Giveaway with Jonni McCoy

Hi everyone and thanks for the prayers as we moved Mackenzie to North Carolina. I’ll update you all…..um….I mean “y’all” about that next week. (Better get used to talkin’ southern as my Midwestern daughter will soon be converted, I’m sure!)

This week, I want to introduce you to my friend and fellow author Jonni McCoy of Miserly Moms. Be sure to leave a comment. She has a great book to give away to a few of you who do!

So…here’s Jonni :-)

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Jonni is one of the leading experts on shopping and frugal living and has been helping increase the shopping power of people for twenty years.  Her first book rocketed to best-seller status, giving people a refreshing perspective on being frugal — one that refused to give up a sense of class or fun. Since then, her workshops, articles, additional books and media interviews have brought money-saving skills to people across the nation. Jonni’s best-seller, Miserly Moms-Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy had its fourth edition released in May, and her cookbook, Healthy Meals for Less, was released in September.

Jonni has also been featured as a money-saving expert by the Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman’s Day and Woman’s World magazines, Focus on the Family, CBS.Marketwatch.com, SmartMoney.com, Dr. Laura, Oprah.com, About.com , Bottomline Business/Boardroom, Family Life Today radio, and The Gayle King Show.

Now for our interview…

Jonni, you are known as the ultimate “miserly mom”. What got you on the road to being frugal? Did you grow up that way?

Parenthood brought about many changes — but frugality was not one that I expected. My husband and I had a pleasant lifestyle. Adding a child made it even more pleasant. But, as the years went by, I could see that I had to make a choice. What was best for my child?  I am not frugal by nature: It was something I had to learn in order to survive. I was raised overseas, where we lived in large homes with at least five servants. I attended private schools and a University. We traveled to exotic countries for our vacations, several times per year.
After my son turned three years old, I began to see the importance of having a mom at home with a child in order for him/her to grow up well. But there was no way I could quit because I was earning 55% of our family income and we lived in an expensive area (San Francisco Bay Area )
So began our odyssey into frugality.

What areas do you feel women spend too much money on in our society? What can they do instead to save money?

I see people spend way too much for groceries and eating out. Families have become so busy that premade food and prepackaged snacks are a staple in most homes. The average grocery bill is almost double what it needs to be. That goes for eating out as well. The average family spends $100 per week (or $5000 per year) eating out. That’s a lot of money.

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Tell us about your book Miserly Moms. How did you come to write it and what topics does it cover?

I did tons of research to learn every trick for every penny I could save. I eventually arrived at what I call the Eleven Miserly Guidelines. When I follow all of them faithfully, I could feed a family of four on $40 per week (in 1991). This may sound extreme, but the results were amazing. We were able to stay in our home, keep our cars, have another child, keep me at home, and even go on vacations.

Many people think that my husband must have been making a bundle to make this happen. He wasn’t; and with my loss of income, we were living on half of what was the average household income in our region. As people saw that we were still healthy, happy and didn’t dress frumpy, people asked me to copy my notebook of ideas. I did that for awhile then my husband encouraged me to write them into a book. That notebook became Miserly Moms.

You are offering a great giveaway to readers out there. What is it?

I am offering two of your readers a copy of Miserly Moms (4th edition just released in May). I hope it will help them to live well in our tough economic times too!

Awesome! Thanks for visiting with us today, Jonni!

Okay….now for the giveaway. Leave a comment anyday this week letting us know the area that it is hardest for you to get under control when it comes to spending. Is it groceries? eating out? Impulse mall shopping? Clothes for your kids? College debt?

Two winners will be announced next Monday to win a copy of Jonni’s helpful book!

Money-saving blessings,

 

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  • Should I be selected to receive a copy of the book, I will be passing it along to my daughter. Right now, she is a stay at home mom but she and her husband are struggling to make ends meet. It is beginning to look like she may have to return to work. I can’t stand the thought of my 4 and 1 year old grandsons being with a babysitter. Thank you.

  • Eating out is definitely a biggie, and not so much the entire meals as the quick stops for snacks, sodas and ice cream. The other area that is difficult is clothing. I know there are good deals out there, but I don’t have the time to go shop the clearance racks every day!

  • I don’t want to be entered into the contest (got my copy already!).

    Will share though that spending on food is DEFINITELY the hardest for me to control. We average $150 a week on food shopping in north NJ. And I buy my lunch out when I’m at work during the week @ 1-2x/wk. It’s crazy! I need to get going on reading your book.

  • Hi Ladies:
    I love all of your comments! They are all struggles we face too. I wish I could send each of you a copy of my books.
    But, instead of choosing that expensive choice, here’s a tip for you all that can help with the groceries, and one you can do now, before you go to the library and check out the book!

