Welcome to Southern Savers, where finding deals and steals is simple and rewarding!

See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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Charity (1)

I recently listened to a segment of the Dave Ramsey show where he was talking about everyone filling in the following sentence:

“I save so that I can __________.”

What would you fill in the blank. For us, part of our answer would be, “We save so that we can give.” Not only does saving money on groceries allow us to do this, but just the way we shop allows us to do this too. There is so much in each week that is free or pennies that others can use. If you see deals for free items and pass by them thinking that it isn’t an item that your family would use, I want to encourage you to think about who else could use that item. There are many groups that would love to have your glucometers, shampoo, razors, food, and pretty much anything else that you can buy. Some groups to contact would be:

Churches
Medical Missions (local and abroad)
Food Banks
Homeless Shelters
Battered Women’s Shelters
Red Cross Disaster Relief

To give you an idea of the needs out here let me highlight one organization in my area, the Oliver Gospel Mission. This is a mission in downtown Columbia SC that has both a one night shelter and a long term leadership program. As you skim this list there I hope you see so many things that we have opportunity to buy for almost nothing. While you might not be in my area, I would venture to guess that the organizations in your area have needs very similar.

Current Needs:

Non-Perishable Food

Sugar – 5lb bags or larger
Coffee
Kool-Aid Drink Mix – unsweetened
Tea Bags
Non-dairy Creamer
Spaghetti pasta
Canned Vegetables (#10 cans preferred)
Grits
Parboiled rice (Important: parboiled, not regular rice)
Disposable salt and pepper shaker sets

Paper Products

Paper napkins
Plastic knives, forks and spoons
Styrofoam coffee cups (small)

Clothing

Men’s underwear (new) Sizes 32 – 4
Undershirts: Sizes M-XXXL
Jeans: Sizes 32 – 46
Long Sleeve Shirts: Casual or dress, all sizes
Tennis Shoes: Sizes 8–13
Socks
Belts
Winter coats: Sizes M-XXXL
Knit hats
Baseball caps
Back Packs – new or used

Toiletries & Medicine

Travel Size: Soap, Shampoo, Lotion
Shaving cream
Disposable razors
Toothpaste
Toothbrushes
Aerosol deodorant
Tylenol – bottle or individual packets
Antibiotic ointment – tube or individual packets
Band-aids
Combs/Brushes
Antacid tablets
Cold and Flu tablets

Office/Program Supplies

Copier Paper
Pens
Stamps
Highlighters
White-out
Envelopes (#10) with window
3-ring binders (3” only please)
Notebook paper
Large print Bibles

Cleaning Supplies

Mops
Broom
Disinfectant (Lysol, Pine Sol, etc)
Bleach
Liquid hand soap
Latex gloves

If you are in or around Columbia, you can get information on dropping items off on their website.

    • D.W.

      Crazy enough I was just writing about how we send boxes to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan on the CVS blog and when I went back to the homepage this blog was there!! So I just copied and pasted what I wrote in CVS one onto here..so here it is again…

      I was just reading a post that was talking about donating to a homeless shelter, woman’s shelter, etc. For all of those deals that you just can’t pass up but you don’t really need the item, my mother and i send them overseas to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. You wouldn’t believe how thankful they are to receive some of the most basic items that we take for granted. we started sending boxes over a year ago, way before i was couponing! using coupons just makes our boxes so much cheaper!! i really can’t use any more toothpaste, but i’m surely not going to pass it up for $.25…we know one of our soldiers will use it!! it’s a cheap and easy way to say thanks for what they do for us and to feel good about yourself for helping!! Just thought I’d share! (We use http://www.anysoldier.com to get their contact information)

    • Sally

      Hey Jenny,
      First let me say I am a huge Dave Ramsey fan (so great choice in listening material). Second, let the Oliver Gospel Mission know that they should go to the closest Publix to them and ask to be one of the charities that they give the left over bakery items to.
      The Publix I go to gives all the day old bakery items to a different church or charity in the area every day. It is sometimes carts full of stuff. This charity sounds like it would be a good charity for them to give to. All they have to do is give the store manager a letter stating who they are and what they would like (on the Mission letterhead). They may be able to be put on the list of charities that store gives to.

