- Hi there. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Would you mind starting by telling us who you are and where you’re from, and of course the name of your blog?
Hey there! I am Katie Askegaard, owner and operator of The Frugal Foodies with the help of my amazing fiancé Jeremy Hales. Our story is anything but normal. I am originally from Staunton, Virginia and Jeremy is from Tasmania, Australia, and we met while working onboard a cruise ship based in Asia where I was a dancer and Jeremy was the lead travel guide. We connected over our shared love of travel, food, and bad puns, and have been together ever since!
New York City has been our home base while we both have embarked on various professional contracts taking us everywhere from Singapore to Warren, Ohio. But our next great adventure is underway, and I am currently sitting in my quarantine hotel in Sydney for 12 more days (who’s counting?) before moving in with Jeremy until the travel and entertainment industry picks back up.
When I’m not blogging, I am usually dancing, hitting the gym, doing a crossword, or going on some sort of adventure whether it be exploring a new neighbourhood or seeking out awesome food. I have a curious mind that’s always craving new information, and I love to spend time researching interesting topics and writing about what I learn.
- When did you start your blog and why did you decide to start a foodie blog?
In 2019, Jeremy and I took a trip down to Virginia to see my parents. After a couple cocktails, my mom exclaimed, “you guys need at TV show!” I poo pooed the idea of a TV show and offered up the suggestion of a blog given my passion for writing. A few ideas were tossed around the table, but we narrowed in on food, particularly cheap food. Someone exclaimed, “The Frugal Foodies!!!”
Voila! The Frugal Foodies was born!
- What do you like to write about and why?
My mind is a bit eccentric and incredibly quirky. I have a wide range of interests ranging from what makes red meat red to the illegal kidney market in the Philippines, and I like to transfer my passions into words to share with others.
- Who do you see as the audience for your blog?
This is a great question, and one I am still figuring out! Over the course of the past year the blog’s focus has taken many twists and turns.
It started with strictly food-based posts targeting fellow New York City residents with a focus on “30 Under 30”, which was going to be a series of 30 meals for two in NYC for under $30.
Then I left NYC to begin a crazy three-month period of constant travel. I spent 12 days in Asia with Jeremy, travelled throughout the East Coast performing in a national tour, headed to Australia to see Jeremy once more, went back to Asia for 20 days, then finally made it back to NYC at the start of February (I’m exhausted just thinking about it!). During this time, my target audience shifted towards foodies interested in travel.
Upon returning to NYC and the rise of Covid-19, I just started writing about whatever interested me. I’ve thrown the idea of reaching a specific audience out the window, and have been using The Frugal Foodies as my outlet and platform to express my views on various topics.
So, who’s my target audience? I’d say anyone with a curious mind.
- What advice would give to someone just starting out blogging?
Just keep writing! It’s easy to hit plateaus and feel uninspired, but push through and don’t stop!
- What is the hardest thing about running a travel blog?
Finding the time to write amidst the crazy roller coaster of life. I wear a lot of hats, and juggling my work, personal life, and the blog can be challenging.
- How has your world changed due to Covid-19? What restrictions are in place where you are right now?
Covid-19 turned my world upside down. As a dancer, the virus has indefinitely put my profession on a standstill. It’s hard to know what the future will have in store at this point!
- How do you think travel will change due to the pandemic?
Until there’s a vaccine, I think travel will be severely limited. However, humans have a magnificent ability to move on from the past, and I think in a couple years (hopefully less!) travel will be right back to where it used to be.
- What place would you really like to visit and why?
Peru will hopefully be the next big trip! I’ve never been to South America, and I’m ready to experience something totally and completely new.
- Katie, you’re based in New York. What is special about New York and the food there? What unexpected food finds have you had and where would you recommend people to eat?
You can find absolutely anything in New York City, and I guarantee it’s going to be delicious.
There’s so much amazing food but the two absolute must eats that need to be at the top of your list are a chocolate chip walnut cookie from Levain Bakery and a square slice of pizza from Mama’s Too!
If you’re planning a trip shoot firstname.lastname@example.org an email and I’ll hook you up with more tips J
- Please recommend three posts from your blog you’d like people to read (and why!)
- Justice, Charity, and Chicken: What You Don’t Know About Chick-fil-A (https://thefrugalfoodies.com/2020/07/13/what-you-dont-know-about-chick-fil-a/). I started this piece expecting something completely different than what I found. It gave me hope that normal people can bring about change, and I loved shutting down misinformation around Chick-fil-A.
- How to Order Food in Asia (https://thefrugalfoodies.com/2019/12/03/how-to-order-food-in-asia/). I firmly believe that the best way to understand a culture is through the food. However, I get that it can be intimidating to order strange food in a new country. This post is designed to empower you to stand in line, order, and get the food so you don’t miss out on an awesome culinary and cultural experience.
- Is Instagram Ruining Food? (https://thefrugalfoodies.com/2019/12/11/is-instagram-ruining-food/) I continually grapple with the inauthenticity of “influencers” in the blogging and Instagram community. I wrote this post when I first started the journey, and the feelings still ring true.
- Finally, how can people find you on the net and social media? Please include blog address, facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and any other channels you use.
Check out thefrugalfoodies.com and follow us on Instagram @the.frugal.foodies
- Finally (again!) what are you hoping or dreaming for in 2021?
I want nothing more than for people across the world to be healthy and happy as a normal life resumes.