ABC News has this report: Coupon parties big on fun and savings.

A snippet:

Just a year ago, Chrissy Pate and Kristin McKee were two Kansas City, Mo., moms struggling to reduce their grocery bills. The two friends collaborated and managed to cut those bills in half. And today, they’re sharing their new-found knowledge with others — hundreds of others.

As they learned how to get groceries cheap — or even free — Pate and McKee started blogging about their biggest bargains.

As part of their blogging efforts, the women host workshops that cost $25 and show other people how to do this. I would not be surprised to hear about other frugal living bloggers and forum hosts doing such programs in their communities. It’s a good public service / marketing possibility.

Now, to bring local readers up to speed on what’s happening in the Monroe area, someone else held a coupon grocery shopping workshop through Monroe Public Schools’ Community Education Program last fall.

I had a schedule conflict that night and could not go, but I heard some grumping that people didn’t want to pay $10 for such a class. Now, to be fair, most of the Community Ed classes cost from $7 to $40 depending on the topic and materials. But I got the point.

So I started thinking about other possibilities. Keep in mind that The Monroe Evening News is the sponsor of Monroe on a Budget and the newspaper participates in a lot of promotional events during the year where employees staff a booth for a meet-and-greet. I work at two or three such events a year with the promotional materials listing me as one of the reporters.

Recently, my co-workers and I have been discussing my doing “appearances” as the Monroe on a Budget blogger. Several of our sponsored bloggers, including me, participated in meets and greets at the Monroe County Fair last year. But now I’m seeking out opportunities where the budget blogger is on her own.

Here’s what has happened so far:

  • On March 10, I will give a presentation on Grocery Shopping on a Budget at Dorsch Memorial Branch Library in downtown Monroe. This program is free and open to the public. I’d love it if my local readers would encourage friends or relatives who don’t read the budget blog to come to the program.
  • I am also involved with the There is Hope: Housing Options / Problem erasing seminar March 11 at Monroe County Community College. This program is also free and open to the public. Details are in the works regarding my duties, but I will at least have meet-and-greet opportunities.

While my presentation and blog includes many tips one can find on any national frugal living blog or forum, I tell local residents how and where to use those ideas in Monroe County, Mich.: Which stores do double coupons? Who hosts our Community Supported Agriculture program? Where can you sign up for the bulk food purchase programs?

So if you would like me to give the grocery shopping presentation at a meeting or event in Monroe County, Mich., send me an e-mail.

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