A reverse advent for 2017
Chocolate or no chocolate
Last year I took part in a reverse advent where instead of having a chocolate every day, I gave away items on freecycle or to local charity shops for each day of advent. Well, to be strictly truthful, I try and avoid chocolate as it gives me migraines, but I do set up an advent thing involving chocolate for my husband.
It was great! I decluttered and found new homes for all kinds of useful stuff that wasn’t being made use of in our house.
The Trussell Trust
Christmas is an especially stressful time of year for those struggling to make ends meet. School holidays stretch already stretched budgets when meals that are provided at school during term time have to be found. Universal credit has nightmare waiting times that will only be made longer by Christmas holidays. For some of the myriad ways that people find themselves in the ghastly position of needing help from a foodbank, have a look at this report.
These images are from the Trussell Trust website and illustrate a few shocking facts.
During the run up to Christmas, people frequently think of others and many people donate to food banks. As these generous donations are mainly received in December, and especially the last two weeks, food banks might be unable to distribute them in time for Christmas, when they are most needed.
This year, the UK Money Bloggers (UKMB) have decided that we would like to be involved in a different type of reverse advent. Anyone taking part intends to donate an item to a food bank for each of 24 days.
I have sorted out a box, and I’ll be adding an item every day for 24 days, then during the first couple of days of December I’ll get it to my local food bank.
So, what kinds of things does a food bank need? In brief, in date, non perishable items. If you would like to take part, do please check with the foodbank you will be donating to which items they are in need of.
The one I will be donating to for instance, has plenty of ladies sanitary products (quite possibly from me, as they were short of them, so I’ve been donating them for a few months!) and they are short of rice pudding, custard, chocolate and treats, shower gel, shampoo, deodorant and toothpaste. I have been donating the personal hygiene items for some time now, but they always seem to need those, so I’ll continue.
It doesn’t need to be different items each day, they will make great use of 24 things all the same. The items certainly don’t need to be expensive either. If you want to contribute and can’t afford much, please don’t over stretch yourself, you don’t, of course, have to do 24 days either. Many supermarkets have a collection that you can just pop a tin or two into.
To find your local food bank look here .
Rather donate cash?
If you would rather donate cash for the food banks to use, it couldn’t be simpler. Just send a text to the number 70070, saying FBUK14 £n and the amount you would like to donate in place of ‘n’. For example, if you would like to donate £10, text FBUK14 £10
Or something else?
I support the Hailsham foodbank, and they have another way you can help too. If you have used ink cartridges, you can print off a free postage label and send them off to be recycled. The money raised will go to the foodbank
I like to give seasonal goodies this time of year, as well as the other kind of things. So when we did our weekly shop today, I bought a tin of Quality Street chocolates. I have a big roll of clear cellophane that I got for very little from eBay and I’ll package them up nicely in that with some ribbon on too. Haven’t the tins got small! Goodness, you get a lot less now than a few years ago. Our local Co-Op has tins on offer, so I think I’ll get a couple more.
I was going to get individual Christmas puddings, but they are very expensive to buy that way. I’ll have to rethink that one. Wonder if I could get large ones and split them up into individual containers. I’ll also get some mince pies, they seem to have an extremely long shelf life, so will last. And perhaps some special chocolate biscuits. All of which are coming into the shops now.
It would be wonderful if you felt you could join in and if you do, do please show us all what you are collecting. Perhaps on the face book group. I’d love to see!
Take care of your family and your budget
Before putting together the meal planners, Lesley surveyed what was needed. Of the existing 14 budget meal plans, most are cheap meals for 2 people so can be sized up or down. Others are cheap family meals for 4 people, or meals for one