13 Places to Donate Extra Goods From Couponing

by Mikey Rox on 22 November 2012 0 comments
Photo: Fort Meade

If you’re an extreme couponer, permit a word of advice — there is such a thing as too much. (See also: Extreme Couponing? 5 Reasons Why I'll Pass.)

I mean, really — do you need 140 rolls of paper towels, 57 bottles of laundry detergent, and more Q-Tips that you could count in a lifetime? The answer is no, you don’t, especially if you plan to continue to build up your stockpile well into the foreseeable future.

I know it may be hard to part with all those free or nearly free items, but if people who need them can put them to good use, why not spread the love?

To help you identify the right place you can send your couponing surplus, I’ve compiled the following list.

1. Classrooms

While schools supply some of the basic necessities that teachers need, many teachers have to foot the bill for supplies — especially if they want something special. Good items to donate to individual teachers (perhaps your child’s own) or a school in general include snacks, paper products like plates and cups (for parties), storage bags/containers (for projects), and cleaning supplies.

2. Food Banks

Your local food bank will never tell you it has too much food. If you have canned goods coming out of your ears, box up a small stash and send them to your local pantry.

3. Churches

Many churches have kitchens, so canned goods and other non-perishables will probably be put to good use along with paper products and cleaning supplies.

4. Orphanages

Since the kids who reside in orphanages stay there around the clock, they require full-time care. Likely anything you can donate to an orphanage will be appreciated, but hygiene products like toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and deodorant are probably at the top of the list. This is a good place to send unwanted clothes, too.

5. Nursing Homes

If you’re an extreme couponer, not all of your wins will come from the grocery store. In that case, if you have an abundance of higher-end items for which you have no need — DVDs, board games, books, magazines, and arts and crafts supplies, drop them off at your local nursing home or senior center.

6. Military

If you have a mountain of trial-sized, travel-friendly toiletries, use them to make care packages for our brave men and women overseas. You can also include non-perishable snacks, DVDs, books, and magazines.

7. Animal Shelters

If you find yourself with more pet food and products that you know what to do with — especially if you don’t have any pets — take them to your local animal shelter, which has many adorable mouths to feed several times a day.

8. Other Charitable Organizations

This could be any number of organizations with which you’re affiliated or for which you have an affinity. The Goodwill and Salvation Army will take just about anything you have extras of, but any non-profit will likely accept whatever you’ve got to give that will help it with its day-to-day operations.

9. Day Cares

Babies are messy. Donate cleaning supplies and diapers (nice pull, by the way, if you’ve got a bunker full of Pampers) to day cares in your area. The owners of these establishments will more than appreciate your generosity.

10. Homeless Shelters

Like food banks, homeless shelters can never have enough food. Think of it this way — the more food they have, the more mouths they can feed on a daily basis. Send over your excess along with any other household or “living” items like kitchen supplies or hygiene products.

11. Women’s Shelters

Women’s shelters can use the same supplies that you’re sending to the homeless shelters, so when you’re packing a box for the latter make one for the former, too.

12. Disabled Veterans Associations

Some veterans require more assistance than others, and that’s exactly what DAVs are for. Help these organizations help those who fought for our freedom by donating anything that you think will assist in the care of a disabled veteran.

13. Volunteer Fire Departments

Volunteer firefighters especially can use non-perishable food items like canned goods, because:

  1. They have to eat.
  2. The food they buy for the firehouse comes out of their own pocket.
  3. They spend a lot of time there waiting to save your life, possibly without getting paid for it.

Cleaning and laundry supplies and paper products also will be welcome here, as will entertainment like DVDs and magazines.

Do you have other suggestions on where to donate all that extra stuff from couponing? Let me know in the comments below.

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