With higher electric bills, additional childcare expenses and preparing students to return to school, the summer months are especially expensive for many families. However, it is possible to support charities in spite of a limited budget. From the end of June until the beginning of August, I purchased donation items on each of my regular shopping trips and accumulated the following items:
2 laundry detergent
6 panty liners
6 10-count pencils
1 24-count crayons
1 contact lens solution w/ case
1 contact lens solution
3 body wash
2 shave gel
After sales tax and coupons, these products cost approximately $19 and garnered me $15 in store coupons. I used these five shopping secrets to stretch my budget and find the best bargains.
Donation Shopping Secret 1: Newspaper Coupons
The Sunday edition of the local newspaper costs a whopping $3. Some weeks, I do not purchase any newspapers. Other weeks, I purchase two for $5. It depends on which coupons the newspaper contains. The website, taylortowncouponpreview.com, is usually accurate for my area and helps me decide whether to buy a paper.
Donation Shopping Secret 2: Instant Rebates
Drug and grocery stores regularly offer instant rebates in the form of coupons that print at the checkout. The reward coupons have some restrictions, but work almost like cash on future purchases. I increase my spending power to include donation purchases by buying the rebate items first. Then I use the reward coupons to help pay for non-rebate products. Staggering purchases over regular shopping trips helps keep my cash expenditure to a minimum.
Donation Shopping Secret 3: Double Coupon Bargains
Some grocery stores, including Kroger and Tom Thumb, double manufacturer coupons up to fifty cents and triple coupons up to thirty cents. This policy makes it possible to purchase free or cheap products, especially when the store is having a good sale.
Donation Shopping Secret 4: Register Coupons
Coupons that print at the register, also called catalinas, sometimes include high value coupons. Take a minute to look through them before tossing them in the recycle bin.
Donation Shopping Secret 5: Online Shopping Forums
Online forums can help save time and money by compiling the best sales info. One of the friendliest, most helpful forums is WeUseCoupons.com. Members highlight the best deals and outline exactly how to get the bargain buys.
To save time and gasoline, add shopping for donations to your regular routine. Before you know it, you will have a sizable donation without spending much money.