Thursday, May 14, 2009

More thoughts on coupons, and beyond.......

So, I'm still traumatized by the spider incident (see below), but I thought I'd get my mind off of it and blog about something else!!

I've covered a lot about coupons, but I thought I'd add a few more tips/thoughts that I thought of recently.  I apologize if some of this is a repeat, but I wanted to cover a few other things!

  • Make sure that you never feel like you HAVE to use a coupon, just because you have it.  I think I've said it before, but in my early coupon-ing days, I would get giddy and excited just knowing I had all these coupons to use that I would feel a little pressured to use them!!  Don't ever feel that way, because if you do, you will probably end up SPENDING more money and not SAVING more money!

  • Sift through your stash regularly and pull out all your expired coupons.  But, WAIT, before you throw them away, did you know that Military Families living overseas can use expired coupons for up to 6 months after the expiration date??  How neat it is to know that we can help out!!  For more info, go HERE

  • As I have said before, if you are able to get something for FREE, even if you know you might not want and/or use it, GET IT ANYWAY.  Through this frugal journey I have been on, I really feel strongly that I should not only save money to help my family, but I should strive to save money so that I can HELP OTHERS.   For instance, I currently have 26 boxes of cereal in my stockpiling stash, all either $1.00 and under or virtually free.  I will be heading out to Albertson's in the next few days to get their great deal on Kelloggs Cereal (For every 4 you buy, they are $1.50/each, and remember those $1.00 coupons on!  Each box will be .50 cents!!)  I will probably buy 12-16 more boxes.  Is it because we are in desperate need of more cereal??  NO!  But, 50 cents a box for cereal is allowing me to be able to buy them and GIVE THEM AWAY.

And,  to that point, it doesn't even have to be your groceries that you give can be your MONEY that you've saved and/or your TIME that you give away.  Here are some ideas of simple ways to GIVE on a frugal budget:

1.  As I just mentioned, give of your stockpile. This may be the easiest and least expensive way to bless someone in need.   Maybe you can't give a $25 check to a family in need, but there is a likely a chance that you can put together $25 in groceries to help someone in need!

2.  Make and/or bake something. If you don't feel like your stockpile is big enough, then you must have ingredients to whip up a great soup, your favorite casserole, or a nice loaf of bread.  Oh, how that could make someone's day!

3.  Give of your time:  Help an elderly neighbor with their yard work, help clean a new mom's house, or offer to watch a friend's child for an hour while they get a rest!  The possibilities are endless!

4.  Give of the items you no longer want or need anymore. From clothes, to books, to videos to coupons, there is always something that someone else can use!  Pass them on to someone that can get some use out of them!  But, if you do give someone a big bag of items, make sure you let them know that they are not obligated to keep it all and they can pass the items on that they don't want or need.

These are just four simple ideas (among hundreds!) of things you can do to help others, while on a budget.  This list BARELY even scratches the surface of ideas of how to give generously on a budget, I know, but hopefully this has gotten you thinking about things that YOU can do.  I'd LOVE to hear more ideas!!

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