My Little Gas Station Mission

We talk a lot around Time2Save about picking up extra free/cheap items to donate to your local food pantry, women’s shelter, etc…  We think it’s one of the most rewarding things in the world to be able to share the blessings of abundance with others who are still in a place of need.  All of us have seasons of need (I know I have – many seasons!) and while couponing helped my family pull ourselves out of that place, it was also the kindness and generosity of others that helped us make it through.

I wanted to tell you guys about a new mission I’m undertaking in my own neighborhood that has got me doubly motivated to buy extra for the sole purpose of giving!

I live in a part of town where there are several low-rent motels side-by-side on the same strip.  It’s like a little run-down city of it’s own.  Lots of interesting characters call it home, including seasonal workers, families with no place else to go and a whole variety of people down on their luck.  It’s common to see an elderly couple dressed in week-old clothes, pushing a shopping cart down the street looking for bottles and cans.  Or to see a bone-skinny woman on the side of the road, stooping to search for cigarette butts in the gravel.  The gas station across from the street from the motels is one I go into often, and the Indian man who runs it, Sam, sees a lot of desperate people come through his doors daily.

A few weeks ago, Sam was telling me that if he could ever win the lottery – he would open a hospital.  He would let everyone come and be treated for free – all the people he sees so often that aren’t able to go would finally have a way.  He told me about the mothers that come in and count out their change on the countertop to buy a gallon of milk.  It set me to thinking about the fact that he deals with these people every day, on a level that I never will.   As I walked back out to my van, I opened my trunk to pull out a box of Cheerios for the kids’ morning breakfast, so I wouldn’t forget once I got home.  I looked into the trunk at a stack of 8 boxes of Cheerios that I’d picked up at Bi-Lo recently for under $1 each.  It struck me that Sam undoubtedly knew of several people who would be able to use a box of Cheerios right now.  Right here.  Meeting people in their need – exactly where they are at this moment.  People who probably couldn’t make it to the food pantry across town because they had to walk everywhere they went.

I ran back in and asked him if he would be comfortable giving away a box a week of items I brought to him, to someone he felt needed it.  He told me he’d be happy to do it and I drove straight home to start cleaning out my stockpile.

So here’s what I’m doing now – here in my own neighborhood, where there are people who need help just beyond my subdivision.  However they got to this place, wherever they might be going from here – this is something I can do for them with little effort to show them a tiny bit of God’s love.

Sam spoke with my husband last night – he gave my first box away to a man who came into the gas station this week.  I know it’s only one drop in the bucket, but I just couldn’t be happier!

We would be honored if you would share a story with us about one way in which you have been able to give through couponing.  Please email your story to time2saveworkshops@gmail.com – or share in the comment section below.

 

 

ConAgra Child Hunger Ends Here: Enter Codes to Donate Meals!

There are 16 million children in America facing hunger today.  Isn’t that heartbreaking?  Check out a couple interviews with kids who are actually in this situation HERE.  Many of us are blessed enough to have plenty to feed our families.  In fact, through couponing, many of us have been enabled to “coupon it forward” by sharing with someone less fortunate.  It’s sort of the Couponer’s Code around here – get a little extra, give a little away.

Well, ConAgra is taking this same principle to American children on a HUGE scale with their Child Hunger Ends Here campaign (click here to enter a code).  They are donating up to 3 Million meals to hungry kids through Feeding America Foodbanks – and all you have to do to help them reach their goal is reach inside your pantry, pull out any of the select items containing special codes, and enter that code on their site.

Each code entered =  1 Meal Donated to the Feeding America Foodbanks!

So next time you find a good deal on a Healthy Choice meal, Peter Pan Peanut Butter, or Chef Boyardee Ravioli’s (among many other items) – just remember that by purchasing it, you are not only feeding your family – but you’re feeding another child out there as well!  We love it!

Time 2 $ave: Becoming a Purposeful Giver

 

 

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If you’d been around for any amount of time, then you have heard how important it is to us to live a lifestyle of giving.  No matter how many times I have the privilege of giving to others, it still gives me cold chills out of sheer excitement!  God’s word is true, it is better to give than to receive!  It’s contagious, the amazing feeling of having the privilege to help someone else in their time of need never grows old.

Acts 20:35

Good News Translation (GNT)

35 I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way we must help the weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus himself said,
There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.


