Welcome to Frugal Upstate!

I’m New York mama Jenn Fowler. Since 2006, I’ve been writing about simple ways to save money doing simple things you’ve never even considered. One hint: it’s not all about clipping coupons and buying on sale!

My motto is use what you’ve got, get creative and save. I started by stretching what I had for longer, reusing stuff and making do without all the little needless extras. Along the way, I figured out that frugality is fun—like the way you feel when you find a designer dress at a yard sale for $5.

Frugality isn’t scary, it’s a gradual process that I’m still learning myself. I try different frugal skills, some of which stick, and some that don’t. I have fabulous successes and ridiculous failures. I possess no special skills except tenacity and the belief that I can figure it out. And my favorite part is sharing and learning from my readers.

My kids inspired me to take up the frugal cause. I was a career Army officer working with guns and tanks, about a world away from my blissfully domestic life today. After the birth of my first child, I decided to stay home full time. A typical New Yorker, I wanted it all: a good life, happy kiddos and a fat wallet on one less paycheck. I was determined to prove to the world that we don’t need more money to keep up our quality of life.

I’m also a suburban subversive, plotting to reinvent the way we stay-at-home-moms think about keeping up with the Joneses. Here’s an example: last year I instituted a $10 gift limit at my daughter’s birthday party. No one complained, and gift limits started popping up on Christmas parties and friends’ invites. Quietly, we frugalites will take over the world!

Remember, every frugal tip isn’t for everyone. Try one new frugal skill and see if it works. Even just a few can and will make a difference in your lifestyle (and your bank account).

Want to know more random facts about me? Check out my “100 Things About Me” meme and my “ 5 things about Me” meme. How about “25 Things I Do To Save Money” and “25 Things I Do That Don’t Save Money-And Why!”

I am a founding member of the Walmart “Eleven Moms“, co-host of the Frugal Coast2Coast radio show, a contributor for FiLife.com (a Wall Street Journal Partner), and a writer at “She is Losing it“.  I co-host a Blog Talk Radio show (Frugal Coast2Coast) and have a YouTube channel.