I have been so graced since I began using coupons in January of this year. I truly believe I was meant to coupon, in some sort of higher level. It gets in me, I am passionate about it, I LOVE to talk about it, I love to help others. I love to share my passion for this new found "hobby".
Its hard to believe that just 10 months ago, I would spend around $1000.00 a month on groceries, and sometimes have nothing in the house to eat! Couponing has opened my eyes to so many wasteful financial habits. The biggest in our household was by far our grocery shopping. We have been able to go from spending $1000.00 a month to spending less than $200.00. With that $200.00 I am able to keep my stockpile continually maintained and even add to it when there is a good sale.
Random Acts of Coupon Kindness
By shopping the way I do, I am always overflowing with food and non-food items. I give back between 30-50 % of what I am able to stockpile. I give back in many ways. There are so many little things you can do when you coupon that don't cost you anything but your time. You would be amazed at how far an act of kindness will go, not only for the recipient, but for you the giver.
Try some of these tips which are my favorite coupon kindness acts to get you started:
- Teach a friend how to coupon effectively
- Buy the people in line behind you a pack of gum or candy bar while they wait for you to check out with all your coupons
- Say "Thank You" to your cashier for his/her extra work in ringing all your coupons through
- If the person in line behind you only has a couple of items, ask the cashier to ring them up with your order, and you pay for them (you probably have a coupon for the items in your stash anyway and it is an amazing feeling when you do it)
- Give the people in line behind you coupons for items they have on the belt
- Give people coupons as you pass them in an aisle and you know you have a coupon for their item ( I do this all the time and have NEVER had anyone turn down a coupon from me)
- Leave extra coupons you don't need/won't use on the shelf by the item
Donate To Area Food Banks or Shelters
You can donate food and non-food items to most food banks. You can find a list of food banks in your area here . In my neighborhood I use the Gemma E.Moran United Way Food Bank.
People often ask me if I cut all the coupons from my Sunday inserts and the answer is "absolutely". I do not have cats, but I cut the cat coupons, I no longer need diapers (thank you Levi!) but I still cut the diaper coupons...why you ask? Because someone, somewhere might need them. Or the product might go on sale so cheap or maybe even free and then I can get it and donate it to an animal shelter, or the food bank, or make gift bags for the attendees of my couponing classes. I am always looking for ways to give back..no matter how small they seem.
One of the web sites that helped me learn everything I know today is a great FREE usergroup called www.afullcup.com . You can sign up with the button to the left. There are always people looking for coupons on the site and I am always giving them away...its a good feeling!
In Summary, I like to think of it this way......If I can help one person, or make one persons day a little brighter just by giving them a piece of paper with a barcode on it, then why not do it. You will be paid back a hundred times over when it really counts!
I'd love to hear from some of you on how you give back or pay it forward....share something in the comments below.
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