7 ways to give generously when you're on a budget

We all know that we live in a world in need. But it can feel so frustrating when you want to give but don't have the money to do so.

I recently had a conversation with an acquaintance about just that. She wanted to encourage others to give even when they aren't in a financial position to do so. "I wanted people to understand that giving isn't just limited to cash."

I felt so inspired by the conversation I wanted to share some ideas for giving and giving generously even when on a tight budget.

1. Use your free samples as a blessing.

I don't know about you, but I get a lot of free samples. Everything from laundry detergent to baby wipes.

I could go on and on with ways you can use your free sample to bless others.

Blessing bags for the homeless.

Toiletry bags for a local women's shelter.

Sample size products for missionaries.

Even our local food pantry will accept the samples to distribute to local families in need.

You can also use samples like hand cream, face scrub and lip gloss for a care package for a new mom or sick friend.

2. Use your coupons.

Are you a coupon queen? Even though I don't use coupons regularly I do occasionally snag great deals using them. Recently I was able to score 2 bottles of laundry detergent for just $.27.

I kept one bottle to use and donated the other bottle to the food pantry. I was told that things like laundry detergent and toiletries are HIGHLY requested from the pantry.

If you're able to get them for free or next to free why not consider donating them?

3. Offer your time.

Do you know a family who recently adopted or had a baby? Do you know someone suffering from a chronic illness? A family with a deployed parent?

Why not offer your time? It can be something small like offering to fold laundry, hold the baby while a new mom showers. You could walk the dog of a sick friend, or simply offer to bring their garbage can back to the house after trash pick up.

Sometimes those really small needs feel HUGE when they are met.

4. Pass it on.

We were on the receiving in of a lot of great baby hand me downs when Ryals was born. It was such a blessing to our little family and I have made efforts to pass them on to other families.

If you have maternity clothes, baby clothes or an old pack-n-play pass them on to a new family.

5. Give quality items.

We all have things in our home we no longer want, need or use. And you all know I am a HUGE fan of the thrift. But stores like Goodwill exist to make the most money possible so that they can support their programs. (And they are WONDERFUL programs.)

So when you donate items that are broken, torn, or damaged Goodwill either cannot sell them and it costs them money to dispose of, or they cannot get the most money from them.

If you choose to donate make sure your items are in reasonable condition, not perfect, but reasonable. Good-quality toys and men's clothing are a hot commodity for these stores.

6. Give from your garden.

Everyone and I mean EVERYONE loves garden fresh fare. Have you grown amazing tomatoes this year? What about basil? Or blueberries?

While I am not the best gardener in the world I have been able to share a few things with our neighbors and since we have chickens I have had eggs to share. People appreciate free groceries, trust me.

So if you have a garden, even a small one, consider putting together a food basket for someone in need.

7. Give from your talents.

Maybe you're handy with a drill or really great at decorating. Can you sew or cut hair or cook a great meal? Why not offer up your talents to someone in need. Whether it's auctioning off piano lessons for a non-profit fundraiser, or teaching a struggling family how to budget or coupon, our talents might seem small to us, but they can be exactly the lesson or helping hand someone else needs.

What about you? How are some ways you've given when you have no money?

I am linking up at The Thrifty Couple and Frugal Friday.