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Let's face it, if you've been extreme couponing for more than a couple of months, you've got a lot going on. You've also got enough toothpaste to last you until the next millennium, right? You've got deals rolling in each week and face creams you once only wistfully dreamed about because they were so pricey. Pair a coupon with a sale, an offer, and a rebate, and you are the lady with all the fancy stuff!

If you're like me, you've also got some jealous friends: Ladies who don't have time to coupon or aren't that organized.  We've all heard the reasons! While you wait for your friends to convert, you can do them a “stockpile favor” and maybe get something in return that coupons can't buy, like babysitting!

I'm talking about the age-old barter system, of course! Nothing like a good trade to benefit your friends and score you some much needed alone time, a free mani-pedi, or Zumba classes! The sky really is the limit!

Pointers

  1. Make it fair: For instance, my friend currently pays for my Zumba lessons in exchange for a bag of coupon goodies each week. Her out of pocket expense is $5. I make sure to give her a bag with a $20-$25 retail value that I paid $5 out of pocket for. This last week, she needed toilet paper.  I gave her free pads, mascara, and a couple of other items too. I also make sure I stock up when her family's preferred toothpaste and soap is free.  My gift bags are easy, and my bum is getting firmer by the week!
  2. Don't be shy:  You've got goods. They've got services. It's a tale as old as time! "Sure, I'll be glad to see what I can do for you in baby wipes/contact solution/toothpaste. Would you like a half a gallon of KY with that? How about we trade for an afternoon of babysitting?” Just keep in mind rule #1.
  3. Repeat:  Do this as often as desired but not enough to deplete your stockpile. It's best to trade things out that are coming up on the sales cycles again.  Pick up a couple of extra each time, so you've got plenty of swag.
  4. It's okay to say no: Running low on something? You don't have to trade, but you can always let your friend know when there's a deal available. I'll often text people if something I don't want (but they’ll use) is coming up. A lot of times this works out to be a lifesaver for me, especially at the drugstores.  There are fabulous sale items that roll really well with other sale items that I just don't want. I seriously don't want the cast of Hoarders showing up to clean up my stockpile because I couldn't resist the free Depends that are stashed in my basement for 20 years. The key is to get the Depends, roll the rewards, and barter for Grandma's homemade fried apple pies.

Good luck and happy couponing!

This has been a guest post by Heather from Pen Argyl, PA
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