Donate Food to Charity at No Cost

As much as we would all like to have unlimited funds to donate to worthy charities, it is not always possible to write large checks every week. However, it is possible to donate food to charity every week, at no cost, and without much effort when you know how to use grocery coupons. If you are already an avid grocery coupon shopper, then you will really enjoy helping others with your couponing skills! And best of all, with the free Coupon Mom system, it will take you only a few minutes a week, not hours of your time.

With coupons, it is easy to turn $ 1 or $ 2 into $ 10 or more of food and personal care items shelters and food pantries need desperately. Every week I shop for my own groceries with coupons. As I make my grocery list, it is easy to add a couple of good charity items. I put them in a box in my garage and when it is full I take the box to a local food pantry. My children enjoy helping deliver the food.

Last week I paid $ 1.78 for nearly $ 10 of food by matching coupons with sales. I donated it to help feed people going through desperate situations. And it made me feel like a million bucks. I saved $ 62 on my own groceries at the same time.

You can do this, too. Find out what your local charity needs and look for coupons for those items. When the item goes on sale, use the coupon and it will cost only pennies. Sometimes it will be completely free!

You don't have to drive to the food pantry every single week if isn't around the corner. Just save your charity deals in a box in your house or garage. When it gets full, deliver them to the food pantry. Food pantries always need soups and stews, canned beans and tomatoes, canned fruits and vegetables, dried beans, cereals, oatmeal, peanut butter and tuna. Coincidentally, all of these items have coupons available on a regular basis.

Food pantries are not difficult to locate. Your church or place of worship may have a food pantry if they don't, ask them if they have a food drive and where they take their donations.

Many schools have a food drives. Call yours and ask where they donate their food. Your grocery store probably donates their day old bread to a local food pantry. If so, they can tell you more about that organization. Go to http://www.secondharvest.org to find the closest food bank in your area. They can give you information about food pantries in your area.

If you really want to help your food pantry in a big way, you can get something started in your community with very little effort. Just ask the grocery store manager if their store would be willing to place a year-round food collection bin in their store. Other shoppers are more likely to donate food …

Beauty at Any Cost – Helping Young Women Avoid This Dangerous Trap

It’s no secret that our society and the media have established and continue to promote an idyllic, almost impossible, standard of beauty that women consistently judge themselves against and are always aspiring to achieve.

With the advent of readily available cosmetic surgery and treatments, this quest has reached a new fever pitch. By one estimate, American women spend almost $7 billion dollars a year on products used in the pursuit of beauty.

And we’ve all seen or heard stories of women addicted to Botox or plastic surgery -some have had so many nips and tucks that their faces resemble cartoon characters and still they want more! These extreme cases are the casualties of a popular culture that is saturated with images of airbrushed, over sexualized, and perfectly coiffed celebrities and models that can make even the most confident of us feel a little insecure or inadequate at times.

The extent of this problem was documented in a 2008 report released by the YWCA called “Beauty At Any Cost”. The report underscores the substantial health implications for women on the endless treadmill of “unrealistic beauty attainment.” Through chronic and unhealthy dieting, using smoking as a weight-loss aide, taking unnecessary risks during cosmetic surgical procedures, and absorbing unsafe chemicals through cosmetics, women are placing themselves in precarious health situations to maintain some semblance of their idealized physical selves. Women and girls are at risk for lifelong health problems – and the problems start at an early age.

Add to the mix a $50 billion a year unregulated cosmetics industry that puts unlimited amounts of chemicals into personal care products with no required testing or monitoring of health effects, ready to profit from these narrow beauty standards to convert women and girls into life-long customers. Many of these companies go to great lengths to market to teens and “tweens” (8 to 12 year olds) as part of this goal. Their emphasis is on creating cheap products that appeal to this demographic with little or no regard for the potential health or environmental impact of the chemicals used to produce them.

Clearly, young girls and teens are more vulnerable and susceptible to harm than ever before. However, with a little guidance they can learn to make safer, healthier choices for themselves and set an example for their peers.

What can you do to help the young girls and teens you know avoid falling into this trap? Here are some guidelines that you can use:

1. The Buck Starts and Stops with You

Most children are influenced by the behaviors and attitudes of their parents and caretakers. So it’s up to you to set the bar for what’s acceptable. If you want your daughters, nieces, or younger sisters to adopt healthy habits then make sure you are doing the same. Take a look at your inventory of cosmetics and personal care products and eliminate those that contain ingredients that are known to be harmful. If you’re not sure where to start, check the Environmental Working …