We’re Taking a Challenge and Need Your Help! #PghToteChallenge

(Want to check out the rest of the participants in the Challenge? Check them out here!)

In celebration of Earth Week, our family is going to be taking on a challenge…the Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project’s Tote Bag Challenge!

Using tote bags isn’t something new to us, but it (admittedly) isn’t something we always think about. Sure, we use tote bags to make sure the kids have an adequate stash of diapers, clothes, and snacks during day trips. My lunch bag is always a cooler (no brown bagging here). The problem is, we do not always remember to use our tote bags when we coupon or grocery shop (shh, I know, I know!). We really could benefit from a reward system for using our bags (but even Target’s 5 cents off doesn’t even give us enough oomph to always remember).

Next week, things are going to have to change. The Challenge will ask us to use reusable bags, and for every time we slip, we’ll be giving $1 to the Project to buy totes. That includes carryout, groceries, lunches. We can do this, right?

A few days out from the start of the Challenge, I have some thoughts that I hope we can consciously work around. Like when grocery shopping, there are “green bags” for veggies…but those bags sure aren’t green (unless we take them to the recycle bins for plastic bags)! Or when couponing. A quick run in to a store is going to require some thinking.

Good thing the challenge isn’t about whether we succeed or fail. It’s about whether we stick it out. There are sponsors who are donating bags based on the 11 participants success (awesome). And here is where you come in. We’d like to get friends and family to sponsor us for our participation. Would you consider donating 7 bags (1 for each day) to the Project? How about 14? Let me know by commenting below, and I will gloat share your efforts with our fellow participants.

If you’d like to find out more about the Challenge or the Project, follow on Twitter or “like” on Facebook for more!

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If you are new to ‘lil Burghers and want to know a little bit more about our family and why we joined the Tote Bag Challenge, here you go!

We are the ‘lil Burghers, Mrs. Burgher (a working mama), Mr. Burgher (a Stay at Home Dad and extreme couponer), ‘lil Miss A (our sassy three year old daughter), and ‘lil Man (our one year old son). We are trying to raise our kids to be the best for themselves, our country, and our world. While we do not always think green, we are trying our best and look forward to learning about how we can all do our part.

Couponing: A Challenge to You!

While I am not sure if we have inspired you with our couponing stories so far on the blog or in person, I’d like to think we have. I’d also like to put out a few challenges to you.

1. Spend at least one coupon per shopping trip. Why not? I am not asking you to become addicted, I am asking you to give it a shot. The stores still get paid and you save, even a buck or two here and there helps out.

2. Don’t throw your coupons away. If you don’t use them, find someone in your community or family or circle of friends that does. Send them our way if you must. Recycle them. Just don’t throw them away. It’s seriously throwing money away. Mr. Burgher has “made” so much money from going into the recycle bins and finding high value coupons people just discard. See #5 below for what to do with your expired, clipped coupons.

3. Use the rule of thirds. If you coupon like we do, a good rule of thumb should be the “Some for now, Some for later, some for others” karma-esque rule. Keep about 6 months “stock” (i.e. 8-12 body washes per person, tops) and donate the rest. How to donate, see the next option.

4. “Some for Others”–no one really needs an “Extreme Couponing” style stockpile, seriously. I mean, it’s nice, but I don’t believe you can fully be blessed unless you give of your time and resources (even if not monetary or objects) to others. I feel challenged to do this, and we are going to do some stock pile cleansing this weekend. ::ahem:: Earlier this week, Ginny over at That’s Church (and Mrs. ‘Ski) alerted the social media ‘sphere of Pittsburgh that “On the Spot”, an organization that provides needy girls with feminine products, needs our help. There will be an event to raise money in 2 weeks, or you can also send some extra products (they really need pads) their way. While my stock isn’t too full in this area, I am going to use my rule of thirds and see what I can give to their cause…and watch for deals on these in the future. Also, the Frugal Couponing blog has posted a challenge for this week to give in any way you can, Pay It Forward to organizations of your choice. Mr. Burgher and I really have held off our donation trip because we need to find the *right* place for us to donate–ie a Women’s Shelter or Food Bank–either way, it’s going to happen ASAP. Posts to come on both accounts.

5. What about those expired coupons? Look for a blog community service project coming your way soon from us and Oh Yeah? Roger that!. The military can use our expired coupons up to 6 months past their expiration date. Mrs. Ski and I have to get logistics together, but we’ll be collecting and shipping out expired coupons to military in Japan for starters. Keep bugging us about this if you don’t see it by the end of the month.

Can you take on one or more of the challenges above? I urge you to comment and share your stories. Link up to your blogs. Share the love on Facebook and Twitter. Let’s do good things for our communities, because you never know when you might need a little bit of help, too.