While I’ve never hosted or attended any “formal” coupon party, my friends and I will occasionally get together and swap coupons so I thought I’d share with you today what we do in case you’d like to do something similar.
Keep it simple
Don’t spend a lot of money for this type of get together – that defeats the purpose of learning to be frugal! We usually just have a potluck where everyone brings a dish or appetizer to share. You could also be creative and request that guests bring something made from their stockpile – no extra shopping allowed.
Bring your coupons to swap
In my opinion, swapping coupons on the spot is a MUCH better way to build up a stash of coupons as opposed to purchasing them on Ebay or involving yourself with complicated trades online. At the last get together I attended, some of us pulled coupons out that were up for grabs and others just passed around our binders or inserts. I ended up with lots of coupons for stuff we use and was able to give away many I’m sure my friends could put to better use than me.
Bring your best deals to share
Ask everyone to bring a couple of their best receipts and/or items to encourage the group. Have each person explain their shopping scenario. I often learn so much by hearing how someone else came up with a great deal!
Bring goodies from your stockpile to swap
Have too much salad dressing on hand? Picked up free cat food recently even though you don’t have a cat? Swapping and sharing items is a great way to build a community of friends that looks out for one another’s needs. I highly recommend it.
Sift out expired coupons
As you go, create a pile for expired coupons. Then designate one or two people to donate them to overseas military families which can use them for up to 6 months past the expiration dates. Share the coupon love!
Report back on store deals and tips
My friends and I have talked about this, but haven’t done it yet. Assign a store to each person in the group and have them “report back” at the party with everything that can learn about shopping there. This might include: coupon policies, rewards deals, when the store restocks, when the store marks down meat & produce, best times to shop, etc.
Gather ’round a computer or laptop
If you’re able, this is a great time to share favorite blogs, coupon forums, and other Internet resources with one another. Some of the sites are fun to discover as a group.
If you have friends that are interested in learning about how to coupon, this is a great way to share with them and walk them through the process. In fact, it was at a similar party that a good friend of mine showed me what she was doing and inspired me to start couponing. Saving money is great, but sharing it with a friend (or two) makes it all the more enjoyable.
Photo credit Alessandro Paiva