When many people think of being cheap, they think of Ebenezer Scrooge denying his workers coal for their fire, or perhaps the all-too-well-known phrase: "cheap bastard." However, being frugal does not have to mean being selfish. Here are five ways that you can use money-saving strategies to give back to those around you and share in savings.
1. Use coupons combined with store sales to buy food for your local food bank/food pantry. To those in need, it doesn't matter how much you paid for a food item, only that it IS a food item. Make a game out of it every few months to see just how much food you can get for $5 or $10 to donate. Use as many money-saving strategies as possible to fill a basket.
2. Organize a clothing or book swap in your city or for your friends. People (yourself included!) come with books or clothes they no longer want, and trade them with each other. Reuse, after all, is one of the best ways to save money.
3. Create community art using reclaimed materials. 'Zines can be made by cutting up thrown-away magazines; materials for 3-D art, with a little imagination, can often be found in dumpsters, recycle bins, and free boxes at yard sales.
4. Offer your skills. Do you cut your own hair to save money? How about hemming your own pants or doing your own car repairs? Who in your life could use a free haircut, hem, or oil change?
5. Save your pennies and donate them. Put any pennies you get as change into a jar or tin. Once it gets full, or maybe once a year, donate all of your pennies to a local organization or cause.
Here's to another great week, folks! Whether it's sharing a buy one get one free coupon or taking a friend along for a sale, be sure to share the savings!