Hello Readers,

I know it has been a while since I had written, but I was starting to doubt my cause. Until today when I was inspired by my bathroom cabinets. Yes, I was horrified by the amount of toiletries I had accumulated in my bathroom cabinets. So I thought today is the day I will free myself and be able to open a bathroom cabinet, reach for something and not have everything fall over.

So with great excitement (if you know me I get pretty excited about organizing) I grabbed a trash bag and opened my first drawer. Suddenly, I find about 40 bottles of shampoo, conditioner and soap that my husband had been hoarding. He must have taken them from every hotel we stayed in over the last year. If you know my husband he feels he has to get some money back from his stay. So when I am not paying attention he goes through every single room and takes all of the free things. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, tissues and the toilet paper (yes you heard correctly) the toilet paper. This last trip to a condominium he reached an all time low when he took the extra garbage bags that were placed at the bottom of the trash can. I know if his dad is reading this he has done him proud. I get really sick of all of it sitting around my house.

Well, this led to an ahhhaaaa moment. Why not donate it all to a local shelter? Better yet, my best friend’s mother knows of a domestic violence shelter that is always in need of things. So I put my garbage bag away and opened my recyclable bag. I loaded it up with all of the hotel stuff and all of the excess toiletries I had lying around.

To make a long story short. First, if you have a bunch of extra stuff do some spring cleaning and give it to someone in need instead of the trash. Second (I can’t believe I am going to say this), be my husband and take the free items. And then give them to a local shelter as well. If you live near me and know who I am bring them by and I will pass them along to my friend’s mom.

I hope you have a great day and remember to pay it forward.


Table for Five Contest

This is a great contest for reusable sandwich bags. You can enter by going to this link http://tableforv.blogspot.com

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Believe it or not I am married to the donation scrooge. He is giving toward his family and friends, but not so much with charities. Being that we are polar opposites, in this arena, it is generally the source of much conflict. So this Christmas, after I dubbed him the bad little elf, I decided to ask why. I am sure in the kindest of ways I asked him why he was against donating.

He said he doesn’t know where his donation is going. If he knows the persons or its a friend of a friend he doesn’t mind. For the first time in six years, his argument made sense, even if I didn’t agree with his thinking. What if more people think like him? Scary thought I know. It is really fun when you give a gift to someone that you know needs it. When you donate to large charities, which are phenomenal organizations, you don’t know who is getting the item. So I could see where one would prefer to give a gift to someone who is really in need.

So here is the deal: I really want my blog to be the link between those in need and those in a position to help people. So I have a mission for my readers. Instead of donating food to a food bank this year I would like to do something more personal. I would appreciate it if my readers could ask around and find someone that could use a bag of groceries. Comment or email me, at givingmommy@gmail.com, if you know someone or a particular organization that really needs a meal for a family. Ask around. Please let me know their story. You don’t have to use any names. If you do comment please leave an email address where I can contact you. I will follow up in a blog so you know the end result.

My gift to you!

You guessed it another idea!  But first, I am really concerned that my wonderful readers aren’t getting my recent blogs, so here is what you need to do.  Look to the right hand side and walhaa there it is “subscribe to my blog”, your way to know what is going on at givingmommy.  Now here comes the difficult part. In the line underneath type in your email address.  Congratulations you did it. You will be up-to-date on all of my giving ideas.  Because I know all of you have just subscribed, since it will help me out, I have decided to give you a really good reason to read my blog.  So here comes a story.

Every Sunday morning I wake up excited to open the Sunday paper, get the coupons, and quickly look at the Walgreens ad. I know really exciting stuff.  Although this might sound somewhat pathetic, I have a deal addiction.  It is even more pathetic that I call my best friend as excited as a child on Christmas morning.  Why the Walgreens ad you ask?  Well, they have great deals, sometimes even free deals. You heard correctly, even FREE!!  Every Sunday I am going to go through my local ads and report back to you on all of the deals I find under $3.00.  I know today isn’t Sunday but pretty close to it.

