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Hi Erin, thank you so much for joining me! My readers and I are keen on cutting our grocery bills while having delicious and healthy meals at home.
I know you are an expert on this topic and would like your advice on how we all can save money on food and spend more quality time with family. I also know that you are a prolific blogger and successful entrepreneur at 5 Dollar Dinners, and I would like to have you share your story with my audience today.
Can you give us an elevator pitch of who you are and what you do?
My name is Erin Chase and I’m on a mission to help you spend less money on groceries, make the most efficient and delicious dinners possible, and make mealtime enjoyable for millions of families across the world.
What did you do (as a profession) prior to launching 5dollardinners.com?
I was a teacher and school principal before starting $5 Dinners.
What prompted you to launch the blog?
I started $5 Dinners in the summer of 2008 when gas prices started to skyrocket and I needed to cut our grocery spending.
Groceries were the only line item left in our personal budget that I had complete control over and could reduce drastically. I didn’t start out with a business mindset, but quickly learned that the site and concept was a differentiator from what others were doing.
What was that breakthrough moment when you knew the site was going to take off?
Given the economy of 2008, the website took off pretty quickly – seeing 1,000 visitors a day. It’s continued to grow from there and several moments have helped solidify its position as a brand and personality – including cookbook contracts within a year of launching, and of course the famous freezer meal plans using ingredients from Costco that crazy viral, numerous times. That then grew into the development of meal plan builder web-app to allow members to create and customize their own meal plans.
What strategies did you adopt to grow your blog?
We have always had solid marketing systems and processes in place to help grow the blog – including content marketing, social media marketing, video/live video streaming, TV and print media publicity, and good old word of mouth.
What have been the main drivers of traffic to your site?
$5 Dinners continues to be fed mainly by search traffic and Pinterest traffic.
What are your main products (i.e. courses, books, membership sites) at the moment?
$5 Meal Plan – weekly meal plan membership
MyFreezEasy – freezer cooking membership
ShopFreezEasy – cooking gadgets, cookbooks, and freezer meal plans galor
Grocery Budget Makeover – online class that teaches proven grocery savings strategy and methodology
HOW TO CUT YOUR GROCERY BILLS
What are three most simple things someone can do today to keep their food budget down?
— Only buy meat on sale
— Incorporate freezer meals into your dinner rotation
— Make a meal plan and grocery list, and stick to it
Can you share some tips on how to cut costs on our grocery bills?
There are many sites online that do coupon match-ups; in other words, matching available coupons with sales at specific stores. You can just search “your store name+coupon matchups” to see what is available in your area. This is a great way to stockpile your pantry necessities by purchasing them when they are not only on sale but also have a coupon available.
What advice would you give to someone who likes to dine out?
Dining out is such an enjoyable and delicious experience. Make a plan for it, don’t go over budget because of it, and don’t use it as your go-to just because life is busy.
Where can people find you (i.e. social media, blog)?
Thank you, Erin!