• Donate Free Food to Charity



Donate Food to Charity with Coupons   

Five years ago I learned that the local charity in our community had run out of food to give to their clients, and they were desperate for donations.  I saw their request and noticed that the food items they needed were the types of items I always saw in the coupon circulars.  The next day I went to my store and bought a cartful of nonperishable, nutritious items that were on sale and had grocery coupons.  I was thrilled that I was able to buy $60 worth of groceries for $15.  I  delivered the food to the food pantry, and decided after seeing the full waiting room of mothers and children that I would buy food every single week with my extra coupons.   Before long, I was teaching people how to buy groceries inexpensively, with coupons for our community’s local charity.  are buying food for their charities with this simple concept.


The food items charities need most are typically nonperishable, high-protein items such as canned soups, stews, meats, tuna, peanut butter.  They also need canned vegetables,  canned fruits, and dry cereals.  Most of us live within five miles of a charity that distributes food to those in need, and many small charities serve more than 100 families a day who are struggling with financial and medical emergencies.  Fortunately, The food pantry’s regular grocery distribution prevents many families from becoming homeless, as they could use their limited funds to pay their rent instead of buying food.


As I taught people how to buy food for charity with coupons,  I quickly learned that very few people thought organizing coupons and figuring out grocery deals was as easy and fun as I thought it was.  So my role became the “deal finder.”  I would figure out the best grocery deals each week, matching the coupons with the sale items, and send the deals list out to my network of “charity shoppers” every week via email.  They loved having someone figure it all out for them, telling them exactly where to find the coupons they needed to get the best deals.  In many cases, the items were actually FREE with a coupon. 


If you like helping others and like finding grocery bargains, becoming a “Cut Out Hunger” shopper may be a rewarding hobby for you.  It can be as easy as buying one or two extra items a week as you do your own shopping, and saving them in a “charity box” in your house or garage.  When your box is full, you can deliver it to a local charity that will appreciate your effort!  You can find a local charity that needs your food donations easily if you are not already aware of one.  Just contact a local place of worship or school and ask them which charity they support with their food drives.  You can also go to an online search engine and enter the words “food pantry” with the name of your city or suburb to find one nearby. 


Save your grocery coupon circulars from the paper, even if you do not use them for your own shopping.  Every week there are appropriate items for charity that are free, or practically free, with grocery coupons.  Save the entire circular, writing the date on the front, and use the Coupon Mom website www.couponmom.com to find out what the best charity deals are at your store each week.  If your store isn’t listed on the site, you can create your own “Best Deals” list using your store ad and the Virtual Coupon Organizer on the website.  Simply read the instructions on the site and get started cutting out hunger this week!


Stephanie Nelson shares her savings tips as a regular contributor on ABC News’ Good Morning America. You can find more of her savings tips in her book  “Greatest Secrets of the Coupon Mom” and on her website at www.couponmom.comCopyright 2006 Stephanie Nelson 

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