Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Couponing for Charity

The holiday season should be a time we celebrate giving to each other--especially those less fortunate. Some of the local charities on my list include Second Harvest, KARM, Salvation Army, Angel Tree, and Ronald McDonald House. I don't want to use the poor economy as an excuse not to give, but this year I'm having to get a bit more creative to stretch my dollars.

This week I scanned the sales at three stores to find the best deals on canned and non-perishable food. Target has Del Monte vegetables for $.45 a can, Campbell's cooking soups for $.49, Swanson chicken broth for $.49, and Betty Crocker Au Gratin potatoes for $.79. After using manufacturer's coupons, my final costs were: $.28 / can for vegetables, $.15 / can for soup, and $.39 / box for potatoes. You can get a $1/6 Del Monte vegetables here, you can find links to lots of Campbell's coupons here and a variety of others here.

Walgreens this week has the best deal on Ocean Spray Cranberry Jelly ($.79 with in store coupon). They also have smaller containers of French's fried onions ($.99 with in store coupons) which are perfect for one casserole. Lastly small boxes of Cheezits, Keebler cookies and crackers are on sale for $.50 each. They're too small to use manufacturer's coupons as well but they're still a good 0deal and an ideal size for stuffing gift baskets.

I found some great deals on toys at Kroger and Target. Disney Princess gift sets (Belle and Sleeping Beauty) were half off ($5 each) and a full-size Belle doll was also $5 at Kroger. Target is a great source for board games right now. I got Connect 4, Pictureka!, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Clue, and Guesstures for $10 (normally $15-$25). Over 2 weeks, various games were on sale, I used a $5 Target coupon in their November toy catalogue (they should have some near the toys or you can print from here), and I used coupons found online from from $2 -$10 each.

My best deal was the Hasbro Giraffalaff Limbo game (normally $20). I'd never price matched an item before because I haven't had the guts but I figured this was the day. At the customer service desk, I showed the Toys R Us toy catalogue selling the toy for $14.99. I then used the $5 off Target coupon and the $4 online coupon. My total before tax: $5.99.

And to prove that once again you can Go Green and Save Green, I fulfilled one more item on my list: light bulbs. The Ronald McDonald House specifically requested 60W light bulbs, and because I like the gifts that keep on giving, I opted for the GE Energy Smart Instant-On Mini soft white compact flourescents. They cost $5 each, but with $2/2 Target coupons and 3 $1/1 manufacturer's coupons, I got 4 light bulbs for $13. They should last 4 years and save the house a total of $112 off their electric bills long-term. Ah, it feels good to give.

In the future, I'll be stock-piling items I've found for free through Walgreens register rewards: toothbrushes, dental floss, hand sanitizer, chapstick, gum, etc. And if all this is too overwhelming, I urge you to give in one of the simplest ways: at check-out. Most stores ask if you'd like to donate an additional buck or two to charity. It's quick and easy and with all these savings from coupons, you can spare some change!

Comment below your great finds for charity.

No comments:

Post a Comment