Dream Week [the scoop you want me to dish!]

About Jordan, Inside FCF, TLC, TV segment

mecdream week

I'm tired. And pinch me.

That's about all I can think of how to start this post. It's been the craziest, most exciting, whirlwind of a week! If you follow me on Instagram on Facebook (you really should, we have lots of fun over there), you noticed that I had some exciting adventures this week. I was blessed enough to appear on Australia's Today Show, Inside Edition, and the Us Today Show, and was also featured in DailyMail and The Stir. Many of you have asked how in the world that happened, and where/how you can check out the features. I don't want to forget any details from this exciting week, so for my own journaling purposes as well as to fulfill your curiosities, I thought I'd give you the inside dish on it all!

I guess we'll start at the beginning…

In June of 2013 I filmed an episode of Extreme Cheapskates with TLC (see HERE). It aired a few months later, in November (“watch” it with me HERE).

TLC filming

The episode has continued to air every few months, in various parts of the world.

This August I got an email from someone at a news agency out of the UK/NY that saw my TLC episode and wanted to do a feature on me. This agency writes up interesting features, then sells them to publications. I agreed to do the feature, a little curious about who would be interested enough in frugal tips to actually pick up the story. But I figured, “hey, if it doesn't take too much time and as long as it's a legitimate publication then I'll do it…online exposure is usually a perk for a blogger, right?”.

I did the photo shoot/video shoot/interview, and it ended up being the worst timing ever (if you remember HERE and HERE) so I definitely was frustrated with myself for agreeing to do something that “probably wouldn't pan out to much, anyway”.

bad day

Months went by and I didn't think twice about the photo shoot, figuring no one ended up being interested in the story.

Then on Wednesday Jan 7 I got an email from the news agency, asking me to fact-check a few things since they were getting some interest in my story. Everything looked pretty good…but to be honest, I sped-read it from my phone because I was out and about scrambling to get things ready for MECCA.

The next day my site completely crashed. I had no idea why. When I finally got it up and running, I saw a huge influx of traffic from an article in the DailyMail. Looks like they picked up my story and it started going a bit viral.

UK feature

Then the next day…another crash. Turns out The Stir (with 30 million visitors per month!) also did a feature on me (which I had 110% no idea about and was 110% flattered by, they were so stinking nice to me!).

A behind-the-scenes look at my national TV appearances! From FunCheapOrFree.com

The next day I was running around picking up things for MECCA, when my phone rang.

It was Good Morning America.

“Hi, is this Jordan? We saw your feature in the DailyMail and we would love to have you on our show.” I had to pull over my car, I couldn't even concentrate on driving. The phone calls and emails kept coming…”Hi Jordan, this is Inside Edition”…”the Today Show in Australia…”…and other calls that (I'm sorry to do this) I can't tell you about yet, but let's just say that it'll be worth the wait if they pan out.

Dream week!

The next day (Saturday) I was on stage with Melea at MECCA, we were teaching a class on grocery shopping. It was her turn to talk so I sat off to the side of the stage…when my phone rang. ON STAGE. In front of 300+ people. Even though it was on silent (what the?). Oops.


I grabbed my phone (which was plugged in to the PA system because I used it to play music between classes. Double oops.) and saw a voicemail from a NY number. I was putting my phone away when a text came in that I will never forget. It started with,

“Hi Jordan, this is the Today Show.”

If I hadn't been on stage in front of 300+ people I probably would've screamed. Or ugly cried. Or both. The Today Show? Seriously? Are you kidding me?  Wait…how'd they get my number? I don't care! THE TODAY SHOW?! 

Let me back up for a second…

I have a secret bucket list that I have been tempted to write a post about for years now, but never have. My dreams and goals are so far-fetched, so…ridiculous, is a word that comes to mind, I have been embarrassed to put them out on the web. I'm an open book about most things, but very few people aside from Bubba actually know some of the things on that list. I guess because I couldn't bring myself to say them out loud since the chances of them happening are so slim. Guess what's near the top of that list? You guessed it,

Be on the Today show.

(And under that I had “become a regular contributor for the Today Show, but let's not get choosy here.) Needless to say it was hard to concentrate at MECCA the rest of the day.

Over the next few days I had to breathe, center myself, and pray…because I quickly realized it wouldn't be possible to accept all the opportunities. Certain shows and channels are competitors, after all, so if I said “yes” to one opportunity, it would actually close the door to certain others since each show strives to be the first to crack a new story or personality (which is totally understandable!). At one point I was sitting quietly in my room with a pit in my stomach, trying to decide between the Today Show and GMA. I thought to myself, “is this seriously happening to me right now?

