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Extreme Couponing and Charitable Giving

By (view all posts by DCStewart)
at 11:56AM Friday April 15, 2011
under Money Saving Tips

Since watching the new TLC show Extreme Couponing, I have had this nagging question. Will the show create a surge of penny pinching coupon divas?
Probably not. Unless you are completely organized like those featured on the show, it is unlikely that you will have 97% savings each visit. A few of the individuals on the show mentioned having years worth of food. Are they able to use all that before the expiration dates? I think it's great not having to spend any money on canned goods, pasta and toiletries. The shelf life for most of these items can be several years.

Another plus:  the opportunity to help local food pantries and shelters. I recently watched the episode where Mr. Coupon donated $50,000 in product. As Juliana mentioned in a recent post, food donations can be considered for tax write-off:
"If you donate food to charity, you can deduct the amount that you spent to purchase the food or the "fair market value" if you grew or made it yourself."



I can imagine many organizations can use all the help they can get. Extreme couponing could be a great resource and I know many are already actively donating--although as DealPro Donna Freedman pointed out in a recent post, the TLC show only portrays one side of the story and doesn't show how many extreme couponers regularly donate food and toiletries to charity. 

In fact, DealPro Tiffany Ivanovsky of MyLitter, who was featured on a recent episode of Extreme Couponing, coordinated the donation of hygiene kits to help people affected by the disaster in Japan.  And Stephanie Nelson, aka "Coupon Mom," started her popular website not only to help people save money on groceries, but to facilitate her Cut Out Hunger program.

What a great way to give back!  Here are some other ways to turn those freebies and savings into charitable donations:

Blessings in a Back Pack

A non profit organization whose program feeds elementary age school children over 32 states and 3 countries.

Back Pack for Kids

A non profit organization whose program discreetly provides children a back pack filled with food every Friday (serves the North Lincoln County, Oregon).

Food 4 Kids

Based in Kansas, this organization assembles 5,000 packs of food, weekly. 

United Way

This program distributes food every Friday to approximately 400 students in the Bridgeport area.

If none of these programs are local, check out the nearby food pantries
that accept food donations in your neighborhood!

Do you use any of your couponing bounty to help out charities?  Tell how and who you donate to in the comments.