Sunday, January 30, 2011

Couponing for Charity 1/30 - 2/5

Thanks for checking in to see my recommendations for which freebies out there are worth picking up for charity. Some good deals you may keep for yourself, but it's nice to share good coupon karma.

First of all, for some deals, you'll need to shop tomorrow 1/31 because of expiring coupons. However, I think the best deals this week at Walgreen's do not require you run out immediately.

For the complete match-up list, go to Southern Savers.
For the pared down lists, go to Coupon Katie or Coupon Mommie.

I won't be getting the Natrol Melatonin because it's a specialized medicine--donations I don't feel comfortable giving. I also don't plan to get the glucose monitor because the rebate probably involves me cutting up the box, thus making donating impossible. And for some reason, I didn't get the SS insert today with the Icy Hot coupon. Ugh! Since I did pick up 2 $2RR's last week, here is the scenario I'm planning:

Transaction #1:
  • 1 Arnicare pain relief gel--I may need this after my triathlon training ;-)--($6, get $6RR, $2 printable = $2MM)
  • 3 Russell Stover chocolate hearts ($.29 each with ad coupon)--my filler items
  • Use 2 $2RR
Total due: $.90 plus tax
RR's earned: $6

Transaction #2:
  • 1 Blink eye drops ($8, get $8RR, $1MC=$1MM)
  • 4 Butterfinger snackers ($.39 with in ad coupon, 2 $1/2 printables = $.44MM. Make sure you give them the printables first to avoid beeping.)
  • 2 Advil ($5 each, buy 2 earn $5RR, $3 Walgreen's catalina from previous trip, $2 off a number of varieties=FREE)
  • Use $6RR from Tr.#1
Total due: $5.56 plus tax
RR's earned: $8, $5

Transaction #3:
  • 1 Blink eyedrops
  • 2 Russell Stover chocolate hearts
  • Use $5RR from Tr.#2 (Remember, you can't use the $8RR and generate another one.)
Total due: $2.60 plus tax
RR's earned: $8

If all goes as planned (but does it ever?), I'll spend $9.06 plus tax and have $16 in register rewards to use the next two weeks.

For the complete match-up list, go to Southern Savers.
For the pared down lists, go to Coupon Katie or Coupon Mommie.

Since there are no freebies this week, I would typically skip it, but for the first time in a year, I have $12ECBs that will expire before I can roll them into more great freebies. For that reason only, here is my plan:
  • 2 Aussie styling products ($6, get $2ECB, B1G1 coupon=$.50 each)
  • 3 Special K cereals (3 for $10, get $4ECB, B1G1 printable and $1/2MC=$.56 each)
  • 1 Olay body wash ($6, get $2ECB, $2MC=$2)
  • 1 Olay moisturizer (B1 body wash, G1 moisturizer=FREE)
  • Use $12ECBs
Total Due: $.67 plus tax
ECBs earned: $8

If they're out of some of those items, I'll buy valentines at $2.50 each.

Since I stocked up last week at Kroger's mega sale (where I got 6 free toothbrushes for charity) and there's nothing much new this week, I'm skipping it altogether. But if you haven't gone, there are some good deals.

For the complete match-up list, go to Southern Savers.
For the pared down lists, go to Coupon Katie or Coupon Mommie.

In addition to 13 different items under a buck, I found two money makers:
  • 3 Hunts tomatoes ($.49 after mega sale, $1 e-saver, $1/3 from All You magazine = $.53MM)
  • 1 Pampers wipes ($1.49 after mega sale, $1 e-saver, $.50 catalina from a previous trip = $.51MM because Kroger doubles up to $.50)
Here are my updated totals from the past two week's trips. Last week CVS was a bust and I only got pull-ups at Walgreen's.

ITEMS I'M DONATING THE PAST TWO WEEKS: 1 single Tide detergent load from Target ($.97, $1MC=$.03MM), 6 toothbrushes (normally $2.49 each, FREE with coupons and mega sale), 1 Pampers wipes (normally $2.29, $.51MM after coupons and mega sale)

TOTAL ITEMS DONATING TO DATE: 1 box of pain patches, 2 heat wraps, 2 toothpaste, 4 containers of hummus, 1 trial size laundry, 6 toothbrushes, 1 baby wipes

Friday, January 28, 2011

Penguins Rock!

