It’s that time of the year, when everyone everywhere is asking/pleading/begging for us all to give a little extra to those without. I know most of the time I give a dollar to the Salvation Army person or whatever change is in my car to the person collecting at a stoplight. But there are other ways to give without hurting your finances…
1. FREE ITEMS – I can obtain products from the drugstore or grocery store, almost weekly now, free. Gum, cleaning products, food items, etc. I follow the sales and read the blogs of those who do the coupon matchups with those sales, and most of the time something totals $0.00 at the register. I have a nice stockpile of personal care products this way. I can give from those items that I paid little to nothing for…and give several! It won’t break the bank, and I’m still helping.
2. SALE ITEMS – Meijer frequently has a “10 for $10, Get the 11th Free” sale. If I buy 11 items within that sale (all the same or different, doesn’t matter), they essentially are $.90 a piece. Throw in some coupons with that and that reduces the per item price further. This week, I have 3 groups of 10 items that I was adding to my stockpile…which left me 3 items to receive for free (every 11th item is free…I was getting 33 items, so 3 free ones). I found a box of candy for my kids to enjoy and grabbed 2 toilet cleaners that were included in that sale. I stocked up last week on toilet cleaners, so I definitely didn’t need any more, BUT I can take those 2 free ones and give them to our church’s food pantry. Again, I’m not taking money away from anywhere in our budget, but I’m still able to contribute weekly to the Food Pantry.
3. LEFTOVER MONIES – I know, “leftover” sounds tacky. Hear me out, though. Each pay period, we budget out (in cash) what we’ll need for groceries, gas and other items. If I come in under budget on foods, I can take some of that leftover money and grab some things to donate.
4. TIME – This requires less money but more commitment. Donate your TIME to a local food pantry or shelter or church program. This works out best for me, when we are low on money to give or buy things with. Our church is starting up a food pantry, so I’ve been able to take the kids with me and go volunteer time during the week. The kids can run around in the basement at church, while I work on whatever is needed to be done. I can still feel helpful, but I don’t have to worry about taking money from somewhere else.
Please remember, I am not a financial advisor. These are just my creative ways of giving, when we don’t have a lot of money to give. This is above and beyond our tithe that we’ve committed to church/God. I do not take money that has been purposed for a specific/needed family expense to donate; I find ways to give from what we have, so that others can still be helped. Times are hard, so I know thinking outside the box is helpful for us.
How do you give? Any other creative ways to give? Please share!!