This week at Walgreens they have Gillette Fusion Razor Systems on sale for $8.99. After you purchase it you get $3.00 in register rewards.  For those Walgreens novices, register rewards are coupons for money off your next shopping order.  You’re thinking that doesn’t make it under $3.00.  Ahhaa, what you don’t know is that there was a coupon in the Sunday paper a few weeks back for $4.00 off of one Gillette Fusion Razor.  That makes this purchase a grand total of $1.99.  Amazing isn’t it?

Since you don’t seem impressed yet, I will give you one more.  Now this one is for the ladies.  Tampax tampons are on sale for $5.49 and in this week’s Sunday coupons there was a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for Tampax tampons.  You heard correctly, tampons for $2.75 a box.  There was also a coupon for buy-one-get-one-free on Always Pads, which also happen to be on sale for $5.49.  I know you can do the math, but that makes those $2.75 each also.

Since you subscribed to my blog I will share some more.  Here in Wisconsin, yes people live in Wisconsin, we get coupons in our Wednesday paper and sometimes in the mail.  Well, I had one for $1.00 of any Colgate 360 toothbrush.  Guess what, they are on sale this week for $2.99, with register rewards of $1.00, minus the $1.00 coupon.  Translation you get a Colgate toothbrush for $.99.  Amazing!  Dawn dish soup is on sale for $.99 and in this week’s Sunday paper there was a $.25 coupon, the total for dish soap is $.74.  Okay, last one. Walgreens also has General Mills cereal on sale at 2/$4.00. A week or so ago there was a coupon for $1.00 of of three boxes.  If you buy 4 boxes that makes them $1.75 each. Pretty good.  If you happen to have two of those it will make them $1.50 a box.  On a side note my husband will only buy cereal if it is under $2.00 a box, making this a great deal in our household.

Are you thinking to yourself how does this help someone else?  Not to worry, it can.  Like I said I will also post the deals that make an item free. For a while, I was getting free toothpaste.  It got to a point where I had so much of it, I really didn’t need anymore.  But why waste a perfectly good free item.  One day I was at my best friend’s house and I was sharing this story with her wonderful mother and her mom said that she knew of a local domestic violence shelter that can always use toothpaste.  So I gave her all of my extra toothpaste and she kindly brought it to the local shelter for me.  Imagine if all of us told our neighbors and friends about a free deal.  If you don’t need the item who cares get it anyway and donate it to a school, a shelter, a person in need.  Get creative with it.

This post is long enough and I want to hear from my readers.  As you all know I live in Wisconsin and weekly ads vary from state to state.  If my readers could share their coupon savings (I better see a comment from my best friend on here) it would benefit everyone. Don’t forget to share which state you are from.  So start looking!  Now remember this idea will take a little planning on your part, as you will have to clip coupons every week and save them.  Since all of my faithful readers subscribed as I told them to, I will post where you can get coupons as I find them. I won’t just limit the savings to Sunday!

Have a great day!!!  Hope you enjoy your trip to Walgreens!

I am sure that you woke up this morning and the first thing you wanted to do, other than drink your cup of coffee, was read my blog.  So I won’t leave you in suspense any longer.

As a mother of two boys, who are just absolute angels, some of the time anyway, I have a weak spot for all moms when I am out shopping.  With that here it comes, yet another story.

The other day I am at a local craft store without my children and suddenly I hear the familiar sound of a child screaming so loud that the entire store can hear it.  It was like hearing a cell phone ring and thinking, is it mine? I thought to myself, pheww, it isn’t mine.

I stood there remembering that before I had children, I would look at these moms and think my child will never do that.  Then one day it happens, I take my well behaved, adorable child (especially when he is asleep) to the store and suddenly it happens.  Yep, you guessed it, his body goes limp, the arms start flailing, the legs start kicking and then comes that horrible scream and everyone is staring at you with judgment in their eyes.  I am mortified, ready to cry, and in that moment I became more compassionate and less critical of other moms and dads.

So there is this poor woman in line with one person in front of her.  Her daughter, probably around five, throwing the biggest tantrum ever.  Everyone is staring at her and she is doing everything in her power to maintain composure. So the gentleman in front of her continues to wait in line, his turn is next.  Then what does he do? He unloads his cart and pays for his stuff. I think the audacity of this guy!

