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How to Turn a Coupon Hobby into Recurring Revenue that Makes Money

Hobbies that Make Money: Couponing, Grocery Shopping, & Meal Planning

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hobbies that make moneyYou may not consider couponing, grocery shopping, and meal planning hobbies; but for those who have it down to a science can definitely teach others how they get it all done.

Hobbies that make money are a great way to start a side hustle. You might even be able to turn that hobby into a full time income.

We are talking to Erin Chase who has turned ordinary chores into a thriving business.

I don’t know about your house, but 4:30 pm to 5:oo pm is when our kids get a little hangry (hunger induced anger) and hankry (hunger induced crankiness)!

There is always at least 1 kid begging for my attention, which makes it tough to cook at best and sometimes impossible!

Meet Erin Chase, busy mom of 4 boys, she has solved your dinner time dilemma with her blog and business 5 Dollar Dinners and MyFreezEasy.

Erin is a former teacher who has built her side hustle (blogging hobby) into a 5 figure per month business. I’m excited to introduce you to Erin Chase as she shares how she turned dinner time into a blogging empire with recurring revenue!

Please give us a little background on yourself, how you started 5 Dollar Dinners (what gave you the courage to start your own business), and how it’s going for you right now.

I’m Erin Chase, founder of $5 Dinners and related brands – $5 Meal Plan, Grocery Budget Makeover and MyFreezEasy. I started $5 Dinners back in the summer of 2008 when I cut our grocery spending in half using a combination of meal planning, shopping and couponing strategies. It has grown and evolved over the years to include resources, classes and software to help grocery shoppers cut their grocery spending and get more organized in the kitchen. Now, I have 12 team members who help me manage all the verticals and channels needed to keep everything rolling and helping people with their grocery budgets.
 hobbies that make money

What exactly do you offer with 5 Dollar Dinners? Can you explain this more for those who are unfamiliar with the product/services?

 $5 Dinners is a website with thousands of free recipes that are budget friendly and family friendly. Three times a year, we offer an in depth grocery savings online class called the Grocery Budget Makeover. I lead the class through a series of lessons and challenges to help them cut their grocery budgets for good, through development of new habits and smarter shopping strategies.
MyFreezEasy is the newest addition to the brand family that we launched this summer, and it allows members to create or customize their own freezer meal plan. I had a web-app (and mobile/tablet too!) developed so that you can create meal plans in a matter of minutes (yes, like 3 minutes – all meals your family will love!). The web-app produces a list of recipes, shopping list, assembly instructions and meal prep instructions. The strategy and approach behind MyFreezEasy and the web-app that goes with it has already helped thousands get their freezers stocked and loaded, so they’ll always have backup waiting for dinner.

What is the major benefit of 5 Dollar Dinners?

 $5 Dinners and Co. has the tools and resources that grocery shoppers need to spend less money and get more organized. As a busy, working mom myself, I understand the overwhelm that comes with this frantic paced life. Because of this, I’ve developed simple, overwhelm-reducing tools and resources to help other moms like me!

What stage would you say your business is at and how long did it take you to get to this point?

 The business is in growth/scale mode and we will be here for another 2-3 years before we start other business development and brand joint ventures.

How does social media & blogging play a role in your business?

 Social media and email marketing is 90% of what drives our business – from FB ads to our amazing FB groups, to the email campaigns and challenges that we run every month. Communication is so crucial when you’re in the growth/scale mode that we are in and it’s one of my favorite parts of all this – connecting and talking with my members and customers. I love hearing how the tools we have available have helped make life in the kitchen and the grocery store easier for people! I also love sharing the silly stories and happenings from our life with 4 boys too!

What advice do you have for someone who is thinking about starting a business?

 Identify the need and study the market before you launch anything. Without the need and a market, your business won’t go anywhere.

 Give us your favorite place to go for business advice books/websites/podcasts.

This one is tough, as I think it depends on the area of business that I need advice on. For email systemization and automation, I love Email Splat. For Facebook help, I go to Amy Porterfield. For customer communication and feedback, I’m a Ryan Levesque fangirl. And for eCommerce (our newest venture and line), I’m always recommending folks to Steve Chou at My Wife Quit Her Job or Scott Voelker of Amazing Seller.

Take Aways:

  • Erin has some serious experience preparing dinners for a big family!
  • We all know how to do something well. I love that Erin was able to take something that seems so ordinary (like couponing, grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking dinner) and turn it into a profitable business.
  • Erin’s advice about finding a need in the market is key to building a successful business. Grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking dinner are a BIG pain point for a lot of people. She has been successful at meeting that need in a simple and productive way.
  • If you are thinking about starting a business, then determining the problems of your market/audience is a great place to start!

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What are you really good at that other people struggle with? Could you turn that into a business?