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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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couponing for good where to donate personal care items

If you shop at the drug stores, you can get a ton of personal care items for FREE or very cheap every week. You can easily purchase more than what your family needs, so what do you do with the extra? You can donate it.

In reality, many low income families do not have the extra wriggle room to purchase toothbrushes, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. It can become a huge burden, especially in large families with multiple children. It’s hard to go without toothpaste, but you can’t use Food Stamps to purchase it.

There really are people who live in your city that you are capable of helping. All it would cost you is one extra stop per week and a few dollars to be a huge blessing to them. It teaches your kids to give generously and gives you the opportunity to do so much good. So, I want to encourage you to get those coupons ready and shop to help your city.

You can go here to see the top drugstore deals each week.

Here are some places to consider giving donations to:

Women’s Shelters

If you’re a woman at a shelter, you’re in a tough spot in life. It would be an huge encouragement and stress relief to have basic personal care items provided for you.

Besides the basics, other items that are great to donate to women’s shelters are nail polish, cosmetics, bath tissue, cleaning supplies, over the counter medicines etc. Another item to consider donating: cell phones.

A Local School

There are kids at most schools that do not have toothpaste and a toothbrush at home. Your guidance counselor will accept donations for personal care items, clothing, and school supplies. They are able to know which kids need them and will get the items to those families.

Many schools also accept coat donations, so be sure to look into that before getting rid of old coats.

Pregnancy Centers

There are organizations committed to helping women with unplanned pregnancies take care of their babies. Any personal care items as well as baby items are a huge help to these organizations. Diapers are rarely free, so they are a bigger purchase, but you can keep an eye out for those amazing deals or use extra money in your budget to buy some.

You can also consider donating car seats and other baby supplies your kids have outgrown.

Note: Be sure to research these organizations ahead of time and make sure the services they offer are in accordance with your beliefs.

Seniors

Social security checks really only go so far. Many seniors on a fixed income don’t have the extra money for personal care items and will just go without. You can take gift baskets filled with things and pay visits to seniors you know. They usually appreciate the company just as much as much (if not more) than the items.

Churches

Don’t forget your own local church. If your church has a food pantry, they probably also take personal care items. If not, let a deacon know you have items to donate. They can give the items to a family who will benefit from them.  You may not always have a running list of who was laid off from their job, but the deacons will know.

What items do you donate? Where do you donate them?

Unsure how to shop drug stores? Go here.

    • Maimaie

      In addition to clothing and personal care items its a great idea to donate school supplies to your local schools! (Especially those that you can find super cheap right now at Publix)! In FL schools can “require” parents to actually spend money on supplies and teachers don’t get reimbursed more than $20-$50 a year for supplies. This means that many teachers end up purchasing supplies for their students out of their own pocket.

      • Becky S

        What kind of requirement do they make parents pay? Our schools give parents a supply list + they have to pay a $65 supply fee on registration day. My son’s supply list this year included the usual school supplies he needs + AAA batteries, hand sanitizer, paper towels, kleenex, ziploc bags, candy for treats, 1 ream copy paper, clorox wipes, post it notes and so on. Felt like a mile long and was given out about a week before school started. *sigh* Just wanted to add that I do send extras of things throughout the year if I find it for a good price. I kind of wish teachers would go ahead and give out a kind of wishlist for the rest of the year and when they will need specific items, that would really help me help them.

        • Maimaie

          Hi Becky, I had a typo in my post. It should have said …schools CAN’T require parents… That’s right! If you live in FL the schools/teachers can give out as many supply lists, requests for money, etc but if the parents choose not to pay or buy supplies for their children there is nothing that the school can do about that (thus teachers are stuck deciding if they provide the supplies so kids can learn or risk losing their jobs because they aren’t “effective” enough)! This law really is meant to prevent low-income parents/students from being disadvantaged, but really results in parents that could otherwise afford the supplies/fees to just not provide them. When I was in high school lab fees, text book fees, etc were all “optional” meanwhile our teachers were all begging and pleading with us to ask our parents for the money so the school could actually buy the necessary supplies that we needed to learn and do experiments.

          • Becky S

            There’s good and bad with that =/ This school will hound you like debt collectors until you pay the supply fee in full. I’ve had to split the payment in the past. I don’t think they can ‘force’ it though. My son’s name was only the 3rd listed on the payment list, so I bet there are many parents who never pay it. Sad cause the school is 80% upper middle class. If I can manage with a lowsy income that fluctuates according to the school year, so can they.

    • Coupon Lover

      My daughter is a teacher and she doesn’t get reimbursed anything for the supplies that she purchases for her class each year. It all comes out of our (hers and mine :) ) pockets.
      Also, last year, I donated a ton of personal care products to our local children’s home. There were kids there ranging in age from 8-18. In many situations, they are taken out of their homes in a hurry, so they may not be able to get everything that they need to take with them.

      • Maimaie

        Your daughter is a saint! I LOVE teaching, and I seriously considered it as a career for a period of time. Unfortunately the bureaucracy and mistreatment of educators has driven me away :(

    • Lisa K.

      Our church has a monthly “Big Give” where they ask people to bring in things like toiletries, diapers, etc. to distribute through other charities. We also participate in a program called “Save It Forward” that makes it easy to coupon to support the food pantries they run in local schools. They provide the church with envelopes each week that include a list of deals and the coupons for them – you buy what is listed with the coupons and return it to the church the next week. It’s been a great way to get people who don’t normally coupon involved, and I always love putting my couponing skills to work for a good cause! :) http://www.aliveministriesinc.org/ is the website if anyone is interested.

    • Shannon

      I drop items off at local rehabs and foster care programs as oftern people can not afford items and are very thankful for them.

    • jw

      I have been donating items to the children’s home near us. And, with your help to find the deals, I usually take a big box of personal care items or school supplies by at least once a month. Thank you!

    • lag

      Another great place to donate is your local nursing home. My Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and spent several years in a special unit in a local nursing facility. Many of the patients there were from families for one reason or another could not visit regularly so they did not realize that the residents could benefit from personal care items. The facility did provide anything that the families could not but it was the instituitional-type items such as you would receive in a hospital. I always brought in lots of things for my Mom; when I realized that others did not have it, a friend and I went into “coupon mode” and went and got it. Things such as lotion, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, nail polish (manicure day was always a fun pastime for the residents) and lots of free candy improved the quality of life for many of these people who had lost the ability to enjoy many other things. It also helped the staff provide better care for the residents; improved moisturing with quality products resulted in much better skin condition for the residents and therefore less need for staff to spend time treating problems. My Mom is gone now but I still dedicate a lot of my couponing to taking supplies to that unit; with coupons (and all of Jenny’s fantastic help via Southern Savers!) I can find so much of these products essentially free.