In 2010, I donated items valued at more than $14,000 to various charities and paid only about $2,000. Most of these items I received for free or at an extremely reduced cost. After several years of saving money with coupons and following couponing blogs, I noticed that although many coupon bloggers often mention helping charities by donating sale or free items obtained through using coupons, no blog is exclusively devoted to donating through coupon use. Thus, I have started Couponing for Change, a blog through which I want to share fabulous deals that I have found that also would make excellent donation items.
In this tight economy, you may have the desire but not the means to help others in need. However, you undoubtedly still shop, and when you do, you may be surprised to find that you can get quality items at little or no cost. If you can use them yourself, great! If you can pass them along to others, even better.
As an example, just yesterday I checked out the clearance section of my local CVS drugstore and found about a dozen hooded, zip-up, solid-color children's and adults' sweatshirts for $1.50, originally priced at almost $10. I bought them all and will donate them to a mission I have worked with for several years that serves more than 750 inner-city families.
Also, a few weeks ago as I browsed the men's section of Kohl's, I found $28 black winter scarves priced at 90 percent off. I bought all that remained and, with the 20 percent coupon I received via e-mail, I was able to receive a 92 percent savings. I did a similar thing at JC Penney when I found men's cotton and flannel dress shirts in various sizes marked down to $1.97 from original prices ranging from $30 to $50. I bought both racks, used a 20 percent savings coupon, and got more than $8,000 worth of merchandise for about $400.
You don't have to buy the quantities that I often do, but if you buy even one item at such a reduced cost, and others do the same, think of what an impact we can have on non-profit outreach organizations that are struggling more than ever before.
"It is no sin to be rich, no sin to be poor, but to have more than I need and not share it with those in need, that is a sin." - Peter Maurin