Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Couponing for Community is live this week

Blogger organizes national event to share with food banks, homeless shelters and other people in need.

By Karen Datko May 3, 2010 2:55PM

What are the coupon queens (and kings) of the blogosphere doing this week? They’re sharing their bounty to benefit people who need help. The event, Couponing for Community, began Sunday, May 2, and will last the entire week.


The final day, incidentally, coincides with the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Suggestion: Use your extra coupons to buy nonperishable food items to leave in a bag at your mailbox or door.


Kudos go to Kaley Ehret, who blogs at Cha Ching on a Shoestring, for coming up with the idea for Couponing for Community and taking it nationwide.  Kaley began her blog after her husband, Wes, lost his job, and they found all sorts of ways to save money, including the Drugstore Game. (Update: Wes is employed again and they’ve relocated to a part of the country known to locals as Eastern PA.)

You don’t have to be a blogger to participate. “We invite you to join this community of couponers nationwide by giving a part of your stockpile away to a homeless shelter, food pantry, or a friend in need during the week of May 2-8!” says the special Facebook page Kaley created for the event. (You can share your personal donation story there.)

Kacy DeWitt Anacan, who blogs at Valuing Today, compiled a list of tips on how anyone can help out:

  • Use surplus coupons to find great deals and donate your purchases to food pantries or to military families. We might add that extra coupons can be sent to military families via this site.
  • Have extra food in your pantry? Donate it, and don’t forget the mail carriers’ food drive on Saturday, May 8. To find out more about local food banks, the locator at Feeding America may help, although not every food bank in the country is listed.
  • De-clutter and donate items you no longer want to organizations like the Salvation Army and Goodwill. For larger items, you can probably arrange pickup.

Involve your family, says Georgette at Centsible Living. “Take some time at the dinner table to discuss the event with your family and see what ideas they have.  Keep talking about giving all week with your spouse and children to keep the creative juices flowing,” she writes.


Giving need not be limited to food. If you’ve stockpiled toiletries and other household products, consider donating some to the local women’s shelter or other families in need. Do you really need to store enough toothpaste for life?


Look close to home. Christy Dorman Nichols urged Tennessee bloggers to help those affected by flooding in Nashville and other locations. “They will need food, toiletries, any supplies that you can think of! Let's help these people through probably the hardest weekend of their life!”


The public outpouring of support for Kaley’s idea has been inspiring. If you have other suggestions about how to give, leave your thoughts here and at the Facebook page.


Related reading:

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.