Growing Companies, the couponing website run by Andrea Deckard, has grown from an email list to a full-service moneysaving hub. Its success has brought national attention to the Monroe mother of three. Yet it started as a creative outlet for the career-woman turned stay-at-home mom.

"It was just a hobby," said Deckard. "Truly and honestly, I never intended for this to be anything other than a page for my mom and my friends."

When the Deckards transitioned from two incomes to one several years ago, Andrea hunted down coupons and bargains to stretch the family's income. It gave her a thrill to share deals with others - first through emails, then via a MySpace page with blog. As demand for her money-saving tips increased, she launched the MommySnacks website in Jaunary of 2008.

The name "Mommy Snacks" leads some to look for recipes on the site. In reality, the blog's name is a nod to the weight struggle that Deckard shares with so many women. When her children ask for a snack, she wants to indulge too, but chooses a snack with "zero calories" - a great deal. She refers to some blog posts as "snacks," and inspirational blurbs as "soul snacks."

Visitors to find coupon policies, strategies, and freebies. Deckard links to a variety of coupon sites, and offers daily subscription updates. Each month brings about 250,000 page views, with 90,000 to 120,000 unique visitors.

Earlier this year, Deckard formed A D Media, an LLC to manage A D Media has several streams of income - advertising, affiliate marketing, and consulting. Currently, Deckard is analyzing her business' staffing needs, and may hire an office staffer in the fall.  

Deckard still feels surprised by the way her coupon site has taken off. Yet she also sees how MommySnacks is a continuation of her previous career as an HR professional.

"Being in HR is very relationship-oriented. You’re an advocate for the employee, but also a thought partner with management. Now, even though MommySnacks is online, it’s very much relational. I’m sharing different parts of who I am with my readers, and encouraging them to save as much as they can. I’m also helping businesses by working as a strategic partner with them.”

Deckard recognizes Cincinnati's strong market for coupons as a key ingredient to her success, and hopes to have a Cincinnati-specific section of MommySnacks running by early July. Since moving here from Dayton six years ago, Deckard has grown to love the city's balance of small-town friendliness and big-city amenities. She sees MommySnacks as her way of helping Cincinnatians get the most from their city.

"We help people get deals so they can enjoy the city like they want to."

Writer: Elena Stevenson
Source: Andrea Deckard, MommySnacks
Monroe, Ohio