Last week, our family was treated to a visit at the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg. It had been two years since we went last (this was Brooke's first trip), and we had yet to see the penguin exhibit. There's something intrinsically suave about penguins, don't you think?

We began our tour as usual passing the piranha tank, blue frogs (gotta love those), and pencil eels (no, we're not getting those, Bobby). The massive salt water tank with loads of fish was a big hit with our nearly 2-year-old Brooke; lots of pointing and squeals. The seahorse tank with three bizarre looking species drew the boys like a magnet. The jellyfish, poisonous creatures, and giant crabs were also met with, "Woah, look at that!!!!"

Our favorite feature of the aquarium up to now has been the shark tunnel. I love how you can see the shark tank from two very different perspectives (from above and enclosed in the tunnel). We had to go through the tunnel a couple of times, of course.

As great as the shark tunnel is, I'm afraid it's been surpassed by Penguin Playland. The digs for these African Penguins are the coolest, for sure. They can hang out on rocks, swim in a 40,000 gallon tank, or go outside (though none were out there that we saw). And you don't just watch them though one plate of plexi-glass. You can crawl through a tunnel to watch them swimming all around you and then pop up in the middle to see them inches away.

What my boys really latched onto is that each penguin has a name and name tag. The game quickly became, "Where's Mike? Mike, where are you? There he is! Where? Aw, I missed him!" When I saw the tunnels, I went right in and didn't notice the sign "Kids, check out the tunnel!" until afterwards. Sure glad I'm a kid at heart!

I hope you enjoy the short video about Penguin Playland below. It's well worth the trip! I would suggest planning a visit on Valentine's Day when tickets are HALF OFF! Just use the promo code: LOVE. On any other day, buying online before you go saves you $2 a ticket, and kids under 2 are always free.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Couponing for Charity 1/23-29

I've perused the ads and blog match-ups and honestly don't have a lot of exciting freebies to share this week.

****Update 1/23:
I just saw a post at Southern Savers that Reach toothbrushes and floss are part of the mega sale at Kroger and with coupons, that makes them FREE. See link for how to get the coupons. I will be stopping in to get those. If you're not into dealing with RRs and ECBs, this is a truly easy way to get a freebie. And it would be a great item to donate at the Coupon Fair Feb. 26. We're asking each participant to donate one freebie if they can to charity.

The only store I might consider is CVS.
To see all Southern Saver's match-ups, click here.
To see Coupon Katie's picks, click here.

Here's my plan:
  • 1 Crest Pro-Health mouthwash ($4, get $4ECB; I doubt the $2 coupon matches the size, but I'll see. FREE or $2MM); Limit 1
  • 1 Boiron Chestal Cough Syrup ($5, get $5ECB, $1 printable=$1MM). Some stores are only giving this deal on the adult version; some for the kid version. Scan the item at the kiosk before buying to make sure it rings up $5.
  • 4 Mars Valentine single candies ($.50 each, 2 $1/2 Mars candy any size printable=4 FREE)
  • 1 Kashi cereal ($3; $1 MC from Vocal Point mailer=$2. If you still have the $3 coupon, it would be FREE.)
  • If I can find all of the above, I'll use a $10ECB nearing expiration. If not, I have a $2ECB I can use. Either way, my OOP should be $1 - $2, and I should make $4-9ECB for next time.
To see all Southern Saver's match-ups, click here.
To see Coupon Katie's picks, click here.

The one freebie that caught my eye was the Nivea shave gel, but I couldn't get the coupon to print after registering. Not sure what I did wrong. Without the coupon, it's not free and I won't buy it. There are a few deals on Crest mouthwash, Campbell's soup, styling products, Pull-ups, and Pedia Care, but I think I'll hold my RRs for next Sunday. Hopefully there will be something worth buying.

