Girlfriend Celebrations - Because Girlfriends Make Life Better

A Guide to Swap Parties for Frugal Girls Nights

Swapping is hot! In these tricky economic times, girlfriends everywhere are looking for creative ways to be fabulous while pinching pennies, and they’re rediscovering the beauty of swapping everything from books to jewelry to party dresses. At Girlfriend Celebrations, we’ve been brainstorming unique swap parties to help you trim the fat off your budget and nourish your soul with some girl time. We’re also looking to add your ideas to our swap-o-rama! Photo via flickr.

Save your pennies!

Our longtime readers already know about our Book Swap, Accessory Swap, and Fashion Sharing parties. Be sure to click the links and check out the party plans; they are some of our most popular parties, because they help girlfriends grab great new finds on the cheap, all while enjoying the company of friends. Here are some additional ways for you and your gal pals to increase your fabulousness without spending a dime!

Magazine Swap  

With a careful review of the budget, subscribing to new magazines is one luxury that often gets trimmed to cut costs. So why not swap magazines with your gal pals? It is a great way to recycle and reduce paper waste. While being good for the environment, it is also an economical way to read magazines that you might not otherwise spend the money on. Ask your girlfriends to save their magazines and bring them to your next girls night. It’s always interesting to see what magazines people read, too! 

Recipe Swap

A lot of women like to purchase recipe books to get fresh dinner ideas for their families or just to feed their love of cooking. But you can save money on expensive cookbooks and cooking magazines by having the girls over and swapping recipes or cookbooks instead. If you share a love of ethnic food, invite friends over from varied cultures and ethnicities. You will reap a diverse blend of recipes without the high prices. Consider having each girlfriend bring a dish to taste and copies of the recipe to share. Our Soup Exchange party is a good example.

Home Decor Swap 

Redecorating can give you a fresh perspective, a sense of accomplishment and a source of pride. So instead of cutting home decor out of your new budget-conscious lifestyle, just swap it up a bit. Instead of purchasing new knick-knacks and picture frames for your house or apartment, just gather the girls together and recycle. Ask everyone to bring home accessories that they don’t need, don’t use, or don’t like. A great party to hold at the change of seasons, this swap gives you an inexpensive way to update and beautify your surroundings. Not only will it make you feel good to spice up your space, your guests will be happy they had the opportunity to clean out their clutter. Make sure you give everyone a few weeks to prepare for this swap. If there are items no one wants, simply donate them to charity.   

Coupon Swap 

It’s a Sunday pastime in many households to sit and clip coupons from the newspaper. Why not start the week off right by pinching pennies with the girls, coffee and a coupon swap? By inviting the girls over to clip coupons and swap, you can score big savings. Some girlfriends might toss valuable coupons that others could use or keep coupon wallets stuffed with coupons that they know they will never use. So get your coupon-collecting girlfriends together and help each other cash in. The key to this swap is to invite guests with varied size and age of families. For example, if you invite all women with kids under 2 years of age, they are all going to want the same baby and infant coupons. You guests will end up fighting over the coupons. In order to keep harmony among your girlfriends, just be sure to create a diverse guest list.  

So there you have it, girlfriends, four great new ways to swap share and save big money all in the comfort of your own home. But that’s not all. The possibilities for swapping to save money are really endless. What else can you swap? Board games? Kitchen equipment? We’d love to hear your ideas!


  1. I Love this idea! I’ve had a make-up/cosmetics/hair products swap get together, with appetizers and wine serve. We had a blast, and everyone was a winner! I mean, how many times have you “tried” a lipstick color, or hair gel that didn’t work for YOU…?! Right…I know, I had a collection of goodies in a big box, and my friends went nuts!!

    Comment by Donna Wilson — March 25, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

  2. great ideas for more swaps, thansk I have my Accessory swap set for the end of April i am so excited….

    Comment by Pamela — March 31, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

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