Coupons for the Community
This blog is for showing the goods gotten for free (or really cheap) using coupons that were provided by friends and family. These goods are then distributed to people in our community to whom I feel God has called me to serve for one reason or another. I am not a writer of any sort, a super couponer, or a very good blogger. I am just a child of God trying to follow what I believe He has called me to do. Whatever God has put on my heart on a certain day is what comes out in a post, so I hope it makes some sense and is not offensive or scrambled. If it is, it is only because I am a work in progress. Love to all, In His Name.
Friday, November 19, 2010
I am blessed beyond understanding to live in the United States of America. Because of this blessing, I am unable to fathom the poverty that occurs beyond our borders. It is not something that occurred in the past or something that happened in a book, but it is happening right now, as I type.
And I truly believe that the worldly blessings bestowed upon America and other first-world countries have blinded us to the most important thing in the world. We as a people are so blessed with comfort and life is so good that we can't even see what is right in front of us. We as a people can't see God.
Children who have lived a poverty-stricken life accept a shoebox with a Bible in it that tells of the story of Jesus Christ and they soak it in. There is hope in His story. There is love. There is everlasting life with a God who does not choose favorites. But we as a people think this is sad. I mean, who can blame them for believing the story? They need to. They need hope because it is all they have.
We, however, think the whole thing is just a bit too crazy to believe. We joke about fire and brimstone and tell each other that we will deal with the next life when we get there or grab God's hand when we slowly breathe our last breath. We have been pretty good human beings. We haven't murdered or slept around too much. Didn't party too hard and the lies were minimal. Compared to most, we rate pretty good on the morality scale. Heavens gates will be open for us, right? Right?
You see, God has been so good to America that we can't picture a God, having been so good, being so harsh with the world. It is incomprehensible! But what if He warned you? What if He warned you time and time again?
He first warned His people not to sin. But it is impossible to maintain a completely moral life and God knew that so He did what anybody would do for someone they love (because He loves us ALL) and He gave up a life for us. He gave up His Son's life. It may seem silly, but He did. Wouldn't you give up your son's life if you knew many others who you loved would be saved, especially if you knew he would be right next to you soon enough?
So then He warned His people not to deny His Son. Don't deny that He sent His one and only Son to die on the Cross for our sins. The reason He sent His Son was to wash our sins clean. Those who believed would receive eternal salvation. Plain and simple. Those who didn't would receive hell. Plain and simple.
Being a "good person" has nothing to do with where you go after this life. This life is just a pit stop. It seems like everything now, but it isn't. Have you ever read what hell is described like in the Bible? A place of maggots and worms, weeping and gnashing of teeth, outer darkness, a place of torments, a place of sorrows, a place of everlasting destruction, where fire is not quenched, a bottomless pit, a place of no rest, a lake of fire, a place of hopelessness and suffering, and most disturbingly since all of these others are so vivid ... a place of memory.
If you don't believe in Jesus Christ, are not sure, or are on the verge, this is not something you should take your time trying to figure out. If you were to get into a car accident tomorrow, or take your last breath today, how sure are you of where you are going? What will it take to be convinced? Have you read the prophecies and how they have been fulfilled? ( ie; Did you know that Israel became a nation again IN ONE DAY on May 14, 1948 just as prophesied?) Is it really worth your pride now, here on earth, to figure it out if it means eternity in hell. Life IS pretty short, but eternity is, well... FOREVER.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Then I thought about how I had just learned in BSF how Ahaz, King of Judah, could have saved himself SO much grief and trouble if he had just remembered God's promise to King David that his seed would be established forever, his throne built up to all generations (Psalm 89:3, 4). Had Ahaz remembered God's promise AND believed in it, he NEVER would have made an alliance with the most evil Assyria, leading Judah into God's necessary discipline for lack of faith.
And all the while, Luke is learning in Awana what it means to make a promise and keep it. He knows that it means you say you are going to do something and then do it. He also knows that you do not make a promise unless you fully intend to keep it! I hope he one day can make a connection between a promise in our day-to-day living and God's promises, or covenants, in the Bible...with the exception of one thing. We are human and can break promises. But God NEVER breaks His promises. He will be faithful to the very end. He is a good and just and fair God who may use evil to accomplish His purposes, but He NEVER compromises His character and the perfect example of that is the death of His Son at the hands of evil men to accomplish God's good purpose of salvation for sinners."
And "If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all." (Isaiah 7:9b)
Monday, October 25, 2010
1. Shares the love of Christ by extending her hands to help the poor and opening her hands to those in need.
2. Nurtures the next generation, shaping and molding the children who will one day define who we are as a community.
3. Is a faithful steward of the time and money God has entrusted to her.
4. Speaks with wisdom and instruction as she encourages others and develops godly friendships.
5. Pursues an ongoing , personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
6. Loves, honors, and greatly enriches the life of her husband, encouraging and supporting his leadership.
I knew before looking these characteristics up that I have been neglecting my family a little due to this ministry. And I am blessed because they have never said a word to me about it. But after prayer and godly counsel on how to reorganize this ministry in an attempt to cater to the needs of all while finding balance in my own life, I now feel a huge sense of relief at a possible solution. I like to look at it as taking a step back, but then taking a step forward in a different direction. Allow me to explain.
Before this ministry began, I got between five and eight set of coupons from friends and family and I got plenty of stuff for free, above and beyond what my family needed. When I shopped, I shopped, but I didn't feel obligated to shop for every deal in town. If I didn't make it to a store, it was no big deal. I gave free stuff away and it was wonderful. I would like to have that kind of stress-free living again.