First, you might be surprised to hear – we don’t LOVE COUPONS. We don’t wake up every morning excited to cut up coupons or jump on every deal that we can find. Simply put – couponing just happened to be the tool that brought hope to our family’s finances. Most importantly it has afforded us the incredible opportunity to give into the lives of others in ways we never imagined.

When I say giving I’m not referring to giving just at Thanksgiving or Christmas.  You see, as we learned how to coupon effectively a light came on one day.  Every week there are items that are free or nearly free at grocery stores and drug stores.  What if we started looking for items each week specifically to give?  We began to look beyond our own family’s needs for opportunities to bless others. 

Now, we have become purposeful givers.  It has become a lifestyle that is just as important to us as shopping for our family’s needs.

What goes where?  Donation suggestions:

·         Grocery/ Personal Care Items / Household Items – Food Banks, Homeless Shelters, Battered Women’s Shelters, local church pantry, Salvation Army, United Way

·         Pet Food – Animal Shelters, Churches

·         School Supplies – Schools, Day Care, Salvation Army, Churches

·         Baby Items – Teen Pregnancy Centers, Food Banks, Homeless Shelters, Battered Women’s Shelters, Churches, Salvation Army, United Way

·         Homeless People – Make baggies of personal care items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, non-perishable food like snack crackers, Chap Stick, shampoo etc. to keep in your car.  As you see the need arise you are prepared.

 

We’ve also collected groceries at home and waited until we heard of a specific need.  I’ve given bags of groceries to complete strangers. 

 

 

Time 2 $ave + Time 2 Give = Time 4 Hope

It’s not just about getting a deal; it’s about making a difference….

 

Women’s Shelters: Needed Items List

Browsing WeUseCoupons today – I saw a thread about Women’s Shelters and I had to read it.  What I learned opened my eyes to just HOW MUCH these women need when they leave their lives behind and run for safety.  One brave woman shared her experience, having just left a women’s shelter for domestic abuse, listing items they needed there.  I also rang up a couple local women’s shelters to ask – and I’ve compiled a donation list.

This woman summed it all for me with these words:

I checked in with my driver’s license my cell phone and my car. That’s it.
And I’m lucky.

Literally everything you use from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to sleep… we needed.

Toiletries/Household:

  • soap
  • shampoo
  • Hair brushes, spray, accessories (Many have to go to court to confront their abusers!)
  • feminine hygeine
  • razors
  • toothpaste/toothbrush
  • mouthwash
  • contact solution, cases
  • cleaning supplies
  • laundry detergent
  • Sample-sized items (for those relocating)
  • First-aid items (Band-aids, neosporin..)
  • NO MEDICATIONS ACCEPTED

For Children Staying There With Their Mothers:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Formula
  • Bottles, Sippies, Pacifiers
  • Toys & Books (even old ones are fine!)

Food (Think easy “cook & share” dinners like casseroles and pastas, also kid-friendly foods):

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • PB & J
  • Canned Goods
  • Kid-friendly foods
  • Snacks

(When moved to a new home, they often start over with NOTHING):

  • Leftover gift cards with just a little left on it (Write the amount clearly on card)
  • Dishes
  • Utensils
  • Towels
  • Bedding
  • Clothes
  • Appliances (Large & Small!)

Time2Give: Cheap Donation Items

Posted by Time2Give TeamMember, Crishelle!

With all the gifting and giving we’ve done in the last few weeks, don’t forget to give your most precious commodity to the most important receivers on your list: the gift of time to your very own family! Sometimes we have a tendancy in the Christmas season to remember all the gifts on the list – and maybe all the charities, too – but we forget about the things we may not check off the list. Take a drive to gaze at the beautiful glow of Christmas lights in the evening, bake with your kids, watch your favorite movie, or just be silly. Whatever it is you do this holiday season, be sure to put that checklist away a little and have some fun! Sometimes the most charitable gift you can give is a smile….

And in between those moments, here’s a list of a few items to give to make someone else smile! Merry Christmas and God Bless you all!

