For those amongst you who still use cash to buy things there will be familiarity with that weighty and near valueless side-effect of loose change. It fills pockets, occupies counter tops, and serves little purpose beyond the occasional need to feed an outdated parking meter. A few years ago I decided to put this spare change to good use once per year in the form of charitable donations. For the past couple of years Meaghan and I have bundled up twelve months of loose change and headed down to our local Barnes and Noble wherein we buy books to donate to less fortunate children at Christmas. It’s actually a lot of fun as we get to go around the children’s section of the store and collect armfuls of books we either have nostalgiac feelings about from our childhood or that we would have loved to have when we were young. Barnes and Noble are affiliated with charities that accept bulk donations like this and then giftwrap them and ensure that they reach the hands of children who might not otherwise get gifts that year. It’s actually pretty amazing how much change you can save up in just one year, especially if you use cash to buy quite a few things. So rather than giving 4% to VISA on each purchase I can feel confident that the 4% I got in change will go to charity instead.
However, the title of this post is “Drinking for Charity”, which brings me to the point. In my current workplace there are subsidised can machines. I can get a can of root beer for 25 cents. This gives a great opportunity to turn a dollar into a can of root beer and 75 cents for our charity pile. Given that I’d usually pay at least $1 for a soda it’s as though the charity part of it is coming for free. So for the next six months I can safely say that every time I grab a can of soda, 75 cents goes towards books for kids at Christmas!
What are your neat tricks for finding little savings in day to day life?