You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise: you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely…For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:1-3,13,16

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Another hobby I have since getting married is couponing.  It sounds funny, but there is so much excitement in collecting all the deals and getting what you need for way less than the sticker price but you have to do a little research before you go so there is some time involved.  The good thing about it is there are so many wonderful blogs you can follow that do a good deal of the work for you.  What you will find is that it becomes difficult to pay retail for much after you see how much you can save.  I typically do most of my shopping for household stuff like cleaners, toilet paper, toothbrushes and paste, etc at drug stores. They offer the best deals. A very basic explanation is that you choose one or two stores and watch the sales for items you use.  When the items you need go on sale, you pair them with a coupon and end up with a very low price!  It's even better when you can use a $5 off of $25 purchase or something like that. That enables you to use all your regular sales and coupons and then get an extra $5 off.  There are lot of tricks to making it all work.  None of it is dishonest, you just have to make sure you carefully read the terms of the coupons and the store policies to make sure you do it right.  At the bottom of the post I am going to list all of the sites I like to look at to track sales and coupons…all of them explain things a little differently but much better than I could.  You can use your google reader page to sort through and star the deals you want to do and most of the sites even pair up the coupons for you and tell you how to keep organized. 
Let me show you how I worked this yesterday to get some food items I use a lot. (Once you stockpile the items you know you will use, you will always have them on hand and you should never have to buy them when they are not on sale. Sales run in cycles so you will get enough of an item to last you until the next time it goes on sale.) 
Kroger is running a special where a certain list of items is Buy 10 get $5 off. If you carefully pair this with coupons you will get a nice sale.  I purchased 5 cans of Rotel Tomatoes for $0.92 each, and had a coupon that was Buy 3 get 1 free.  I also purchased 5 big boxes of instant Jello on sale for $1.24(saved 25 cents right off the top--usually I get the store band because it makes no difference to me on this but since the sale was for the Jell-o brand it worked out better. You have to watch this because sometimes the sale is still more than the regular price store brand.) I also had a coupon for 55cents off of 3 for the Jell-o.  My total before coupons was $10.80. My coupons subtracted $1.47 and then I got $5 back for the store special for buying 10 qualifying items.  I saved $6.47 and only spent $4.33 (before tax) for items I needed.  Now you see how that can be addicting!  
There are lots of ways to collect coupons. Many are available on-line now, they still come in the Sunday paper, and many stores have a card that you can load coupons onto that will instantly come off your ticket when you swipe and purchase the correct items.  Again, the key is being sure you purchase items that qualify for the coupon and/or discount. 
On occasion a deal won't work out how you planned or a cashier will give you trouble. Just remember that you are using coupons that are put out by the store and manufacturer to encourage you to try their product. They know you will use it. The store is re-imbursed for the coupons they collect. You are not hurting the store by using a coupon. Make yourself familiar with a store's policy before you go there or carry a copy in case there is a question. If you run into a problem and believe that you are in the right:
 1. ALWAYS keep a positive attitude. You catch more flies with honey.
 2. Ask to speak with a manager. Refer to the store policy and see #1!
 3. If you are still not happy with the result email or call the corporate office and ask them to help you with the situation. and see #1!
If you still don't find your result satisfactory, never be afraid to put an item back or decide not to purchase it. 
My last comment is this --always be kind and thoughtful of other shoppers and workers. If you are rolling coupons (stores such as Walgreens or CVS) don't make a whole line of shoppers wait for all of your deals. Let people go around you or make one purchase at a time. Tell the cashier you have coupons and ask if they want them first or last and Thank them when you are finished.  You will start to visit stores regularly if you keep it up and cashiers will start to recognize you.  You can build relationships and even friendships this way.  Go online when you receive good service and praise them or email the store and mention the name of someone who went out of their way to help you.  From a person who works for the public, you never get good feedback only bad and it really makes your day to hear something nice and be praised. Your favorite clerk might even get a raise because of you! 
Last remember that you represent your King and Lord everywhere.  Being a good steward of your family's money shows that you want to carefully utilize the resources He gives you. Being a kind and courteous shopper shows that your attitude is in the right place. Trust me-- when you act differently you will be noticed, good or bad. Let it be good and then when you get a chance, point someone to the reason for your positivity--Jesus.   

My favorite sites are:

Happy Shopping!

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