Bi-Lo:

* Del Monte Vegetables BOGO $1.19($.59)
Use $.75/3 from Kroger home mailer
(makes it $.34)

* Betty Crocker Cake Mixes BOGO $1.79($.89)
Use $.50/1 PRINT or $.50/2 PRINT
or $.75/2 from 11/14 SS
(makes it as low as $.39)

*Nestle Hot Cocoa Hot Mix, 8-10 ct ($1.09)
Get $1 off Kraft Marshmallows & Nestle Hot Cocoa Mix from Nov. ALL*YOU
(makes it $.09 Cocoa + Price of Marshmallows)

* Pillsbury Brownie Classics Mix ($1.13)
Use $.40/1 from 11/7 RP
(makes it $.33)

*Campbell’s Can Gravy ($.60)
Use $.50/4 from 10/31 SS
(makes it $.35 ea)

*Dole Canned Fruit ($.87)
Use $.50/2 Mandarin Oranges from Nov. ALL*YOU
(makes it $.37 ea)

*Swanson Broth ($.62)
Use $.50/5 from 11/7 SS
(makes it $.42 ea)

*Bird’s Eye Vegetables,($1.46)
Use $.50/1 PRINT
(makes it $.46 ea!)

*Comstock Pie Filling ($1.62)
Use $.55/1 or $.55/2 from 11/7 SS
(makes it $.52 ea!)

*Pillsbury Frosting $1.25
Use $.40/1 from 11/7 RP
(makes it $.45)

*Olay Bar Soap $2
Use $2/1 from 12/26 P&G
(makes it FREE)

Staples-

Duracell Batteries AA or AAA (20 pk) – $12.99
Sku 703715 & 846026 – Limit 2 per week
Use $1.50/1 Duracell Batteries 11/14/10 RP
Earn $12.99 Staples Rewards
Free after rewards!

(Maybe not what you thought of for donating, but there’ll be a parent out there who really appreciates it when their kid opens a battery-operated toy that was donated to them and they don’t have money for batteries)

We have readers in real need – can you help?

A few days ago, our sweet friend Barbie went out and bought a variety of toys and offered them via a blog giveaway to families in need.  People were asked to nominate a family who was struggling this year.  If you read the comments here, you’ll know that several readers humbly nominated THEMSELVES as desperately needing  help this Christmas.

Here is an excerpt from one story:

“…still no work, we filed bankruptcy and we are still short at least $300-400 each month in bills. My husband has sold many prized items to pay bills. We knew that Christmas was out of the question. Now I count on winning prizes and on earning swag bucks. I was able to purchase a few items for my kids on Amazon with the $30 credit, but when you have three kids, it’s not much. I have a 2 1/2 year old girl, 5 year old girl, and an 11 year old boy. God has sustained us during this rough time and we pray for a few more blessings for our children who just don’t understand.”

Honest to God, it broke our hearts.

(Deep breath)  There are more.  And we know there are more of you out there who didn’t share – but are in similar straits.

We often stress that it’s not just about “getting a deal” – it’s about making a difference.  As a community, I think we can pull together to make a difference this week for some of the families in our midst who need Christmas help.  Don’t you?  OKAY!  Our goal here is to match up some of you who need help – with some of you willing to give it.

So here’s the plan!

  1. If you need help - or know of a family desperately struggling to survive this year – please leave a comment on this post with your short story, your city/state  (For those nearby who might be able to drive something over) and your email address.  (For contact purposes)
  2. If you can give help – read these comments.  If you see a family near you and you are able to help them with anything – you can contact them via email to offer assistance.

I know that this is not the most organized plan in the world – but we just had to try something -anything-  to reach out to these families.  We hope this brings some folks together to fill a need in our community this Christmas.  Perhaps you don’t have money to spare – but you have a “gift closet” full of random toys that might help a family out.  Or you may have pantry items to bring them to ease the stress of putting food on the table for a little while.

Let’s make this Christmas a little merrier and a little brighter for the families in our midst.

A Giveaway for Giving To Others This Holiday Season !

Our dear friend Barbie wants to give stuff away to strangers.  She’s a little crazy.  Crazy in a good sort of way.  Please take a second to nominate someone for this giveaway…

I have some gifts I want to find a home for and I need your help.

I have items for a Preschool aged girl.
A toddler aged boy.

A 12-14 teenage boy

A 14-16 teenage girl

Jamie had such a great idea to do a contest of sorts.  Here is how it’s going to work:  You get to nominate someone in need.  In a comment below share a little about the child in need.  (Please protect their privacy by not sharing specifics likes names or locations)  Because we are down to the wire and I need to get the packages shipped immediately this will end at midnight on December 17th.  The person who submits the entry for each child that is selected will also receive something special as well.

Donation Items: Week of 12/8

Posted by: Time2Give Team Member Crishelle
For some the Christmas season is the happiest time of year, and for others the saddest. We have had a rough one this year.