      It is worth a shot….

    • Tabetha

      Great post, Jenny, it’s a wonderful way to help others!

    • Georgia

      My son is 16. When he was 9 he said that Jesus told him to help people. He start C.O.A.T.S. We collect clothes, household goods, and pretty much anything that someone wants to donate and we give it to shelters, people in need, people burned out of homes or to whatever need is put in our way. My son has even gotten his friends involved in this. There is also shelters and rescues that would LOVE the free treats and food that we can get too. Let’s not forget all the unwanted animals.

    • Wendy

      These comments couldn’t have come at a better time. I was trying to think of how I could implement the teachings of what this site has taught me into a ministry for my church. I know exactly what I can do now! Thanks Jenny for starting such an amazing site. You have no idea how many people, families, and communities you touch with your information.

    • Thank-you, Jenny, for this post – and for the emphasis on giving! It’s a topic very dear to my heart as an MK (missionary kid) on the way back to the foreign field. Focusing on giving is a great way to combat the materialism that can so easily become the obsession of frugalistas.

    • Our church recently did a service project for a battered women’s shelter. We made quilts for the women, children and babies and us couponers in the group gave a lot of our grooming items that we got doing our deals. I can’t say enough about the feeling it gave us all to give freely to women and their families in terrible crisis, especially when we have been blessed so much. It is a wonderful thing when you share your bounty with others !

      It is also nice to give to our local Humane Society, which is a no kill shelter. They had a devastating fire there over a year ago and are still trying to recover and rebuild. They are so grateful when we bring food and other supplies for the amimals.

    • Wendy

      This is such a great idea. Our church has “Bumper Bag” weekends once a month. The church provides reusable grocery bags (as many as you need). You fill up the bag(s) with non-perishable and personal care items and place them behind your vehicle before you go into the service. Someone goes around and collects all the bags. Last month, we struggled to find items in our pantry to place in our bag. This month, we will be ready. I am now shopping with the idea of “who else could use this FREE or almost free item”.

      Thanks so much for posting this message!

    • lynn

      dw i i just left you a message jenny if you could read it i would be thank ful

    • lynn

      my son in law is in afghanastan and the need are for basic things one that might sound silly is babay wipe theysave their napkins from their meal mresso they will have toilet tissue later….tooth paste tooth brushes and mail they want mail ….he is marred to my daughter who is living at fort carson colorado on base and she is pregnant she will be coming home to have the baby as he wont be able to …………… the basics that we take for grnted they dont have such as the toilet tissue on a regular basis……………. i and my daughter are sendin out boxs 2 x a month and letters to them if yu would like to donate i will pay postage send 2xs amonth over their if you would like to write a letter please let me know i can get it to some one who could use the pick me up….. if you would like to help them in any way please contact me at lilbrojdv@yahoo.com the men and woman would love to hear from you……. my son in law says there are guys who have noone to write to them ….. thanks

    • Maehing O

      I think that if you are reading this you have a gift. The gift that enables you to comprehend the value of a dollar, and how you can stretch it. Not everyone can or will shop as we do. I know there are people in need closer to us than we may think about sometimes. I have a dear friend at work whose wife is having medical problems. She is half the income, and not working, and hofefully by the grace of God will be back to work within a reasonable amount of time.

      I took groceries over, chicken dinner to the hospital ICU waiting area…. .we southerners say “I love You” with food. That went a long way with their family, and the friendship that we have.

      I agree with Dave, “live like no one else, so you can give like no one else!” The way we are blessed to shop… we can’t afford not to! :)

      Thanks for the post Jenny and all the other crazy wonderful things you do!

    • One of the best things about being a frugal shopper is that it allows us to be even more generous with the local food banks, women’s shelters, and other needs. I bet I can give four times the quantity that I did before I knew how to shop with coupons and match the sales.