FYI: If you ever want a sneak peak at future Walgreen's sales, click on IHeartWags and scroll down. Next week, the free Blink eye drops will probably be a good way to use my RRs.

What freebies did I miss?

Show & Tell has certainly evolved

This past week was finally my son's turn to be "camper of the week" for his first grade class. That meant he got to be line leader, have his picture on the board, and bring something into school on Friday for a special show and tell.

He's been talking about this since the first week. What would he bring? Other kids brought pets. "Can we bring Jessie?" he asked. "She's a big dog, honey. Has anyone else brought a dog?" "No, just animals in a cage." That closed that door.

As we got closer to what he could bring in that was really unique, we had an epiphany. "What about bringing your solar powered vehicle?" "Yeah! That would be great!" he beamed. The kit we bought from Young Explorers includes components for building 8 different vehicles and was designed to demonstrate the concept of solar technology. Sun hits the panels and transfers photon energy into mechanical energy that turns a few propellers. No, it can't fly or even drive itself, but it's a neat tool to demonstrate the concept.

So yesterday (upon his request that I be there), I got to watch my 7 year old proudly demonstrate this toy and talk about the importance of renewable energy. It's a common topic in our house, since hubby works with solar panels. The kids all seemed interested and my son felt like a king. To the kids, the idea of renewable energy made complete sense. Hopefully they'll grow up to believe solar is just a smarter choice. It was awesome.

So what do your kids take in for show and tell?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Social Media: Does it overwhelm you?

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, message boards, blogs: the world of social media is exciting but overwhelming to me at times. Ok, most of the time. I want to be in the know but when it comes to social media, I'm flying by the seat of my pants. You noticed, huh?!

So, I've decided to do something about it. Starting Feb. 1, I'm taking a class taught by Mark Schaefer of Schaefer Marketing Solutions. I trust that he'll have valuable information to share because I've come to know him as one of my clients. Through the course of producing a promotional video for him, I realized I have a lot to learn about social media.

It's at Pellissippi State and will be 8 hours over 4 classes. Here are all the available dates and times and how to sign up for "Social Media Marketing Workshop for Business."

Spring 2011 Class Dates:
Tuesdays, February 1-22 (8:30-10:30 a.m. or 6:30-8:30 p.m.)
Tuesdays, March 8-29 (8:30-10:30 a.m. or 6:30-8:30 p.m.)
Tuesdays, May 3-24 (8:30-10:30 a.m. or 6:30-8:30 p.m.)

What about you? How do you think social media could help your business?

Enjoy his video!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Couponing for Charity 1/16-22

Hi, savvy shoppers. Before I post the best freebies of the week, I have to share this short story. I was waiting in line at Walgreen's behind a man who was buying Dawn dish detergent. I noticed he was using the ad coupon; so I offered him a manufacturer coupon for $.25 to use also. You'd think I just handed him twenty bucks. He chuckled, "You aren't one of those couponers who leave the store with them owing you money, are you? Ha Ha!" I looked down at my purchases and said, "Well, yes, I will walk out with more in store credit than what I pay today." His draw dropped again. See how much fun this is?! So let's get to it.

If you want the easiest freebie this week, go to Kroger for free Colgate (normally $2.69, select varieties on sale for $1, use the $.50 coupon; doubled that gives you free toothpaste.) There's no limit to the number of these coupons you can use; so if you have several, stock up. I only had one. For how I saved big on frozen food this week at Kroger, click here.

If you're trying to choose one pharmacy, head to Walgreen's.
For Southern Savers complete match-ups, click here.
For Coupon Katie's picks, click here.

