Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Throw a Coupon Party (Cheap Fun Week)

Having fun doesn't have to ruin your finances. This week we're exploring the offbeat, new and old means of entertainment. And if these don't do it for you, well you can just take a hike--for free!

It started out as a question on a yahoo group that I belong to and since then it's been building into cheap fun. Some women that I know started trading grocery shopping strategies via the group forum. Now they meet on Sunday afternoons to peruse the grocery store fliers and coupons. Because no one really buys just what is offered in the Sunday circular they openly trade their coupons over coffee at one hostesses home. Some of these families claim that they save 50, 60, 70% or more on their grocery bills by using coupons. And now that they've added the Sunday gathering they're having a good time doing it.

They're also swapping tips such as excel spreadsheets, coupon organizing systems, grocery store shopping strategies...even bagging methods that quicken the unloading time.

Coupons are coming back into fashion. The way my friends formed their group is informal and designed to be fun as well as thrifty. Others have turned their penny saving snipping into businesses such as Be Centsable and the Grocery Game.

To form your own Coupon Party is simple:

  1. Gather some friends
  2. Everybody brings coupons and store circulars
  3. Share your tips and tricks
  4. Add some munchies and beverages.
Now for a few coupon tips:
  • Say you have a store coupon for $5 off a $20 purchase and you also have some individual product coupons. Hand over the $5 off coupon first while your total is more than $20, then use the other coupons to lower the total even more.

  • Shop stores that double coupons.

  • Shop stores that match competitor prices.

  • Don't just match your coupon to the picture of the item, match up the bar codes, you will often find the coupon is good for less expensive items.

  • First you should look for sales. Then check to see if there are coupons for those same sale items.

  • Combine the manufacturer's coupon with a coupon offered by the store.
Don't just rely on newspapers. For online coupons checkout these sites:

Happy Clipping!

photo by kyz

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