We have been fosterparents for two years now and that is coming to an end right before Christmas. We have had eleven foster children in our home over that time, some for a short visit and others longer. I have often said this is the easiest and the hardest thing I have ever done. Although I was wrong on the hardest part. Stopping is the hardest part.

Especially when we had planned on having another Christmas with our three foster children we have now. However, one left yesterday and two will probably leave next week. As much as we will miss them, though, at least I feel good, like we accomplished something that really matters. And we showed our children that the world is bigger than just the four of us.

I don’t know if we will go back to fostering later in life or not, but I do know that I will always cherish the memories of the children we have helped. I know we made a difference in these children’s lives in some small way. Eventhough we will have a much smaller family sitting around the tree this year, someone else will have a larger, happier one that they have been praying for. This Christmas I just ask you, what is on your heart? Who can you help? Make a difference in their lives. Whether it is fostering, working with children or homeless, or even a family member or neighbor….How can you make a difference?

Here is a list of very cheap items you can pick up for the sole purpose of donating to those in need:

Farm Fresh 12/8 – 12/14

Pillsbury Brownie Mix $0.49
Use $0.40/1 from 11/7 RP
(makes it FREE!!!)

Pillsbury Cookie Mix $0.99
Use $0.40/1 from 9/26 RP
(makes it $0.19!)

Pillsbury Frosting $0.99
Use $0.40/1 from 11/7 RP
(makes it $0.19!)

Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk $1.49
Use $0.55/1 from 11/7 RP
(makes it $0.39!)

Green Giant Boxed Frozen Veggies $1.00
Use $0.60/3 from 12/5 GM or 11/14 GM
(makes it $0.60 each!)

Food Lion:

Meat & Produce Deals

  • Fresh Express or Dole Salads BOGO $2.79($1.39)
    Use $1/1 PRINT or $.55/1 PRINT
    (makes it as low as $.39)
  • Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetables $1.00
    Use $.50/1 PRINT or $1/2 from All The Trimmings Publix booklet
    (makes it $.50)
  • Food Lion Canned Vegetables $. 50
  • Campbell’s Tomato or Chicken Noodle Soup $.50PRINT
  • Grocery:
  • Campbell’s Chunky Soup – $1.25
    Use .50/1 PRINT
    (makes it .25 cents)
  • Dixie Lily Yellow Rice – B1G1 @ .79 cents
    (makes it .40 cents)
  • Carnation Evaporated Milk – $1
    Use .50/2 PRINT or from 11/14 RP
    (makes it .50 cents each)
  • Del Monte Canned Vegetables – .60 cents
    (makes it a good deal)
  • Swanson Pot Pies – .60 cents
    (makes it .60 cents) – just a good price
  • Hot or Lean Pockets – $1.67
    Use .50/1 Lean Pockets PRINT and/or PRINT
    (makes it .67 cents)

Bi-Lo:

Best BOGO Grocery:

  • Best Life Butter ($.99)
    Use $1/1 PRINT or $1/1 from 10/17 RP
    (makes it FREE!)
  • Maruchan Yakisoba ($.50)
    Use .50/1 from 10/10 SS
    (makes it FREE)
  • Tetley Family Size Tea Bags ($1.10)
    Use $.50/1 PRINT
    (makes it $.10)
  • Swanson Can Broth ($.64)
    Use $.50/5 from 11/7 SS
    (makes it $.44 ea!)
  • Campbell’s Can Gravy ($.59)
    Use $.50/4 from 10/31 SS
    (makes it $.34 ea)
  • Swiss Miss ($.99)
    Use $.50/2 from 11/14 SS
    (makes it $.49)
  • Combos Snacks ($.99)
    Use $.50/2 from 11/14 RP
    (makes it $.49 ea!)
  • McCormick Slow Cooker Mixes or Country Gravy Packets ($.85)
    Use $.25/2 from 11/7 RP
    (makes it $.59)
  • SH Can Veggies or Tomatoes ($.49)
  • SH Mac & Cheese ($.49)
  • Lake Side Grits 2 lb ($.64)

Best BOGO Household/Pet:

  • Pedigree Plus Dog Food ($.59)
    Use BOGO from 9/19 RP
    (makes it $.29)
  • Martha White Cornbread Mix $.50
    Use $.55/2 from 11/7 RP
    (makes it FREE!)
  • Texas Toast Croutons $1.25
    Use $.55/1 from 11/14 SS
    (makes it $.10)
  • Betty Crocker Specialty Potatoes $1
    Use -$1/2 PRINT (IE) PRINT (FF)
    (makes it $.50)

