A social media site that could save you money

Using Meetup.com to Save Money

by Christine Stephens

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While many are aware of the social media platform Facebook, filled with coupon offers and sale announcements, not so many people are aware of Meetup.com.

Meetup.com is the electronic billboard for over 142,000 community organizations and social groups around the world. The Meetup.com website allows easy management of groups and events. The site makes creating and managing a new group easy and inexpensive. Anyone can start a Meetup.com group about any topic for a small annual fee, which is usually passed on to members. Many group leaders charge members $10 annually to pay for the use of the Meetup.com website but fees do vary. The site connects like-minded people of all interests, such as political groups, parent/tot groups, coupon swaps, religious groups, outdoors groups, hobbyists, animal rescues, and sports enthusiasts.

Meetup.com is easily searchable by prospective new members to find a group that interests them locally. Setting up a member account is easy, free, and only takes a few minutes. Some groups automatically allow members to join, while other groups may ask perspective members to answer a few questions to see if group membership would be a good fit for him/her. Each groups' Meetup.com page contains the mission statement of the group, a calendar for upcoming and past events, RSVP system to sign up for upcoming events, photo album to share picture of events, message boards for miscellaneous discussion between members, and a messaging system that allows emails to be sent between members.

One such group, the Kansas City Friendly Frugal Fun Seekers, has 2,800 members all interested in sharing area budget-friendly social activities. Members come together for free concerts, happy hours, sports outings, and local festivals. By sharing information about local budget-friendly events, the participants may also qualify for group discounts. Meetup.com is like "word of mouth on steroids" for getting the word out about low-cost entertainment and offerings in your local community.

Members of the Pug Club of Kansas City, a group of almost 400, come together for socializing and dog/people time. The Halloween parties are always a favorite with pug dogs dressed up in costume and competition for prizes. The pug people make a difference in their community by participating in animal rescue events and pug dog rehoming.

Around the US, Meetup.com hosts groups on extreme couponing, investing clubs, sustainable living, and urban farming, etc. Use of Meetup.com for networking has huge potential for saving in any area.

Have you desired to check out local hiking trails and waterways in your new community but are not sure where to start? Meetup.com has numerous local outdoor enthusiast groups. By joining a local group, you can see on the calendar who will be hiking some of the local trails and enjoy their company on an upcoming trip. It's a great way to network with like-minded people to share ideas, information, and equipment.

To harness the power of numbers in the search for frugal entertainment or new friends, Meetup.com is a great place to look.

Christine Stephens is a freelance writer and long-time frugalist located in the Midwest of the USA. She enjoys reading, pets, walking, yoga, and outdoor time. Christine, a graduate of Elliott School of Communication, is a 10-year reader of The Dollar Stretcher.

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