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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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Take time for food bank donations during the holiday

The holidays are a wonderful time of year for many of us filled with family, friends and cheer.  We all get busy during this season and it can be easy to forget that there are lots of folks out there struggling to make ends meet.

One of my very favorite benefits of couponing is the ability to stretch your dollar so far that it makes it easier to give to those in need.  I’ll be honest, I’m the first one in the checkout line to decline donating the bag of food the store put together because I know I could donate 4 times as much using my coupons!

The key is not to forget to set aside items & really make an effort to get it to a food bank in a timely way.  This can be a great lesson for kids and it really brings a sense of purpose to the season beyond the parties, cookies and gifts.

I hear lots of stories from you all about families in need and while I can’t help each one individually, I hope that as a group the Southern Savers community can pull together and make sure your local Food Banks and shelters are stocked during this season.

To get started

  • Grab a box and head to your pantry to pull out items your family won’t use before the expiration date.
  • As you make your shopping list,  add in a few inexpensive items and put them your donation box when you get home.
  • Set a budget, goal and timeline for dropping of your items.
  • Don’t forget to ask for a donation receipt while you are there.
  • If you can’t afford to donate goods, consider volunteering for a few hours each week instead.

Great items to donate

Canned Fruits & Vegetables
Fortified Cereals
Juice & Juice Boxes
Soups
Condiments (dressings, oils, mustard, tomato sauces)
Snacks (individually packaged if possible)
Paper Products (paper towels, napkins, cleaning supplies)
Grains and Packaged Dinners (rice, oatmeal, instant potatoes, pasta, mac & cheese)
Shelf Stable milk (soy, rice, evaporated, powdered)
Canned Proteins (tuna, chicken, peanut butter, beans)
Personal Hygiene (diapers, deodorant, feminine products, soap, toothpaste, shampoo)

I know many of you guys already help out your local food banks regularly, so if you have additional tips and ideas for making the most of your efforts I’d love to hear them!

    • Sdg032708

      Don’t forget baby and elderly items.

      • Anonymous

        Especially larger size diapers 4,5,&6.  You might want to call to make sure there is a need before buying things like adult diapers.

      • Anonymous

        Especially larger size diapers 4,5,&6.  You might want to call to make sure there is a need before buying things like adult diapers.

    • CaramelLatte

      Sometimes we all get busy and it is hard to remember to drop off items! So instead I always try to participate in drop offs at places I already go- like school, post office, work. The grocery store even sometimes collects items, so you can buy items yourself with coupons and put them in the bin on the way out! Also, consider organizing a drive at work or school to help everyone donate items and then bring them in one big trip.

    • Carolyn

      We attend a Christmas party each year where the host and hostess ask each guest to bring a food item to donate instead of a hostess gift.  In this way they are able to collect a large amount to donate to a local food bank and everyone is happy to participate.

    • Atb

      There are numerous people in nursing homes that no one comes to see.  I am sure they would love a little something like toiletries and little treats that you can pick up with coupons.  They would love it!

    • Go “like” Lowes Foods and Just Save foods on facebook and for each new like they will donate a meal!  Easy way to give back with just a click!

      • mrs b

        Did it–thanks!

    • Mommyon731

      How do we locate a local food bank?

    • Anonymous

      I am a regular volunteer at Must Ministries in GA and I try to make regular donations.  Another thing that our food bank is always in need of is hot chocolate, coffee and tea.  I usually try to bring in every useful free item that I can get couponing.  Demand is on the rise and donations are down, so please try to donate what you can!

    • Mstarfish

      Most churches support/have connections to local food banks. When people come asking for help, they direct them to the food bank. Ours even collects items periodically on Sundays. If you are part of a church, ask in the office.

    • Amy L.

      My mom’s idea this year was for the grandkids to take a part of her gift of Christmas $ to each of them and give to someone in need.  Very proud of my boys .. my oldest gave 1/3 to St. Jude’s – the children fighting cancer touched his heart .. my middle son gave to Harvest Hope to provide more than 150 meals!  Kids do what is modeled and I thank you, Jenny, for making it forefront in our minds to give food out of our abundance and to think of others when we do “stock up”!

    • Esyke623

      This is a great reminder post!  Especially around the holidays, many families struggling with shrinking hours at work, or with job loss, really feel the pinch.  I wasn’t aware until just recently that our food bank also takes toiletries and over the counter medicines (such as vitamins).  This is a GREAT week to donate those Centrum vitamins that are free at CVS.  Check with your local food bank first to make sure they accept whatever you’re going to bring other than food items.  It’s a great way to share with others and bring someone’s holiday a little extra joy when they may need it the most.  Our food bank said that they often also need diapers and formula so desperately– a great way to share with others and spread Christmas spirit!  :)

    • croppinmama

      What works for me is to take advantage of BIGI deals especially when I’ve stacked the Qs.  I buy what our family needs considering the 6-12 week cycles I’ve noticed on sales, and donate the surplus.

    • Eleanor

      I read somewhere that one thing people often forget is that babies need to eat too!  It’s not the easiest to get a good deal on (I make baby food for my son in part because jarred food is so expensive!), but I’m sure food banks would really appreciate it!

    • Rita

      I am not extreme coupon-er but still have extra food in my pantry that I am going to donate to old couple. They are refugees from Bosnia and they have small social security. The man has lung cancer and they can’t  pay they bills. Thank you for your hard work, I would not be able to do lots of things in m life without you. I am able to pay all my bills and help the others!!!!!! THANKS!

      Merry Christmas :)