If you’ve been following along with my posts about Couponing for Good and you’re ready to jump in and start giving back to your community but aren’t sure how, then this post is for you!
Here are some simple steps to help you start Couponing for Good so you can make a difference in your community by using your coupons to help you save, and give more.
The whole concept behind Couponing for Good is that you can give more while spending less and still have an impact. You might not have a lot to give in the first place, but using coupons can help stretch your giving!
I shared my recent shopping trip where I saved 50% on the items I bought, which basically allowed me to donate twice as much as I would have been able to without using any coupons.
Here’s how you can get started Couponing for Good:
- Pick a charity or organization to donate to
I am encouraging the people in Terre Haute, IN to choose Ryves Youth Center at Etling Hall, but pick any organization that you feel led to help. You don’t have to pick just one, either! If you need ideas, you can click here to find organizations in your area that need help.
- Find out what they need
It’s easy to know what items some organizations need. Animal shelters need pet food and pet supplies. Food pantries need food. Women’s shelters need food, hygiene products and personal care items. Other organizations might not be so obvious with their needs, so you should contact them and ask what their most needed items are.
- Make a plan of action
Seasoned coupon users should have no trouble with this part, but if you are new to using coupons this might take a little more effort the first few times. Here are a few things you should include in your plan of action:
- You should start by finding coupons for the items you are trying to buy. Check newspaper inserts, magazines, the main printable coupon websites, etc. Collect all the coupons you can.
- Figure out which stores carry the items you are looking for and start watching the sales.
- Start matching your coupons to the sales. There are a ton of coupon match-up/deal sites. Find one you like and start watching it. Here’s an article that might help: Finding a Good Coupon Match-Up/Deal Site
- Ease into it
It’s best to start small so you don’t get overrun with coupons, sales, match ups, deals, etc. Using coupons can be fun, but it can also be a lot of work. Pick just a few sales and get just a few items. As your comfort level grows, you can add more shopping trips and ramp up your giving. One easy way to start is by focusing on items that are free with specials, sales, reward programs and coupons. CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens always have items that are free after Register Rewards or Extra Care Bucks back. You will also find coupons for free items from time to time, and certain coupons paired with the right sale will also result in free items. I recently posted about a coupon class that I attended with Joni Meyer-Crothers from TLC’s Extreme Couponing. She runs a website where she posts free or cheap items each week. Follow her site and focus only on the free stuff. She spells it out for you to make it really easy!
- Pace yourself
Using coupons, saving money, and giving back to your community are really exciting things. The drawback is that they can be so exciting that you can burn out if you don’t pace yourself! Try focusing on just a few of the free or cheap items each week, or each pay period as your budget allows. You want giving back to be a continual process, but not one that consumes you. Work on it when you have the time, effort, and money so you won’t burn out. Sometimes having a friend join you in your effort makes it easier, because then there are two of you looking for coupons, sales and deals. Work together to make a difference and neither one of you will shoulder the whole burden of the project.
- Follow through
This is so very important. If you start a project like this, you only get satisfaction from it when you actually follow through and make your donation. It might be exhilarating to go to the store and spend next to nothing on items, but if they just sit on the counter at home for the next two months and then end up in a closet somewhere, they aren’t doing any good. Plan regular trips to deliver your items and then you know for sure your community is reaping the benefit of your efforts!
Are you feeling a little overwhelmed?
Let’s back up a bit. If you are new to using coupons but still want to participate, maybe you should start with some of these articles:
- Getting Started Using Coupons
- DOs for Ethical Coupon Use
- DON’Ts for Ethical Coupon Use
- Understanding Coupon Lingo: a functional glossary
- Understanding Sources of Online Coupons: a closer look at printable & electronic coupon sites
- Rebates: A Great Way to Try Items for FREE or Discounted
I hope you will try some of these things to get started Couponing for Good!
#CBias #AllYouCFK - I am thrilled to be able to participate in this campaign, and hope you will join me in my efforts to raise awareness of the Champions for Kids SIMPLE service projects! My post about my shopping trip will be compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All other posts regarding “couponing for good” are NOT compensated unless otherwise noted.