By Lisa Olsen
For some families, clipping coupons is a perk, something to help save a dollar or two. But between the people on the street and those living comfortably, there is a community made up of men and women working hard and still just living paycheck to paycheck.
For homes like these, with a restricted budget, coupons can determine their ability to afford household staples.
Loudoun Coupons for Hope is an Ashburn-based nonprofit that reaches out to these families and gives them the skills and the coupons to stretch their budgets as far as they can go. Also, although anyone can obtain a coupon and save a few cents on an item, there are hidden savings when you combine store sales with the right coupon (or two) that bring prices to an even more affordable level. For example, when a store has a “Buy one, get one free” campaign at the same time a coupon is available on that product, you can buy the original item at a fraction of the cost and still get the free one from the store. Another trick is to find a coupon for the store, as well as a manufacturer’s coupon—instead of using one discount, you can use two and stack up the savings.
Loudoun Coupons for Hope wants to teach these skills and others to as many people as possible, whatever their family budget. Families who use these skills and tips can teach their friends and other families, and in a ripple effect bring countless more households hope and confidence that they can make it through any financial situation.
For those whose situation doesn’t allow them to purchase items, even at a discount, Loudoun Coupons for Hope uses monetary donations, combined with the power of couponing, to buy supplies for families and distribute items to low-income individuals and outreaches in the area. During Christmas, this distribution included stockings already loaded with candy and goodies for kids, and for Valentine’s day, it was Valentine’s cards and candy to sweeten their day. Follow Loudoun Coupons for Hope on Facebook to learn about the next outreach, times for the next couponing class or ways you can get involved. Also check out Gina Schweppe on YouTube to see weekly in-store couponing deals.
[Lisa Olsen is a board member of Loudoun Coupons for Hope. Working for You is a rotating column providing space for Loudoun’s nonprofit leaders to let readers know what they do and how they can help the cause. To participate in the program, email firstname.lastname@example.org.]