~Having people over for dinner. With the frugal, homey way I cook it isn't that expensive but looks impressive. A meal I cooked recently for company: a baby spinach, colby and strawberry salad with lime dressing, fried chicken, brown rice, fresh mushroom gravy, Southern green beans and Dutch apple pie. It's super fun to enjoy a yummy meal with people especially when most people these days rarely have homey meals. Most people think it's a big treat but it doesn't cost a lot. And most people bring a goodie to share(DH's friends bring good beer)so the expense evens out a bit with the surprises.~
We cook out a lot right now and have friends over..It really isn't that much for the meal...Also I am always giveing a helping hand to those around if they are working in the yard or around the house...
I'm with imagine on trying to donate kids stuff to people I know rather than selling it or taking the tax write-off by donating it to Goodwill. I'd rather help people out personally, and I think it builds goodwill. Last year I gave away a pair of LL Bean snow boots that were probably $50-$75 new to a good friend, and last month she gave me her pack and play for Oliver. That's the kind of basic goodwill I feel good about building.
Also, I like taking all the free stuff I get with coupons, mostly HBA's, and donating them to food-banks. Same idea with taking all the sample size products I get and sending them away for the boxes that are put up for soldiers serving overseas.
And this is smaller, but I like leaving coupons I'm not going to use on the shelf for others to find.
I will donate items I get for free with a coupon to a shelter or someone who can get it to someone who needs it. Usually stuff like toothpaste and deoderant. Also swap magazines or movies with a couple friends. Sometimes I will make an extra pet toy to give to a friend with a cat or dog.
Also like to have a couple people over for a meal. Usually I use a protein I purchased on sale and cook up some seasonal veggies. They usually bring something also.
Giving things to people that I know when i no longer need them. Sometimes I will fix clothing for my nursing home residents. I once made a catheter leg bag cover for someone who wanted to wear shorts with a catheter.
I buy the loss leaders at the grocery (canned beans or vegs, pasta, PB, etc) and put them in the food bank bin. I also buy canned food for the animal shelter every time I buy cat food for mine.
I used to cook for people nearly every week, but a lot of them didn't appreciate it. They'd show up late, or not at all, or want to rush off as soon as the plates were cleared, like this was some kind of fast food restaurant.
I giveaway our clothing to people who need it...same with outgrown toys or misc. house items that are too good to throw away...also love cooking...made a beautiful Thai special fried rice 2 weekends ago and it was a huge batch that fed 15 people as a main dish for able 15 bucks(it had shrimp in it).
I volunteer time, talent and some money (a very little bit). I volunteer through the church to work the kitchen for special events. Kitchen help ends up taking leftovers home. I can't eat it. But DH and the boarder can.
I am part of a group that swaps unwanted things. Sunday I brought home a garbage bag full of puzzles. I donate most of my used stuff to this group to get rid of it.
I try to set up barter situations with people, so they get the fun and joy of giving too. I think it improves people's sense of self worth if they know they have some talent/thing/information that other people value.
And I also out and out just give. Even if it's to play vocabulary games on FreeRice.com to feed the hungry, or click on Greater Good buttons to donate/support/direct donations for less fortunate people.
I make sure to try and make someone's day by phoning and saying 'hi', or by just being pleasant instead of being self-absorbed and distracted. Sometimes it's as simple as leaving DH's favourite candy bar (which I buy in bulk on discount) on his pillow for when he comes home from work. He laughs at me and enjoys his treat. I love to hear him laugh.
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