    TIP: When you plan your menu for the week, plan the meals around the items on the front page of your store flier. Those items are called “loss-leaders” and they are being sold at below cost. By letting those meats be the base for all your meals that week, you will save 35% off your bill.

    Happy shopping!

    Love
    Jonni

  • It’s a toss-up between eating out and groceries. Sometimes I find it difficult to take the time to clip coupons and find the best deals. Time also sometimes limits options and causes us to go out to eat if we haven’t planned something ahead of time for dinner. Your book sounds great!

  • Eating out is also my downfall. I’m a SAHM of 3 (almost 4!) and although I very carefully coupon shop and stockpile, and plan our dinner menus weekly, I have a hard time resisting the urge for LUNCH when I’m out running errands. Paying for me and two little kids (one is in school) adds up quickly!!

  • As a full time working mom of 3, I don’t take the time to plan ahead. So my downfall is buying the premade, easy, expensive stuff for us to eat.

  • I am the WORST with the groceries. Next is going out to eat.
    I stick to a budget for a few days, or even a week, then I lose my willpower and give up. AND, I then feel guilty for spending so much on food. It is a pit to be in, for sure.

    Joni is very inspiring!

  • I am trying so hard to watch our budget, and 90% or more of our income now goes to bills.
    I’ve done pretty much everything I know of, read about or heard of to get down the most basic budget.
    I do know I would probably do better with a weekly menu and I’ve tried multiple times. Some weeks are better than others. I would love more ideas about how to truly incorporate this. Thanks for the advice, and I hope to win the book!!
    God bless!

  • I have a hard time controlling eating out spending. It is so convenient and easy, but it costs a ton. I’ve recently tried to cut back and am doing pretty good; however, I still eat out too much.

    I, too, would love to stay at home, but with all the bills we have, it seems so hard. I would love to learn more about being frugal so that we can pay down our debt and hopefully raise our kids at home.

    Prayers and blessings,
    Rebecca

  • Eating out is our families weakness. It’s usually lunch on the weekends. I’m open to suggestions. We are trying to get out of debt, and kicking this habit to the curb would certainly help.

  • I have a terrible time with the food/eating out budget. We have cut back eating out dramatically after our son (13 months) was born, however, we still need help! I want to have a second child and possible stay home, but right now, I need some help to get there.

  • I am so excited about this book. My husband & I have really focused on cutting expenses over the last several months. I have cut down on grocery expenses but could do more with more ideas. We very rarely eat out anymore. Now that school has started back we are in desperate need of new cloths for the kids. I am struggling to by them new clothes that fit without busting the budget. I would love some ideas. I can’t wait to read your book! Thank you!

  • This book would be so useful for us-my husband and I are struggling through ways to reduce our grocery expenses. We just aren’t sure where to begin!

  • In the last 6 months I have been working so hard on being frugal. And it has paid off as I have saved lots and lots of money. I would love how to learn to save even more on groceries while still eating in a healthy way.

  • I would love to see what is in this book because it seems like everytime I hear money-saving tips on the local news or in the paper, I’m already clipping the coupons (only on the things I buy anyway, and on items that are on sale), turning back the thermostat, and buying clothes off-season, etc., etc. What more can I do? Please let me read this book and learn! Thank You!

  • What an AWESOME book idea! One category we continue to overspend is eating out…it’s that category that we don’t want to give up, but desire to scale down!

  • This book would be so helpful! We are finding ourselves spending an outragous amount on groceries for a family of 4. Feeding my family healthy food is a priority and if I can do that for lessmoney that would be great!

  • I used to plan our menus for meals by the month. Then I would shop. My friends laughed, but I saved money. For one thing grocery stores are enticing. Whoever was cooking, my husband did a lot of cooking, could substitute Tuesday for Thursday or Friday for Sunday. Everything was there and ready to cook. Also, we kind of bought in bulk sizes this way.

  • Although I don’t feel like my husband and I overspend on eating out (we rarely do), I would love to see our grocery spending reduced. It’s good to learn frugality before you desperately need it. :) Therefore, a book on frugality with helpful hints for meal planning would be most welcomed in our home!

  • I would love to win this book–I love finding deals and in these tough economic times, this book would sure come in handy! My problem is planning. We don’t eat out often, in fact very rarely, but I would like to plan my meals with good food that’s not outrageously priced!

  • I’m in the same boat as these other ladies. I feel we spend way more money than we need to on groceries and eating out. I have never really gotten the knack of menu planning.

  • I would love to win this book. I have health problems that may require that I quit work in the future. I don’t see how we can manage that though. We do limit out eating out, but our grocery bill is outrageous. Would love to learn tips on how to make that better.

  • We tend to eat out a lot, especially on weekends. I know this really eats into our budget but I can always find an excuse not to cook.