Why KOAB = the Ideal jdeal Ambassador (PLEASE Come Leave a Comment!)

Remember when I kept hocking you about voting for Kosher on a Budget in the jdeal competition? Thanks so much for your votes! As you guys know, KOAB was one of nine semifinalists.

Today, the nine of us are competing to win the jdeal grand prize. Jdeal is going to select one overall winner, who will become the 2011 jdeal ambassador (which would mean getting to share cool jdeals with you guys every now and again) and — here’s the kicker — winning a cash prize of over $1000 (!!!!).

In order to be considered, the nine of us have been asked to write a blog post telling the jdeal execs why we think we are the best fit. Gosh, tooting my own horn is kinda awkward, but I do think that Kosher on a Budget is a natural choice. After all, you guys come here to find out about ways to save money and create margin in your budget, right?

Here’s a little acrostic I put together to explain why I think that KOAB = the {ideal} jdeal ambassador. I would really, REALLY love it if you, my dear readers, would also leave a comment on this post telling the jdeal folks why you think I deserve to win. I figure the biggest thing Kosher on a Budget has going for it is my awesome readers!

K – Kosher (& Proud) – I have readers from across the Jewish spectrum (and beyond it!), which I LOVE! But I’m also the only Jblogger sharing frugal tips, hot deals and personal finance stories specifically intended to be kosher for the religious community!

OOpen & honest – My readers know where I stand and know that they can trust that I won’t share anything I haven’t – or wouldn’t – do for myself and my family.

A – Attached. (I really wanted to say “Connected”, but there are no Cs in KOAB = JDEAL AMBASSADOR!) On Facebook or Twitter, on the blog or over email, I am “attached” and connected!

B – Big-Time. Okay, maybe not yet, but KOAB is definitely on its way – thanks to you guys and your awesome word of mouth!


J Joyful. KOAB is a fun place to be – for me and for my readers!

D – Dynamic. From deals on diapers to Dave Ramsey get-out-of-debt stories, KOAB has tons of diverse and dynamic content. I’ve got something for everyone… just like jdeal!

E – Enthusiastic. The only thing I love more than getting a great deal, is sharing one with my readers!

A – Alert. As in, I love to alert my readers to hot sales, great deals and sweet coupons that will let them stretch their hard-earned dollars a little bit further.

L – Lovable. Okay, my husband made me write that. But hopefully you don’t disagree!


A – Abundant. I believe in frugality, yes. And I believe in self control, absolutely! But I also believe that we can live rich, fruitful and abundant lives while still being in control of our finances.

M – Midwesterner. I know that jdeal is focused on the East Coast right now – and that’s cool because KOAB has loads of readers from there. But when jdeal is ready to expand westward, KOAB is primed! I know the Midwest well, and can help jdeal connect with deal-seekers outside the TriState area!

B – Bold. KOAB tackles bold topics, like Jewish debt – an often taboo subject. Until we finally get real about our finances, we struggled in silence and shame… I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that. You’re not alone!

A – Accessible. I am open and available to my readers – whether they have a question about managing their personal finances or just figuring out the best way to roll their ECBs at CVS. This accessibility translates into mutuality and I LOVE the personal relationships that have grown out of this blog!

S – Savory. I’m no Susie Fishbein, but I do enjoy whipping up savory and frugal creations in my kitchen – and sharing recipes with you guys in my weekly Recipe Exchange! Too bad IĀ  missed out on jdeal’s 50% off voucher to Kosher.com – now that would’ve been savory and frugal!

S – Sharing. I share because I care. Trite… but true!

A – (Not) Avaricious. Sure, I care about making money. But KOAB isn’t about greed. It’s not about stuff or swag, either. It’s about sharing what works for me and my family – in the hope that it might work for my readers, too. So when I spot a good (j)deal, I am going to let my readers know!

D – Daily. I’m here, day in an day out, blogging away to my readers about how to save money, get their finances organized and scope out some unbelievable deals! When jdeal has a HOT deal to share, they can count on KOAB to scoop it – even at 6 in the morning!

O – Optimistic. I’m an optimist – but I temper that with pragmatism and reality. If my husband and I can get out of debt and become financially responsible, anyone can do it! If I can get deals on everything from peanut butter to books to ballet tickets, you can, too! I’m psyched to help show you how!

RReaders, readers, readers. When it comes down to it, KOAB is the right ambassador for jdeal, because KOAB has hundreds of subscribers and thousands of weekly readers. It’s a viral world out there, and KOAB is, thank G-d, situated in the heart of it!

Do you enjoy KOAB? Would you like to see Kosher on a Budget win the jdeal grand prize? If you’ve been lurking for a while, today would be a great day to chime in :)!

