If you’ve been using coupons and shopping the sales for at least a few months, you’ve probably realized that you can quickly acquire a very large stockpile. But once you’ve built up your stockpile, what do you do with all of the food and household supplies that you don’t have room for?
Every few months, I go through my household supplies, medicines, beauty products, and packaged food to see if there’s anything I can donate. I think about what my little family of three can use in the next six months or so and compile my donation accordingly.
I know where to donate food, because just about every grocery store I’ve seen has a food shelf donation bin in it near the exit. But did you know that they will also take medicine, toiletries, and other household supplies? As long as the products are unopened, you’re good to go.
If you’re looking for some other places that will take your donations, here are a few options.
Family and friends. When my family and friends come over to my house, I often ask them if there’s anything they need. A few months ago, some friends of mine came over for dinner. When they mentioned they liked Colgate toothpaste, I went into my stockpile and gave them five unopened tubes of toothpaste. They were delighted!
Schools. As a former teacher, I can tell you that teachers are always in need of school supplies. They need things like facial tissue, paper towels, paper plates, napkins, pens, pencils, tape, and other office supplies. If you stock up during the back-to-school sales and donate what your family won’t use, you can make some teachers very happy.
Churches. Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park is one of many churches that will take your canned goods, boxed foods, and personal hygiene items.
Non-profit organizations. Second Harvest Heartland has locations in Maplewood and Minneapolis where you can drop off your non-perishable donations.
Food banks. Emergency Food Shelf is a large food bank located in New Hope that accepts food and hygiene/household donations. C.R.O.S.S. is located in Rogers and accepts non-perishable food items as well as personal and health-care items.
For readers who are not located in the Twin Cities area, you can probably find many churches, non-profit organizations, and food banks in your area that will gladly take your donations. Do a little digging, and you’ll be surprised at how many you can find.
Think about how much money you’re saving through couponing and deal shopping. Now think about all of the people who could use many of the products that you’re getting for free or close-to-free. How much can you donate to help others?
Your turn: Where do you donate food and household supplies?