Heather Wheeler and Joanie Demer met in college as roommates. They became friends, Demer married one of Wheeler’s friends, they had kids, and, one day, decided to start blogging about using coupons to save money on groceries for their families.
Wheeler and Demer started the site with the expectation that only friends and family would check it out. Much to their surprise, their site traffic just got bigger and bigger. Wheeler says they weren’t actively looking for readers but the readers were finding them.
“We wanted to tell everybody how to do it because I didn’t think anybody should have to pay full price for groceries.”
In March of 2009, their website, TheKrazyCouponLady.com was getting more and more traffic so they decided to form a business and really begin pursuing the idea. I asked why they picked such a long name for their site and Wheeler told me it was actually sort of a joke. She said that’s what they called women who had handfuls of coupons in the store. Demer noticed that Crazy with a C was already taken so she supplanted a K and the name was registered.
Since the two were already calling themselves Krazy Coupon Ladies, they came up with “Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey” as their tagline because that’s exactly what they tell people that stand behind them in the grocery store when they have a lot of coupons.
“Our passion with the site is really about teaching the beginners how to start the process. We love that. We started looking at the books available on the subject.”
After really only finding two other books on the art of couponing (which mainly consisted of self-promotion and ‘see our site for more details’), Wheeler and Demer decided to write their own book about how to be a coupon queen – or king. Wheeler explained that they wanted to write a book for people to sit down and read. A book that would help the beginner really grasp how to do it.
Of course, self-publishing a book takes money and there wasn’t a lot coming in from the site for these two stay-at-home moms. Wheeler and Demer took all the money they were making on site traffic and put it into the publication of their book; much to the chagrin of their husbands.
“The biggest risk we took was actually writing the book. The site was still a baby and starting to produce revenue but small amounts. We took all the money we made from the site and put it into the book and put it back into the business.”
Wheeler and Demer launched their book, Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey, in the fall of 2009. They feel that their book set them up as an industry expert because they were one of the first of their kind. The book really helped launch them into the national spotlight.
With things like free samples to great discounts on groceries and clothing, their website is becoming a daily stop for a lot of internet browsers. Just a quick glance at their front page and you can see how the money would add up. Wheeler explains that it’s more than just cutting coupons for things you need or want.
“You get your coupons and wait for a sale. We don’t use a coupon unless we have a sale to stack it with. We come up with a plan and only buy things when the price is right. We don’t make our list based on what we want to eat; we do it based on what’s on sale and cook around that list.”
In fact, Wheeler and Demer have proven that their system works. On one of her favorite shopping trips, Albertson’s grocery stores had a Catalina promotion. You spend 25 dollars and you get 10 dollars to spend on your next transaction or current transaction. She says they would use their coupons to discount the merchandise as much as possible and then use the 10 dollars off on top of that.
When Wheeler and Demer left the store, Joe Albertson probably rolled over in his grave. They walked out pushing two shopping carts each, full of items. Total price paid? $70. Their receipts, that tally up your total shopping savings, showed a whopping $700 had been saved on their transaction. Outside of their monumental savings on shopping, the two founders of TheKrazyCouponLady.com are able to provide themselves with a little salary.
“We are very happy with the amount of money we are able to pay ourselves. We would joke about the number of hours we were spending divided by what we were paying ourselves and it wasn’t even minimum wage.”
Wheeler describes herself as an entrepreneur at heart who always had her foot in different things. She’s bought and sold real estate, been a mortgage lender out of her home, and raised children at the same time. She says it helped that her and Demer weren’t seeing dollar signs when they started.
The excitement of family and friends over what they were doing was a real motivator for Wheeler and Demer. A lot of people loved that they had a resource but didn’t understand that it was a full fledged business to run this free site. Wheeler says they dedicated specific hours to work on their site, to do research, and post items. It was a lot more work than it looked like.
“I really think everybody should be couponing. I cringe when I hear people paying full price for groceries. It makes financial sense to implement this. My husband and I have been able to pay off almost all of our debt, saved $10k a year from coupons, and who wouldn’t want to be debt free?!”
The Krazy Coupon Lady has been featured on TLC, the Today Show, The Early Show, ET, Fox & Friends, and more. Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey is for sale online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and their website: pickanothercheckoutlanehoney.com. Wheeler and Demer would also like to thank the stay at home moms that assist them in running the site and their business.
March 22. 2011 by Staff Writer Lacy Sereduk. NetworkingStar.com All rights reserved 2011
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