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How to Create a Neighborhood Coupon Club?

Coupons are more popular than ever as consumers realize that, despite being slips of colored paper, beneath that glossy exterior is cold, hard cash – and in this economy, every quarter counts. If you've ever had a kitchen countertop groan under the weight of clipped coupons, you've probably realized that there's probably a better way to use some of those great coupons you don't need.

If you don't have a dog, that tempting dog food coupon is useless to you, but that doesn't mean your next-door neighbor, the one with the bull mastiff who works security for both your properties (bless him), can't use it.

You can start a neighborhood coupon club if you can host a weekly poker game, use the alphabet without too many slips, and recognize your neighbors at least on sight.

Strategy to Create Coupons:

Strategy to Create Coupons

Creating a couponing strategy with people in your neighborhood can be a wise decision. You already have something in common, geography, which can work to your advantage in a variety of ways, as we'll see in a moment. What you don't have in common can also work in your favor. Those diaper coupons maybe a decade too late for your child, but they could be a lifeline for the new mom in the yellow house across the street. The larger your coupon group, the more homes you're likely to find for those specialty coupons that would otherwise go unused.

It all comes down to planning and allocating resources. It can be a lot of fun. If you had proposed starting a neighborhood coupon club a few years ago, it would have been a tough sell. However, it is now a financial boon and even has some social cachet. You may never be the superstar who walks out of the market having spent $10 on $100 worth of groceries.

Creating a Neighborhood Coupon Club:

A neighborhood coupon club requires people to be successful, and the more diverse the group, the better. Remember that you want variety to use as many coupons as possible while avoiding too much competition in any one category.

The plan is for four or five people to recruit others from down the street and around the corner. Before long, you may have a dozen or more people interested in taking part. Once you've determined that there is a desire to form a club, keep the following points in mind:

Find a Meeting Place:

Find a Meeting Place

Your first thought may be to invite everyone to your house once a week, but this may not be the best strategy. Being the de facto host can become tiresome. Community centers, libraries, local schools, and even local businesses may have rooms where you can meet to exchange coupons and discuss the best shopping locations. It's never a bad idea to ask around.

Increase the Bounty:

Look into ways to add more coupons to the pot. Friends, coworkers, and family members who are uninterested in coupons are a good place to start. Small businesses in the area that receive the local paper but do not shop locally can also be sources of information.

Members can also subscribe to multiple local newspapers (or collect free circulars) to acquire and share coupons. Don't forget about online coupons. Printed coupons from online coupon sites can be an excellent addition to the coupon pool. Gather and distribute as many coupons as you can for products that your club members will use. That's exactly the point.

System in Place:

There are several things to keep track of, such as the number of members you have at any given time, how you intend to categorize coupons, and how you intend to track coupon expiration dates.

You can probably accomplish all of this with a small accordion file and a spiral notebook, but developing a battle plan sooner rather than later will help get everyone excited rather than confused.

Make a Coupon Primer:

Make a Coupon Primer

Just because a neighbor likes the idea of doing more shopping with coupons doesn't mean he understands how coupons work. Create a brief instruction page to assist newcomers. Include a vocabulary section that defines acronyms such as BOGO (buy one, get one free) and explains how mail-in rebates work.

You should also keep track of the retailers in your area who are most receptive (or least receptive) to coupon-wielding customers. Get together with a couple of other bargain-savvy friends and spend some time educating your bargain-challenged neighbors.

Make Coupon-clipping Enjoyable:

People join coupon clubs to exchange coupons and socialize. To that end, attendees should bring plenty of coupons to meetings, as well as a pair of scissors to do the clipping.

Members should go through their coupons ahead of time and remove any they do not intend to use. It's nice to have refreshments depending on the venue, and if there are a lot of coupons to deal with, it's also nice to have some entertainment.

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