If you have 4 $4 Sinex coupons from last month, here's how to turn them into a money maker. There is a money maker of joint juice drink mix and a free appetite control spray, but I skipped these because they're so specialized. We don't need them, and I try to stick with donations a broader range of people would use. The Listerine deal won't work because the sizes on the sale item don't match the printable coupons. Here's what I bought:

Transaction #1:
  • 1 Thermacare heat wrap (normally $2.99, on sale for $2.50, get $2.50RR, use $1 printable=$1MM)
  • 2 Breyers ice cream (B1G1 at $6.50)
  • Used $5RR and $2RR from last week
Total with tax: $1.72
Total saved: $14.98
RR for next week: $2.50

Transaction #2 & #3:
  • 1 Thermacare heat wrap (you must buy them separately to get the register rewards; I'll keep one and donate two. Since this coupon prints multiple times, I could have gotten lots, but 3 transactions were enough for me).
Total with tax: $1.73 each time
Total saved each time: $1.49
RR earned each time: $2.50

So yes, I spent $5.18 and walked out with $7.50 in store credit. :-)

For Southern Savers complete match-ups, click here.
For Coupon Katie's picks, click here.
I don't see any freebies to recommend, but I did get 2 Listerine for $.99 each, which I will be keeping.

For a list of all the freebies you get with Staples rewards, go to Coupon Katie's post. The list includes pens, post-its, envelopes, writing pads, and address labels. This is a "pay me now, save later" deal. So if you're not likely to keep up with your rewards or you don't want to wait for the reward to arrive in the mail, skip it. However, I find their deals on ink are competitive, and I can usually pair rewards certificates with a deal. If I have time, I'll stop by.

I did get several deals last week, but none were donations. Here are my current totals:

ITEMS I'M DONATING THIS WEEK: 1 toothpaste, 2 heat wraps

TOTAL ITEMS DONATING TO DATE: 1 box of pain patches, 2 heat wraps, 2 toothpaste, 4 containers of hummus

Friday, January 14, 2011

Knoxville Coupon Fair: Mark your calendar

I am very honored to be a part of Second Annual Knoxville Coupon Fair scheduled for Saturday, February 26th from 9am-noon at Faith United Methodist Church in Knoxville. I will be sharing some tips and suggestions for Couponing for Charity. The event is FREE and childcare will be provided. There will be tables to swap coupons and freebies, but we're also asking those who can to donate one free item they've gotten through couponing to charity. I'll be giving some suggestions the next few weeks of what you can bring.

Here are more details: Local coupon and money saving experts will be present to give one-on-one attention to participants. Attendees can browse the booths, ask couponing questions, and hone their money saving skills. People new to couponing will especially benefit from the many instructional handouts that experts will provide. Participants are encouraged to bring extra coupons and “freebies” to trade.

Coupon Bloggers and Resource Booths participating in this year’s event—Margaret of Blue Frog Creations, Gabrielle of Couponing in Critical Times, Katie of Coupon Katie, Jennifer of Coupon Mommie, Christy of Coupons are Money, Melissa of Frugalissa Finds, Hannah of Frugally Farming Family, Isha of Knoxville Mamabelle, Kathryn of Knoxville on a Dime, Julie of Sharing Savings with You, Earth Fare, KARM Thrift Stores, Knoxmoms, Kroger of Fountain City, One Call Club for Seniors, Rebecca’s Coupons and Forms, Regions Bank, Silver Lining Quality Children’s Consignment, and Three Rivers Market.

Topics to be addressed—Organizing your coupons, Learning the Coupon Lingo, Shopping at Walgreens and CVS, Couponing at Target, Saving Money on Organics, Meal Planning, Growing and Preserving Your Own Foods, Healthy Lunch Options, Saving Money on Items for Babies and Children, Learning New Coupon Technology, Group Buying Sites, Couponing for Charity, Thrift Store Shopping, Consignment Shopping, and Saving Seniors Money.

Faith United Methodist Church is located on the corner of Dry Gap Pike and Rifle Range Road at 1120 Dry Gap Pike, Knoxville, TN 37918. For more information, contact Gabrielle Blake at or phone Faith United Methodist Church at 865-688-1000. In the event of inclement weather, please go to the church website at for updates on cancellation or rescheduling.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Budget Totals for 2010!

It has now been one year since I decided to set and follow a budget for the first time in my life. I've never spent excessively, but I've never carefully tracked my spending either. This was the first year I've held myself accountable.

