How sharing frugal tips on Facebook became a full-time job

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How I turned sharing money-saving tips on FB to a full-time job
How I turned sharing money-saving tips on FB to a full-time job

When mother-of-three Ashleigh Swan started sharing tips on how to find a bargain with friends on Facebook she never thought it would become her full-time job and attract more than 130,000 followers.

The 26-year-old from Walkergate, Newcastle, had been made redundant from a her job as a trainee dispenser at a chemists and was spending hours each day online searching for deals. After successes like buying £60 worth of food from Tesco for just £15 and getting £90 worth of H&M clothes for £14, her money-saving fame grew.

Ashleigh began in June 2013 by posting her successes on her Facebook page so her friends and family could join in.

Then she set up a Facebook page specifically for bargains, which has been "liked" 134,000 times.

Now she has set up her own website and major retailers have been in contact with her to promote their brands.

Her plan is to set up an app too. She said: "I love being able to help others. I have been in the situation of being really hard up so I know how real people feel. The thank you messages are great and they make me work harder to find more money saving deals."

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She has been able to give up the job she had found after being made redundant and can now concentrate on making her website a success and catch the eye of advertisers.

Ashleigh is mother to Simon, 11, Jamie, eight, and Katie, aged four, who calls her "Mammy saving expert".

She spends 45 minutes online before breakfast researching the latest deals, gets the children to school, then logs on looking for more codes and elusive price glitches. The key to big savings, she says, is to combine vouchers and deals.

And having 134,000 keen followers means there is an army of people willing to share information if she misses an opportunity. She said: "If you sign up to newsletters from different websites they send out deals and vouchers. You can combine them with others you have already have and find a glitch and try to stack them up. That is the best."

Her husband Aaron and the children are fully supportive, even if it can lead to some strange mealtimes. She said: "I got a deal for Dominoes where we got £100 worth of food for £25. We were eating pizza for days."

Ashleigh has used all her expertise to organise and pay for Christmas already - and naturally scoop some bargains.

She has got £1,000 worth of food and presents for £600. Although many deals are done online, she is keen to support the high street, and if she spots a bargain, she takes a photo and posts it on the web so her followers search out low prices too.

Ahead of Black Friday, when many stores will discount heavily, she advised canny shoppers to do plenty of price research before heading out. And she had a golden rule. "Do not buy on impulse, stick to your plan or you will end up spending anything you saved elsewhere."

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