Mar 10, 2017 09:50 AM EST

Shop Without Spending Money: How To Host A Swap Party

Getting new things is a cinch if you have the funds to spend on a new wardrobe, baby gear, or anything else that you may want or need. But if you’re on a tight budget this month, then you might want to try hosting a swap party, and it’s one of the best ways to shop without spending a single cent.

Some women host clothing swap parties as a way to purge their closets with seldom or never-been-worn outfits, but did you know that you can host swaps for toys, baby gear, kitchenware, books, and other things? Here are some tips on how to host a swap party.

Clothing swap

Invite about six to eight friends to your clothing swap. Don’t worry about looking for people who are about the same size, since larger clothes can be taken in or cinched with a belt. Pregnant ladies can also come to swap as they could be looking for roomier clothing to accommodate a growing belly.

Tell everyone the minimum and the maximum number of items that they can bring to the swap and that only things in good condition should be exchanged. You can also ask your friends to bring accessories and never-been-used cosmetics—this way, no one leaves empty-handed.

To prepare, simply hang clothing on a clothing rack and display accessories and cosmetics on attractive trays. Serve non-staining drinks and finger foods such as crackers and cheese and deviled eggs.

Once your guests arrive, draw straws and take turns shopping, and each person can have 3 minutes to choose and take one item per round. When the party is over, take all of the leftover clothes and donate them to a local charity, such as Goodwill.

Children’s clothing and toys swap

Invite parents who have children of different ages so you’ll have a wide variety of items to swap. Once your guests arrive, sort items by age (baby, toddler, 3 to 5 years old, 6 to 8, and so on). You can also put clothing on a clothing rack and display books and toys on low tables.

Books, DVDs, and magazine swap

This is a great way to get new books and DVDs without spending a fortune. Ask friends to bring at least 10 of each and display them in such a way so that the covers are facing up.

For more, check out Jobs & Hire’s tips on how to live well on less.

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