I went with my gut and decided to move forward with the Today Show feature. It just felt right. The GMA staff I had been talking to were the nicest, and I could only hope to get the opportunity to go on the show someday.

After MECCA things moved into hyper speed. I was on the phone, emailing, and texting nonstop. On Monday night at 7pm I was on the phone with Australia setting up my interview for the next day, while simultaneously texting the Today Show producer…when we decided right then that Today would be filming THE NEXT DAY at my house. I looked around and laughed out loud. MECCA kept me so busy (and exhausted) all week, I hadn't focused on cleaning my house. AT ALL. I actually snapped a picture earlier that day, knowing I would tell this story to you all at some point.

My behind-the-scenes look at my national TV appearances! From FunCheapOrFree.com

 But hey, it's the Today Show! You find a way to make it happen!

I stayed up all night cleaning my house and scrambling to find a sitter to help watch my kids while they weren't needed on-screen (not easy since all my babysitters are at school during the day!). But where there is a will, there is a way. I found a sitter, and shoved laundry baskets-full of stuff into any available closet, and somehow managed to hide the dark circles under my eyes the next day.

First up that day was the Today Australia interview.

Today Australia

I went to a studio in downtown Salt Lake for the interview. It was a small studio with a SLC skyline backdrop, a fancy camera, lighting, and a chair. That's it! I couldn't see anything but the camera: no teleprompter, no anchors, no graphics or prompts which made me a bit nervous at first, but I think went well overall. I had a secret agent-type ear piece and could hear them with (after a huge delay, as you see in the video), which made me feel all sorts of cool. Again, watch the interview HERE.

My behind-the-scenes look of my national TV appearances! From FunCheapOrFree.com

In case you're wondering, here's what I wore (sorry for the horrible public bathroom lighting):


Silky floral $8.99 top from Ann Taylor Loft, my favorite $7 skinny jeans from Forever21, my lucky $0.01 Nordstrom shoes (mentioned at the end of the video HERE), my bling-bling jeweled necklace from Cents of Style (you can see it in the video), and a blazer from H&M. I paid $34 for it which is WAY more than I normally would but I knew I'd use it a ton for blog stuff, so you know. A girl's gotta splurge once in a while.

The segments snuck up on me so quickly I didn't have time to buy new outfits or anything, so they were all things I had from my closet.

Next up…The Today Show

After my segment wrapped I kicked off my $0.01 heels, sprinted to my car, and sped home to start filming with the Today Show crew…that had been setting up at my house while I was filming with Today Aus.

My behind-the-scenes look of my national TV appearances! From FunCheapOrFree.com

I had just enough time to run to my closet and change my shirt. Hind-sight I probably should've touched up my hair and taken more time to plan my outfit, but I just threw on something I new wouldn't show any unwanted lumps and bumps, and something comfortable that was “me”. See my Today Show segment HERE.

My behind-the-scenes look of my national TV appearances! From FunCheapOrFree.com

It was a fun surprise to reunite with the sound guy, Keith, that filmed my TLC episode 1.5 years earlier! The film crew doesn't fly in from NY, they are mostly local and are freelancers and are hired by the shows to film for them. The segment producer was also local/freelance, but the producer for Inside Edition was actually flown in from LA.

We spent the next 4-5 hours filming throughout my house. They had frugal tips in mind they wanted to film (they had heard about from the TLC episode and the DailyMail feature), but I also gave them a few additional ideas.

When we wrapped filming, I was EXHAUSTED. I didn't get back from taking the babysitter home until after 7, then I immediately had to hop on call after call with Inside Edition (and other shows! TBA hopefully!). Again, it was that night that we decided to start filming at 10am the next day. Here we go again! bring it!

So again, I scrambled to find a sitter, tidied up my house, and flung myself into bed at 2am where I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow. Like, for reals.

Last up, Inside Edition!

The next day the crew arrived at 9:15am to set up. Hello crew!

My behind-the-scenes look of my national TV appearances! From FunCheapOrFree.com

One thing about filming for TV is that it's SUPER invasive (in the best way); my house looks like a tornado has gone through it when we're done filming, every time! Remembering this, I wasn't as stressed about having a clean house when Inside Edition came. If there was clutter in the way, I moved it out of the camera shot, blew off any dust or spit-shined a surface, and called it good.

