Couponing for Community 5/2-5/8

One of the first things I realized when I started using coupons is that coupons are not only an amazing tool for saving money but also for helping others.  Using coupons has allowed me to give so much more  to others  than what I could afford on my own.  Over the year I pick up items that are moneymakers, free or very cheap to take to my local food pantry or shelter.

This week (5/2-5/8) I want to challenge you to do the same.  If you have been using coupons for a while I would love for you to take a look at your stockpile and consider donating items you already have available and that maybe you won’t get to use before they expire.  Maybe you have stockpiled more of an item than your family can use for a long time (Stayfree, razors or body wash anyone?) and you know these items will be free again in the near future it.  If you are new to using coupons, how about some free bodywash, free toothpaste, cheap Campbell’s soup, or carefree products.

RSVP to the event Couponing for Community that Kaley over at Cha Ching on a Shoestring has organized for this week.  Join this community of couponers across the U.S. by giving a part of your stockpile away to a homeless shelter, food pantry, or a friend in need during the week of May 2-8.  You are also invited to share comments or pictures of the items you are giving away.

To make it even easier for you, this coming Saturday 5/8 is Stamp Out Hunger, a national food drive organized by the Association of Letter Carriers.  To participate all you need to do is place non-perishable food in a bag by your mailbox.  The mail carrier will pick it up and deliver it to your local food pantry. I have participated in this food drive for the past two years and hope to do the same this year as well.  How easy is it to give when you have people coming to pick it up?

I would really hope you would consider joining us.  Every little bit does help.

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  • Martha

    I’m really excited to be able to participate in such an easy way. I think I’ll split my donation between the USPS drive and my nephew, 21, who can always use some of my freebies!

  • Jennifer S

    The mailman in my neighborhood walk the route. Do you know if they still pick up the donations then? I feel bad for them to have to carry it all along with the mail too, but would love to donate from my stockpile.

    • Marcia S

      our area has mail trucks that drive around and pick up the donations! that way the mailcarier doesn’t fall behind!
      So give give give they will take it all! Last year I put out 4 bags and they took it all!

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  • Shannon

    The mail carriers come back after they finish your street with their truck to pick up your donation. When we lived in the city our mail carrier always came back to our house after his route was finished as I always collected 4-5 bags worth of freebies for donation. Now that we have moved to a rural area, I have been taking my donations on a bi-monthly basis to our primary work location where there is an organized group that uses the donation to help other employees that are in need.

  • This is so awesome :). It was yesterday, so not technically a part of the week (and I didn’t know about this), but I actually gave away a lot of my bargains. My church did a community service project where all of us young adults worked on/painted a house. We also took the lady different things (it was an older lady who I think was a shut-in but her daughter helped her). One girl baked a cake, someone brought them lunch, someone got them a pot plant, etc… and I gave the lady a reusable bag filled with toilet paper (can we say 2/$1 at CVS and free with the $1 off coupon, paper towels, cleaning supplies (stocked up this week during HT triples), and you guessed it, body wash (however, I did not get a picture of the items before I took it).

    When I thought about it no item in that bag cost over $1, but combined with our hard work on the house and our generosity to this lady, it could really inspire her and make her life so much better.

  • Maria

    Hi, Can anyone give me the website where you can buy the sunday paper inserts? I am having alot of problems with people getting the coupons out of the boxes.
    Thanks, Maria

  • Jessica @Riding with Jessica

    Giving is a gift in itself. Some times we over buy when the items are free or close to free with coupons. Instead of throwing these items away or letting them get old, we should always be donating.

  • Stacy

    Thank you so much for posting this! I hope this will inspire others to give not only to this specific event, but year round. When I am “good” about my couponing, I routinely take extras to the local food pantry. They are always SO excited to receive many of the items that we routinely get free (or almost free) — toothpaste, razors, shampoo, body wash, etc. They have told me that while they can get food items at reduced cost to stock the food pantry, these items are much harder to come buy. I know several couponers who feel SO great about their “stockpile” of items that would take literally years for their own family to use (and the things would expire first, in many cases)! It feels even BETTER to share your goodies!!

    Thanks for the great post!

  • Kelli

    I have only been doing this for about a month, and I am so excited about THIS part of couponing! I have 4 bags of goodies for our local food pantry. We are so blessed…it is a blessing to give back!

    • Amen! we are so fortunate to be in the position to be able to give! that is an amazing blessing.


  • Kristen

    Thanks for sharing the message. The amount of free stuff we get is unbelieveable, and it’s a blessing to give to others. We donate a couple bags full every month — it’s the basics people need — shampoo, deodorant, razors, etc.

  • Ida

    I regularly donate items from my stockpile to my local Ronald McDonald House. I encourage others to see if their local RMH posts a wish-list online, as mine does (see link below), and consider donating items to them. Most RMH’s are run entirely by volunteers and donations and it’s such a good cause.

  • I do this throughout the year at work. We have a collection box that the United Way picks up weekly, so whenever I have coupons for items I don’t use, but can get for free or nearly free, I pick them up and deposit them at work. I actually scored quite a bit on double coupon day last week, and it looks like I will be able to do the same this week.

  • Hannah

    Yes, I have to say that this part of couponing is the most fun! The hardest part is deciding which place to donate things to!

  • Stephanie

    I have been taking my extras to our local Children’s Home. Is a temporary foster care facillity for children who have been taken away from their parents for a variety of reasons. They always are so excited to see me and see what goodies I have in store. I encourage everyone to find something in their area as well!!!

  • Jen

    I LOVE this idea!
    But let us all remember to be responsible couponers…just because it is free does not mean we need to wipe the shelves clean. Consider it a “donation” by leaving some on the shelves 🙂

  • Lindsay

    Its really a great way to help people – my stash of Stayfree pads from last week will be a huge help to a friend of my mom who just can’t afford those necessities. My church’s food pantry is a frequent recipient of the things I pick up for next to nothing.

  • Irene S.

    I have been getting the pet food freebies and donating them to our local SPCA for all the homeless pets. I haven’t started donating to other places in the community yet, but as my stockpile grows, I suspect that I will be starting to do that.

  • ann

    You guys rock thanks for all the great hints on saving s.