Stamp Out Hunger May 11, 2013

May 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Grocery 

As you’ve been scoring the great grocery deals by matching sales and coupons, have you been setting aside part of your stockpile to donate to those in need?  The annual USPS Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is Saturday May 11. 2013.

I know it might sound silly, but Stamp Out  Hunger and the Annual Boy Scout food drives are my favorite.  Why? Because it’s so darn easy to Pay it Forward.

Here’s all you have to do:

  • Place Non-perishable foods in a bag
  • Put it by your mailbox Saturday May 11th
  • Your letter carrier picks it up

That’s it.  How easy is that?  I can’t tell you how many times there’s been a food drive and the bag of non-perishables I set aside to take with me gets left behind.  Agh!  This type of food drive makes it almost impossible to forget.

If you want more information on the United States Postal Service Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, including a list of acceptable non-perishable items, click here.

Stamp Out Hunger May 12th

April 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Grocery 

As you’ve been scoring the great grocery deals by matching sales and coupons, have you been setting aside part of your stockpile to donate to those in need? Good, because the annual USPS Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is coming up.  This year’s event is Saturday May 12th.

I know it might sound silly, but Stamp Out  Hunger and the Annual Boy Scout food drives are my favorite.  Why? Because it’s so darn easy to participate.

Here’s all you have to do:

  • Place Non-perishable foods in a bag
  • Put it by your mailbox Saturday May 12th
  • Your letter carrier picks it up

That’s it.  How easy is that?  I can’t tell you how many times there’s been a food drive and magically the bag of non-perishables I set aside to take with me gets left behind.  Agh!  This type of food drive makes it almost impossible to forget.

If you want more information on the United States Postal Service Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, including a list of acceptable non-perishable items, click here.

Freezer/pantry inventory made easy

January 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Grocery, News 

How do you keep track of your food?  How much do you throw away because it goes bad before you can use it?  Ever found something embarrassingly old in your freezer or pantry?  I’ve got my hand raised.  But it’s a very rare occurrence these days because of something I came up with a few years ago.

One of my money saving bibles, The Complete Tightwad Gazette, is usually one I use to draw inspiration for money-saving ideas in my every day life. But I didn’t like the method. The example was to take a piece of paper and inventory the freezer, making an X for every item in each category. Then, as you consumed the items, you circled the X to indicate the item was taken out of the freezer.

UGH!  My paper was wrinkled and a mess just a few months after using it with all those circles and cross marks on it.  It looked like a giant tic-tac-toe game!

This is how I do it for my chest freezer but can easily be adapted for smaller freezer or even your pantry stockpile:

  • Get a dry erase board, 1 permanent marker and 1 dry erase marker of a different color.
  • On a piece of paper, figure out how many categories you need and how many items in each category (example: Vegetables, Fruit, Dairy, Ready-Made Meals,etc)
  • Draw grid lines with permanent marker on the board using a straight edge
  • Write your Categories on the grid with permanent marker, making sure to leave enough room in each for different items
  • Write down items in each category.  For items I regularly buy, I use permanent marker.  For items that I stumble upon, I use Dry erase marker
  • Take inventory!
  • Use the dry erase marker to make a hash mark for each item you have
  • Hang on or near the freezer
  • The hardest part: remembering to wipe off a hash mark when you pull something out!

You can also take a closer look at my dry erase board on my very first appearance as The Bargain Sleuth on my In the Media page or by clicking here. After the story aired, the number one thing people mentioned to me was the dry erase board and what a good idea it was!  That and how much they enjoyed me telling the kids we didn’t need to buy pudding packs, I can make pudding and put it in reusable containers. :-)

Want more information on food waste and what you can do to prevent it?  The guys over at Milwaukee Consumer wrote about it, too.  You can read that article by clicking here.

Salvation Army Green Bay pantry in desperate need

August 30, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Grocery, News 

I posted this a few weeks ago but the call has gone out again.  The Salvation Army center in Green Bay is getting desperately low on pantry goods, as is often the case during the summer months.  Their wish list includes:

  • canned meats
  • cereal
  • dried noodles
  • Skillet Helper (hamburger, chicken, tuna)
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Instant Potatoes
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Rice Meals
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Spaghetti Sauce

Donations can be dropped off M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at either 626 Union Ct. or at the New Kroc Center at 1315 Lime Kiln Rd.

I do not like to get preachy but you all know I am a big believer in Paying it Forward. Most of the items listed above can be bought very cheaply by using coupons and matching them up with sales right now (all of which can be found on the Green Bay Consumer home page).   Last week I spent $106 at Festival during their Mix and Match sale.  Only $6 of it was stuff for my family (and friends donated money to my shopping trip when they found out what I was doing).  The rest was bought, loaded into my car and brought directly to the Salvation Army’s pantry.

  • 100 cans pasta
  • 48 4-pack pudding
  • 36 jars peanut butter
  • 12 32-oz jars jelly
  • 24 boxes noodles

If my family is ever in a jobless situation again, I would hope that we might rely upon organizations like the Salvation Army if we needed to, until we get back on our feet.

I’m not doing this to shine a light on what my family and friends have done, but to show you just how easy it is to do.  You don’t have to make a huge donation like the one we made.  Just a reminder that pantries and people are in need year-round, even when there isn’t a specific food drive going on.   And if you can save 20% at the grocery store by matching up the sales and coupons, consider donating 5% back .   Every little bit counts.

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