Thrifty Thursday: Donate to Those in Need

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Coupon users are in a unique position to help those in need.  We are able to purchase items for free or cheap and usually in large quantities.  We can spend less and give more!

– You can donate food to a local food bank or pantry, hygiene & baby care products to a local shelter and pet products to an animal shelter.

– Purchase free or cheap items your family won’t use specifically for donating.  My family doesn’t eat instant potatoes or helper meals, but I buy them at rock bottom prices specifically to donate.

– Clean out your stockpile & donate the extra your family doesn’t need.  If you have several items expiring within the next 6 months, consider donating a few. 

– However, don’t donate expired or open containers.   The product may be perfectly fine to consume after the expiration date, but save those for your family to make that call.

– Purchase donation items & donate while in the store to save yourself a trip.  A lot of grocery stores have food donation drop off boxes located at the front of the store for your convenience.

– Don’t clear the shelves.  Yes, it is amazing to purchase items for others.  However, other shoppers need the products to feed their families.  Clearing the shelves of all the cereal on sale means someone else that truly needs to eat the food misses out.  It’s a fine balance between adding to your stockpile, donating & leaving items for others.

Top 10 Shopping List of non-perishable food items

  • Peanut Butter
  • Chunky Soups
  • Canned Meats
  • Canned Tuna
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Juice
  • Cereal
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Pasta
  • Pasta Sauces

If you’re local to my area, remember the Extreme Food Drive starts today and goes through February 5th to coincide with a Virginia Beach family getting a new home from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition!  Start watching the sales (like my extra pasta yesterday) and going through your stockpile.

This post is linked to Life as Mom, Madame Deals & My Coupon Teacher

What are your donation tips?


  1. K says

    Great post! I completely agree about not clearing shelves. The savings are great, but it’s important to be considerate as well.

    You covered most, so I’ll just add to not forget about adding items to your donation piles from things found around the home. Got some cat food on a great sale? (hehe) Clear out the old towels from you linen closet and take those to the animal shelter with the food! Wish lists are posted online for many places, but I’ve found asking in person is the best way to discover those out of the ordinary type necessities. (Actually found a place that *wants* my plastic grocery bags…win/win situation there!)

    I’ve also started looking into care packages for our troops overseas, so this may also be a great option to consider!

    • Dana says

      Great point about the towels! I’ve also heard they can always use laundry detergent too. Wanting the plastic bags is great too. I usually use my reusable bags but I do get forgetful and don’t bring them in the store sometimes.

      I would love to learn more about the care packages. That is a great idea! If you ever get bored and want to write a guest post about it, that would be fantastic :-)


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