Special Segment: Click 4 Coupons

September 26, 2010 (CHICAGO)

"This is where I keep my life," said mother Heather Jagher. "My coupons, my gift certificates."

Jagher is always looking for a good deal.

"Everybody's trying to save money, especially stay-at-home moms. I think are trying to do their part. They're, maybe not, bringing home a paycheck, but they're trying to do their part," Jagher said.

Jagher says she helps save money around the house by using coupons from new online deal sites.

"I like a good deal. Before I'm going to commit to a certain vendor in the city or a company or some sort of a class for my kids, I want to try it out," said Jagher.

"I never would have thought of this before I became a mother," said Lindsay Cohen.

Lindsay Cohen and Bo Johnson are new mothers who co-founded a site called www.Mamaloot.com that focuses on getting good deals for moms in Chicago.

"The idea of the daily deals concept is to partner up moms with those local businesses, especially new moms who maybe didn't know of particular opportunities for them and their kids," said Cohen.

Each day, they post a new deal on the site, offering a deep discount at a local store. Each deal is family-oriented, like discounted classes for kids, or savings on pizza, and it's only available for 24 hours.

Customers can share deals they like on social media sites.

"What's good about Twitter and Facebook is our mommy members can spread it out to their mommy audience," Johnson said.

Mamaloot is part of a growing trend of companies offering big price breaks online. Chicago-based website Groupon started the online coupon buying craze, but now, many sites are catching on and trying to build businesses by offering daily online coupons.

"It's a great way to introduce new customers," John TenBrink of Family Grounds Cafe.

Family Grounds, Chicago's North Side, decided to work with Mamaloot after realizing how much online group coupons boost sales.

"A lot of parents, a lot of people in general, just caught on the idea of, 'Hey, there is a deal to be made today. I want to be part of that group,'" TenBrink said.

"It's part of advertising now. Technology is rapidly changing. This is changing with it," said Scott Waltenburg of Pump It Up, a Chicago indoor playground that uses Mamaloot to offer discounted admission.

"And it's a great introduction to our business by allowing us to put the deal on those kind of sites," Waltenburg said.

"Moms are impulsive buyers, especially with brand new babies. So, there's always going to be stuff that we're going to want to buy," said mother Tracy Fortune.

Fortune, of Chicago, says the tough economy is leading thrifty parents to hunt for bargains.

"It's really been tough for everyone, and especially finding any type of deal that we can find is absolutely critical to people who want to continue to try to have some type of stability in their lifestyle," Fortune said.

Mamaloot's founders say, in the six weeks they've been operating, they've already saved customers more than $15,000.

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