    • D.W.

      lynn- i just saw your response on the CVS site. we have also heard that baby wipes and letters are one of the biggest requests! thank your son-in-law for all that he does for us! and good luck with the grandbaby on the way!!!

      people kind of forget that they are over there serving our country. every year in November we get a huge group of people to come over to my mothers house and pack boxes and write letters or cards. last november we were able to send 30-something boxes filled with essentials and goodies! this year i know we’ll be able to send more than that considering the things we have already been able to stock up on!! aside from the boxes we were able to get everyone we know to write out a box of cards (that we got the year before on clearance after christmas!!)and shipped them to one of the larger groups, over 300 soldiers in the group. they were so happy to have a “pen-pal” to write to. in our montly boxes we send things like toothpaste, snacks, single serve drink mixes (gotta love those free crystal lights at target with a coupon!!) and anything else they request. for the holidays though we try to send things other than essentials. we have been saving all of those nice razors that we’ve been getting for next to nothing, we always look for small games or playing cards on clearance, and we like to send them boxes of blank holiday cards so that they can send their family cards for the holidays as well….Sorry if I’m rambling, i could go on and on…but don’t worry, I won’t!!

    • Jennifer

      I think animal shelters can be added to the list as well…

    • lynn

      DW thank you and your mom friends ect ect.. you have touched a issue verry close to my heart any one that want a pen pal please let me know i will hook it up so you have a name to go with the letter if you want to help please let me know thank you everyone who is supportimg our troops

    • Jennifer

      Since kids are home for the summer – lots of families are in need of breakfast and lunch items – since so many low income kids depend on free lunches at school. I donated 10 boxes of cereal that I got for free and have been collecting things like mac and cheese too. Also – I usually go to Publix on Sunday and Monday to get two penny items, so I always donate the second. Our church, which is across the street from a Publix, even has a box at the front of the store for people to put their donated penny items in. I love that I can still donate (even more than I use to) and all I’m spending is time. It’s really helped, since we have much less cash than we usually do.

    • Tamra

      Thanks to sites like this we are able to give to our church food bank and upport our community through them, we also teach the clients that come to the food bank how to shop using coupons and give back to the community. God has blessed us in so many ways and more abundantly than we could ask for so giving has to be a natural part of the process.

      Thanks for this site once again. Have a blessed day.

    • Courtney

      I would also like to suggest donating to a group home for adults with special needs. My younger brother has down syndrome and lives in a group home with 5 other adult men with special needs. Many of them are out of work right now and trying to stretch their social security as far as possible (for many of them, it’s just not far enough!) Toiletries are the first items to get cut when there isn’t enough money. It unbelievable how grateful people are for shampoo, deodorant, soap, toothpaste, etc.!

    • Dena

      Yes! Yes! Yes!!!
      I just got off of the phone with my Women’s Ministries President at our church…
      My friends and I are planning to do a seminar combining Dave Ramsey and Coupon Shopping soon for our ladies and for the young, pregnant, moms group we work with! This is awesome information that gives hope! I keep thinking of the single moms in our church…if they could just grasp these things and with God’s help…they can survive!
      I am so excited to share the information…that’s as good as sharing the groceries!!

    • Jennifer

      Animal Shelters can also use your old newspapers. Elders from my retirement community roll the newspapers and deliver about 60 rolls every month. Most shelters have directions for how they like the paper rolled. They use these in the cages for easy and quick clean up. Great way to reuse and recyle all those papers we go through getting to our coupons.

    • lynn

      Jenny where do you go to find cheap bus tickets?need one fromnpr florida to jacksonville for cheap if anyone knows? sorry this isnt the right place for the question thanks

    • Wendy

      This may have been mentioned before, but this post reminded me of the Food Lion Shop & Share program. You can link your MVP card to various non-profit organizations and they will receive a percentage of your grocery total. Here is the link at http://www.foodlion.com:

      http://www.foodlion.com/IntheCommunity/ShopAndShare/

    • Teresa-QOCD

      I’m a Dave listener also, I save so I can give. All the triples from Bloom this week is going to a family of 4 that the mother is a real estate agent (no income} and the father is a builder (no income). So far 2 trips of non perishables and on the last day refrigerated items and delivery. Be a good steward of God’s money! Thanks Jenny!