My budget may sound high, but it includes more than groceries: $800 a month for every trip to Kroger, Earthfare, Target, Wal-mart, Sam's Club, Walgreen's, CVS, craft store, bed and bath store, clothing store, farmer's market, and restaurant. It does not include my hubby's trips to Home Depot or Lowes, gas, prescriptions, doctor visits, pet store, or entertainment. I decided to follow the spending I could control and where I could see the highest savings. I might track some of our spending differently in 2011.

Since I haven't posted since my October totals, here are the numbers for November. I did not include any Hawaii vacation spending, as that was from another budget.

  • Groceries: $412.73 (saved $189.71)
  • Pharmacies: $78.55 (saved $217.17--73%)
  • Other: $124.19 (saved $31.24)
Total Spent: $615.47
Total Saved: $438.12 (42%)
Rebates received: $40.99
TOTAL: $574.48
Debt from over-spending in October: $211.28
Total Under Budget: $14.24

Here are my totals for December, excluding some gifts bought online:

  • Groceries: $405.92 (saved $283.57)
  • Pharmacies: $98.56 (saved $129.93)--half was for Christmas cards
  • Other: $109.02 (saved $62.10)
Total Spent: $613.50
Total Saved: $475.60 (44%)
Total Under Budget this month: $186.50

All and all, it's good news for 2010. I had budgeted $9600, I spent $9352.17, and I saved $6602.65 (41%). Some months I went over; some I made a real effort to save. That's how a real budget works. So if you're wondering if couponing is worth the hassle, it saved me $6600 last year and I spent within my means; so you bet 'ya! Check back later in the month to see my budget goals for 2011.

How did you do with a budget last year? Are you going to budget this year? What tips can you share for budgeting?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Couponing for Charity 1/9-15

I've perused the ads and match-ups, and it's not a great week IMO. However, I will be going out to get a few deals. If you want to pick one, I'd head to CVS.

For Southern Saver's match-ups, click here.
For Coupon Mommie's match-ups, click here.
For Coupon Katie's picks, click here.

Since I'm not one to pass up free chocolate or deals on mouthwash, I'll be getting:
  • 1 Reese's cup king size ($1.59, get $1.59ECB=FREE); limit 1
  • 1 Snickers single ($.89, get $.89ECB=FREE); limit 1
  • 2 Listerine Zero ($3, get $1ECB, use 2 $2/1 printables=2 FREE) Note: This deal was from Coupon Katie but I didn't see it in the flyer. They did note 50% off Listerine; if it's a good deal, I'll stock up with several $1 coupons.
  • 1 Finish 20 ct geltabs ($3, use $2.25 MC=$.75) Check out the various deal ideas for money makers if you have the right number of coupons. I'll have to settle for a 20 days supply of cheap dish detergent.
  • I'll use $1ECB from last week.
My total should be $4.23 plus tax, and I'll earn $4.48 ECB for next time.

For Southern Saver's match-ups, click here.
For Coupon Mommie's match-ups, click here.
For Coupon Katie's picks, click here.

If you didn't use your B1g1 Special K coupons, use them here for some free cereal. If you have the $1 Colgate coupon and $2 Reach floss coupons, those could be free. I do not. The $1 printables for the Stayfree are also gone, but I have a $1 Stayfree coupon from who knows where. If the products match, I'll be getting those. Here's my plan.
  • 1 Go! Kids multivitamins-60ct ($5, get $5RR)
  • 2 Stayfree maxipads--28-48 count ($6.50 each; use $3 off in ad coupon--will deduct $6; use B1G1 from 1/9 paper (maximum $6); use $1 coupon for the one I'm not getting free=2 FREE)
  • 4 No Nonsense knee highs ($.25 each)--filler items to be donated
  • I'll use $6RR from last week
Total should be only tax.
RR for next time: $5

The only true freebie I see is Colgate toothpaste. Use the $.50 coupon in last week's paper to get a free tube.

For Southern Saver's match-ups, click here.

