3 Ways to Give When You Don’t Have Any Extra Money

Guest post by Theresa who blogs at MyFaveDeals.com

When it comes to my budget, there is no extra room to make extravagant (or even small) monetary donations, so I have found other ways to help others.

1. Visit The Hunger Site and click a daily sponsor ad.

With a daily click you’ll be helping to donate over a cup of food.

2. Donate all the samples you receive.

There are lots of great samples and freebies posted on MoneySavingMom.com. Instead of keeping all of these for yourself, donate some of them.

Many children’s hospitals accept samples and trial size items to give to families that have extended stays. Also, local shelters can benefit from these items.

3. Donate your extra stockpile items.

Do you really need 10 tubes of toothpaste in your stockpile? Consider donating a of your extras and help others in need.

A co-worker I work with recently ended up staying in the hospital for an extended period of time. His wife was traveling four hours to the hospital and staying overnight when possible with him.

My staff asked for donations and, unfortunately, a monetary donation wasn’t in my budget. I did some brainstorming and put together all my free samples and stockpile items to create a nice travel bag the family could use while they were traveling. Although I couldn’t help financially, the travel bag was a big hit and helped ease the stress of travel.

So even if you aren’t able to make monetary donations, there are plenty of other ways to help and give!

Theresa is a full-time teacher and mother of one. When she’s not teaching she is bargain shopping, trying new recipes, and sharing her favorite deals at her blog MyFavorite Deals.

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  1. says

    Love this post! My local food pantry accepts health & beauty items and they have also taken school supplies at back to school time. If you have a local food pantry I would suggest asking what they accept because you may have something besides food that you would be able to give there.

    • lori says

      Food pantries usually love toiletries, paper goods and cleaning products. Those on public assistance can’t use their subsidies to buy those. I always try to make sure to donate those items when I can.

  2. says

    There’s tons of ways to give when you don’t have money:). Donate time to serve, write a note of encouragement, give people things you’re getting rid of rather than sell them.

    Help a single mom with her kids.

  3. Christine says

    Donate your time too! If can’t provide goods to a pantry families can stock shelves, help clients shop & get goods to the car. At a soup kitchen you can cook, setup&cleanup, serve meals. Our local pantry also trains volunteers how to counsel clients, direct them to services, help with applications for veterans services, SSI, Medicare/aid, food stamps, fuel assistance, WIC, daycare, etc. Services is open to anyone in town regardless of income.
    If your an animal lover please consider clicking daily to provide food for shelter http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=3.

  4. Jenny says

    Donate blood.
    Please also consider donating blood. There are lots of church-sponsored blood drives and there are also replishment drives where someone has needed a lot of blood, so the drive helps to defray the cost to that person or their family. Donating blood also has a health benefit to the donor and you get a “mini physical” as well. Before you donate, be sure to drink a lot of water and avoid caffinated beverages. Don’t be put off by the questions they ask in the screening. They ask everyone the same questions, to help keep the blood supply safe. Just please consider donating blood. I donate several times a year, but always around Father’s Day to remember my dad. When he had cancer, he required blood transfusions. A stranger gave him those, so I’m paying it back and paying it forward, and I try to be an advocate whenever possible.

    • Jodi says

      Glad you mentioned this! I’ve been donating since I worked on my high school blood drive committee. It’s free and just takes a bit of time. I live in NY, and we are always low on blood, which is crazy considering how many people live here! It really only hurts for a few seconds and you can save up to five lives for every pint you donate!

  5. Leah Schuurman says

    Love your site! I follow all the coupons & deals and get what we need or is free. Regarding this post I had a couple thoughts.
    1) It might even have been you that gave me this idea, but I made homeless bags this week with my samples. I put a small Bible (on sale for $5 at Family Christian a few weeks ago), some snack crackers, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, etc. and keep them in my car to pass out to those who are asking for money at the stoplights or where ever we come in contact with anyone in need.
    2) I know not everyone who reads your posts is a Christian, but it’s just a reminder that even those who don’t have much are still called to give their first fruits, if they are Christians. So whether you make $100K a year or $20K, give God the first 10% before anything else. 90% with God is a WHOLE lot better than 100% without. :)

  6. Stacie says

    http://www.freerice. com is another neat website. I use it with my adult education students. For every vocabulary question they answer, the organization donates a certain amount of rice to people in need. There are different levels too, from very simple to extremely challenging vocabulary. So, you can work on your vocabulary and help others at the same time. Most of my students are very disadvantaged, so I think it makes them feel good to be helping others while improving themselves.

    • says

      FreeRice is a great site to incorporate into your home school too!

      They study their vocabulary (and other things they have on there) and do ‘mission work’, all at the same time!

  7. Debbie Briner says

    I do the donation thing a lot. It makes me feel like I can contribute and many times I can give a much higher value item/set of items then a simple $5, $10 or even $20 donation. I also donate GCs I win or earn I don’t personally use, like Starbuck in $10 demoninations to give someone a much needed break. I just like helping others and small ways add up to great things if we help.

  8. says

    Love the post!
    Always pray for opportunities too!
    The Lord can lead a young mother straight down your isle at the grocery store who needs advice from someone just like you!

