Thursday, July 09, 2009

Different Direction for This Blog - Pantry 309

I have a dream! And, I had a dream last night - that reinforces a direction I want to try with my coupon shopping. I'm calling it Pantry 309. I'll explain why further on.

Every once in a while my friend, Buffy, and I take a few minutes from our terribly busy schedule to meet for breakfast. We never have enough time to even remember all the things we want to talk about over her egg and toast and my cheese omelet, but one thing we agree on is that we wish we could come up with some way to help more people with all the good deals we get using coupons as our shopping guide.

Many people tell me they wish they had more time to "do couponing" but they don't know where to get the coupons or how to use them in the most efficient way. They are envious of all the good deals and free things we get, but don't know how to get it for themselves!

Yesterday, another classmate said she wished she had time to shop with coupons, but with four kids, working, and going to school, she just doesn't have time to figure it out and keep up with it. Her sigh was so deep, I can still hear it in my mind.

Right now, I've been blessed with an unexpected but magical source for extra coupons. I believe this happened because my goal in using coupons was/is to help others. The offer of free coupons has not gone very far. I'm sure it's because you have to understand the intimate details of coupon shopping for it to be successful. That's not for everyone.

My close family members know that rarely do I have a dream that makes me feel good. My dreams are usually about some horrible calamity that leaves me screaming in my sleep or jumping out of bed with a powerful feeling of fear chasing me! So, when I have a good dream, my mind wants to put it to use immediately!

Last night, I was in a familiar place back in Michigan. It was a place where I thought everyone (parents and children) were sleeping quietly, but when I looked closer, they were sick from hunger and slowing starving to death. Rather than the dream becoming frightening, I felt a strong direction to use my couponing to make a difference, and I was warmed by all the good feelings that come with doing good deeds. I woke up and looked at the clock. It was 3:09 a.m. I'll explain how 309 came up later today when I was putting plans into place to start my new direction.

Okay, this is my 'dream-plan'. I need some contributions from others (YOU), and I have something to offer in return.

I'd really like to develop something called, Pantry 309 where I actually create a store and post a list of items in my pantry to share freely to anyone on a weekly or even daily basis.

Anyone who becomes a member of Pantry 309 can 'order' from my FREE store anytime by sending me an email. I can deliver the items or work out a schedule for pick up. Of course, this will have to be limited to the Columbus, Ohio, area right now.

A one-time nominal $5 membership is to weed out those who would take advantage. I'm not expecting to make money. (Sorry, not that kind of person. Never have been.) But I need to protect myself in this day and age. Others might want to make a donation, but this is absolutely optional.

I know some of you reading this page who really don't need free food, but you know someone who does! I also personally know some of you who could use many of the items I often get for free or almost nothing. The circle could grow by you becoming a member and picking up free things from my pantry for someone else, or by you ordering free food for yourself, and by you telling others about my store (and blog).

As I already said, I'm thinking of something like a nominal $5 one-time membership free (with some identification included), but also accepting donations so I can add even more items to my store if anyone wants to contribute rather than take.

With that in mind, I went out and rented a PO box today. (I didn't discuss this with hubby yet, but he always supports my dreams.) I'm not sure exactly how we will use this PO box, but it seemed like something one should have for a venture like this.

Guess what? I asked if PO box number 55 was available but the gentleman said he was sorry, the computer picked out the number from available boxes. Ahhhh, you guessed it. The computer-generated number was box number 309.

Currently, we have a garage for my Pantry 309, but eventually before winter we will need some place heated. This is where I'll be asking for a contribution. I'm sure I will not have to pay rent, but have absolutely no idea where that place will come from. Just a room to hold shelves and a refrigerator that I can have access to. The universe says that one good deed should follow another, so I'm confident that some good soul will get this request and respond in kind.

Right now, we need a good refrigerator/freezer for the garage. I'm sure someone has one they would like to donate to this good cause - or knows someone they can lean on for me. I'm always finding great deals on milk, juice, butter, rolls, cheese, and even meat! Sometimes more!

I'll still keep posting good deals and links here for those who use coupons like I do now, but will also purchase extra grocery and drug-store items with my coupons to place in Pantry 309 when I get this rolling - especially if I start getting requests for food!

If you have ideas, a refrigerator/freezer; or want to contribute in any way, please email me at (my new pantry address) pantry309 (at) (You add the @-sign); or any other email address you have for me; or by asking for the complete PO Box 309 address. I respond to all email, but if you don't hear back, I didn't get it.

My little sister said this sounds like too much work for the 'college student' that I am, but she knows I mean it when I put my mind to something. Hubby will get this story over supper tonight. I'm thankful for the total support of my family - always trusting and unconditional!

TOGETHER, we can make a difference. Thank-you in advance for your support and your confidence in project Pantry 309..

Take Care on the Journey,

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Linda Meikle said...

Within 10 minutes of posting this story, I got a possible offer of a refrigerator! (Don't let that stop you.)

Also, my friend, Buffy, pledges her support to help get this off the ground and even provide more food she gets from her extra coupon shopping.

We're very excited!

Way TO GO.

Thank-you! Linda

Colleen said...

Linda, I am inspired by you. Your idea to help combat the completely unnecessary hunger that so many Americans experience is admirable. I say unnecessary because I believe Americans throw away tons of food every day.

I used to work in a restaurant, and I always felt terrible throwing away food at the end of the night-- it was always perfectly good steak house fare, but there was no system for us to get it to people that needed it. (I think that sort of thing might actually be illegal, for health issues?) Anyway, wonderful idea, and BEST of luck!!