See the New Frugal Mama Makeover Series on!

I‘m thrilled to show you the brand-new Frugal Mama Makeover video series!


Thanks to generous support from Bank of America, our sponsor, the short videos look like mini-TV shows.

Snapshot of the Production Process

After choosing six participants who responded to a TLC casting call, we visited them in their homes (all in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area). We listened to each person’s money struggles, and then I helped figure out a plan of action. Three to four weeks later, they sent us a video update on their progress. We filmed the talking points in my kitchen, and then the producers at Discovery worked their magic and wrapped it all up in a pretty package.

The first video about a woman named Nichole, who is expecting a new baby and needs to find money for daycare, has already been viewed over 70,000 times and has been featured by TV Guide.

Six Women, Six Stories

Meeting the participants, who opened up their lives and shared their money concerns with me, was the most rewarding part of this project. The solutions we came up with may seem simple, but as you and I know, saving money is not always easy.

The good thing is that sometimes the most difficult part is taking the time to sit down, looking at whatever we think is scary or daunting, and committing to make changes.

In these six stories, you’ll meet:

  • Nichole, a newly expecting mom who is facing a huge jump in childcare costs,
  • Angie, who wants to renovate her house without dipping into savings,
  • Sarah, who would like to celebrate Christmas without stressing about money, and
  • Noila, who feels like she should be spending less on groceries but is frustrated by coupons.

Coming up next week will be:

  • Kara, who needs low-cost ways to get her dance studio off the ground, and
  • Amy, who would like to spend less on gas and more on other things, like a trip to Disney.

A Lot More to Tell

Only a fraction of the story was portrayed in each three- to four-minute video, so over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing a little more about each participant and the ideas we discussed.

And because I’ve been in touch with the participants, I know that a lot has happened since they sent in their home videos. So next month I’m going to be posting updates on their progress.

Until then, you can see the first four videos in the series, as well as articles full of more tips and ideas on saving money, at the Dollars & Sense Guide in the Shows section of

If you think the webisodes are helpful or entertaining, please share them with all of your friends!

A Big Huge Thank You

Finally I want to thank the good people at TLC, Discovery, and Bank of America for having faith in me. The series has been exciting and glamorous at times, but mostly it’s been an incredible amount of work, so I also want to thank my family for putting up with me. It’s not over yet — but thank you for packing your own lunches, for playing together nicely (most of the time), and for letting the house be good-enough.

And last but not least, thank you dear readers for all your support over the years. Dreams do come true!

Now watch the Frugal Mama Makeover series and let me know what you think!

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  • M.T. December 9, 2011, 8:27 pm

    Yippee! Congratulations! This is so exciting and the videos turned out wonderfully! I love how sensible and kind your advice is. :)

    • Amy December 9, 2011, 8:39 pm

      Hey M.T.!
      So sweet of you to write and send your cheers! As entertaining as snarky is, I definitely did not want to be that way with the participants. It’s kind of like a cross between a reality show and a coaching session. :-)
      Thanks for writing in,

  • Amy December 7, 2011, 10:23 pm

    Rayna! I love both the Vunderful and the running high-five. The loudest smack is always the most satisfying.

    Thank you for all your support lately. I love watching your blog grow.


  • The Suburban Minimalist blog December 7, 2011, 9:27 pm

    Vunderful (German accent, for some reason)! I am so proud of you. You are my first celebrity friend.

    Hugs, kisses, and a congratulatory high-five (running so we get extra lift),


  • Vanessa Jubis December 7, 2011, 9:18 pm

    WOW! This is spectacular Amy! I’m thrilled for you, your family and your career. I’ve enjoyed watching one video so far (Nichole’s) :) You. Are. Amazing. Thank you for this!

    Big fan,
    Vanessa Jubis

    • Amy December 7, 2011, 10:21 pm

      Thank you, Vanessa — can you just ride on my shoulder? I could use your confidence sometimes!

      You’re awesome,