Donation etiquette?

When things are free or almost free, I buy them with the intent to donate them if our family does not use the product (or if we won’t use it before it expires). Let me explain a few things I did this past week and you tell me if you think this is proper donation etiquette:

There is a cereal deal going on at Weis Markets this week. The local food give-a-way is especially appreciative of cereal, so I tend to buy it when it is a good deal. Now, there are two promos going on that allow me to buy this cereal for free or cheap.

Promo #1: A Kellogg’s Cereal Rebate on certain brands of cereal, which includes the 2 boxes of Raisin Bran I bought.

Promo #2: The Kellogg’s “Passport to Adventure” promo in which you can enter codes from specially marked boxes of cereals to receive $5 gas cards. I bought four boxes of Frosted Flakes which got me 4 points, the equivalent of a $5 gas card.

So…donation etiquette opinions about:

  • In order to take advantage of Promo #1, I need to collect the UPCs. So I tore them off of the bottom of the cereal box and left the rest of the box in tact.
  • In order to take advantage of Promo #2, I had to open the boxes to get the code on the inside of the box. The bag is still sealed. My spouse suggested writing the name of the cereal on the bag rather than leaving the boxes open or trying to glue them shut again, so that’s what I did.
  • The Mylicon drops I wrote about here included coupons in the box for the product. Our baby is past the Mylicon drops stage so I planned to donate them. I opened the wrapping, took out the coupons and used them to buy the product (with the permission of the cashier). The drops and dropper in the box are still sealed. Ok to donate?



3 Responses

  1. My only concern would be expiration dates, nutritional labels, etc. would be missing on those items you opened and donated without the original box, wrapper, etc.

    Personally, if I were to see something “opened” -even though it was sealed- at a food bank or other place, I would pass it up. I’m guessing that would be the same for many people.

    Another option would be to buy what you would be able to use (or pass on to a personal friend, for example) and use the coupons or P.O.P to get items you intend to donate.

    Again, just my opinion.

  2. I agree with Amy about the expiration dates, etc. Cutting off the UPC codes wouldn’t be that big of a deal (although you could always ask the food donation site what they think).

    Finding a family in need and giving it directly to them is what I would do. Hopefully someone else would be grateful that you took the time to match coupons with a deal and would be okay with the missing label or the unopened freshness bag of an opened box because they know you and you’ve explained it to them.

  3. […] Posted on June 15, 2011 by Kathy Leslie asked about “Donation Etiquette” in this post here.  Now I’ve got two questions for our […]

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