One enormous benefit of saving big when we shop and score free stuff is having extra in your stockpile to share with those less fortunate!
During the month of March, I like to heighten the awareness of the potential we have to bless others right out of our own stockpile by pointing out to readers the impact we can make by sharing our stockpiles with those less fortunate.
This photo is from a few years ago when I brought my kids up to our local “Feed The Bay” Food Drive that happens every March. We shopped all month and put aside extra food to bring to donate to the Feed The Bay Trucks on that particular Sunday.
Watch the replay of my segment from Fox here:
Donate The Good Deals You Find
Deals are prevalent each and every week. and truth be told, donating items doesn’t (and shouldn’t) be a once a year thing. Blessings can happen ANY time and ANY where!
All year, on every one of the stores lists here on TrueCouponing, just look for the True Couponing Shopping Cart & True Deal images that are next to items that are great deals when paired with coupons.
For the month of March, you will find a heart on those same icons that look like this: so that they are highlighting any items that are easy to donate at those “Stock Up” prices.
Please take a few weeks to shop intentionally and stock up, and then donate them to your own church’s food pantry or local shelter.
What To Donate?
The next question people typically ask me is… what should we donate? And I know it can get confusing when you start to think about things that expire or go bad quickly.
The main thing to remember is that it needs to have a pretty good shelf life, and be packaged in a non-breakable container (such as can or plastic, not glass).
Here is a handy list of the most needed donation items that you can print and take with you when you shop. It is definitely not a super thorough list, but as you are shopping (and when you look over the details on my store lists) you’ll see that this list is just to get you started thinking about things to donate.
Print a list of the most common items needed for donation to make it easy to pick up a couple of extra items as you do your regular grocery shopping.
Don’t forget that when any of these items are at the Stock Up price it will be marked with heart surrounded image on each of the Weekly Store Lists during the month of March.
Find A Food Bank
First, to find a food bank near you, please check Feeding America. Make sure to check the food bank hours and find out what their greatest needs are.
Each March in my local area, there is a coordinated community outreach uniting various churches throughout Hillsborough County along with Publix Super Markets, designed to stock the shelves of participating food pantries. It’s called Feed The Bay and they collect over 150,000 pounds of items each year to help with needed items being given away to those in need.
But don’t underestimate the most commonly needed resource; volunteering your time. Especially if you don’t have a padded stockpile built up just yet! Giving an hour or so each week could really make all the difference to a food pantry.
Don’t Forget Our Troops!
Our Military serving overseas sure could use a nice blessing from their home country!
Not only can you send them your expired coupons to help reduce the cost of living over there, but they would also love to receive a care package full of some “comfort” items.
Send them your FREE Magazines (it is even okay if you have read them first), granola bars and candy too! Hey, they also love to have the comics and any other fun “gifty” items you get deals on (such as the bath sponges or travel packs of disinfecting wipes we see often on sale at Walmart).
Operation Shoebox will help you find an address to send them some goodies!
Start Filling A Box Today
One easy way to begin the donation process is to place an empty box in your garage or wherever you keep most of your stockpile.
Use it as a catchall for items you intend to donate.
If your stockpile is scattered throughout the house, consider using a few smaller boxes (one for food and one for non-food). If you happen to overbuy and discover items that will expire before you will use them up, add them to your box.
Then, monthly, take your kids over to your local food bank or church to donate the items. Hey, you might even find that one month you need to give your items to a family or neighbor in need.
Be Ready To Bless Others On The Run
You know, as I drive around town toting my kids here and there I notice that there are homeless people in our area. They have needs too. Have your kids gather some of your extra items and fill a ziplock bag with some necessities that would be helpful for someone who is forced to live on the streets.
Such things as travel shampoos & conditioners, or deodorant and individual snacks such as boxes of raisins and granola bars. Maybe even a small prayer flyer from your church in case they want to reach out to someone for counseling or extra prayer. Keeping the bag in your car so that when the moment comes up you’ll be ready to hand it out instead of feeling guilty for passing by and potentially not making eye contact.
Make a difference in your town, one small blessing at at time.
Don’t miss out on this perfect “teaching moment”. Participating in this donating out of your stockpile is a great way to show your children how we can truly help someone in need!
Take a few photos when you drop the stuff off and post it on social media! Your friends and family will LOVE seeing your kids helping others and your kids will LOVE reading the comments everyone adds to your photo! Being a blessing is contagious too… you might just inspire someone else to do the same in their own “neck of the woods”!
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