Tag Archives: feeding hungry

Why Not Give, Instead of Buy, on Black Friday?

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I have received email after email about the great deals I can get for Black Friday.  Many of these fabulous deals started at 8pm Thursday, THANKSGIVING DAY!!!  Seriously?  Is nothing sacred?  Are we supposed to move our Thanksgiving meals earlier in the day so we can rush out with the hoards of people to trample each other for the one $39 Blu Ray player?

It’s bad enough that soon Christmas decorations will make their appearance on store shelves right after Labor Day.  Can’t one holiday, the one holiday where we are supposed to count our blessings by the way, remain untouched by consumerism?

My family and I went on a Thanksgiving walk yesterday at 1pm.   There were people already in line outside of a Best Buy store that wasn’t opening until midnight.  I couldn’t believe it.  Their entire Thanksgiving was going to be spent in line at a store, instead of with family or friends.   Perhaps these folks don’t have family or friends you say….I answer with, is it any wonder when their priorities are so whacked?  If they were alone on Thanksgiving, these people could have volunteered at a food pantry or soup kitchen.  They could have spent the day holding babies at a hospital or playing games with wards of the state who are relegated to group homes.

The same is true for today, Black Friday.  Why is it so important to get more and more crap?  Maybe we could change Black Friday from a day of buying to a day of giving.  We could change the name to Fabulous Friday and instead of spending 24 hours shopping like turkeys with their heads cut off, we could spend the day helping others.  Now that would be a Freaky Friday indeed.

 

8 Grocery Bags Donated!!!

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Today, my 14 year old son, Jack, and I made our way to The Quinn House where we delivered 8 full bags of groceries.  All items I obtained for free or almost free via couponing.  (Except for the one giant bag of Halloween candy which we did get for free via the generosity of our neighbors but I didn’t coupon for it.  Instead I dressed my kids up and sent them door to door and look at all the candy they brought home ).

The Quinn House is a local organization that helps homeless families and operates a food bank.   If you live in Lawrenceville and are interested in donating food items check it out http://www.thequinnhouse.com.  They need items year round and not just during the holidays.

We were met at the door by a Quinn House resident who was very appreciative and both Jack and I returned to the car with big smiles on our faces.   Previously I have donated my couponed goods to food drives and the like.  I have not delivered directly to the food bank and seen where these items are going.   It felt good to donate and I was glad Jack felt good too.

It got me thinking that I need to make giving part of my children’s daily lives.  What do you do to teach your children about giving to others in need? I’d love to get some ideas.

Peace Out Coupon Scout,

Kate

What Do Food Banks Need?

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I did a very unscientific survey online of items that Food Banks need.  Here is what I came up with.  Interestingly, you can extreme coupon to get many of these items.

Baby items – such as formula, baby food, diapers
Baking Supplies – flour, sugar, oil, vanilla, seasonings, etc
Beans, canned & dried
Cake mix & frosting
Canned Fruit
Canned meals such as chili, soup, pasta, Pork & Beans
Canned meats such as chicken, tuna
Canned Tomatoes
Canned Vegetables
Cereal, Cold & Hot
Condiments – ketchup, mayo, mustard
Coffee and tea (including iced tea mix)
100% Fruit Juice
Jelly
Kid friendly convenience foods, like granola bars, individual apple sauces,fruit snacks
Macaroni & cheese
Pasta
Pasta Sauce
Peanut Butter
Powdered milk
Processed cheese spread
Rice
Salad dressings
Saltine Crackers
Vegetable oil

Remember, people can’t buy non-food items with food stamps, so even if they are also getting food stamp assistance, items such as the following will come in handy:

Cleaning Products
Feminine products
Laundry soap
Razors and shaving cream
Shampoo
Soap
Toothpaste
Toilet paper

There was one other common theme on the websites.  As we near the holidays, many people will be donating to food pantries.  Many pantries then run out of items by summer. Couponing for good entails the constant picking up of those few extra items each week while at the store….allowing us to give year round and not just as we near the holidays….just one more reason to coupon for good!

What items have you found to donate this week?

Peace Out Coupon Scout.

Kate

This Week’s Haul

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2 boxes of muffin mix ($.36/each)

6 jars of baby foor ($.06/each) (I think my husband panicked when he saw the baby food jars…hee, hee)

3 toothpaste (FREE)

Not a huge haul but every little but adds up, right?

I just received an email from Care 2 Action emphasizing how many charities will be overwhelmed with requests for help as the holidays approach.  Food Banks in particular will be hard hit.

What can you do right now to help?  I know what I’m doing.  I am going to keep on couponing for good.  If I can pick up 10 items each week, that will be close to 100 items by Christmas…see every little bit helps!

If you have any ideas of other simple, easy ways to help others, let me know.  If we all do just a little we really can make the world a better place.

Peace Out Coupon Scout,

Kate

 

 

 

This Week’s Goodies

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There are a few super cheap/free things that are worth picking up and donating this week:

Publix has  Betty Crocker Premium Muffin Mix, on sale as a B1G1 which comes to $1.39/box.  If you use the -.50/1 Betty Crocker box muffin mix from the 9/09 Smart Source insert and your Publix doubles coupons like mine does, these should come out to less that $.39/box.  Certainly worth picking up a few to donate (or keep if you like muffins)

Kroger has a few things worth picking up to donate this week too:

Angel Soft Bathroom Tissue is on sale for $1 a 4 ct.  Use the 25/1 Angel Soft bath tissue PRINTABLE  and with the double coupon, you get a 4 ct for only 50¢.  Yahoo!  The only downside is that you can only print out 2 coupons.

