free stuff online
Frugal Tip

How to Save Money with Buy Nothing Facebook Groups

We all need a helping hand sometimes, but it can be hard to find friendly people to provide it. The Buy Nothing Project started as a form of hyper-local gift economy in which people give and exchange freely without the expectation of receiving anything in return. The project started in 2013 and spread quickly, with hundreds of Facebook groups covering communities around the world. Joining a Buy Nothing Facebook group can be an easy way to save money while stoking your own giving spirit. We’ll tell you what you need to know to get started!

Join Just One Buy Nothing Facebook Group

Since the Buy Nothing Project is designed to be hyper-local, you can only join one Buy Nothing Facebook group. The idea is that you join your community’s Buy Nothing group so that you can “give where you live.” There are a lot of existing Buy Nothing groups, so there’s a strong chance there is already a group for your community. If not, you can start a group through the Buy Nothing Project.

Pay Attention to the Rules

Don’t forget to read the fine print to make sure you’re a good community member! To join, you must be an adult and live within the geographic boundaries of the group. There are additional rules regarding participation. For instance, you can’t request or offer anything illegal, you must be civil and treat others with respect, you must use your personal Facebook account, and you participate at your own risk. And remember: you can’t post anything relating to buying, selling, or trading. Everything in the group is given freely without strings attached.

Request Items

Do you need something? You can post requests to the group to borrow or receive items. If you need help, you can also request services or assistance from other members. Since the focus is on goods and services, however, groups frown on requests for money. Instead, ask directly for what you need.

Share Items

For Buy Nothing groups to survive, giving is essential. While giving is not required in order to participate in a group, it can be just as satisfying as receiving, and everyone has something they could give. For instance, if you go all KonMari on your house, consider offering up items you no longer want on a Buy Nothing group. Just because they don’t spark joy in you doesn’t mean they won’t spark it in someone else!

And remember: you can also offer up your services. If you love getting in extra cardio by shoveling snow or raking leaves or you enjoy putting the finishing touches on family photos with your favorite editing software, you might offer up your special skills to help your neighbors!

Spread Gratitude

Feeling thankful? Post about it! Gratitude can help other members see how much people appreciate the help of others in the group, which can motivate people to keep giving. Remember: the Buy Nothing Project isn’t just about giving and receiving. It’s also about building community.

Have you joined a Buy Nothing Facebook group yet? If so, how has it affected your life? Let us know in the comments section below!


    • Hi Corrine, a for sale page would not count because the point of Buy Nothing Groups is to avoid selling/buying altogether! Try searching “Buy Nothing Marshalltown” to see if a group in your area exists. If not, why not start your own? 🙂


Post a Comment

ABOUT COUPONING101 is a free resource for all who are interested in learning more about couponing and saving money.  Couponing 101 offers a variety of money-saving strategies that encourage and motivate readers to get creative and explore different savings techniques.