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First Friday Interview: Linda Vertlieb of Frugal Philly Mom

Linda-Vertlieb-056Philadelphia is home to an amazingly talented and widespread community of bloggers and influencers. While our focus is sharing our favorite events in the city, others love to share about fashion, food, technology, and more. Today’s feature is a personal friend of the Philly PR Girl team, Linda Vertlieb, whose interest in saving money and finding ways to have fun on a budget are what fuel her successful blog, Frugal Philly Mom!

We’re glad to share a little about the mama behind the scenes of this popular resource and get the inside scoop into some of her favorite local spots.

Philly PR Girl: Tell us about your blogging journey! When did you start writing & why?

Linda Vertlieb: I started my blogging journey in 2010 after I quit my full-time job to stay home and raise my daughter Sophia. Since we were transitioning into a single income family I was looking for ways to save money for my family.

I started Frugal Philly Mom to share ways to save money on family friendly things and a place to find affordable things to do with your kids because when I was looking for this info for my own family I couldn’t find all the info all in one place. I also found that blogging was a great way to connect with other moms and it helped me with my postpartum depression which I was struggling with.

Philly PR Girl: What are your favorite places in Philly to spend time with your family during the summer months?

Linda Vertlieb: During the summer I love that Philly has so many free and affordable things to do. We love to visit our neighborhood playground at Houston Rec Center and use the spray grounds or the public pool at Hillside Rec Center.

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation in your community has awesome free programs all summer long. Other places we visit are Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse, Sister Cities Park, Franklin Square, Philadelphia Zoo, Academy of Natural Sciences, The Franklin Institute and Please Touch Museum. You can find deals and discounts to those places on my site.

Philly PR Girl: Where do you like to go when you get a night out without the kids?

Linda Vertlieb: On the rare occasions that we are without the kids my husband and I will probably sit at home and enjoy the sound of no children lol but other times we’ll get together with friends for drinks on Main Street in Manayunk.

Philly PR Girl: What local restaurants are you excited to check out for brunch this summer?

Linda Vertlieb: We like Sabrina’s, Winnie Le Bus or our neighborhood diner Daiva’s Grille because they are all kid friendly. Dinner? My husband and I are big foodies. We like to explore new places to eat or go to our favorite spot Chabaa Thai Bistro. We have been going there since we were dating. The pad thai was like only $12 way back then lol!

Philly PR Girl: What public resources & websites do you use to locate deals and discounts?

Linda Vertlieb: Many times venues will send me their deals and discounts directly and I will share with my readers but other sites I would recommend are Goldstar.com and PhillyFunGuide.com. They both offer great deals to venues and events for all ages in Philly.

Philly PR Girl: Why do you feel Philadelphia is a great city in which to raise a family?

Linda Vertlieb: My husband and I were both born and raised in Philly and we know what it’s like to grow up in Philly. It wasn’t until I had kids that I began to realize how many family friendly events are offered in our city.

Philadelphia is a great place to raise a family because of all the resources, diversity and a great sense of community in our neighborhoods. The only thing I wish would improve would be the public schools. I believe we need to invest more in our schools and more families will stay.

Philly PR Girl: Can you share with our readers some of your top picks for local businesses / retailers / charities that you love to support?

Linda Vertlieb: There are so many great charities and organizations I love to support. If I am unable to donate I like to use my site to share their events and fundraisers. I have a fundraiser category on my Events Calendar for this purpose. A few of are Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Northern Home for Children, The Food Trust, SPIN Inc. and Muscular Dystrophy Association because my husband is a Lieutenant in the Philadelphia Fire Department.

I love supporting local businesses and retailers. Yesterday I made it a point to stop by Philly’s Own Hog Island Water Ice stand in Roxborough that just opened this past weekend. There’s just something awesome about being served water ice by the owner that made it earlier that day and learning about what’s in the water ice that you’re eating. It’s an experience. That’s why I support local businesses.

Philly PR Girl: What are your top 3 tips for saving money as a mom?

Linda Vertlieb: Use your smartphone to find coupons. My favorite app is RetailMeNot. Just pull it up as you’re waiting in line to check out.

Keep your eyes out for clearance items. They are typically found on the end caps of the aisles. Clearance items are also mixed into regular items so keep your eyes peeled.

If you find that you’ve missed out on a sale item ask for a raincheck, if available, and get it at the sale price when it’s back in stock.

Thanks so much for sharing your hints, tips, and opinions with us, Linda! If you aren’t already, make sure to check out Linda’s website at Frugal Philly Mom and follow her on social media!