(We met Laura last week over homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. Today, she is back to talk about how she donates groceries to her local food pantry each week while spending just $7. Laura also shares her favourite deal/frugal living/coupon sites which make this possible. I love that she’s included the Money Saving Mom, as it’s one of my favourites as well. I would also add The Budget Mommy and Mojo Savings to the list.)
I suspect Gina is enjoying every minute with a bundle of joy. Gina tweets and blogs about a variety of cool stuff so similar to my own life — from vintage to food allergy — so I don’t think she’ll mind a guest blog about one of my mom issues: budgets, grocery shopping and the local food pantry.
My kiddo has A LOT of food allergies and intolerances (but that’s another entry), so our grocery bill is a bit outrageous. I don’t buy many items in boxes or cans, processed foods, simply because all the label-reading can be a full time job. Plus, I’m kind of a wicked good cook — I must be, judging from the size of my backside.
But I digress…
Just because I can’t buy much in the form of non-perishables doesn’t mean they are bad foods. Every week I have a $7 budgeted amount for the Salvation Army food pantry. The kid and I drop this off on Thursdays after school. I’m not sure she understands, but does answer, “yes” when the receptionist asks her, “Did you bring groceries for us?”
I have four coupons from last week’s Sunday SmartSource coupon flier for $1 off Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese. The kiddo is allergic to wheat, but considering I ate Kraft Mac & Cheese every day for 4 years in college and many years after, it’s okay. It’s also on sale this week at Publix, BOGO free, the regular price is $2.59.
Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese, BOGO at Publix
4 boxes at $2.59/2 = $5.18
Less: $1/1 x 4 coupons = -$4.00
$1.18 for 4 boxes of Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese
Campbell’s Select Harvest Soup, BOGO at Publix
2 cans at $2.39/2
Less: .40¢ off 2 coupon (Publix also doubles coupons) = -.80¢
$1.59 for 2 cans of Campbell’s Select Harvest Soup
Welch’s Juice, on sale 64 oz for $2.88 at CVS
Less: A $1 coupon off that I printed from coupons.com
$1.88 for 64 oz of Welch’s juice.
Special K cereal, on sale for 2/$5 at Rite Aid
Less: a BOGO coupon that I printed from the manufacturer’s web site
2 boxes for $2.50
I’m slightly over my $7 budget, but for just $7.15, this Thursday we’ll be able to drop off:
4 boxes of Homestyle Mac & Cheese
2 cans of soup
1 64 oz Welch’s Grape Juice
2 boxes of Special K cereal
I know it isn’t much, and it will take a couple stops at the various stores. We have a long daily commute to school, so it isn’t a big deal to stop each night on the way home.
If you’re interested in saving, the resources I’ve come to use are:
I allotted $7 for the food pantry, but if you have a couple extra bucks this week, there are some more items you can add. Hormel Chili is on sale at Kroger for .79¢ if you buy 10 participating products. They have the pull-top lid, so they’re convenient to eat out of the can. Also, 64 oz Mott’s Apple Juice is $1.49 and one of the included 10 products.
Qty 9 Hormel Chili @ .79¢ = $7.11
1 Mott’s Apple Juice at $1.64
It doesn’t sound like much, but then again, I had dinner tonight.
(Thank you, Laura!)
2 thoughts on “Guest Blog: Using Frugal Living/Couponing Sites to Support Your Local Food Pantry for Just $7 a Week”
I appreciate the idea of having a weekly budget to give to the food bank. I realise that most people don’t have allergies like our familny does and can actually enjoy the gift of food in the flyers. I’ve always thrown them away since we can only purchase food at specialty stores. It will be a joy to implement this idea. Thank you for the inspiration,