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ThriftyFun's Founder's Day

This is a guide about ThriftyFun's Founder's Day. The spirit of this beloved woman guides us to find frugal, fun solutions for everyday life.


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March 9, 2014

March 9th is ThriftyFun's Founder's Day, in remembrance of our founder and mother, Susan Sanders-Kinzel, who passed away in 2008. Susan had learned frugal ways as a single mother and was no stranger to hard work. We would always make sure to take her birthday off, calling it a ThriftyFun holiday.

With the help of her sons, Fletcher Sandbeck and Lewis Sandbeck, Susan established this website in 1999 to provide an early online forum about frugal living. Soon Susan's daughters, Jessica StewartMaize and Stella Bui-Rivet, were able to pitch in with the growing demands of the busy site. The four siblings are in charge of the site today.


It is truly a family business.  Three of our spouses (Laurel, Jess and Viet) work on the website and our sister, Mara is involved as time permits.  Susan's sister Sally, who shares this birthdate with Susan, is one of our main editors and Barbara, Laurel's mom, is another. That is not to mention the many friends and family that are members of the site, sharing their own ideas with the rest of the ThriftyFun community.

2015 marks our 16th year, with thousands of posted questions, tips, recipes and crafts. We continually look for ways to improve the site and the information it contains. New technologies are always emerging so changes are inevitable, but we have tried to keep Susan's frugal and caring spirit alive.

Thank you to all our contributors, regular members and newsletter subscribers who keep ThriftyFun a positive, vibrant community and a resource for so many millions of visitors. You truly are the reason for the continued success of this site. Keep amazing us with your ingenuity.


Here are some other links that you may be interested in. The first is an article published about Susan at the time of her death. The second is slightly older and shows a history of ThriftyFun.

With love,

Jessica, Fletcher, Lewis, Stella and the rest of the ThriftyFun team.

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March 9, 20126 found this helpful

March 9th is Founder's Day here at ThriftyFun. Our founders, Susan Sanders-Kinzel and her sons, Fletcher Sandbeck and Lewis Sandbeck started publishing their first website in 1997. The original Coupon Clipper was later changed to ThriftyFun in 1999. We have been sharing tips and questions for 15 years and are one of the oldest frugal living websites online.


Susan passed away in 2008. Although we have made many changes and improvements in the following years, we all still miss her leadership and frugal spirit. As March 9th was Susan's birthday (a date she shared with her sister Sally, one of our recipe editors), we have officially declared it Founder's Day. Thank you to all of you who have helped make Susan's dream of an online frugal community into a reality.

Here is one of our very first posts on ThriftyFun, written by Susan, we hope you enjoy it. We have also included a post about Susan's passing. There is also one about the history of ThriftyFun, posted in 2008. It needs some updating, but is an interesting look back at the many faces of ThriftyFun.


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December 31, 2008
It is with heavy hearts that we report the passing of Susan Sanders Kinzel, our founder and beloved mother, sister and friend. The illness was sudden and swift and she died on December 21st, 2008.

Here is a little bit about Sue from the obituary.

Sue died quietly at home on the evening of December 21st with her beloved children at her side. Sue loved the beach, her dogs and cats, Native American artwork and the planet. She loved coffee and popcorn and even co-authored a book with her son about roasting coffee at home. She loved to laugh until she cried. And she loved her family, the ones she grew up with, the ones she gave birth to and the ones that she adopted into her heart. Our sorrow is beyond words.

She was an entrepreneur at heart and ran art related businesses most of her life. Sue was a very creative person and an artist since her teens. She created works of art with beads, sewing and leatherwork. She also was a musician and songwriter. Sue was the founder, with her sons, of, an online resource for frugal living and general advice about doing more with less. In the 10 years prior to her death, the website had grown to serve thousands of people per day across the internet and provide a livelihood for several people. Sue was the driving force and the inspiration for the website, having endured years of less than ideal living conditions.

We love her and miss her,

The Staff of ThriftyFun

Lewis, Fletcher, Jess, Sally, Laurel, Kezia, Stella and Mara.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 25, 20091 found this helpful

It is with heavy hearts that we report the passing of Susan Sanders Kinzel, our founder and beloved mother, sister and friend. The illness was sudden and swift and she died on December 21st, 2008. We love her and miss her, Lewis, Fletcher, Jess, Sally, Laurel, Kezia, Stella and Mara.

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