A few years ago my husband of 18 years asked me for a divorce and it was devastating (physically it had been a tough year for me since I had been diagnosed exactly 1 year earlier with breast cancer and was still undergoing surgeries since I chose reconstruction – because of the masectomy I had to have) After he moved out he wanted the kids 2 nights a week – Tuesday and Thursdays. Well, on Thursdays I was going to a divorce support group (still going on in Acton, MA every week) but I didn’t know what to do with myself on Tuesdays because I was so used to being home with my kids. I saw an ad in the volunteer section of the paper for Horizons for Homeless Children and they were looking for playspace volunteers. I went to the training and have been a PAL on Tuesday nights at a family shelter in Lowell for almost 3 years. My current financial situation is not so great but because of your site I am still able to bring in a bag of “free items” every week I go. I spend hours looking at all the match-ups so I can get as many free items as possible and anything I don’t use goes in a bag for the following week when I go and volunteer. Even though I am okay with my daughter going to her dads (my 18 year old now lives with him) I haven’t given up on going to the shelter. I get so much out of playing with the children and when I’m there I can forget about my problems and just be with the kids. Alot of the non-essential items (such as the ponytail holders in the picture) are used as bingo prizes. I think the staff would be surprised if I walked in empty handed – whether it’s 1 item or a bag or 2.
I have always been a sale shopper and used coupons but no where near as much as I do now. I did stop my subscription to the Boston Globe (a way of cutting back) but my neighbor gives me her coupons every week and I have 2 friends that give me their coupons after they take what they don’t use.