Field or Fischer’s Lunch Meat, Bologna or Hot Dogs, $1.  There is a -.50/1 Fischer’s hot dogs, bologna, lunchmeat in the 8/19 Smart Source insert making these FREE. I LOVE FREE!!!!  Although, I am not sure about donating refrigerated items to the food pantry.  I am going to pick up a bunch of these and find out though.  I’ll post as soon as I get some info.

Once again toothpaste is free – I don’t think I’ve paid for a tube of toothpaste in over a year.  Crest toothpaste is on sale for $1.00 and there is a $0.50 off coupon in the 09-30 Proctor & Gamble insert.  Double that coupon and voila – free toothpaste.  A great item to donate.  Especially since you know there will be free toothpaste again soon.

I hope this list helps you find a few things to donate to a food pantry this week.   I firmly believe that if we all did just a little we could really make a dent in hunger.   We all agree that no one should go hungry, so just grab a few coupons and grab some items to donate.  Click here if you want more info on how you can help end Child Hunger in America

Peace Out Coupon Scout!

Kate

 

SNAP Budget- FAIL

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I haven’t posted for the past few days.  I am embarrassed.  You see, I failed on a SNAP budget.  I truly thought I could do it.  Not only did I think I could do it, I thought it would be fairly easy. HA!  I laugh at myself.

Three days into it and I tossed in the towel.  While it’s true that weekly I don’t usually spend more than $150-$175 at the grocery store, every 4-6 weeks I stock up on things at COSTCO.  Moreover, we eat out once or twice a week -never anything fancy, pizza or sub sandwiches, but not meals that I count in my grocery budget. It makes a difference.  We were not off by lots of money but we were off by enough.  It got complicated and frustrating and I quit.  I am feeling very fortunate that I could just quit.

This experiment not only made it clear to me how hard it is to be on food stamps, it also made me realize how important food banks that can supplement SNAP are and why couponing for good is in fact, a good idea.

For more information on SMAP and protecting it, go here:

http://www.strength.org/blog/snap/stories

I did not find any great couponing freebies this past week but am hoping there will be some good ones in the ads tomorrow.  I’ll keep you posted.  Remember, the food banks need us!

Peace Out Coupon Scout!

Kate

 

Oh SNAP! Day 3!

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Day 3 we spent a total of $24.08 on food. We actually did it.  We were under our $24.85/day budget.  However it meant Jeff skipped breakfast, we ate leftovers and we did not have enough dinner for all of us.

Here’s how Day 3 broke down…

Breakfast – The shorties (CJ & Kylie had french toast sticks again…..you would thing they’d be sick of that by now)   Jeff didn’t eat breakfast today, Quinn had a peanut butter sandwich instead of a smoothie and I had a bowl of cereal– $3.85

No morning snack  again today so that also saved us a bit – seems like that has to go if we have any hope of staying on track.

Lunch: $.20

As it turns out Jack didn’t finish the box of pasta yesterday…he did today for lunch  – which was great for the budget- $0

Jeff had leftovers from dinner, also good for the budget. $0

I had $.20 can a of chili- $.20

Afterschool snack – $5.50

Jack and CJ had cereal, $1.50 ( 1 bowl of cereal each with milk – box of cereal $1.99, gallon of milk $2.19)

CJ  also had Special K crackers – $2.00

Quinn is on a field trip for school for the next two days and not here but we’ll act as if she is and add $2 for her after school snack.  Just to keep us honest.

Dinner – $11.28

CJ had a baseball game and I didn’t want to blow a bunch of cash at the concessions.   I decided to bring dinner to the park.  Jack helped me make the chicken nuggets and burned himself  which led to him dropping the tray full of nuggets.  We lost 1/2 of the bag.  Based on our budget for the week this is almost a tragedy.  We made the rest of the bag which was enough for Jack, Jeff and Kylie.  CJ was playing baseball so he didn’t get any and I sacrificed my chicken nuggets for the good of my family. – $3.99 for the bag

I also brought chips – $1.79 for the bag, a bag of apples but only Jeff and I ate apples – $1.00 and 4 packs of fruit snacks for the kids ($1.00), ketchup ($.50), water (I filled up bottles so that was free) and 3 diet cokes ($3.00)

Here’s a pic of our gourmet dinner:

Cj had a yogurt when he got home and he was given a Gatorade and chips at the game. $2.50.  And I made up for my chicken nuggets sacrifice with a bowl of cereal $.75.

We now have only $73. 71 left for the 4 days left in the week.  At this point it is clear that we are not going to make the entire week within our budget.  I have realized that I stock up on enough things that I don’t have to spend over $175 each week because at least once a month I do spend more.  That stocking up shopping trip allows me to spend less than $175 the other weeks …what these few days have taught me is that if I didn’t have the ability to stock up monthly, I’d be screwed.