    • Sandra

      Please also check out Operation Christmas Child.

      http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/

      This is a great way to use the extra toothpaste and other toiletry items that you may have to pack in shoeboxes for these children. No perishables or liquids though.

    • Heidi

      I so enjoyed reading these comments…and was especially touched to see that our Soldiers have not been forgotten!

      When my son deployed to the “Sandbox,” I had no idea how critical couponing would become. For years I had been a “casual-couponer,” but once I found out what conditions were like over there and started sending Soldier Boxes–coupons were gold. And as word-of-mouth spread, my list of Soldiers increased. So, what an incredible blessing to find items-especially the ever popular baby wipes–on sale/clearance and use coupons to get them for FREE or almost free (at our house anything less than a dollar counts as free.) I have also been lucky that the staff at my two favorite stores (CVS and Krogers) have been WONDERFUL and ever patient as I use my coupons.

      All of that to say this, there remains a great need for our men and women in uniform to know that they are remembered and that they are appreciated…so, if you are looking for a project; I would encourage you to also check with Mr. Ben (casaferg@sbcglobal.net) of the Adopt a Chaplain Program (www.adopt-a-chaplain.org) If you need a summer project, he can provide you the name of a Chaplain to send “stuff” to. Several of them have set up “Free Stores,” over than which are very similar to the 60’s type coffee shop “Take what you need, and give what you can.” Whoops, I am guessing that many of you are too young to remember beaded curtains, rasberry zinger tea and home-made wheat bread.

      OH, and don’t forget the letters and cards from home…mail is priceless and as hard as it to believe, not all of them get mail from home.

      Anyway, I hope ya’ll are having as much fun as I am. I am off to finish packing more boxes for tomorrows mail…and then more shopping at CVS!

    • Stephanie

      I have used my new skill as an opportunity to invite people over for dinner. In the bible they were always gathering in people’s homes and eating. This new skill enables to me to invite other people over, who don’t have time to cook dinner and bless them in that way.

    • Shery

      I am so thrilled to read all the comments on this “blog”! What a gift so many of the women (and men) of Southern Savers have in sharing themselves and their blessings with others.

      I too am new at using coupons—started in earnest back in late January. There were several motivating factors for my collecting and using coupons. One of those reasons was to save money since I began to realize how much our daughter’s (out-of-state) college education will cost. The neat thing is that as she has begun her preparations to move to dorm-life in Florida, I have already begun collecting supplies for her to share with the other students at her small Christian college. My daughter is really excited to see how we can purchase detergent, deodorant, etc., at a fraction of the cost or for free!

      We also pass along coupons to moms with newborns and to those who use them for the needs of their families. Since this is new to me, I am still exploring the ways in which we can save so that we can give.

      While giving supplies to help college students might not be your “calling” that’s fine. If each one of us in the coupon community would find a person, a family, a ministry, a soldier, etc., to help—then imagine how they would be blessed and we would too!

    • gjn

      Hi,
      I am new to this site. I saved $27 this morning at Publix. Thank you!
      I have heard alot about Dave Ramsey but do not know where or when to listen in my area (Athens, Lawrenceville GA). Any info would be appreciated.
      Thanks!

    • Emily

      The women’s group at my church has begun reaching out to a local girl’s home over the past year or two. They are mostly teenage girls that have come out of some pretty terrible home situations and will be sent out once they are 18. One thing we have started doing for them is putting together Christmas gift bags. I have started saving items to be ready for this Christmas – recently my free Publix emory boards!

      My office also collects items for one our own coworkers who was recently deployed with the National Guard. We collect things for her and her company and also surprises to send to her young daughter who is without her mom right now.

      I am so excited to see all these great ideas. I hadn’t thought before of helping the animal shelters! Thanks, Jenny!

    • Karen

      I take advantage of the free items I get to give to our local church food pantry. There are some items that my family doesn’t use — but that doesn’t mean I pass up the deal! I share it with someone else. This is something I can do to help others that doesn’t cost me more than my time and organizational skills.

    • nancy

      Do not forget the local school systems they need supplies with all the budget cuts. And volunteer if you can.

