I don’t believe I have! A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…I decided that I would like to share some of my frugalness (ok, not a word) with people in my community that would be:
- Willing to learn more frugal ways.
- Were already frugal and wanted a frugal buddy or buddies.
- Didn’t know they wanted to be frugal until I made a grand entrance into their lives or
- Just wanted to hang out with me, regardless of what I had to say.
After I retired two years ago, I planted the seed in my mind. Due to the fact that we were very busy at the time being foster parents and sending a daughter off to college, the seed just sat there, patiently waiting to be watered.
About six months ago, I shared my idea with a friend who shared the same interests. I have to say…she was the fuel in my tank, the wind beneath my wings, steam in my iron…well you get the idea. So together we forged ahead. We reached out to our friends, FB pals and community members until we found a place to hold our meetings. We now meet in one of our local church halls twice per month. And get this…we BARTERED for the hall! Each of our frugalites (another non-word) brings in either non-perishable food or a household item for the church’s food pantry and/or clothing closet. In return, we get to use the hall for all of our fun! Win/win I’d say!
And fun we have! Right now, we have a core group of about 15 women who attend on a regular basis. We have coupon swaps, “Barter Buddies” and swap meets. We have even formed a sub-group that is meeting for the first time to make furniture out of old pallets! (No, we have no idea what we’re doing, but isn’t that part of the excitement?) We have bartered eggs for jam, a bread machine for clothing, canning supplies for applesauce and we just keep the offers coming. Two weeks ago we had a swap meet. We each bring up to ten items that we no longer want at home. We can then take home as many “new” items as we brought. I came home with the cutest Christmas plates, a Vera Bradley mini-tote, a new hall stand and a great Gap scarf. What remains on the tables is donated to the church or local thrift store.
I told you we have fun! And we haven’t even been meeting for two whole months yet! Here’s some pictures I took on Tuesday at our coupon swap. You will not see any faces due to the fact that we do NOT pretty ourselves up for these meetings and I would be publicly stoned if I dared to publish anyone’s casual look. We had three tables of coupons going and the other picture is of our donations to the church for that night. Our expired and leftover coupons are given to a local school group that then sends them out to military families.
I can’t wait until the next meeting. We’re doing both a coupon swap AND a swap meet combined. I will make sure to post the wonderful things I’m sure to bring home. One of the women that attends makes her own jewelry and she has some great stuff!
The point I’d like to make is that if you want to see something come to life…make it happen! Enlist a friend or two to help you. This group happens to love saving money and sharing frugal ideas. Your group might love reading, knitting or scrapbooking. Whatever you love, why not surround yourself with others that love it as well? You seriously never know what will come out of it.
You know what I got out of my group? A sense of community, new friends, fresh ideas, additional coupons, a chance to give to a local charity and so much more. So go ahead, share what you love. You know you wanna. 🙂