If you're in Target, you might as well grab these freebies in the travel section: cat food, batteries, Tide, Carefree, Olay beauty bar, and Gillette shave prep. There's also free Reach floss (they may have to type in $.97 if it beeps).

What are your favorite freebies this week?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Couponing for Charity 1/2-8

The holidays are over and it's back to "work" saving money. I hope you're able to get a few of these deals this week. I waited til now to post so that I could share my "reality check" of couponing. Nothing ever goes as planned, sot please don't be discouraged when you make mistakes. We all do!

If you have time for only one store this week, I'd suggest Walgreen's.

For Southern Saver's match-ups go here.
For Coupon Katie's picks go here. (her page is having some trouble now; visit her home page and scroll down.)
For Coupon Mommie's suggestions, go here.

The deal I'm most excited about is the homeopathic children's flu medicine that's a money maker. Frugalissa Finds highly recommends it and says it really worked when her family took it a few weeks ago. She says the children's is the same as the adult; so I decided to buy two. They were all out of the Electrasol Finish tabs (would be free) and they didn't have the size and type of Pull-ups I buy (better deal than at CVS); you might have better luck. Here were my scenarios.

Transaction #1:
  • 1 Oscillococciunum children's flu medicine (normally $14.49, on sale for $8.99, get $9RR, use $2 printable=$2MM.) Note: I tried to use the $5 coupon in the Walgreen's January coupon book, but it beeped. The manager said that could only be used for the adult version (not a freebie this week). The description did not stipulate "adult only" but I didn't argue. Especially since the printable beeped as well. I fear this may be a bogus coupon since it's a PDF, has a high value, and has a far-off expiration date. You can decide if you want to try it.
  • 3 Hunts tomato sauce ($1 with flyer coupon); I had picked 3 because I thought I would be able to use the $5 WC and because I had at $2RR from last week.
  • Used $2 Osc. printable
  • Used Hunts flyer coupon
  • Used $2RR from last week
Total spent: $6.90
Total saved: $11.47
RR earned: $9

Transaction #2:
  • 1 Omega Factor-3 tablets (normally $24.99, on sale for $10, get $10RR=free) Note: Since I've heard good things about adding omega-3 to your diet, I decided to try these. It's not the type of thing I would donate. I'm finding some organizations are wary of accepting medicines or vitamins.
  • Used $9RR from Tr.#1
Total spent: $1.93
Total saved: $23.99
RR earned: $10

Transaction #3:
  • 1 Osc. flu medicine
  • 3 Honey Nut Cheerios (normally $4.79, on sale for $1.99, used $.55 printable=$1.44 each)
  • Used $2 Osc. MC
  • Used $10RR from Tr.#2
  • Used 3 $.55 Honey Nut Cheerios coupons. Note: When I looked over my receipt and saw that only 2 of these coupons were credited, I asked them to re-ring and credit me for the $.55. Only now do I realize it was because I had exceeded the coupon/product ration. My bad, Walgreens.
Total spent: $3.15
Total saved: $27.55
RR earned: $9

Transaction #4:
  • 1 Salonpas arthritis patches (normally $8, on sale for $6, get $6RR=FREE) Note: I was on the fence about this deal. Hopefully I'll find someone who can use it.
  • 1 Crest 6.4 oz toothpaste (normally $2.49, on sale for $2, get $1RR, used $1MC=FREE)
  • 1 Walgreen's wax paper (normally $1.99, $.89 with flyer coupon)
  • 1 Wall calendar (I needed one and I was drawn to the island theme; ah, Hawaii!; normally $5.95, on sale for $2); If I had switched the wall calendar and cereal for these transactions, all would have worked.
  • Used $1 Crest
  • Used wax paper ad coupon
  • Used $9RR from Tr.#3
Total spent: $1.95
Total saved: $13.59
RR earned: $6, $1 (will save for next week)

Grand total spent: $13.93
Total saved: $76.60
RR for next week: $7 (all and all, a good week)

For Southern Saver's match-ups go here.
For Coupon Katie's picks go here.
For Coupon Mommie's suggestions, go here.

