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Being Frugal Doesn’t Mean Being Cheap- Giving Back on a Budget

Thanks to Walgreens for sponsoring my writing. Help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote.

Being Frugal Doesn’t Mean Being Cheap

But you already knew that, right? To me, being frugal means saving as much as I can on necessities, so that there is more left over for the things that are a priority in our family- vacations, fun, and charity.  One of the things that I think is extremely important, no matter how little you have, is giving back to others in your community.

But what If I’m struggling too?

With the downturn in the economy, many food banks and other assistance groups have reported a huge increase in people asking for help- and that many of them are people who used to donate! But even if you’re living on a super-tight budget, you always have something great to offer to others. Maybe you can’t write out a donation check to send to your favorite charity- that’s ok! There are tons of ways to help out. And when you do good things for others, you become more grateful for what you do have.

How to give back to your community on a limited budget:

  • Are you a gardener? I’m sure you always end up with lots of extra veggie’s at the end of the season. Donate those to your local food bank- they’d be VERY happy to get them! Another thing many food banks need are your grocery bags- they need them to sort food, and make packages to give away.
  • Are you a crafty type? Knit, crochet, or sew some great handmade goodies like hats and scarves, or snuggly blankets- donate them to your local homeless shelter, to keep them warm this winter.
  • Are you a freebie junkie? Sort through your drawers and cupboards, and gather up a bunch of the extra shampoo, lotion, and make-up samples you have. {If you’re like me, you have A LOT!} Bring these to your local YWCA or women’s shelter- many women leaving a domestic violence situation don’t have time to bring anything with them. These samples are much appreciated.
  • Coupon crazy? Get just a few extra items each week, and donate those to your local food bank or soup kitchen. Every little bit helps.
  • Social Butterfly? Help out a local non-profit by staffing the front desk and answering calls!

See how easy it can be?

Everyone can help out in their community! It can even be as easy as just checking on an elderly neighbor who lives alone, and offering to shovel their driveway. Or offering a free evening of babysitting to help out a single mom on a tight budget, just to give her a break. When we all make an effort to help out one another, our communities become a much better place to raise our families.

Looking for more?

Here are few other organizations that can always use some extra help:

  • United Way: Check them out and learn how to help at
  • Salvation Army: Find out what opportunities are available in your community, visit
  • Goodwill: Find your local donation drop offs, and learn more about how they help out,
  • Volunteer Match: This is a great site that can help you find the right volunteer opportunity for you. It’ll match your skills and interests with a group that would benefit from your help- right in your community! I love this site.

What are you waiting for?

I believe in the idea that “It takes a Village”. What that means is that we all have a better life when each person takes the time to help out others. I drop off baby samples and items I get on clearance at our local crisis pregnancy center- they put these into care packages for low-income teen moms, to help them get a good start. I have a friend who found out that a really talented kid in his neighborhood wasn’t going to be able to play football once he got to high school, because his parents couldn’t afford it. He sponsored him for the year, and bought all of the equipment and paid his fees. This will go a LONG way towards making this kid feel worthwhile- keeping him out of trouble, and in a great program.

If each of us finds just one way to give back, imagine the difference we can make in our communities!

Don’t forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


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