He may not realize that this woman wants nothing more than to leave the store.  So why not do something kind for someone that doesn’t cost you anything?  I am sure my readers know what he could have done.  You guessed it, let this poor woman go in front of you.  If you have the time and there is a person with a screaming kid, or a child that you hear say mommy I need to go pee pee in the potty, or even if you have a cart full of groceries and the person behind you has one item.  Let them go ahead of you.  Hopefully, one day when you are in a bad spot they will do it too.

Just so you know, since she wasn’t behind me in line and my line wasn’t moving any quicker, I waited until she checked out and then told her, just so you know we have all been there.  I just wanted her to know that someone wasn’t judging her.  I would love it if my readers would share with me some of their stories, where someone could have helped them out in a pretty simple way.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday!!

Hello World

My name is Erica and I am the mother of two wonderful boys and wife to a great husband, well most of the time. Now, I must warn you that I am pretty bad with grammar and tend to jump around in my thoughts. So, if you are reading this for literary genius you will probably be disappointed. Sorry, but that isn’t why I’m writing this blog. I have an idea that I want to set in motion which unfortunately requires my inadequate writing skills. Apparently remedial English in college didn’t help as much as I had hoped.

But enough about me. I’m sure you’re eager to hear about the purpose of this blog. You know the old saying “you can’t change people?” Well, I got to thinking while that might be true, maybe people don’t think about being giving in the same way that I do. Could it be that all they need is a few ideas and a little push? So why not write a blog with my ideas about how you can do something kind for others? And maybe even pick up some new ideas to be more giving from my wonderful readers. If you could perform random acts of kindness all year long without having to spend any money, would you? Why not give all year long? Why not become a better, kinder person? I know you’re thinking she’s right, why not?!

So what I am hoping is that my blog can do two things. First, it can be a place to go for ideas on how to be kind with or without having to spend a lot of money. And second, it can serve as a voice for those in need. Readers can comment on different acts of kindness they did (helped someone shovel out their car, carry groceries, etc.) and hopefully people will read it and say I never thought to do that and then wahhlllaaa, they will start doing it. Hence, a kindness pandemic. Now doesn’t that sound better than reading about the H1N1?

So here is my first story. The other day I am in line at a local department store and the woman in front of me used a 15% off her entire purchase coupon. Yeah you heard me correctly, her entire purchase! Well it turns out it was good for the entire day. So the cashier handed it back to the woman. Being that it was 8:30 pm, odds were, she wasn’t going to use it again. So what did she do? She put it back in her wallet. The nerve. So I found myself agitated, thinking I would have just turned around and handed it to me, the nice person behind her in line without a coupon. Later I realized maybe she just didn’t think to do it or she was afraid someone would be offended if she had.

So here is my first free giving idea. Drum roll please. If you have a coupon that is good for the entire day, or if you have a coupon that you aren’t going to use as you are leaving the store, just stop and give it to someone else without a coupon. If you are feeling really brave you could ask the line of people, “do you need a coupon?” My best friend and I just did that today and it was so much fun to see the look of excitement as we saved them money. Really what better feeling is there then putting a smile on a strangers face? Then maybe, just maybe, that stranger will get the coupon back and pay it forward.

Now I know that you want to get more great giving ideas, but what would keep you reading my blog if I gave them away all now? So check back for new ideas. I could try to make it daily but I do have two kids that tend to take up most of my time. I would really love it if people would comment about their giving ideas and better yet if my blog could be used as network for those in need, I would be thrilled. For example, if you know someone who needs help, like a child who has a birthday coming up and their parents can’t afford to buy them something, comment about it, maybe someone can help them. If you have a neighbor that has a friend that lost their job and can’t afford Christmas dinner, comment about it. I am sure all of my giving readers can think of something to do for them.

I am really excited about sharing my ideas and can’t wait to read others. Please comment and share your ideas. Giving can happen all year long and doesn’t have to cost anything at all so why not try? Why not start giving today and help me out by tweeting with a link to my blog, subscribing to my blog, or posting a link to the Givingmommy blog on your site.

Have a happy holiday and a safe New Year.