Meet The Frugalista

There's a new breed of mom, and she's here to stay.

She's a savvy, price-comparison shopper who uses technology, offline media and, most of all, her peers to stretch her buying dollar. She was once only a mom on a budget but the recent shift in economic climate generated a conversion of moms from disposable income queens to coupon divas.

She's tasted the thrill of saving, the fulfillment of reclaiming control of her debit card and the excitement of hearing the clerk say, "You just saved $101 today." Sixty percent of moms we surveyed said they have used coupons for the first time in the last year.

Although the economy seems to be turning around, she's not turning back to her old spending behaviors. Why would she? She's learned that if she visits, she can increase her arsenal of savings and if she reads's blog before leaving the house, she can design a road map among retailers, who are all competing for her business.

She plays The Grocery Game more than she plays cards. The Mom Frugalista is here to stay, and it's time for retailers and brand managers to win her loyalty.



Before I share the "How to Connect" with a Mom Frugalista, let's understand mom's desire to share news of a great deal. Moms share money-saving opportunities because it's a way to nurture relationships with other moms. It deepens their relationship to save another mother a dollar or two.

It also shows a mom's shopping prowess. If she finds a deal and shares the news, it demonstrates her personal skill in shopping, thus elevating her status among her peers. It's friendly competition at its best, the kind that nurtures relationships and fulfills her need to share. Here are a few tips to leverage these innate behaviors and connect with the Mom Frugalista:

  • Engage the mom influencers. Sounds basic, but it's amazing how few marketers are engaging with coupon, consumer and frugal social media mom influencers. Each week these women communicate the best deals for moms in their blogs, tweets and Facebook pages.
  • Developing a relationship, one with a real dialogue, with Moms like ConsumerQueen, PennyPinchingDiva and Deal Seeking Mom can give marketers the opportunity to have influential moms deliver their message. Do you know Stephanie Nelson? If not, you should if your brand ever offers coupons.
  • Search Twitter for your consumer. It doesn't take much effort to find moms who are looking for your product. Go to each morning and search your brand's name or solution. When you find moms seeking your product or one like it, offer them the opportunity to try it at a discount.

Let's say you sell pasta. A search of "dinner ideas" may reveal a mom tweeting to her peers, asking for a suggestion for a five-minute meal. Here's where the pasta brand jumps in. A smart marketer might direct-mail that mom and offer her a link to a recipe. A great marketer would offer to send a link to a recipe and a downloadable coupon: Relevant and valuable content delivered in the nick of time.

  • Recognize that all types of moms love to save, then put your money saving deals in the right hands. Seek out fitness fanatics like and if you are a brand offering low-fat or low-sugar solutions. These women can be a great resource in distributing your saving information to other health-conscience moms. They don't have to be saving bloggers to help you spread the word.

It takes a coupon to persuade today's mom who is loyal to a brand. Eighty percent of moms in a recent BSM Media survey of 3,000 moms said that it takes a coupon for her to try a new brand. Moms know that they can find the means to save on the brands they love so it takes the same value to motivate her to test a new product. Find a way to get a sample or coupon in her hand.

The Mom Frugalista is smart and savvy and is looking for the savings on your products.

4 comments about "Meet The Frugalista".
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  1. Alison Murdock from PIvot Conference, April 7, 2010 at 12:36 p.m.

    The biggest opportunity is location-based (or at minimum a good method for mobile coupons) coupons. I can't tell you the number of times I have been in Gap Kids realizing I left the discount card at home or forgot it expired or forgot I even had it in my wallet! In my research and personal experience, I have found that moms are also open to new technology if its a natural extension of an existing behavior. So, if I knew that coupon would pop up on my iphone when I walked in the door, I would me even more inclined to shop there.

  2. Maryanne Conlin from RedRopes Digital/4GreenPs, April 7, 2010 at 1:29 p.m.

    Great piece, Maria,

    You touch on the whole concept of niches within the mom blogsphere - which marketers need to realize and use strategically to meet various marketing objectives.

  3. Lynn Colwell from The Green Year, LLC, April 7, 2010 at 6:59 p.m.

    Beyond the bloggers with "frugal" in their titles, are others, like us who are green. I think marketers are missing a HUGE opportunity because our audience is moms who NOT ONLY want to save money, but also want to do the best for their family, community and the planet.

    I joke that people used to call me "cheap" and now they call me "green." The link is there just waiting for companies to understand and call on the moms who want both.

  4. Scataboosh Fandango from None, April 7, 2010 at 7:31 p.m.

    Thanks for a really good write-up. I love that you end by saying that the Mom Frugalista is smart and savvy - that sums up the conscious purchasing evolution that has taken over both as a result of income changes and green concerns. You've given us some great pointers, thanks!

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