Sunday, March 28, 2010

March Week 4 (March 22-28)

This is what I got for charity this week:

5 bricks cream cheese (Meijer)
4 boxes Ranzoni pasta (Kroger)
3 boxes of Ziploc* (Meijer)
2 packages hash browns (Meijer)
1 Pillow (Target)
1 Dishwashing Detergent (Target)
1 container sour cream (Meijer)

Amount of merchandise: $43.14
Amount spent: $6.25

For the month of March:

Total merchandise $191.09
Amount spent: $12.48

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March Week 1 (March 1-7)

This is what I got for charity this week:

2 boxes Quaker Oatmeal packets (Kmart)
4 Land O'Lakes spreadable butter (Busch's)
2 boxes Cheese Nips (Walmart)
4 bottles Old Orchard Cranberry-Cherry juice (ACO Hardware)
2 Oral B toothbrushes (CVS)*

Total merchandise: $41.84
Total spent: $0.64 (*Includes Moneymaker)

March Week 3 (March 15-21)

This is what I got for charity for the week:

2 Land O'Lakes Butter (Meijer)

2 Colgate toothpaste (Walgreens)*

6 boxes Kleenex (Walgreens)

4 bags Peanut clusters (Value Center Market)

2 Del Monte Grapefruit Bowls (Value Center Market)

4 boxes granola bars (Value Center Market)

2 Planters Peanuts 16 oz. (Rite Aid)

Total merchandise for the week: $45.70

Total spent: $1.82 (*Money Marker)

Totals for month:

Total merchandise for the month: $147.95

Amount spent: $6.23

I was invited to a coupon swap and was able to get some extra coupons that I can spend for charity. I still have a few that I can spend on items.

I also got 10 pounds of flour for 75 cents each at Walgreens. I've been doing a lot of baking recently, especially for charity, so this comes in handy as well.

March Week 2 (March 8-14)

Here's what I got this week (the second week of March):

6 Degree Deodorants (CVS)

2 Gillette Deodorants (Rite Aid)

2 Gillette body washes (Rite Aid)

1 Kashi crackers (Meijer)

2 granola bar boxes (Value Center Market)

2 Peanut clusters (Value Center Market)

2 Del Monte fruit bowls (Value Center Market)

Merchandise: $60.41

Amount Spent: $3.77

Total for Month

Merchandise: $102.25

Amount Spent: $4.41

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Feb 22-28 Week 4 and Month Totals

4 cans Meijer Naturals tomato paste (Meijer)
4 Reach toothbrushes (Kroger)
3 boxes Kleenex (Meijer)
2 Reach Dental Floss (Kroger)
2 Excedrin (CVS)
2 Speed Stick Deodorant (CVS)
2 Old Orchard Cranberry Cherry Juice (ACO Hardware)
2 Johnson & Johnson 4 x 4 Gauze pads (VGs)
1 Jennie-O Sweet Italian Sausage [perishable] (Meijer)
1 box Hefty Trash Bags (ACO Hardware)

For the week

Full price = $53.50
Net price = $7.00

For the month:

Full price = $264.58
Net price = $14.09

Budget $15
Amount left = $0.91

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Feb 15-21 Week 3

Here are the items I am donating to charity tomorrow:

· 4 cans Swanson chicken broth
· 3 packages Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters (Value Center Market)
· 3 Del Monte Orchard Select Cherry Mixed Fruit [perishable] (Spartan Foods in Redford)
· 2 Del Monte Fruit Bowl [perishable] (Value Center Market)
· 2 tubes Crest Pro-Health toothpaste (CVS)*
· 2 tubs HeluvaGood dip (Value Center Market)
· 1 lb. Hillshire Farms lunchmeat (Value Center Market)
· 1 bottle Aussie shampoo (CVS)
· 1 bag Stacy's Pita Chips (CVS)*
· 1 Blonde Oreo cookies (CVS)*
· 1 Sunny Delight 48 oz. Tangy Original (Value Center Market)
· 1 Gillette Fusion razor (request I made in December arrived in the mail)

* overage (the chips and cookies were on sale, register took off regular price off free coupons used in this purchase. Wasn't expecting this)

For the week:

Full price = $85.59
Amount spent = $1.12

For the month:

Full price = $211.08
Amount spent = $7.09

Budget = $15

% Amount left in budget = 47.3%
% left in the month (days) = 25%

Plus, I made items for a bake sale for this group with muffin / quick bread mix purchased for 67 cents at Meijer (2) and made muffins from a managers special on muffin mix (Kroger) plus cream cheese (Meijer). These amounts are not included in the totals.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Feb 8-14 Week 2

I got the following this week to give to charity:

· 2 Dove Men’s Care Body Wash (WAGs)*
· 2 Cole’s Mini-Loaf Garlic Bread [perishable] (Meijer)
· 2 bottles Gatorade G2 (Meijer)
· 2 Reach dental floss (CVS)
· 2 Orville Redenbacher Movie Theater Butter Popcorn
· 1 lb. Hillshire Farms lunchmeat [perishable] Value Center Market
· 1 All Detergent (ACO Hardware)
· 1 Fusion razor (CVS)
· 1 Schick razor (WAGs)*
· 1 40-watt appliance bulb (the oven bulb at the charity had burned out and I was planning a trip to Target with coupons (Target)

*Walgreens has a deal through the end of today where you can get a $3 moneymaker with the razor and Mail-in Rebate, and a moneymaker on the men's body washes, depending on the size of your coupon.

