Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It begins at home, Part 2

Well, extending my services free to my cousin went over like a lead balloon. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I emailed him over 24 hours ago and there's been no response. And he's online a lot. I wouldn't mind if he declined, but to have my offer met with silence makes me feel like I did something wrong. I hate making a social faux pas...I do it all the time apparently. I think I need to make friends with weirdos and avoid conventional types.

So I guess any attempts to give at a local level will have to be significantly less personal in nature, and more removed than a first cousin. I've recently felt inspired to give domestically, mostly because of all the hype about impending economic doom. Given my new coupon habit and CVS customer card, my plan involves getting name-brand toiletries (as opposed to dollar-store items, which tend to suck) for free or nearly free and making a monthly drop-off at a nearby women's shelter, state-funded convalescent home, or other organization that helps out people in need of soap, deodorant, that sort of thing.

Although I haven't yet identified a place to bring things, I kicked off my stockpiling with a free bottle of Garnier Fructis shampoo (sale price + store credit cashback + $1 coupon = free...well, 19 cents in sales tax). I know, it's just one thing and hardly worth blogging about, but there are many blogs and forums devoted to getting deals like this at major drugstores, and I need to check them out. Today I just did the obvious - and got the $2 in "recycled money" (my term for their "Earned Care Bucks" store credit) lined up for the next purchase.

Oh, and what little cash may be involved can come from the jar of money I saved from couponing that's earmarked for charitable donation anyway. I absolutely love finding ways to fund good work without laying out "real money". Because yes, my income as a self-employed massage therapist is experiencing exaggerated fluctuations, but I can get through a year of this insanity before I need to make any drastic changes.

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