My behind-the-scenes look of my national TV appearances! From FunCheapOrFree.com

I spy: #PoorChubbyOllie and my granny recliner that is usually hidden in the nursery but made it's cameo because I forgot to have Bubba move it back up there before he left for work.

We did many of the same shots with Inside Edition that we did with the Today Show, which was nice and easy. But they also shot me and my shopping tips at the grocery store which was fun. It's always a kick to see the look on peoples' faces when they see a camera crew walking down the cereal aisle…

A behind-the-scenes look at  my national TV appearances! From FunCheapOrFree.com

The Inside Edition feature was done a little differently. You can watch video online HERE, but it's actually pretty different than what they showed on-air. So I took a really poor cell phone video of the aired segment so you can watch it online HERE (or click and watch below):

Again, the crew was awesome to work with. We wrapped filming around 2:30pm, I grabbed a quick sandwich on the way home (the first time I had eaten that day), and spent the rest of the day taking care of my kiddos and family. I was so exhausted, I was in bed by 9:30 that night, which is a new world record for me.


Days later, I still feel like I have a media hangover. I'm still sooo tired! Between MECCA and the segments, it truly was the week of dreams (hence the super catchy post title, eh?). But seriously, I can't thank you guys enough for being interested in my story (and crazy ideas) to read this blog. If it weren't for you, these dreams of mine wouldn't be coming true! So, as sappy it sounds, I truly love and thank you all! *group hug*


I plan to do a series of posts that talk more in-depth about some of the frugal tips, and tidbits of our “story” that were mentioned. So…

Do you have any questions that you'd like me to answer in a future post? Let me know in the comments and I'll get to work on answering them!

Thanks for the good vibes guys, it seriously paid off this week. Now if you'll excuse me, I need a nap.



  1. Laurie

    How exciting! Conratulations Jordan! Your site is such a great resource and your TV segments were fantastic.

  2. Lauren

    Congrats Jordan! Love love LOVE your blog! As far as any questions….do you have any frugal wedding ideas/tips? Or any tips/stories from your own wedding? Thanks in advance if you do!

  3. Ashley

    So cool! Many congrats on all the exposure!
    One question I have is what did the new story(-ies) get wrong? You’d mentioned with the print piece that they did a good job getting MOST of the facts right, but I was curious what was inaccurate. I’ve heard you say several times that, at the worst, you had $10K debt on a single credit card (plus other credit cards, too). In the story it said $15k total debt. Was this accurate? Just curious about that.
    And one piece of constructive criticism (really meant as helpful, so please don’t take as mean-spirited). I’m in academia so I’m super sensitive to correctly citing sources, etc. I’ve heard you say the phrase before “live like no one else so later we can live like no one else” and I’ve heard you attribute it to your husband. Just so you know, this is a phrase that Dave Ramsey has been using for years (the full quote is “live like no one else, so later you can live AND GIVE like no one else”). I don’t think you could get into any legal trouble for not citing him, but I do think its important to give credit to the correct sources. You may have had no idea about this (only hearing it from your hubs), but as you gain international exposure I don’t want you to experience any backlash from this since any Ramsey follower would know this quote to be from him.

    • Amy

      I thought the same thing–that’s Dave Ramsey’s quote! And congrats to you Jordan!!!

  4. Laura Couvillon

    Congrats! I just love you, your blog and your family. I’m so happy for you! They’d be crazy to not sign you up for a regular segment! I’d watch! 🙂

  5. Tara

    Congratulations Jordan! So happy for you!

  6. Rhian

    Well done Jordan! What an amazing week! And now you have reached a massive audience! Congratulations and I hope that you manage to catch up on some rest now.

  7. Lindsay

    Way to go girl!!! Super proud of you! I’ve been following you for quite a while ago and I figured somebody would snatch you up someday! Keep speaking your truth and great things will continue to happen!

  8. Julia P

    Oh Jordan, congratulations! Your star is shining! I loved your segments and couldn’t be happier for your success. No questions right now, but I wanted to share – I price matched at Wal Mart for the first time this weekend and it was just as easy as you said it would be! I did just a little to get started, but managed to save $5 total on strawberries and cheese alone! Next time I’ll go even bigger. Thanks for all your inspiration!

