Frugal Family Footnotes
Facebook: friends and frugalness
August 29, 2011
by Kristi Hiivala

The beginning of the school year isn’t just for the kids . . . stay-at-home moms tend to let go of the deep breath they have been holding all summer and enjoy the return of a more scheduled life.

Summer is always exciting, but the last weeks before school bring children joy for new school supplies and anxiousness over new teachers and classes, as well as excitement to see friends missed during long summer days.

As a stay-at-home mom, you might be wondering what I will be doing with all the extra time on my hands? Well, once I manage to set down the bon-bons and magazines (wink, wink), I am going to enjoy looking through the great deals I routinely receive via email and Facebook from my local stores.

Almost every store nowadays has a website, and most in our area even have a Facebook page. If ordering online is not an option, at least you can access contact information and weekly sales flyer information. Facebook offers a great way to sign up for notifications of deals – I frequently receive coupons from stores in Dassel and Cokato that more than make up for the gas money I would spend driving 20 miles away to visit a bigger store.

Facebook also allows for people to connect in other ways, too. Recently, a group was started on Facebook called Dassel-Cokato Online Garage Sale. Anyone could “like” the group to join and read about items fellow D-C residents have for sale. What a great idea to get rid of your unused “treasures,” especially in the winter months, when holding a garage sale sounds unappealing.

Another great find on Facebook are the coupon trains. A coupon train is a group of people who agree to receive an envelope of extra coupons sent through the mail from the person in line before them. Once you remove the coupons you are interested in using, you include in the envelope some extra coupons you have on hand and send it along to the next “rider.” If you start riding a coupon train with people from across the state and with different needs (moms with toilet-trained children, for example) this is a fun way to get some coupons that you can’t ever get enough of (diaper coupons).

To find any of these things on Facebook, you just need to type the information in the search box at the top of the page. Some stores are even offering freebies to their patrons once a certain number of people “like” their page.

I also use Facebook to follow a few bloggers who actually make a list of a store’s deals and match them with coupons that are available. As of right now, these lists are mostly for stores outside of the Dassel and Cokato area, but I often think that once I find a day or two that has 36 hours in it, I will use the time to start doing that for our local stores, too.

Heck, now that school is starting and I have all that extra time, I might be able to work on it. Oh, wait – I just remembered, only one of my three children starts school – the others are too young.

Well, there goes all that extra time . . .happy savings!

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