    Baking bread, cookies, muffins, etc is also a nice way to perk up a sick or an elderly neighbor.

    And don’t forget the power of encouragement! One little word in an email, a phone call, a text…can change a person’s entire week!

  9. Kristen says

    Ronald McDonald Houses really love receiving sample size and hotel size personal care products for the families that are staying there. It is a wonderful organization that supports families that are in need while their babies and kids are getting the much needed treatment in the hospital. Volunteering is always a wonderful way to give back as well!

  10. says

    We tithe, and giving more than that means we do without, usually out of our food budget. Our church recently decided to host a housewarming for a Habitat house, and someone made a long list, assigning large items to small Sunday school classes. Our class had new mattress set, which meant we gave from our emergency fund! We initially considered giving yardwork, and probably should have stuck to that! It can be so hard to figure out when and where to give….especially since we always want our giving to meet true needs.

  11. says

    I think time and sacrifice is some of the best ways to reach people. I live overseas, and the locals in Asia will eat nothing but noodles every meal to save $8 to send a friend’s baby to the hospital. I’ve seen them have only $15 in their pocket and pay check be 5 days a week and them give the money to a needed friend. Its not about how much money you have to give, pennies go a long way in showing love, but I have found it is about how much your willing to sacrifice. I have found that time is some of the best ways to sacrifice. For example, its 100 degrees outside and your neighbor loses their dog, but yet you get out and search for it anyway.

  12. says

    If you have even a little bit of money set aside for charity each month, you can spend it over and over again by using it to finance microloans. Kiva (www.kiva.org) is a service that lets you lend money to small businesses in the developing world. We have loaned out our original $150 donation more than six times in the last two years. It has always been paid back. And, if we really need the money, we can withdraw it next time the loan is repaid.

  13. Angela says

    We are working hard at paying off our debt and don’t have a lot extra to give money wise at the moment. We have made up for that by giving our time. We coach, teach, mentor, and much more. I have arranged for such things as prom dresses for young ladies who can’t afford them and helped to get donations for hair, caroling at christmas and do on. There is always a way to give back, I don’t think it always needs to be just money.

  14. Jessica says

    If you are a nursing mother and meet certain medical requirements, you can donate your extra milk! While nursing my (now 5yo) daughter, I worked full time which meant I needed to pump. I had such an abundance that I was able to donate more than 22 GALLONS of milk to the Mother’s Milk Bank of Ohio. I also shared informally with friends of mine who could not pump enough for their babies.

    There is no cost to the donor (and you do not get paid- you are donating the milk). The Milk Bank pays for your medical tests (HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HTLV, syphillis) and gives you the milk collection containers.

    The milk is given to sick and premature babies whose mothers aren’t able to provide them with the milk they need.

    • Sarah says

      Love this suggestion! Most people never think about it. What a selfless act for the least of these!

  15. says

    I have given out of my stockpile to a family in our neighborhood who went through a time of unemployment. I did a couponing class at our church and we set up a food pantry for those in need. We had one family at our church become unempolyed for a short time and they were able shop the food pantry. None of this took much money or time but it was a great help to others.
    I will be using freerice.com in our homeschool next year now that we know about it. My daugther needs to study vocabulary why not give back too. I will let my kids go to the animal rescue site mentioned above by Christine so they can help support the animals in shelters. I did not know about either of these and I am so glad others have shared them.

    • SMS says

      Shelly if the kids are old enough to play on the computer put it on the “freerice.com” on the tool bar. They will accidentally be learning/earning all summer. A good example is to have them actually count out 100 grains of rice and cook it to see how much it makes. More incentive to gift others with their knowledge.

  16. Anne says

    Whenever there is a BOGO sale of items I have coupons for and we don’t use often (so I don’t have to keep much in our pantry), I donate the “free” items to the food pantry our church supports.

  17. Anne Mai says

    Our church collects money at the end of the year and splits it between the pastors for a Christmas gift. This year I started a change jar that I put not only coins, but money from rebates, or other ways I unexpectedly get cash here and there. It is filling up fast and I am so excited to see how much God provides for me to share with those hardworking men that feed me spiritually :)

  18. says

    I just logged onto the site and saw my post! I had no idea it was going to be posted.

    Thanks! This made my night to see my guest post featured :)

  19. Lori says

    I want to add something. Clip Box Tops and Campbell`s soup labels for your local school. ( make sure they actually participate and redeem these before you donate, if not find a school that does). Box Top`s give money to participating schools and it can add up to thousands of dollars per year. Campbell`s gives product to participating schools and this is a great way to get items that the school may not have funding for!

  20. Melissa says

    I collect pop-tabs for the Ronald McDonald Houses. I’ve even gotten my friends in on it. It’s so simple and it makes me feel good to give back even though I can’t do anything financially.

  21. Vicky says

    In MA there is an organization called Birthday Wishes, they make sure children in homeless shelters get a birthday party and gifts. You can go to their site and sign up to donation a cake, juice boxes or something as simple as balloons. What a great idea this person came up with, most homeless children never get a real Birthday party and this is a simple way to make their birthday special. Birthdaywishes.org

  22. Kristen says

    Ladies did you know that most places that provide for the homeless and needy do not offer femine products! We just found this out and donated some

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