the landfills. In addition to passing on their items, Freepeats members can also arrange to pick up free items they find listed on the board from other local families. [editor's note: be sure to check out the incentive for joining Freepeats during the month of December by visiting the Freepeats blog!]

Tell us about your favorite frugal moment.

I'm really into buying used items--and even giving them as gifts. I love it when I'm shopping for something specific at the thrift store and I actually find it! I get a thrill out of picking up a cute pair of $300 French shoes for $2.50. Or a hip, mid-century modern vase for $1. Or a wooden play kitchen for my son for $5. I could go on and on...

Besides saving money, what other passions do you have?

I teach high school ESOL and French part-time. It's a lot of fun. I also like helping other bloggers with their blogs at BlogCoach.org. Being my three-year-old's mom is my passion, too.

What parenting advice do you have to share with other moms?

I try not to give parenting advice, too much, but if pressed, I would tell parents that Google and parenting books will only get you so far. There's no cookie-cutter solution that's going to make your three-week-old sleep at night, and there's no book (trust me, I've looked) that's going to tell you when your child will finally poop in the potty. The best you can do is try what feels like it might work, and then try something else if it doesn't. That and realize that babies grow up so quickly that behavior that seems like it goes on forever now will seem like it lasted a mere instant a couple of years from now.

Thanks, Angie, for pioneering the way for so many of us looking for good deals, great advice, and a friendly ally in cyberspace! (And no, I'm not a crazy stalker...)


Anonymous said...

My questions for Angie would be:

How do you manage to fit all of this into your life?

Do you have childcare for your son part-time so that you can work on these sites?

At what point did it become more of a job than a hobby?

Angie said...


My husband works at home full time, so he and I have always shared childcare equally. With a lot of determination, we were able to work it so that we could both work and alternately look after my so.

My son started daycare this year. He goes for half a day five days a week in the mornings. I get to do a couple of hours of work while he's gone. I also try to squeeze a workout in there.

I'm fortunate that my son still takes a two hour nap shortly after he comes home from school. You can guess what I'm doing while he's in dreamland. I also squeeze in an hour or two after he goes to bed.

To me, blogging is still just a fun thing I get to do. I'm constantly amazed that I actually make money with it, and I would totally still do it for free. I guess the making money part is what qualifies it as a job rather than a hobby. I made my first penny about a year and a half ago.

Thanks for reading!

Mandie and Amy said...

Thanks for the response, Angie!

Amber P. said...

Wow, Angie does sound like superwoman and yet completely personable! What an amazing combination. I look forward to becoming more familiar with her work.