Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thought Provoking Thursday

Thought Provoking Thursday

It didn't take me long, once I began spending coupons, to discover that I was able to collect A LOT of grocery and household items for FREE or nearly FREE.

Some products that I've purchased in multiples (stockpiling), my family has enjoyed using, and other products have just not worked well for our uses/needs.

So for as long as I've been spending coupons, I've been looking for ways to share the bounty of my coupon purchased goodies.

I keep a box in my pantry for items that I have purchased that I know that my family will not use, but I know that someone else can benefit from me donating them.

At the beginning of 2009 I was really disciplined about taking my donations to a food pantry every 6-8 weeks. But as the year rolled on, we found that many more people that we knew personally could benefit from the excess of what we have sitting on the shelves in our home. So I began giving more to those in our social circles and less to a food pantry.

The problem with choosing one way of giving over another, is that those who we have been sharing with didn't actually need all of the things that I have been bringing home... and so I was still overloaded with with goods needing a home.

This year, I plan to keep up on making donations to a local food pantry, and I thought that many of you may want to join me!

Here are a few great tips for getting prepared to make a donation:

1. Gather all of the plastic bags that you have floating around your house.
*You can either single or double bag your goods! Food pantries often need a huge supply of plastic bags to allow their clients to bring home goods in.

2. Sort your items to donate. Place like food items in the same bag, and make sure to keep cleaning supplies and hygiene products separate from consumables. *This helps the volunteers at the food pantry to get your items ready faster for distribution.

3. Tie your bags closed with a single knot. *Keep your items from spilling around in your car, but allow the bags to be easily opened and reused!

4.
Mark "D Day" (donation day) on your calendar. *If you make a plan, you'll actually get your items into the right hands!

If YOU are looking for a local area to share your goodies with other who can put them to better use than keeping them on your shelves... visit pantrynet.org. Search by your zip code to find a close and worthy location close to home! (*You'll also be able to see the donation location's address and hours of drop off. **Some donation locations even offer a tax write off credit for your donations [similarly to donating clothing to a thrift shop].)

Keep in mind that food gathering dust on your shelves- especially if it is nearing its expiration date, may be better served at someone else's table!

What do YOU do with all of your extra grocery and household purchases?

5 comments:

*

OK....please take this comment in the fashion it was intended...just another thought provoking notion....

First, it is *great* that you are donating the items you cannot use...very commendable.

Another thing to think about in the new year for anyone who stockpiles to the point that they are overwhelmed and must purge their house of unwanted/unneeded items....*leave* them on the shelves for others to buy!

I cannot tell you the number of times I have gone to stores and shelves are cleared and I waste time, gas and effort. It has happened to us all and can be extremely frustrating.

Again, I think it is awesome that you are donating to those in need....but remember there are those in need who are actually not benefiting from all of these wonderful deals as the shelves are wiped out...

If you or your family don't need it, please at least *consider* leaving it behind for someone else....just b/c you have the coupons and can do the deal...it doesn't mean you have to.....

Laura Webber

Yes, I can also agree with what you are saying!

I have shared here before that spending coupons can be very addicting- especially with the thrill of the hunt and the rush of savings! I have been guilty of this myself- and realizing this, I now shop less and spend less.

I do think that there is a BIG difference between 'shelf clearing because you can' and being willing to go through the time/effort to meet the needs of others who are in great need!

Being able to donate does allow many coupon spenders to give back to their community without sacrificing feeding/taking care of their own families!

I do thank you for bringing up the much needed point of 'thoughful purchasing' and awareness of other shoppers!

Anonymous

Hi Laura,

I love to do this (donating things I was able to purchase cheaply). As someone who volunteers at a local food pantry in my area, thank you for sorting your items!! This is great, and would save a HUGE amount of time if everyone who donated did it.

By the way, I left a comment/question in your Meijer post...if you have the time, could you take a peak, please?

Thanks!
PAM

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