I’m posting this as part of Saving and Giving’s weekly carnival.
Coupons have helped our family in so many ways. We are able to stockpile food and necessity items in the event of an emergency for little out of pocket cost. We are able to buy organic foods and stay within our budget. We have been able to pay down our debt due to the money we save on groceries and household expenses. Dearest to my heart, though, is that coupons have allowed us to donate thousands of dollars worth of items to charities and food pantries.
In addition to what our family donates, I started making the coupons work for our church. I began what we call the Coupons for Christ ministry in 2008. I wrote about the coupon ministry and gave details on how to start one in your church, synagogue, or not-for-profit agency here. Early this year, the youth of our church raised funds for our food pantry and entrusted me with the money so that we could get even more bang for our buck. Last week, I worked the numbers and since we received a donation from the youth on February 22nd, we have spent $206.48. The items were worth a total of $2020.21, which is an 89.87% savings!
Where have all of those donations gone? We have been able to stock our food pantry which serves many in the community. We have donated blood glucose meters to a local doctor’s office that serves high need patients and Lisa Ross Birthing Center, and we will soon be donating more to Catholic Charities. We have made donations of pet supplies to local animal rescue groups. We try to make sure no coupon goes to waste—even the ones for Glade Candles will be donated to the ladies of the Wesley House.
Every time I think of how something as simple as using coupons can help us to do so much good for the community, I am reminded of the story of the loaves and the fishes. It is amazing how so many can be helped! What can you do with this information?
- Donate the coupons you do not plan on using to friends, neighbors, or community agencies. For example, children’s hospitals and women’s shelters could benefit from the baby supply coupons and animal rescue centers could use the ones for pet food.
- If there are coupons for free items that you do not plan on using, pick up the item and donate it to someone else. The Glade candles I mentioned above will be nice treats for the women of the Wesley House when they come for their annual Christmas luncheon.
- When shelf stable items are cheap, pick up some for a donation to a food pantry. Remember the 11 cent Kraft Macaroni and Cheese from a while back? These were perfect for the food pantry.
- Do you have someone you know on food stamps? Food stamps do not cover toiletries and cleaning supplies. Either donate the coupons or items you purchase with the coupons to those folks.
- Ask schools, community agencies, or churches what office supplies they usually need. I was able to donate quite a few Sharpie highlighters recently because of coupons and the tax free holiday.
I hope this post is of help to you and your family when considering donations to charity. If you think of a tip that I have not included here, please post it in the comments section. Be sure to head over to Saving and Giving to check out the other “A Time to Give” posts.