Hi everybody! It’s been a while since I have posted, because it was a long, busy summer for my 3 kids and I! We had a great time, except for the times I needed to drag all of them to the store with me. My boys hate to shop! Luckily, I had stocked up enough on “kid food” before the end of the school year, so that didn’t happen too many times over the summer.
Today I am going to tell you about another way to get some extra coupons, and get rid of ones that you won’t use. When I first started couponing, I noticed that there were times I needed more coupons to stock up on certain items I wanted to buy, but I really didn’t want to buy another newspaper subscription (or two). I also had tons of diaper and baby product coupons that I wasn’t using. So, I started looking into starting a Coupon Exchange Group.
I already had a few friends that were also couponers, so we created a private Facebook Group for ourselves. One by one, we added friends and family, who in turn added some of their friends and family, and now I am so thankful to be a part of such an AMAZING group of ladies (and one guy too!) that I can share my extra coupons and deals with! Some of us live within a few miles from each other, and meet up to exchange coupons, but most of the time we mail the coupons to each other, and it works out just fine.
So, how does it work? Well, when you have a group page you can create “files” for the group. We have files with our contact information, to make it easy to mail out our envelopes full of goodies without having to constantly ask for each other’s addresses. We have another file with the extra tearpad/mailed/blinkie type coupons that we are giving away, another file with our local stores and what their specific coupon policies are and what competitor’s coupons they accept, and one of my favorites, a file that lists all of the Freebies or Money Makers and what store you can find them in!
Throughout the week, we discuss the sales (current and upcoming), post about what coupons we are in need of, share our weekly shopping trips, and just chit chat about our lives. Since almost all of us would be using the coupons that would make an item free or even a money maker, we purchase our coupons in bulk using a clipping service and divide them up!
Recently we added a file to list our favorite charities, and what their specific donation needs are. Throughout the year, we get together to donate to different organizations. In fact, I’ll be meeting up with one of my group members this afternoon, to pick up some items from her, as it is my turn to bring in the donations.
Your group can be anything you make of it. But to be successful, make sure you always mail out the coupons if you have promised them to someone, share any great deals you find, and don’t be greedy! If you have access to 8 computers but another member only has one, share a print or two if they are in need. Also, if you find that you are always asking for coupons, and never giving any away, you might want to rethink your position in the group, or focus more on buying coupons online. It has to be a give and take situation for it to be fair to everyone.
One of the things I like best about my group (besides all of the great new friends I have made), is seeing the pictures of everyone’s shopping trips. I am a visual person, and sometimes I will miss a deal on the ad matchup. But, when I see what my friends have bought, and what a great deal it is, I will add it to my shopping list.
Ok, ladies (and gentlemen), go out there and start up your groups!