  9. evi

    wow, what a great week you have experienced! I have been loving and reading (absorbing, actually) your blog for quite a while now and just don’t get tired of you tips, stories – and humour! 🙂 My sincere congratulations and all the best from Austria, Jordan!

  10. Sarah

    Congrats!! I love what you have to share, so I’m not surprised others do too! I found you through Power of Moms, and it has been life-changing! I’ve been meaning to comment and let you know that I have literally tried everything to budget and stay on track financially, and NOTHING worked until I found your techniques- thank you!!!

  11. Nelda McAllister

    Jordyn you rock! I feel like I won at life today because of you. Group hug back many times over. : )

  12. Valery

    CONGRATULATIONS! You totally deserve ALL of this amazing exposure. Your story is so inspiring and I love reading about your adventures!

  13. Emily

    Congrats Jordan! I’m a long-time follower who has read almost all of your blogs and watched most of your videos. Your tips and recommendations are terrific! I even changed/purchased certain makeup because of you – which says a lot! You are so deserving! Congrats on your latest successes! Totally random – besides the great honor of being on those shows, or being written about in those articles, do you receive any compensation? I mean…. show me the mooola, right girl?!!

  14. Kristen

    Congratulations! That sounds so busy! It surprises me to realize that I’ve been following your blog for several years now – and am so grateful for the ideas you have shared!

    My question: What did you end up doing differently with this year’s calendar?

    Thanks again and best wishes!

  15. Angie

    Hey Jordan,
    I do have a question. Or several. I’m a pretty frugal person myself, but I struggle with guilt! Do you ever find yourself stressing over purchases? How do you determine what is acceptable spending without going overboard one way or the other? And do you have any tips for working these details out with your husband? I want to be happy, not guilty.
    Thanks for your time.

    • FunCheapOrFree

      AMAZING question! I will record my answer and turn it into a video very soon because I love this question so much. In the meantime, my short answer is… you’ve just got to set parameters and budgets, and then you won’t feel guilty at all! As long as it fits within the budget, you have no reason to feel guilty. For example, I get $125 for groceries + $65 for “other” right now on a weekly basis. If I have a shower or party coming up, I look at how much I can afford that week in my budget. I try to aim for $20 or less for gifts. When I force myself to stay within a budget then I’m also forced to get creative and not pay full-price for the first thing I see. I will hunt for a deal, and I ALWAYS find it and end up paying $20 or less for a gift that is worth SO MUCH MORE. So set a budget, and work within that budget. It’s more about choices than guilt! Buy a nicer gift, you may not have as much for grocery shopping or eating out that week. But that’s ok, it’s all about choices! Hope that helps 🙂

  16. Cynthia

    Jordan!! This is so awesome!! And to think I knew you before you became this famous! I’m so thankful for your blog and your awesome tips and positive and fun, yet sooo very useful posts.

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Haha hardly famous…everyone’s got to have their two seconds, right?? 😉 But seriously, thanks for being a loyal, long-term reader! Means the world! XOXO

  17. Julia P

    I thought of a question, I bet others will be helped by too: we are tackling our finances in 2015 using your envelope budgeting method, paying down our debt by “going to the ranch,” and other tips a la Jordan. Two places we are way over paying is for our cable and cell phones. We have found that, for both Comcast and Verizon, we are in two year contracts, and there we are stuck. Do you have any advice on how to modify an existing contract to at least save some money while we wait out the contracts? I think it will hurt us to completely withdraw from them. Any help appreciated, thanks!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Amazing question! I just filmed my answer to this in a Q&A video that I will hopefully be able to edit and post soon. But my short answer for now is…call and ask! Tell them that you fell on hard financial times and were wondering if there were any options for reducing your payment or getting out of your contract. They may or may not be able to help, but at least you tried! otherwise, I hate to say it, but contracts are tricky. We usually have to wait out our contracts because, like you said, it costs too much to break them. But just call and be super nice and maybe they can help you out!

  18. Rachel

    Where did you find the will power? It is so hard to say no even when I know it is right and so easy to justify. LIke “I can get a starbucks because I have three sick kids and just need out of the house!”

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Haha such a good question! My answer? I don’t! That’s why I give myself a very flexible budget each week, so I can choose exactly how to spend it based on my moods and needs each week! If you deprive yourself, you’ll go bonkers! But just know that it’s about choices so when your budget for the week is gone, it’s gone – so you still have to choose wisely.

  19. Aimoku Higa

    Congratulations on all or your accomplishments! You deserve them for all the help you have given everyone!

