The first rule of Pantry Club? *Always* talk about Pantry Club! 😉
About 14 weeks ago, a coworker in my office wanted to start up what’s called a Pantry Club.
I’d heard of it before, but we never got it going at my last job.
Basically, a group of coworkers agree to spend a certain amount each turn on something on the chosen participant’s list. The person gets what they’ve requested, and falls back in line to give to the next person.
After 12 weeks of waiting, my turn finally came up! I really appreciated my groups contributions. It’s a great way to get the things you want / need without spending any money!
Here’s how to get this started in your office:
- GET MANAGER APPROVAL FIRST (I cannot stress that enough)
Let’s face it, folks. If you’re working in an office, there are higher powers who have say over what you do at all times. (Especially if you’re a phone slave like me.) The company may have strict policies about gifting, so check with your manager to make sure it’s O.K. before starting up any type of club type group.
If your manager isn’t sure, check with Human Resources, since they’re certain to have the policies you need information on.
- Send your email.
If your manager / HR gives you the green light, send your team an email to see who’s interested. You need several people to get things going well.
If some don’t reply, don’t take it personally. Sometimes, people aren’t comfortable with spending money on people they don’t know. And that’s okay! I will say that from my experience so far, it’s a great way to get to know people a little better.
- Agree on a dollar amount and how often the club gives.
You and your group need to decide how much to spend per person, per turn. Our amount is $10 per person, per turn. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when there are 10 people buying their chosen item to give to you, that’s $100 you don’t have to spend. It adds up!
Decide on how often the club brings in items to the recipient for their turn. We go every other week.
- Who goes first?
Draw numbers! Choose the order in which people receive their goodies.
I pulled number 6, so I’m the 6th person in line to get my items.
- When it’s your turn, send an email with your items.
Do this in advance so people can plan it into their trip to the store. My list was pretty simple: Toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, Febreeze; Pine-Sol, trash bags, dryer sheets, bleach, dish soap and Windex All-Purpose Cleaner. The members of my group responded to my email to let me know what they were bringing beforehand, so I could see what I was getting and what I wasn’t. (I’m missing bleach and the Windex cleaner…not bad for my first time!)
Two members brought in the same item, which is fine by me! It’s less that I have to worry about buying myself 🙂 (Not pictured: Febreeze, but I got two 2-packs!)
If your members don’t bring in stuff on the day you’re supposed to receive stuff, that’s okay too! Keep in mind that people do have things that come up, and can’t always get to the store.
All in all, I received about $80 worth of stuff that I couldn’t have bought all at once on my own. What a relief!
Have you participated in a pantry club before? Is this something that you think you’d like to try in your office? Let me know!
Until next time 🙂