Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Frugal tip: Start a coupon club

Scissors and coupons

Two of my colleagues and I discuss coupons and grocery sales, noting how much we save combining the two at least once a week. From our talks, I have learned my two colleagues have easily saved more than they spent when using coupons. When I mentioned to one of them that every time I visit my mom, I sort through her coupons to find ones I could use, she said "Hey, I can bring my coupon circulars here if you want to look through them." I readily agreed and the departmental coupon club was born.

What is the coupon club? Those who receive the Sunday paper bring in the coupon circulars and offer it to others to look through. In our club, these coupons sit on top of a cabinet centrally located in my department and anyone is welcome to look through and clip coupons. At the end of the week, the coupons are recycled and Monday brings a fresh infusion. It is a kindness for those like me who do not get a Sunday paper and gives access to a second coupon for an item if available from the other person. For example, I saved $8 on my contact lens solution because the flyer had coupons for the brand I used. I made sure to thank my colleagues for bringing in their coupons so I could save such a significant amount.

How do you start a coupon club? Find like-minded individuals willing to bring in their flyers to share. Ask around at work, consult with neighbors or friends to suggest pooling resources and getting the most out of the coupon flyers. Our club mainly consists of three people and only two contribute flyers. The arrangement is casual and seems to work without conflict. Your club can be similar or even involve a social environment (e.g., a lunch with friends and coupon exchanging). Not everyone is going to use the same coupons and it maximizes everyone's savings at the store.

Will you start a coupon club?

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