Publix:

Best BOGO Grocery Deals

  • Shedd’s Spread Country Crock $1.89($.94)
    Use $.40/1 PRINT
    or $.30/1, $.40/1, or $.50/1 from 11/14 RP
    (Makes it as low as FREE!!)
  • Welch’s 100% Grape Juice $3.99 ($1.99)
    Use $1/1 PRINT or $1/1 PRINT
    or $1/1 from 10/31 SS or $1/1 from 9/12 SS
    Stack with $1/1 from The Flue is Ready, Are You? Booklet
    (makes it as low as FREE!!)
  • Hormel Chili, No Beans $2.29($1.14)
    Use $.55/2 PRINT or $.50/1 PRINT
    or $.55/2 from 11/7 SS
    or $1.50/3 from 10/31 SS
    (makes it as low as $.14)
  • Betty Crocker Hamburger, Chicken, or Tuna Helper $1.57($.78)
    Use $.75/3 from 11/7 SS or $1/5 from 10/17 SS
    Stack with $.75/3 Target PRINT
    (makes it as low as $.28-if Target PRINT is a Target coupon)
  • Krusteaz Muffin, Cake Mix, or Supreme Bar Mix, Sun-Maid Muffin or Cookie Mix $2.59($1.29)
    Use $.50/1 from 12/5 SS or $.50/1 from 10/17 SS
    (makes it $.29)
  • Wish-Bone Dressing $2.65($1.32)
    Use $.50/1 PRINT
    or $1/1 from tearpad
    or $2/3 peelie
    (makes it as low as $.32)
  • Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix or Decadent Cake or Dessert Bar Mix $2.69($1.34)
    Use $.50/1 from 10/24 SS or $.75/1 from 10/24 SS
    (makes it as low as $.34)
  • Nabisco Chips Ahoy! $3.25($1.62)
    Use $1/2 Nabisco Cookies and One Gallon of Milk PRINT
    or  $1/2 Nabisco Cookies and One Gallon of Milk PRINT
    or $.50/1 Rite Aid PRINT
    or $1/2 Target PRINT
    or $1/1 from July All You
    or $1.50/1 wyb Capri Sun 100% Juice from Tearpad
    (makes it as low as $.62)
  • Campbell’s Harvest Soup $2.39($1.19)
    Use $1/2 PRINT or $1/2 PRINT
    (makes it $.69)
  • General Mills Chex Snack Mix or Bugles $3.39($1.69)
    Use $.50/1 PRINT or $.50/1 PRINT
    or $.50/2 PRINT or $.50/2 from 11/14 GM
    (makes it as low as $.69)
  • Pasta or Rice A Roni, $1.39($.69)
  • Del Monte Tomatoes $1.39($.69)

Best BOGO Household Deals

  • Vanity Fair Napkins $2.29($1.14)
    Use  $1/1 from Oct/Nov Taste of Home
    or $1/2 from Dec Good Housekeeping
    (makes it as low as $.14)

Good Grocery Deals

  • Selected Pepsi Products, 2 L, 5/$5
    Use FREE 2-liter wyb 4~ 2-liters from the makers of Pepsi hangtag
    or $1/2 Pepsi Or Mountain Dew Product wyb 1 Fresh Or Frozen Pizza hangtag
    or $.50/1 tearpad
    (makes it as low as FREE!!!)
  • Glaceau Vitaminwater or Vitaminwater Zero 10/$10
    Use $.50/1 from Tearpad or B5G1 from Tearpad
    (makes it as low as FREE!!)
  • Green Giant Frozen Vegetables 10/$10
    Use $.50/1 PRINT or $.60/3 PRINT
    or $.60/3 from 12/5 or 11/14 GM
    or $.50/2 from Sept. Weight Watchers
    (makes it as low as FREE!!!)
  • Yoplait Yogurt, 20/$10
    Use $.50/4 PRINT or $.40/6 PRINT�
    or $.50/8 from 11/14 GM or $.60/2 Greek from 11/7 SS
    (makes it as low as $.20)
  • Smart Balance milk ½ gallon 2/$5
    Use $2/1 from 10/31 RP
    or $.75/1 PRINT
    (make it as low as $.50)
  • Chef Boyardee Pasta 5/$5
    Use $.50/3 PRINT
    (makes it $.66)