Writing a check is not the only way to give to charity. Your pocket change can go a long way to help feed people in your community who are going through tough times. And it takes only minutes, not hours of your time.
It’s easy to do this when you use grocery coupons to buy items for charity. With coupons, it is easy to turn $1 or $2 into $10 or more of food and personal care items that shelters and food pantries desperately need.
Every week as you shop for your own groceries, add a couple of good charity items, which would non-perishable. Then put them in a box in the garage or closet. When it’s full, take the box to a local food pantry. You might discover that your children enjoy helping deliver the food.
Matching coupons with sales is the way to really load up on high-quality foods without having to pay a fortune at the checkout. And when you save money by using coupons, you can buy more than you need so you have plenty to donate to help feed people going through desperate situations. It will make you feel like a million bucks while saving big on your own groceries.
Another way to go about this: Find out what your local food pantry needs and look for coupons for those items. When the item goes on sale, use the coupon and it will cost only pennies—sometimes completely free.
Charities that feed the hungry always need soups and stews, canned beans and tomatoes, canned fruits and vegetables, dried beans, cereals, oatmeal, peanut butter and tuna. It’s easy to find coupons for the items they need.
Food pantries are not difficult to locate. Your church may have a food cupboard or call other churches. If they don’t have on, ask them if they have a food drive and where they take that food.
Many schools have food drives. Call yours and ask where they donate their food. Your grocery store probably donates their day-old bread to a local food pantry. If so, they can tell you more about that organization. Go to Feeding America to find the closest food bank or large gathering and distribution center. They can give you information about food pantries in your area.
Ask the grocery store manager if the company would place a year-round food collection bin in the store. Other shoppers are more likely to donate food if there is a collection bin in the store. Start a food pantry at your church or community center. Volunteer to deliver the food to the distribution site once a month. Enlist friends and take turns delivering the food to the charity.
The Cut Out Hunger program was started as a result of Stephanie Nelson, the Coupon Mom, visiting her local food pantry and discovering that the pantry shelves were empty and the waiting room was full. To help fill their shelves, she began teaching a few friends how to buy food with coupons for that charity. Today, thousands of shoppers are “cutting out hunger” across the country while saving money on their own groceries, too. You can even get your kids involved with the Kids Cut Out Hunger program.
Imagine what could happen if 1,000 people in your community donated just a few items each week to the bin. You would multiply your generosity a thousandfold for little monetary cost. But your contribution would be priceless.
If you wait to give until you have a lot of money you probably never will. Start now with what’s in your pocket. It will make things better for someone else and change your life, too.