• Teach Students to Buy Free Groceries for Charity

 
An easy way for students to help the less fortunate in your community is to use grocery coupons and The Coupon Mom system to buy free items that they can donate to local food pantries, shelters, food drives, and other local charities. 
 
The  Coupon Mom "No Clip" system was actually developed by my son's third grade teacher ten years ago as an easy way for young students to use grocery coupons to buy free items for our local charity.  It worked for them, so we expanded her idea and made it available for Coupon Mom members of all ages.  Today millions of adult shoppers save money with her easy idea, and it is now the standard system that all grocery deals websites and blogs use.
 
The "No Clip" system is demonstrated in our Coupon Database video, which you and your student can watch here.  
 
Follow these steps to get started:
 
1.  Buy the Sunday newspaper and get the coupon circulars (named RedPlum, SmartSource and P&G).  Write that Sunday's date on the front of each circular and do not cut out any of the coupons.
2.  When you are ready to shop, go to the "Grocery Deals by State" section and select your store. You will find a list of sale items matched with newspaper coupons available.  You can sort the list by percentage saved to see the "FREE" items at the top of the list.  You can also enter the word "charity" in the search box at the top of the list to find items that are appropriate for local charities.  Select and print a list of the deals you like, and then cut out the coupons you need from your saved circulars.   Watch this video to learn how to use the store lists in this section. 
 
3.  Find a local charity by going to Google and entering the word "food pantry" with the name of your city or suburb.  You'll find local websites that will give you more information on specific needs.  In general, the types of items needed by charities are nonperishable food items and personal care products. Find specific items listed in our Cut Out Hunger section.
 
Using this system is a good summer activity because children who typically get free breakfast and/or lunch at school are home for the summer, which makes it even more difficult for the food pantry clients to make ends meet.  Unfortunately, food pantries and shelters get fewer donations during the summer because donors are on vacation, food drives usually happen during the school year, so charities are in greater need during the summer.
 
 
How to Use The Grocery Deals by State section:
 
Our team of professional Strategic Shoppers figure out the best deals for 51 store chains available in our Grocery Deals by State section.  Our lists do the Extreme Couponing for you by combining all available promotions and coupons with featured sale items every week. 
 
This is an example of what a Grocery Deals list on CouponMom.com looks like:

1-Cpn. Out
2- Item Description
3-Cpn. Value
4-Qty.
5-Sale Price
6-Final Price
7-% Saved
03-21 RP
Smart Balance Sour Cream 50% Off
$1.00
1
$0.95
FREE
100%
03-21 RP
Smart Balance Spread 50% Off Full Line Sale (lowest est price shown
$1.00
1
$1.10
$0.10
95%
03-28 S2
Dannon Kids Multipack Yogurt
$1.00
1
$2.00
$1.00
67%
03-28 RP
Snuggle Fabric Softener 70-80 ct sheets or 32-40 oz liquid
$3.00
1
$3.99
$0.99
80%
03-28 RP
Colgate toothpaste--charity!
$1.00
1
$1.41
$0.41
78%

Column 1--"Coupon Out" refers to the date that coupon came out in the newspaper. The coupons are noted by date and the first initial of the circular's name in our Newspaper Coupon Database.  For example, a coupon that came out on March 21 from the RedPlum circular would say, "3-21RP" and a coupon that came out on the same date from SmartSource would say "3-21S".  If there are 2 circulars from the same company that week, which happens a few weeks a year, we number the circulars.  You would see "3-28 S1" and "3-28 S2".  Procter and Gamble circulars (PG) appear once a month.
Circular names and codes:
S : SmartSource         RP: Red Plum           PG:  Procter & Gamble
Column 2--"Description" refers to the name of the item and information about any special promotion that lowers that item's price in addition to the coupons shown.
Column 3--"Coupon Value" refers to the total value of the coupon based on the store's coupon policy. For example, if a store doubles coupons up to 50 cents, and the coupon's face value is 25 cents, then the total value shown in this column would be 50 cents (25 cents doubled).
Column 4--"Quantity" refers to the total number of items to be purchased based on coupon quantity requirements. If a coupon is not available, the quantity would be one.
Column 5--"Sale Price" refers to the item's sale price before taking off the value of the coupon. The item's full price is not shown on this list due to space restrictions.
Column 6--"Final Price" refers to the final price per item after the coupon value is deducted. If the quantity requirement is 2, the final price would be on a per item basis, not the total cost of both items.

Column 7--"Percentage Saved" refers to the percentage savings
of the final price as compared to the item's full price (which isn't shown on the list but is in the database that calculates the savings).
  

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