smart spending

6 cheap, easy ways to donate to charity

Say 'yes' at the store
Say 'yes' at the store © gpointstudio/Shutterstock.com

Say 'yes' at the store

You have probably encountered this request before: As the checkout clerk rings up your purchases at the drugstore, he or she asks if you want to donate $1 to a charity ranging from cancer research to feeding hungry children. Next time you're asked, say yes.

"These charitable donations help to provide much-needed health care services and to heighten awareness," says Walgreens spokesman Jim Cohn.

While you're wandering the aisles in the store, toss a can or two of soup or beans in your cart. Many supermarkets help organizations host canned food drives at various times during the year by placing a bin at the entrance. After checking out, drop the cans in the bin as you leave. Coupons can make these food donations go even further.

And let's not forget about when you are waiting in line perusing that National Enquirer, or while you are waiting and eyeing that Snickers bar, check to see if there's a donation jar by the register. Local charities or neighborhood fundraisers often place donation jars there. By tossing in some spare change, you're helping a cause that has fewer resources and a limited marketing reach. Of course, you can always opt for a bigger charity like the Ronald McDonald House, which has donation containers at McDonald's registers, a perfect place to dump the change from your Big Mac combo meal.

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