Kathy Spencer grew up with a passion for saving money and finding great deals. Today, the Boxford, Massachusetts, married mother of four shares her savvy with thousands of followers in her BigTent group, How to Shop for Free.
Following a bevy of coverage in WalletPop and other blogs, The Boston Globe, and a call in segment on Denver radio station Alice 105.9 (click on “Wanna Save HUNDREDS on Groceries? Here’s How…”), consumers have flocked to Kathy’s group in hopes of slashing their grocery bills. After hovering around the 1,500-member mark, How to Shop for Free has welcomed 4,000 new members this month. Way to go, Kathy!
The BigTent team had an opportunity to interview Kathy after she started her BigTent group in July 2008:
Q. We’d love to know more about you. When you’re not managing How to Shop for Free, what else are you juggling?
A. I have four kids, ages 3 to 18, so life is never dull in my house. I LOVE and I always will love, to save money and find great deals. I also run an Ebay store, which has enabled me to dress my kids in designer clothes like Limited Too and Baby Gap for free, and I can help others do the same.
Q. Why did you switch from Yahoo! to BigTent?
A. Our group talks about so many different stores and subjects, it was challenging to keep things organized by categories. BigTent has been such a huge time saver, and the group runs so much smoother now. I love it!
Q. What makes your group unique?
A. We do group meetups where we all meet to exchange coupons. Then we help newbies get through the grocery store, with a cart of super-cheap goods.
Our group chat also has a language of its own, with our talk of cats, Ecbs, onyo’s, tearpads, and blinkies. There’s also an imaginary friend, KWIM. Most newbies think we are nuts, but within no time they’re sharing coupon codes — and mentioning KWIM.
Q. Why does it cost $1 to join the group?
A. The fee is just there to make sure we build an active community that keeps out spammers and is full of people who really want to learn the secrets to coupons.
Q. What are your future hopes and plans for the group?
A. I would like to focus more on charity work with the group. We all have large stockpiles of items, and many members already donate to family, friends, churches and soup kitchens. I know we could do more as group.
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