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Feb 27, 2010

Share the Love

So, I love coupons and want to share some of my coupon love. So, you may buy the Sunday paper for the coupons, but have you looked online or in your area for those who hold coupon trains? There are, I'm sure, tons of mom communities with groups dedicated to couponing. One such site is Cafemom.com. One this site there are multiple coupon groups and even one (that I know of) that is almost solely for conducting coupon trains. These are a great option to get multiples or coupons that your paper may not have, but you could still use. If you are not familiar with coupon trains, most trains have a list of participants. Each week the conductor sends out an envelope or two with a set amount of coupons inside. It goes to the first person on the list (think of chain letters of old) who gets to go through the coupons and keep what they want. They then make sure that they put the set amount of coupons into an envelope and sends it to the second person who keeps this all  moving. I have seen trains that may only pass on 20 or so coupons and others that have you include up to 50 coupons per envelope. 
I love the idea of coupon trains, but I wanted to tweak it a little when I found myself in the position of receiving stacks of inserts each week. A wonderful woman in my area had been posting on Freecycle.org that she had left over coupons and inserts a few times and I asked for them as they were for formula or inserts that I could really use. After picking up two or three sets of coupons, she asked if I would be interested in joining her coupon group. Each week her sister drops off stacks of the insert that holds the flyers and coupon inserts. This woman gets stacks totally probably at least three foot tall piles of inserts. She chose to share the coupon love and pass them on as she couldn't use all those coupons herself. I joined her group and now pick up anywhere from 40-70+ coupon inserts every time there will be coupons in the Sunday paper. How awesome, right?! Of course I can't use all those coupons either. I have started not a train but a "tree" of sorts. I now have myself and about 13-15 other people who I pass the coupon love on to. Each family I pass coupons to get 2-5 inserts each week depending on how many inserts I get and how many people are in the family.
A good rule of thumb I have found is one insert per family member. This can give you maximum savings for savvy shoppers.
So, do you know of coupon trains or groups in your area? Have you checked out sites like freecycle to help your family save and keep things out of landfills?
I love trains and my "tree" and thought I would write about it all, so that maybe those who had not thought of seeking out something similar in their area, might now know and seek. Not only are coupon trains great for getting coupons, but you can build some great relationships with other coupon savvy moms. :) Who doesn't love that?
Happy Couponing!
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