I believe 1000% that you guys are my #1 “selling” point in this competition, so – please!!! – let jdeal hear from YOU in the comments section below!






  1. I love this blog and I am not even Jewish! Anyone can take advantage of the recipes and ideas on this blog. Who doesn’t like a deal or some freebies. This is one of just a few blogs I read regularly. Thanks for the great info!

  2. Mara and KOAB are on the top of my daily reads! I’ve been reading her since her first post and was hooked instantly. Jdeal has to pick KOAB because well…it rocks the deals…kosher and otherwise.

    Good luck, Mara! Jdeal would be lucky to have you as an ambassador.

  3. Judith from Ottawa says:

    I have begun saving real money and think more carefully about each $ I spend since I began getting KOAB/Mara Strom emails and messages. She is very conscientious about quick replies and encouragement to continue saving. Her blog has had a very important impact on our savings!

    kol tuv, JKW

  4. KOAB is without a doubt my favorite blog! I have been reading since the beginning and don’t miss a single post. In fact, this blog was finally what forced me to look at my finances, begin to reign in my spending and build up my savings. More than ever, thanks to KOAB, I am perpetually on the hunt for a great deal that I can both use and afford – like those offered by jdeal. In fact, KOAB is what led me to jdeal in the first place! KOAB would make an amazing jdeal ambassador!

  5. This is one of my go-to reads. Mara and KOAB have given me so many tools to take control of spending and find excellent deals so that I can live a fruitful life. I’ve learned so much in a few short months of reading, and I’ve already gotten great deals and shared them with others.

    KOAB would be a great ambassador!

  6. I love it when my google reader tells me KOAB has a new post for me to read. I look forward to the diaper deal alerts and the real tips on how to save smartly. I’m relatively new to KOAB, but I’ve already recommended it to my family and friends as a must-read. I know of only a handful of other real, thoughtful Jewish blogs out there that deal with issues in a smart way. This isn’t just some blog with the author’s musings on life. This is real, takeaway stuff. Everyone can learn something useful on KOAB.

  7. I love when a new post from KOAB shows up in my facebook news feed. I’ve scored good deals, but most of all I like to read tips on how to live more fruitfully. It helps that Mara is just awesome with a great attitude and wonderful outlook. I’m not even Jewish and I recommend KOAB to everyone I know!

  8. Hey JDeal! I wouldn’t know about you if it weren’t for KOAB- she’s an Ambassador, even before you make it official- so make it official šŸ™‚

    Seriously, though, of all the blogs I follow, KOAB is always my first stop, and I read every post thoroughly. šŸ˜€

  9. I love this blog and have been reading from the beginning. If Mara posts about a deal I was considering, I will most likely buy it! On a personal note, I had this blog post open when my phone rang, and it was Mara offering me a baby snowsuit / bunting to borrow – she knows that I was looking for one. She’s a great friend as well as a great blogger!

  10. this blog fills a big need in the frum community-I was so excited to find you in the summer!! I read this blog multiple times a day because it is so informative and interesting! Keep on doing what you’re doing-oh and I agree with Becky above-I’m frum and wouldn’t even know about jdeal if not for KOAB!

  11. This is one of my favorite blogs out there. I’ve been reading from the beginning and look forward to Mara’s posts every day. I’m Jewish, but not Kosher or frum, but this blog definitely fills a void in the blogosphere, there’s nothing else like it.!

  12. I agree with those before me. KOAB rocks! It represents everything that is good about blogging and is must-read info for me multiple times a day.

  13. Mara is AMAZING. Her writing is flawless, she’s real and honest, and she gives GREAT advice. She’s human, Jewish, kosher, accepting, and lovely. Also, my daughter wants to marry her son. She should win.

  14. I check this blog several times a day, ever since I started following I’ve been able to find great deals and frequently learn something new. Mara deserves to win.

  15. Great blog with something for everyone. Hope you win!

  16. Oh my gracious – you guys are making me CRY! Thank you. These comments are better than gold šŸ™‚ xoxo

  17. I second the earlier comment “I love this blog and I’m not even Jewish!”. I come here for everything from meal planning and recipes to financial tips and of course the DEALS!