    I did have some questions that I was hoping to get advice on.

    First, you posted a picture of Bubba’s new truck, could you go into more details about getting it?

    Also, this is a little more situation specific, but maybe it would apply to other people. My husband and I currently have no debt. He is a teacher and I am a stay at home mom to our 2 boys, so we don’t have a ton of money to go around. We are saving for a down payment and to get our regular savings and emergency savings together. This year we are hoping to send him back to school for his Masters, we are switching out our only car for one that doesn’t guzzle so much gas and is a bit newer that will last for our kids, and we hope to buy our first home. With all this impending debt it makes me really nervous, especially because I feel like we do well at sticking to a budget but don’t have any wiggle room. What would you suggest to make sure we stay on top of things/plan for all of this?

    Thanks again for all you do!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Thank you so much and amazing questions! I will definitely try to get to these asap 🙂

  20. capturing joy with kristen duke

    Wow, what a fun, crazy story! I love that something you randomly did last summer came to fruition in a BIG way now! Today Show is my secret bucket list, too. BTW, we met briefly at BYB last year, and someone from my Facebook page told me to look at your Costco tips b/c we just got an Executive membership and I want to get all the value I can from it! I’ve now opened about 10 tabs from your site to read all about the 7 bank accounts to open, and planning for the year;) Hope to meet up again sometime (I’m speaking at BYB again next month, if you are going!)

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Hey Kristen! Of course, I stalk you on IG and all over the place so I feel like we are old BFF’s 🙂 Can’t wait to see you at BYB! Thanks for the comment <3

  21. Fatima @ Baby Toddler Me

    Congratulations Jordan! This is so well deserved! You are one super-mama doing all of that with a new-born, and looking fabulous too. x

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Thanks so much Fatima, seriously big hugs from me 🙂 XOXO

  22. Stacey

    I’m so happy for you. It’s so exciting to see you succeed and accomplish your goals. I think it gives us all hope that we can do the same thing. What tips do you have for getting out of your comfort zone and achieving your goals? I think from the outside looking in it looks easy for you because you’re so outgoing and extroverted, but all success comes with a price so I know it hasn’t always been easy. What trials and setbacks have you had to overcome to really achieve your dreams? What habits do you have that have helped you succeed? Thanks for being an inspiring individual. I really enjoy your blog.

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Stacey! I love your comment and questions! I just answered them in a video that I will hopefully be able to edit and post very soon. Thanks so much for reading and for the FABULOUS questions!

  23. Becky B

    You are some awesome! Great job Jordan! One suggestion I have for you. I know it’s hard to find babysitters during school time. ever thought of homeschoolers? That might be able to help you out. 🙂

    • FunCheapOrFree

      YES! Oh my word what I wouldn’t give! Know any in my area?? 😉

  24. Jennifer

    Congrats on your great TV adventure. I would like to
    Say thank you for all your tips. We are rebuilding our finances because I had cancer
    With no insurance so that took all of our savings then the credit card bills piled up.
    But your tips ate helping. Continue to be AWSOME!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Oh my gosh! God bless you and I hope your cancer stays away for GOOD! XOXO

  25. Natalie

    I’m so excited for you. That was really fun to read! I love hearing about your adventures and dreams coming true. ⭐️

  26. Krystal

    I am from Australia and really enjoyed your segment on the Today show! I have always been really good with budgeting, but we are in a new season of life as parents of young children and my old techniques need refreshing. I have gotten heaps of great ideas off your site, so thanks!

    I have two main questions about groceries, as this is my main expense i cant keep under control.
    A) for those of us in Australia – we dont have Walmart or any price matching shops. Do you have any suggestions for keeping the grocery bill down?
    B) i live in a rural town where we have only one grocery shop (3 aisles to be exact). We get some limited specials, but the essentials are rarely on special. (We pay $5.10 for a loaf of bread and it has never been on special, ever). Any suggestions for how rural families control their living expenses?

    Thanks so much for your amazing site.!

  27. Vicky T

    Wow, how exciting…may Heavenly Father continue to bless you with great opportunities to prosper as a family and share the gospel thru this media. So so awesome, great job Jordan!

    Need help: we have three rental properties and I have difficulty getting all those separate accounts working for all 3 different rentals. Any tips on how I can manage those accounts? Also, for piano and gymnastics classes for our children, where should that money come from? I assume it’s not included in the grocery or other budget? Thank you.


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