February 26, 2011

Coupon Handout #3—Donating Freebies and Money Saving Basics

 DSC_5186 Donating

Above is a photo of Margaret of Blue Frog Creations who posts weekly on Couponing for Charity.  She gives you information on where to buy items for free or super cheap so that you can give back to your community. 

Couponers quickly learn that they can buy many items for free with coupons, sales, rewards programs, or rebates. One of the beauties of couponing for me is that our family is able to donate so much to help others. Below is a list of places in the Knoxville area that accept donations.

  • Interfaith Health Clinic located near Three Rivers Market near Broadway and Central will accept many toiletry items (315 Gill Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917, Telephone: 865.546.7330).  They are most in need of dental care items (toothbrushes, paste, floss, etc).  Larger communities often have a free clinic or sliding scale clinic.  Phone 211 find one near you.
  • Catholic Charities  (see Father Ragan Shriver) will accept most anything as well.  Father Ragan really appreciated the box of blood glucose meters I recently donated last year to their program. (Administrative Offices--3009 Lake Brook Boulevard, Knoxville TN 37909, Phone 865-524-9896  Fax 865-971-3575, E-mail: info@ccetn.org )
  • Wesley House is a local community center sponsored by the Methodist Church.  They are in need of everything from toiletry items to cleaning supplies to baby wipes. (Wesley House Community Center
    923 Dameron Avenue, Knoxville, Tennessee 37921, Phone: 865.524.5494)
  • Women's Shelters and Homeless Shelters will also accept donations such as these.  I have a friend who volunteers with the Serenity Shelter (domestic violence) who I often give our extras to for the women there. (Serenity Shelter, P.O. Box 3352, Knoxville, TN 37927, Business # 615-673-6551)
  • If you are making a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, these items can be used in those as well.   Shoeboxes can be sent year-round to Samaritan's Purse, 801 Bamboo Rd., Boone, NC 28607, Call 1-800-353-5949 for more information.
  • Nursing homes and assisted living facilities often offer bingo as an activity for residents.  Contact the recreational therapist to see if he/she can use these for prizes.  
  • Most any food pantry will accept these items, as food stamps do not provide an allowance for toiletries and cleaning supplies.  I’ve been so pleased to see how happy these items make the recipients of our food boxes at Faith UMC’s pantry. 
  • One more thought is that if you have any friends who are teachers, they might like to have them for their classrooms.  My sister is a teacher in Memphis, and she often encounters kids who need basic supplies and hygiene items. 

The basics of money-saving at home

Develop a budget

Stop wasting! Waste not, want not.

Try to use less

Do more for yourself

Save on everything you buy Whenever possible, look at what you need to buy and think of a way to get it for less money.

Stockpile Your stockpile will become a sort of emergency fund. I have a stockpile of cleaning supplies, canned and dry goods, paper products, and toiletries. The trick to stockpiling is to store what you use and use what you store.

Develop an emergency fund Many of us are in really trying times right now. The less debt you have the more able you are to save and thrive. If you do not have any extra money in your budget, then start very small. Start with change in a piggy bank, having a garage sale, selling something on e-bay or a consignment shop, whatever you can do to save for when an emergency might come up.

Make your needs known Pray about your situation. Thank God for what you have. Let friends know that you are couponing, and you’d love to have their extras. If you need to go to a food bank or get on food stamps, do so. Reciprocate when you can.

Do something for someone else I know it sounds strange, but I have found in my life that the more you give the more you receive. If you find that you have an extra coupon someone else could use, pass it on. If you hear about a great deal, spread the word. Volunteer when you can. Get to know your neighbors. When we focus on what we do not have, we feel desperate. When we focus on what we can do, we feel empowered.

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