I couldn't find any cheap Revlon tools, I had forgotten my B1G1 Special K coupon, and I couldn't find the single packets of Nescafe. Here is what I did buy:

  • 2 Rembrandt toothpaste ($7 each; used 2 $3 printables)
  • 2 double packs of Reach toothbrushes ($3 each; used 2 $1 printables) Note: I should have used a B1G1 and a $1 printable, but I forgot. All four should have been free with coupons and ECBs (For every $10 on these products, you earn $5ECB) It kills me I actually paid for oral hygiene products, but no one's perfect.
  • 1 Huggies pullups (normally $12, on sale for $9, get $1ECB, use $2 printable=$6) Not the best price, but again, Walgreen's didn't have them and I need them.
  • Used 2 $3 Rembrandt printables
  • Used 2 $1 Reach printables
  • Used $19.99 ECBs earned from previous trips
  • I forgot the $2 pull-ups coupon, but he later gave me $2 cash; thanks, CVS!
Total spent: $3.13
Total saved: $41.15
ECBs for future: $11

For Southern Saver's match-ups go here.
For Coupon Katie's trip, go here. (go to home page and scroll down)

I had tried to get cheap Softsoap, but the coupon Sunday's paper was the wrong size. I did get 4 FREE containers of Athenos hummus and 4 boxes of Kashi cereal for $.99. Click links for my posts on those at I will be donating the hummus to our church feast of lights dinner on Thursday. (They are normally $2.99 each, on sale for $.98 each, coupons made 4 FREE).

Since it's a new year and I have a new batch of donations, the totals will begin new:

ITEMS I'M DONATING THIS WEEK: 1 box of pain patches, 1 toothpaste, 4 containers of hummus

Is all this too much information, too intimidating, or helpful? Please give me feedback!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Couponing for Charity: Donation #3

My apologies for the delay in this post. I have been focusing on family and holiday memories the past few weeks. I will get back to the weekly suggestions for charity ASAP. But first, I want to share my experience with our third set of donations to Knoxville's Ronald McDonald House.

This from their website: The Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville provides a "home away from home" for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. The House provides a comfortable, supportive, temporary residence near the medical facility where family members can sleep, eat, relax and find support from other families in similar situations.

In early December, Devin and Brooke joined me in delivering two huge boxes of goods to this gorgeous home located near the East TN Children's Hospital. Trying to educate my four-year-old about giving to others, I told him we were going to "play Santa" for less fortunate kids. He was a bit puzzled about where Santa and the kids were, but hopefully the concept that it feels good to give is being planted early.

You may recall that I tried to donate goods to them for our second round of donations. At the time, I was told they didn't need what I had. When I called this time, they said they could use our items and were very appreciative. Looking at their wish list, I added a few items from my personal stock pile that I didn't get for free but they were bargains. At the last minute, fellow Northwest Knoxville MOMS Club member Kelley Neal dropped off her box of goods (not pictured). They were thrilled to get items they could use to stuff stockings for all the residents.

Here are the items we donated:
  • 1 big box Cheerios
  • 4 boxes pasta
  • 5 boxes granola bars
  • 1 box instant oatmeal
  • 4 cans soup
  • 3 jars peanut butter
  • 1 box hot chocolate
  • 2 packs tuna
  • 2 air fresheners
  • 1 all natural multi-purpose cleaner
  • 3 first aid kits
  • 9 tubes toothpaste
  • 1 toothbrush
  • 1 dental floss
  • 20 pens
  • 4 lip balm
  • 1 body wash
  • 2 razors
  • 2 shaving creams
  • 1 lotion
  • 3 deodorants
  • 5 Clinique samples
  • 1 bottle hand soap
  • home baked cookies from our club cookie swap
I can't really give an accurate account for the value of the items and the money spent since half of it wasn't mine, I set aside some items for the next charity, and I had previously donated some items from this batch to Iva's Place. At last count, my totals since September were:

TOTAL SPENT: -$7.79 (that's negative nearly 8 bucks)

It's been nine months since I began Couponing for Charity, and I am looking forward to lots more giving in 2011!