Consumer Queen’s Royal Savings
Melissa Garcia was good at pinching pennies, but she never dreamed it would lead to a full-time job as an advisor who helps other people save money. Early in her marriage, Melissa wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, so she needed to stretch her budget. She joined a couponing group, and soon she was carrying around three binders of coupons and saving 25%, then 50% at the store. In one extreme situation, Melissa bought $1,880 in groceries for $19! A crowd gathered around the check-out station to watch.
Consequently, she had lots of women asking her, “How do you do it?” Melissa liked the idea of providing tips to other moms in her situation, so she started a message board in 1996, which became a blog in 2008, and is now a thriving blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
“For me it was just a hobby, but my husband developed a health issue that prevented him from working, so I went into the corporate world,” Melissa said. “The last company I worked for was bought out, but the owner gave me a 6-month severance package. My husband said, ‘You’ve wanted to blog for a long time. You’ve got six months to figure it out.’ So I figured it out, and now I’ve done it full-time for three years.”
Melissa’s website, consumerqueen.com, is much more than a coupon site, because she also explores cost-saving home remedies and green living options. “Because of my family’s health problems, I’m interested in finding new ways to save money while using natural and organic products, especially from local companies. Most recently, Daniel and I have become travel bloggers, writing about dog-friendly traveling, called ‘bark-cations.’”
Consumer Queen is truly a family business focused on many aspects of cutting costs. She calls it “The Royal Family.” Daniel, now a stay-at-home dad and blog contributer, is the Consumer King. He brings a male perspective to the site’s growing readership of stay-at-home dads. Melissa’s mother, the Queen Mum, has largely taken over the sale pricing and coupon portion of the business. The three kids are the Consumer Kids, each reviewing products that interest them most. Even the three Royal Dogs have their own Twitter handles. Melissa recently hired six other women who write about their own money-saving specialties.
From the beginning, Melissa saw her money-saving talent as a mission. She donated two-thirds of her $1880 shopping spree to her church and a women’s shelter because it was her way of giving back to the community. Now, many of her readers embrace her ‘pay it forward’ philosophy by donating some of the items that they receive for free or at a low cost to local charities. Most recently, Melissa started a food pantry at Edmond Road Baptist Church.
Melissa’s work has caught the eye of the Wall Street Journal, Today Show, Oprah Radio Network, Ladies Home Journal and more. “Someday I would love to have my own show or write a book,” Melissa said. “Methods for saving money constantly evolve, especially with new coupons apps and rewards options. Really, it’s not about how much money I can save anymore, it’s about reaching other people, because our money saving tips help others indulge in life’s riches.”
For more information visit www.consumerqueen.com