Tired of dutifully searching for coupons you can use, while instead finding more than your fair share of coupons for items you would just simply never buy? After all, a vegetarian certainly doesn’t need that coupon for bacon, while another household doesn’t buy paper towels. It’s true that couponers spend countless hours searching and collecting valuable coupons for their favorite brands, but often end up with an endless series of savings opportunities they will never use. Good news! You can maximize your coupon inventory and save even more during your shopping trips by trading and swapping coupons. Whether you decide to make informal arrangements with family and friends, sign up for a coupon-swapping network or even organize a coupon swap in your neighborhood, there are plenty of options available for swapping coupons.
Whether you contact them via email, Facebook or telephone, notify friends, family and neighbors that you have extra coupons available for trade. Soon enough, you’re sure to have some replies from fellow couponers with whom you can partner. From there, just ask what type of coupons they’d like more of and which ones you are seeking. For example, you might have a family member with a new baby, while you are looking to save on pet food.
Through coupon clubs, members meet regularly to not only share money-saving ideas, but also swap coupons they’ve collected. With the growing popularity of extreme couponing, clubs have sprung up around the country. You can find them through Internet searches or on community websites such as Craigslist or your local newspaper.
If you aren’t the type to join a club, you can still attend coupon swaps in your locality. Extreme couponers often organize a local swap and post the information in your local newspaper, sales circulars or on Craigslist. The notices will list the date, time and location of a coupon swap, then you just show up and start trading. If you can’t find a coupon swap in your area, you can even organize one yourself!
If you have a Facebook profile, you already have access to plenty of coupon-swapping networks. Facebook communities such as Christine’s Coupon Swap, Coupon Swapping, Coupon Swapper and Coupon Swapaholic are already followed by thousands of money-saving enthusiasts eager to share offers and trade coupons. You can locate even more groups by simply searching Facebook for “coupon swap.”
You can broaden your network by swapping coupons with collectors nationwide. Once you join a form, you’ll typically post a list of coupons you’d like to receive and another list of coupons you can offer. Forum members typically send each other messages offering trades. Once a swap is agreed upon, members mail the requested coupons to one another. Check forums available on sites such as Coupon Forum, A Full Cup and Coupon Mom.
Some forums, including those found at A Full Cup and Vicky’s Deals, offer swaps through coupon trains. Once a couponer signs up for a train, he or she receives an envelope with a predetermined number of coupons, often 25, 50 or even 100. Recipients take the coupons they can use, then replenish the supply with an equal number of unwanted coupons before sending the envelope on to the next member.
Coupon Swap Box
Coupon swap boxes are just as they sound: boxes of coupons set up in a central location that allow people to add and take coupons. If you’re not familiar with any in your area, you can even set one up yourself. Just find a good location, such as a local daycare, church, library, school, office building or community center. Make sure you have permission from the owner or manager, and place a plastic box that is clearly labeled “Coupon Swap Box,” or something similar. You’ll also want to clearly list the rule of your swap box, such as the requirement to leave coupons when taking others. You can announce the addition of your swap box through email, a newsletter or by attending a meeting, whichever best applies to your location. As the manager of the swap box, you’ll want to regularly remove any expired coupons and provide contact information for participants who have questions or comments.
Have you swapped coupons before? We’d love to hear all about your experience.