Virtual pinboard site helps users save money

January 11, 2012 3:00:21 PM PST
Have you heard of the website Pinterest? It's the fast-growing social network site where you can 'pin' images from sites all over the web onto your own virtual pin board.

Just in the last few months, the invite-only site, went from just over a million members to more than 11 million visits. The website has one Humble mom totally hooked because it's not only making her life easier, but she says it's saving her big.

"For dinner tonight, we have crockpot ribs which I have never tried before but they smell delicious," Nicole Scott said.

To say a website has changed Nicole's life is an understatement. The working mom says Pinterest has made her life easier.

"It's very addicting," she said. "People say Facebook was addicting. I don't find Facebook to be anywhere near as addicting because there are so many avenues that you can explore." is an invitation-only social media website that launched in 2010 that allows users to 'pin' content on a personal virtual pin board.

"It's all those recipes, all those craft ideas that you see on the Internet and you print them and put them in a folder and they get lost in the filing cabinet," Nicole explained. "This is basically a place to store all that information."

This is how the website works. You have to be invited or request an invitation to join the free site. But once you do, you have access to millions of ideas.

As a user, you create virtual pin boards -- as many as you like -- and label them according to your ideas. Once you find something you like, you re-pin it to your board. It's that simple.

Nicole has a couple dozen boards for home decor, gift ideas, recipes and crafts. For cheap Christmas gifts, she bought dollar store wine glasses and personalized them by etching the glass -- a lesson she learned on Pinterest.

When Nicole wanted to keep her toddler busy, she created a magnetic chalk board as she learned on Pinterest. And last month, when she was looking for an easy way to make some extra cash on the side, Nicoel learned how to make tutus.

"I sold them by word of mouth through Facebook and email," she said.

But Pinterest is not just about crafts. Nicole gets ideas on how to re-work her existing wardrobe and make healthy, budget-friendly recipes using her Crockpot she once had stored for years.

"It saves me money," she said.

As far as the social part of Pinterest, you can follow people on Pinterest, similar to following someone on Twitter, allowing you to see what images inspire them. Users can follow your boards as well. But rather than sharing personal information, this is about the sharing of ideas.