= full price $73.34
Total Out of Pocket = $2.75

Total for month:
= full price $140.45
Total Out of Pocket = $7.27

Total budget $15

% of budget = 48.4%
% of time in the month = 46.4%

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February Week 1 (February 1-7)

The links provide the details of the matchups I did, with notable exceptions below:

What I purchased:
· 4 Fiber One 5-count bars (Value Center)
· 3 Del Monte Orchard Select Jarred Fruit (Value Center) [perishable]
· 3 loaves Aunt Millie's bread (Meijer) [perishable]
· 3 cans Catalina Tomato Paste (Oak Ridge)
· 2 Lipton Soup Secrets (Meijer)
· 2 Lipton Cup-of-Soup (Value Center)
· 1 French's Honey Mustard (Value Center)
· 1 Box Cheez-Its (Oak Ridge)
· 1 pound Hillshire Farms Turkey Breast (Value Center – Warren) [perishable]
· 1 package Hillshire Farms Beef Smoked Sausage (Value Center – Warren) [perishable]
· 1 Dove Men’s Body Wash (Rite Aid)

At Value Center - Warren and Oak Ridge, some of my coupons did not double. I think the one at Oak Ridge was overridden incorrectly, but I didn't want to argue. With Value Center, the cashier read the "do not double" notation on the Hillshire Farms Qs and overrode the doubling.

Also, with the HF lunchmeat, they had 2, 1-pound containers shrink-wrapped together for $2. Combined with the coupon not doubling, it was 82.5 cents per pound. That's great! ... except when compared to free. It took me a half hour in the car on my way to visit family out of town to work that in perspective.

Total spent =$4.53
Total merchandise at full price = $57.19
Total left: $10.47

For why I coupon for charity, go here.

Why I Coupon for Charity

As a 40 something single woman who is striving to spend less than I make, I have started to look for more creative ways to give to charity. More than 10 years ago, I longed for the opportunity to work full-time for a non-profit to give back to God a little of the overabundance He has given me, as well as to help other people. That dream came true a little over three years ago, but at that time I was deep in debt and struggling to just pay the bills. I remember well the anxiety attacks and the worry.

My spiritual adviser encouraged me to get out of debt, which I was able to do about 18 months later (taking some money out of my IRA helped, even though it wasn't the wisest thing to do). Then, I started to save. I had started doing some couponing, but it took about six months before I started getting the hang of it. I started by purchasing two Sunday papers serving the largest city in my area (Detroit). I also became a member of Vocalpoint, which has sends product samples and high-priced coupons to its members. I also print Internet coupons as needed to match a deal.

Saving helped tremendously to prepare me for the unexpected windfall I received last year. I spent a little of it on needs, then put the rest of it in the bank and sat on it for six months. Then, I paid cash a small condo in the fall and furnished it. I'm adjusting to life from the 120 square foot room (and sharing a bathroom with four other women!) that I was renting to a two-bedroom condo for myself. Since I have more room and more time for myself, I have found myself wanting to give more to others.

The charity I work for is training missionaries to help others to deepen their relationship with God. They have several young men in training and receiving some education nearby. A few times a week, a representative will call those who have expressed a willingness to shop and donate the items to grocery shop for them. Of course, the charity accepts unsolicited donations as well, perishable and nonperishable. Most of the things I've offered to give them, they've taken (they're not big on sweets). In buying food items for free or cheap for the charity, I'm not only helping the charity, but I'm also helping the people who are purchasing groceries so they don't need to spend so much and so often. It hasn't gotten to the point where I've had someone ask me how I do this and seriously want to learn how to do it, but I'm open to that.

Throughout the process, I would go from visiting every couponing blog I could find to narrowing myself down to a local coupon matchup site, and a couple of more general blogs to find free samples, other sales and posts about other home economics topics. The local website has gotten really good with the matches that I started to consistently pick up items for my charity of choice – often free. The charity has been very thankful and impressed. My spiritual adviser has given this activity his blessing, but has given me a monthly budget … $15. I work for a non-profit, you see, and relatively speaking, I don't make much money, but I am living frugally and do well.
So this blog will hopefully provide information and commentary about my couponing expeditions for charity, but perhaps not so many pictures (I don't have a reliable digital camera). I don't have time to include coupon matchup info in my buying reports, or include all the shopping I do for myself, but it'll be interesting to see what can be purchased for $15 that helps charity.
My motivation for couponing for charity centers on God. Some people reading this will think that's wonderful, while others will be indifferent or think I'm crazy or weak (if I am, it's not because of that). If the couponing information helps you, that's wonderful. I hope that this will help others find creative ways to donate to their favorite charity, because in this economy, especially where I am in SE Michigan, the charities need all the help they can get.