In an astonishing turn of events, a former shopaholic, who closed her thriving business to spend more time with her baby boy, has taken up couponing and yellow sticker shopping. She’s now being ultra-frugal – managing to slash her grocery shop spend by three quarters.
Owning an upmarket beauty salon for seven years, Charlene Price-Jones, 32, of Cardiff, South Wales, earned a handsome income and enjoyed splashing the cash on clothes, meals out, and three exotic holidays a year.
However, Chalene found love with her now husband Iwan, 33, and after he proposed in 2016, her thoughts turned to starting a family. She soon realized her hectic 70 hour working week would leave little time for children, she made the bold decision to close her salon.
Since then, Charlene – now a proud mom to nine-month-old Finn, has transformed her spending habits, explaining:
“I realized I was on a hamster wheel. I was earning well, but my life had been taken over by work.
“When I got engaged and started thinking about babies, I knew I’d end up having to pay out for costly childcare.
“I wanted to be at home with my little one, so I decided to close my salon. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to be as frugal as possible, to help out with money while I get used to not having that income.”
After 16 years working in the beauty industry, Charlene was proud to open her own salon in August 2010.
But everything changed when she got engaged and started to think about having children, realizing her manic working weeks would mean paying out hefty sums for childcare – not to mention missing out on quality family time.
So, in 2017, she took a leap of faith, closing her salon for good and launching a mission to live on as little as possible.
Resourceful as ever, she began collecting money off coupons and visiting supermarkets when stock was reduced so she could stay home with Finn and not be forced back to work by lack of funds.
Also making money through network marketing, selling health and wellness products via social media, Charlene said:
“Now, I don’t have the high costs of running a business that I did before. Then, I still had to pay my overheads, regardless of how much I was making – but now, my overheads are zero.
“Once I closed the salon, I knew I had to scale down and start living ultra-frugally, so I could build my income back up.”
Looking at her outgoings, Charlene realized food was eating up most of her cash, so she now swears by yellow-sticker bargains.
“My parents have drummed into me from an early age the value of a bargain, and I am so thankful for that. Now, between coupons, discount vouchers and reduced stock, my shops will cost about a quarter of what they did before.”
“For example, I went to M&S the other day and picked up £35 worth of food for £8. I’ll then prep all my meals, and freeze whatever I don’t need so it doesn’t go off. A few years ago, I could easily have let it all add up and up, getting to the till and realising I’d spent £80-£100 without even thinking about it.”
Keen to help others, Charlene now shares her pearls of money-saving wisdom on her Instagram page, where she will upload photos of her yellow-sticker hauls.
“I’ve had times when I’ve felt like a millionaire, and times when I’ve really struggled, but I’m much more mindful now.
“I hope I’m creating a better future for Finn, too. This frugal living has helped me stay at home with him, which is priceless. I’ve learnt now that it’s not what you earn, it’s what you do with it.”