Mom Saves Money: Giveaway parties

I went to a clothing swap once.

The host let us bring our old stuff, plop it down in her dining room and then spend the morning there sorting through everyone else’s old stuff – to see what we wanted to make our new stuff.

Today, Nicole McDonald gives us some tips on pulling off a successful giveaway party. (Any of you ever done one?)

Nicole McDonald,

Want to refresh your wardrobe, find new toys for your kids, get new reading material without spending any money or just get rid of items you aren’t using?

Host a giveaway party!

How does it work? Invite friends to bring their gently used items to your house and let the shopping begin! Everyone will be able to get rid of items they aren’t using and take home ‘new’ items they can use. Pick a theme, so you aren’t overwhelmed with items in your home and make it easier for guests to go through those items.

Some theme ideas:

  1. Kid clothing – Those of us with children know how fast they grow out of clothes and how expensive they are. A clothing swap is a great idea to refresh their wardrobes on a budget.
  2. Kid toys and games – Kid toys seem to multiply in my house and there are so many they don’t even play with anymore. Why not give those toys to someone else and pick some new ones for your kids to enjoy?
  3. Books, magazines and DVDS – I did this party a few weeks ago and it was fabulous! We had a huge assortment of DVDs, kid and adult books and everyone went home with at least one large bag of new reading material and DVDs. After the party, I donated the remaining books (three huge boxes) to the local library.
  4. Kitchen gadgets – Remember that rice cooker you got for your wedding that’s still sitting unopened three years later? This is a perfect theme party for foodies. A gadget that is useless to you may be the perfect addition to someone else’s kitchen.
  5. Adult clothing and accessories– Let’s face it: Most of us have a huge chunk of clothes in our closet that never see the sunlight. Swap with other people to refresh your wardrobe. Add purses, shoes, jewelry and scarves to the party to get more variety.

Tips to a Successful Party

  1. Invite everyone. The more people, the better.
  2. Co-host with a friend or two. They will invite their guest list of attendees, so you will double or triple the turnout.
  3. Ask guests to bring friends. Encourage your friends to invite their friends and family to the party.
  4. Send a reminder. A few days before your party, email or call. People are busy and sometimes forget. A reminder is always appreciated, plus it gives you a good idea of how many people to expect.
  5. Keep refreshments light. It’s a giveaway party, not an eating party. Serve a few beverages and if you want, a few small snacks. Don’t go overboard with the food. (This is hard for me because I really like to feed people.)

After the party, you will probably have many items that still need a home. Instead of asking your guests to take their stuff back home, offer to donate it to a local shelter, thrift store, library or kids’ organization. Your guests will appreciate that you take care of the leftovers and they don’t have to lug their stuff back home. You can simply call one of the thrift stores that does pick up, so it won’t take much effort for you to donate the items.

Giveaway parties are fun and the ultimate in frugality and recycling.

Nicole McDonald writes about freebies, coupons, deals and product reviews and hosts giveaways at

2 thoughts on “Mom Saves Money: Giveaway parties

  1. Nicole, I have not heard of this before, but I think it’s a great idea. Especially for kid stuff. They go through things so fast, why not give it away to someone who wants it, and maybe pick something up for your kids.

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