I’ve gone from ok couponer (using 6-10 coupons per trip) to moderately extreme couponer (using 18-25 per trip). Beyond learning how to provide for my family, I’ve learned that giving back doesn’t have to cost you a thing.

A Spiderweb of “ME”

Someone once told me that blogging is narcissistic because you’re assuming someone wants to read about your life. I was slightly offended, but it’s not really why I do it. I tend to forget people are reading at all. I write because it’s what I love. I know just how easy it is to get caught up in the details of our lives like a fly caught in a spider web. The more we focus on freeing ourselves the more stuck we become.

Get Out Of Your Head And Into Your Heart

I focus most of my energy on taking care of my kids, shocking for a SAHM I know. While we fight the good fight as parents, trying to teach our kids right and wrong, to be caring and giving, but also to be strong and courageous we forget that we still have so much to learn and give. I joined a small group at my church called Couponing For A Cause, thinking, “sure I like to coupon and I could stand to learn more tips and give back to others.” I didn’t really know what it would give me – an opportunity to get out of my head and into my heart.

The members of the couponing for a cause group at my church donated all these items which were free or purchased for a small fraction of the retail price using coupons. We'll be donating them to a local homeless shelter.

The members of the Couponing For A Cause group at my church collected all these items which were free or purchased for a small fraction of the retail price using coupons. We’ll be donating them to a local charity.

Pay It Forward

Growing up I knew my mom had some hoarding tendencies and I watched as our house, our car, every inch of our lives became swollen with “stuff.” So I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t turn into one of those couponers who hoards a stockpile big enough to be considered a minimart in her basement.

Our group of about 13 women have amassed a nice stockpile of deodorant, soap, shampoo, razors, cleaning supplies and food over the past five weeks to donate to a local charity. One recipient we are considering is HONOR ehg (aka Emergency Housing) which is one of the only homeless shelters in the area. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the need I’m sure, but it’s taught me that we don’t need a lot of money to help someone. Most of the items donated were free or fairly cheap. I’ve spent $20 or less during these five weeks and with the help of my group we’ve done something amazing. Someone’s life will be changed, probably many people.

“Stuff Insulation”

I know what your thinking, “whose life is changed with a bar of soap or a box of cereal?” Someone who doesn’t have those things, that’s who. We surround ourselves with food, personal hygiene items, all the “supplies” we need to make our lives run that it’s no wonder we can’t see past ourselves and what we want with all this stuff insulating us from the world.

So I guess the lesson I’ve learned from all this is that we all have something we can do. We all have some talent, passion, or gift that we can share to make the world a better place. As parents, we are always teaching our kids lessons, but there are lessons we can still learn. It’s the lessons we teach ourselves that will mean the most and getting out of our own heads is probably the best way to learn them. I’ve learned that you don’t need to spend a lot to make a world of difference.

Learn more about extreme couponing and if you already are an extreme couponer, please consider donating items to a local charity.