Unfortunately, we live in a time where people going without food is at an all-time high. There are families out there having to make the choice between eating and putting the heating on, and it really shouldn’t be like that. This is why I’m taking part in the Reverse Advent Calendar campaign along with other UK Money Bloggers.
What Is A Reverse Advent Calendar?
A reverse advent calendar is basically what the name says it is. Rather than taking something each day from a calendar I’ll be adding something to a box which I’ll then be donating to a local food bank.
This idea was suggested as the annual “giving back” campaign by the UK Money Bloggers. So I’ll be joining a few other bloggers across the country in helping improve someone’s life, even if it is only for a few days.
Ways To Take Part Without It Costing A Fortune
There are plenty of ways to take part in this campaign without it having to cost you a fortune, here are just a few ways to save.
Do It As A Team
Encourage a group of people you are close with to do it together. This could be work colleagues, neighbours, other members of your family, a group you are a member of such as scouts/brownies/church or chat to your child’s school to see if they’d be willing to take part.
Breaking each day up between lots of other people means that it costs each person less to help.
Check The World Foods Aisle
More often than not, the World Foods aisle in your local supermarket will sell things such as tinned tomatoes, tinned beans (kidney, chickpea etc) and packets of dried legumes for much cheaper than the regular aisle. You can sometimes get two or three tins of kidney beans for the price of one that is displayed on the regular aisle.
Use Apps & Vouchers
Shopmium is a great way to get free or discount foods. If you’re not planning on using the items on their for yourself then consider using them for the reverse advent calendar. Shopmium will give you the discount back into your Paypal account after you’ve bought the item. If you’re not already using Shopmium then simply download it from your app store, if you use the code “AACFCHMA” you’ll get yourself a freebie (current a Lindt chocolate bar) and I get a little something for referring you.
Magazines, newspapers and general spam mail contain lots of vouchers you can use to get free or discounted purchases at supermarkets. If you’re not going to use them for your regular shopping then consider using them for this campaign.
Clear Out Your Cupboard
Many of us buy in food that we just don’t eat. Tins of soup or packets of lentils that are there so they’re there. Something like this is a great time to route through the cupboard and look at donating foods that we’re not planning to use. With also being so close to Christmas, it will allow you to free up some space should you need it for your Christmas purchases.
Keep It Simple
At the end of the day, you don’t have to have a box full of different items. A food bank will appreciate 25 tins of 20p beans just as much as they would 25 different items. Even the smallest of contributions can make the biggest of differences.
How Am I Helping?
As said above, I will be taking part in the campaign this year. On Wednesday 1st November I will be adding one item to my box each day for 25 days. Then, around the 1st December, I’ll be taking that box to a local food bank. You can follow my campaign over on Instagram where I’ll be posting all my updates (they also automatically share to Facebook and Twitter). You can also follow other people doing this campaign using the hashtag #FoodBankAdvent.
In addition to this, I have also set up a Just Giving page. The aim of this is for anyone who wants to help this cause (but doesn’t have the time) to be able to donate a £1 or two and I’ll then use that to either increase what goes in my box or to make more boxes. Each box will be around £25 as I aim for each item to be around £1 (some are more, some are less). So if you’d like to help in that way then that’s amazing.
I’ll post an update at the end of the campaign with images, totals and a personal thank you to everyone who donates (should you leave your name). If you are a blogger reading this and want to donate then please also leave your URL so I can link the thanks back to you.
The Just Giving page can be found HERE! It closes on the 1st December to give enough time for anyone who wants to donate after I filled my own box.
I’m also running this on my other blog, ChammyIRL.
Below you can also find a help sheet giving you an idea of what you can put in each day, with additional items. This is basically what my box will consist of, though there might be some last minute changes. Feel free to download/print this – just click it to make it bigger.
You can find a local food bank via the Trussell Trust Organisation and they’re happy to accept donations at any time. If you are planning on doing a reverse advent calendar then remember that some food banks only operate a couple of times a week (Xmas Eve is a Sunday this year). The volunteers need time to sort your donation and distribute it.
Let Me Know
If you decide to take part in this campaign then please feel free to tag me in any posts/photos etc. I’d love to see what you are doing. If you have any questions then please feel free to leave them below in the comments and I’ll answer them the best I can.