Erik and Carrie
Pebbles, Toth and Nutmeg
Myrtle and Katie

About Frugalistic Mom

Hi, I’m Carrie Kirby, the “realistic frugalista” behind Chicago’s Frugalistic Mom.

Chicago’s what now?

Let me explain. I’ve been preaching in the church of saving money for three years now, and I’ve noticed a problem out there. I meet lots of people who want to spend less money, but they see today’s frugality movement as a kind of gonzo cult. They want to save money, but they don’t want to spend 15 hours a week organizing coupons and driving to different grocery stores.

Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, Extreme Couponing came along. You know, that show where the cool moms have industrial shelving in their bedrooms to store extra Cocoa Puffs and Ragu?

Readers, I am making a pledge to you right now: I do not have any Cocoa Puffs in my bedroom.

So we’ve established that I am not an extreme couponer. Who am I, then?

I call myself the realistic frugalista, because I practice money-saving techniques that any busy mom can take on. If you want to. Here’s an overview of all the frugalistic ways I save money.

Or, you can read this blog just to find out about free Chicago events, online freebies and Chicago daily deals. We’re not here to judge.

Here at Frugalistic Mom, I can help you cut your grocery budget or improve the quality of the food you get for what you spend. Personally, I haven’t slashed my grocery budget to the bone. I spend $100 on groceries each week for a family of five people and two cats. But with that budget, using frugalistic techniques, I am able to buy cage-free eggs and hormone-free meat from non-factory farmers. Those are my priorities. I’d love to hear more about your priorities when you’re feeding your family, so please do weigh in in the comments section of the posts here.

Oh, and guess what, you guys? You don’t have to register to comment.

As a realistic frugalista, I do clip coupons, but I don’t spend hours and hours on it. You can read about how I keep my coupons organized without spending too much time here. I do keep a stockpile of groceries and toiletries I bought at rock-bottom prices, but I don’t let it take over my home.

Some more about what I’m not. Unlike one shopper from Extreme Couponing, I do not get my coupons from God. I do not home school my children. If I ever become religious, the first thing I will do is say 10 Hail Marys for the public school system that will someday take over the supervision of all three of my children for six hours every day.

I’m also not a super back-to-the-earth homemaker who harvests my own grain, grinds it and makes it into home-baked buns for my home-ground sausage. I make some things from scratch, when it makes sense and especially when there is a machine to do it for me. (I love my bread machine!)

Here at Frugalistic Mom, I hope you guys can help me take the mystique out of saving money and show that spending less is really something anyone can do. Or at the very least, I hope you never again miss a free ice cream day in Chicago.

Enough about my blog. Let’s talk about me!

I live in Chicago with my husband, Erik and our three kids, Nutmeg (elementary school), Pebbles (nursery school) and Toth (toddler). Those are not their real names:

See why we have to do the frugal thing? We went and had that third kid. And then we went and got these two cats, who so far are turning out to be more expensive than the kids (vet bills, kitty tiaras), and their names are Myrtle and Katie. (Those are their real names, but please do not try to abuse that information. They have Kitty IdentityGuard.)

I’m a writer. I write this blog, for example. I have also written for newspapers, magazines and Web sites. If you want me to write something for you, let’s talk.

More boringly, this blog has a disclosure policy: Frugalistic Mom contains affiliate links to products that I think are a good deal or generally awesome or that I just hope you will buy so I can cash in on a sweet commission. When I post an affiliate link and you click through to buy that thing, I sometimes earn a small amount of money. In fact, this is the main way this blog makes money. But relax — I’ll tell you when I’m posting an affiliate link.

The first two photos on this page were taken by Milwaukee photographer Laura Gorzek. The picture of the cats was taken by Carrie Kirby.

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