Put your stockpile of household goods to an even better use—donate them to shelters, schools and soup kitchens to make a difference in your community.
►Look for basic toiletries, like shampoo, body wash and maxi pads. Even if you’re not a mom, collect coupons and stock up on baby necessities such as diapers, formula and baby food, which are often in demand. Hit the clearance rack for clothing and dorm-room linens this month. You can find inexpensive jackets, sweaters, long-sleeve shirts, jeans, sheets and towels.
►Shop at stores that put out coupons, such as JCPenney, Kohl’s and Stein Mart, to save even more. Walmart often marks down clothing to just $1.
►Combine coupons with back-to-school sales to get nearly free office supplies at Staples, OfficeMax, Office Depot and big-box stores. The shelter’s administrative offices probably could use printer paper, loose-leaf paper and sticky notes.
►Watch for toys on sale and see if you can match them up with coupons. Hasbro, Fisher-Price, LeapFrog and other companies offer deals.
Teachers often buy school supplies and hand sanitizer for their class with their own money. In September, Target and other stores put such items on clearance. Stock up to donate to a low-income school or a food pantry that will give backpacks full of supplies to needy kids.
For Animal Shelters
Rescue organizations welcome pet food, cat litter, old towels and newspaper. Find coupons for litter and food in your Sunday newspaper as well as on allyou.com, coupons.com and smartsource.com.
For Soup Kitchens
When you see a deal on paper products or cleaning supplies, grab some for a local soup kitchen. They come in handy during and after meal service.