  18. KOAB (i.e.) Mara has made a huge difference in my life, and in that of my families. We all want to balance being happy, feeling normal, raising a healthy, happy family, etc. and one real way of doing that is saving money and cutting out excess so that we can focus on having the money to buy what’s realy important. KOAB has become a household name for us, and even my husband, who never surfs the net, often says, “What would Mara say?” before we purchase things. We have also purchased many items as a direct result of reading KOAB. Another wonderful aspect of the blog is feeling like we are really part of a consiencious community of like minded people all struggling with similar ‘issues’ and are here to support each other. I am priveleged to know Mara very well personally as a friend, and to be honest she is just the kind of person who you trust cares about you and is intersted in your best interest, as well as being very intellegent and caring. So much so, that my husband and I chose her to my birthing companion because she is so caring and yet so ‘with it.’ She was an AMAZING ambassador in the delivery room, helping me avoid unneccsary intervention, and I know that she would be an amazing voice for JDEAL as well. I could really go on, but suffice to say, she ‘Rocks’ and it is beautiful to see the virtual community enjoy the fruits of her labor that we who know her are priveleged to.

  19. As a JDEAL embassador, you are no doubt looking for someone who will not only share your deals, but will tell real people how they will really benefit from them. A thoughtful Mom and a talented writer, Mara always keeps it real AND kosher. We love her for that, and that is why KOAB is the only blog that I read every (ok–several times every) day.

  20. Even bloggers read and love this blog! I was referred here by my friend – a blogger and frugalista – Sara, from Saving for Someday. I have since signed up for emails and have come to really enjoy Kosher on a Budget. I even bought a bread machine so I could try one of the challah recipes.

    I love the full range of recipes, deals, and general shmoozing on KOAB.

  21. Even though I’m also a finalist in the competition, my initial reaction to the competition was, “Oh, KOAB should totally be the JDeal ambassador! That would be perfect!” Really, it is such an obvious shidduch between the deals here and the deals on Jdeal. Not only is her site a natural choice, but she wrote a great acrostic! Good luck!!!!

  22. If Jdeal gets to use Mara/KOAB as their ambassador they are the ones getting the deal!

  23. Love the acrostic Mara – beHatzlacha!!

  24. Mara aka KOAB does all the leg work for my couponing and pre grocery planning. I just read her blog site and know what to do. She has helped me with my meal planning. She has saved me lots of $$$ and I get very excited when I cut my receipt in half (sometimes I call my friends). I totally look forward to her blogs. I have bought some of the things that she recommends but learned as she has taught us, that if its not needed dont buy it!! I look forward to her upcomming class which was supposed to start this past week but got canceled due to snow. (how many bloggers do an actual class). I think that as a blogger, she is personal. Not just giving information… but out there to do research. I am in need of a printer, so she is on the lookout for a great deal. I know she would do this for someone who is or is not her friend. Just because its part of the what she does. You will not be disapointed choosing KOAB as your ambasador for J-Deal!

  25. This is a great blog and I read LOTS of blogs. It’s got loads of useful information. I particularly like the daily coupon/deal reports and the recipe exchange.

    In addition to the great content, it is a good looking blog that goes beyond the utilitarian. I see lots of websites and am a web programmer myself. Many blogs can look amateurish and you can tell they will not last. KOAB blog is very professional in both looks and content.

    Keep on keepin’ on Mara! I have refered several friends to your blog.

  26. I have 100+ blogs in my google reader – but KOAB is the FIRST blog I check each day for the latest great deals!!!

    Mara is a dedicated blogger, and now friend (!!!) and would make an incredible Ambassador!

  27. It has a great variety of information that saves big bucks šŸ™‚

  28. I was hooked as soon as I found your blog. I had actually had a similar blog idea in the works, but when I saw how well you were doing it I decided to focus on other things (heck, I can’t even keep my other blogs updated!) I feel like you are a kindred spirit even though we have never met. I appreciate how KOAB has helped me discover I’m not the only one in the Orthodox world who doesn’t spend ostentatiously, who prioritizes experiences and love and financial stability over amassing more “stuff”, who coupons proudly and voraciously, who doesn’t think being kosher should mean spending outrageous sums on food. Your blog reminds me of my new priorities for my financial and spiritual life: Learning to live within our means.

  29. I read KOAB every day! I like that I don’t have to weed through “unkosher” deals like on other blogs.

  30. I think I originally linked to KOAB through orthonomics , and I have LOVED it since. I am a serious couponer and reading my usual couponing sites where everyone gets frozen chicken breasts and gelatin based yogurts for free ( or worse yet, as mm’s!!) left me feeling slightly lonely in my penny pinching efforts, but no longer!! Its such fun to to read koab and get the scoop on all the kosher deals around!!

  31. This is totally the best blog and one of my go-to reads each day. It’s also one of the most professional and informative in the Jewish blogosphere – Mara and KOAB would be the best Jdeal ambassador ever.

  32. Oh dear, have I missed the boat???? I am SO crazy over this blog. It has saved me A LOT of money, and is also so entertaining and enjoyable to read. She is the perfect candidate for this recognition. PLEASE PICK HER.

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