    • In Atlanta the United Way hosts the Legacy Project. Every year for Mothers Day (used to be Valentines Day) gives away sample size/travel size toiletries to homeless and shelter women in shoeboxes. Travel size toiletries are easier to carry in backpacks, etc.

      So year round we collect and then the week before its due divvy it up into shoeboxes (thank you Payless Shoes) and deliver to the United Way. My neighbor is a stewardess so she and her coworkers get me tons of lotions, shampoos etc. I can usually score for free or pennies, deodorant, toothpaste, razors, emery boards, Band-Aids,nail clippers, sanitary pads, toothbrushes.

      Also there is a soup kitchen and food pantry near me, and they are happy to have anything! Food, toilet paper, anything!

      Be creative, ask your neighbors. Sometimes people who are not plugged into a church do not have an outlet for their abundance..

    • weathergirl

      Gjn,

      The Dave Ramsey Show can be heard in Atlanta on 640AM – WGST. The show is broadcasted every Monday through Friday from 3pm to 7pm, and you can also listen online at http://www.640wgst.com. Finally, Dave Ramsey podcasts his show on his website, and you can directly obtain these podcasts at http://www.daveramsey.com/media/audio/podcast/podcast.xml

      I hope this helps!

      ~ WG
      Financial Peace University Alumna, April 2009

    • Debbie

      Hello everyone!
      I hope you all don’t think this is a shameless plug for my son but he will be leaving for Iraq next Sunday. I know that he and his unit once they get there, would be grateful for anything that you might find in your hearts to send to them. I will probably have an address near the end of July if any of you would be interested. I know someone who recently returned from Iraq and said that they need the most basic of items. Baby wipes shampoo, toothpaste, especially razor and razor blades.

    • gjn

      Thank you, weathergirl! I will try to listen today!

      Since you must be in this area, can you (or anyone else) tell me why many of the coupons that are supposed to be in the Sunday inserts are not in mine? This is frustrating when it is the coupons that I particularly want! :)
      We get the Athens newspaper. The AJC no longer delivers to our county. Are there any other newspapers that are worth their weight in coupons?
      Thank you!

    • weathergirl

      Gjn,

      I currently live in midtown Atlanta, but I still visit the Alpharetta/Roswell area frequently due to family. I have found the AJC sold at Publix and Kroger, in addition to Starbucks and a host of other facilities. You can try those three stores in Athens. Unfortunately, I don’t think the smaller newspapers (ie, Sunday Paper, Creative Loafing, Johns Creek Herald, the Roswell paper, etc) have coupons, but it doesn’t hurt to look through and see if there is one random coupon tucked away in there. I’m surprised that the AJC no longer delivers to your county (I’m assuming it’s either Gwinnett, or Athens Clark County)….Many of the AJC journalists came from UGA. But oh well…

      If you can make it to a Kroger, go to http://www.ajc.com/unplugsunday to print a $1 off coupon for the AJC, good “only” at Kroger. I put the quotes around “only” because I haven’t tried the “competitor’s coupon” trick with this at Publix. The paper is normally $2, the coupon makes it $1….and for the cost of a lonely buck, I save a fortune ;-)

      If you don’t make it to either Publix or Kroger on the weekend, but rather it’s Monday or Tuesday and you still see the sunday paper lying around….go ahead and purchase it. I bought my sunday on the following Monday for $1.87. Not as good…but still a savings.

      I got lucky once at a Starbucks, though. The AJC contracts out with Starbucks to sell so many of their papers, and if Starbucks has any “left overs,” then Starbucks sells them back to the AJC to get their refund. However, the only part the AJC cares to get back is the actually body of the newspaper….so Starbucks nor the AJC care if the ads/coupons are removed or not at reimbursement. Thus, kindly ask your barista if you may have the coupons and the coupons only from any left over Sunday papers when you go for your Monday/Tuesday morning latte’s ;-) The key word is “kindly.” No guarantees that this will work *every* time, but it doesn’t hurt to try, right?

      Those are all of the tricks up my sleeve for the ATL area. Good luck!

      ~ Weathergirl, using her coupon skills to kick the debt snowball into gear in Baby Step 2.