HOWEVER, so many more people know how to super coupon now and I LOVE to answer questions or find out the answer if I don't know, so I plan to still hold 3 classes a year (summer, fall, spring), at no cost of course, since people keep asking when the next class will be. And because people learn and get addicted to shopping for free (not a bad habit, I'd say - see #3 above) we need coupons! So, we will keep up the coupon donations at our church. Then we can have them readily available to everyone in one little crate and anyone can come and cut a coupon when they need it to get a steal of a deal! If you need four of a coupon to get something free, come cut four if they are there. We can all help one another post deals, as well as transactions (how we carried the deal out exactly) if we have time to post, saving others time.
Then, and most importantly, PLEASE bring your extra freebies to the church if you are not using them! We will find a good home for them! The hardest part of this change will be trusting that those in need will be provided for some other way, but my hope is that if more people have access to the coupons, then maybe this is the way the ministry can grow. God is faithful and He WILL work out the details.
So the picture here is my first shopping trip with this new mindset. Amanda did all the brain-work (thank you, friend!) and told me what coupons to cut, where to get them, and what transactions to do. I went and did the deals and made $12 at Walgreens! My favorite cashier, Charlotte, helped and I was in and out in no time at all. (Please pray for Charlotte who has been low-energy after being sick a few weeks ago.) I am posting the deal/transaction (even though nobody reads this blog but Amanda and I) because my BSF is done and the boys are asleep!
But the BEST part of all... I didn't feel like it was the end of the world when my baby spit up all over me yesterday. Then today, I read 10 books to my 3 year old son and just PLAYED with him. I wasn't constantly saying, "Hold on, Luke." or "In a minute, Luke." The card that my husband left for me on the counter "just because" telling me how much he loved me has been on the front of my mind and I can't wait until the four of us are together. But there is a fifth in the room. He is my Lord. He is my Jesus. I have an ongoing, personal relationship with Him and if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go spend time with Him right now.
Look at hip2save.com for location of coupons.
Do Contact, Colgate, 3 Mentos, Chestal (coupon/peelie on the box), 2 Purex = $15 out of pocket (oop), get back $6 RR, $3.50 RR, $1 RR, will also make $6 after rebate
Do the same but may not have 2 more Purex coupons because from Denver paper. If that is the case don't get Purex and, oop = $11, get back $6rr, $3.50 RR
So pay $26 oop BUT really you get 20 in RR, mail in $6 rebate, make $12 at Wags by the end of it all!!!!!!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
And in a very different sort of a way, I am increasing in wisdom with this couponing. My friend Amanda and I have figured out how to really enjoy it, fitting it around both of our personalities...and lives...and schedules so that we can do it with as little stress as possible while MAKING MONEY and having fun!! Yes, we made money tonight! If Rite Aid goes out of business, that will rock the boat a bit, since King Soopers is tightening their coupon policy and it is getting harder to buy in bulk there for Coupons for the Community, but Satan's job is to rock the boat, right? Our job is to not feed into him.
For now, we are increasing in wisdom. God is working on it. I should have known He would. A big lesson at BSF this week was that we are to be fearless and faithful! I need to rely on the Holy Spirit more. Why do I always forget that? Why do I always turn to people before my Creator? He knows me better than any human being. He knows me better than I know myself.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
My son and I were building a tower out of the free Mac 'n cheese we got at the store (I had already distributed a lot of the Mac 'n cheese, yogurt, and cream cheese) when I started to sing, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and they are saved." At BSF this week, we were told to pay attention to the names of the Lord, or rather to circle the names of God when studying the Bible because it gives us eyes to see Him for who He really is. We see His character then. As I sang that song and my son looked at me, I realized I had to explain what the song meant, and I find it to be the most challenging, yet rewarding thing in my spiritual life to have to explain God to a three-year old. How many names for God did I REALLY know the meaning behind?
I know there is a joke that says, "Those who don't know teach." I never thought it was very funny as a teacher, but I shrugged it off when I soon realized in my math education courses that you don't really know something UNTIL you can teach it. I am learning more and more about the character of God by teaching my son, as well as the little ones at BSF, than when I kept the Word to myself or shared it with adults. So I guess I would say, if you want to really learn the Word of God, try teaching it to little children. Try explaining what it means that God is holy. Tell them what sin is. Talk about the definition of a promise and what it means to keep a promise.
Friday, October 8, 2010
It is horrible to start your day by telling yourself that it is going to be a bad day, but that is exactly what I did anyway. I had finally gotten our baby to sleep through the night after my husband was off of work for 3 weeks. He went back to work (he works overnights) and my three-year-old decides to get out of bed and pay me a visit at 5 am, knowing he isn't supposed to get out of bed before 7 am. "Did you have an accident?" "No." "A bad dream?" "No. Where's daddy?" The baby decided to get off of schedule by screaming all day and my three-year-old decided to disobey at every opportunity. Needless to say, when my husband woke up at 5:30 pm, I told him I needed to get out of the house. This doesn't happen very often, but this is the
second time since became the mother of two that I needed a sanity break.
Walgreens and Walmart made me feel much better! The great deals are back! A very friendly woman at a new Walgreens helped me out even though they were short-staffed and stocking as quickly as they could, breaking up my orders so I could get as many Register Rewards as possible, but I do miss my Charlotte at Harmony and College! At Walmart, there was a very angry customer at Customer Service and the guy behind the counter kept apologizing to me for taking so long. I just wanted to give him a hug (he was the big teddy-bear type). Sometimes I wish they would invent a shot you could inject into people that would calm them and make them see that things aren't as bad as they seem. I would call the shot "Patience." The problem is, somebody would have injected me with the shot earlier that day and I might never have made it to the stores to get my freebies! "Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone." (John 8:7)
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Because heaven versus hell is not something to mess with. It isn't a joke. It isn't just something to think about in your free time. It is so real. It scares me to think of ANYBODY I know, whether I like them, love them, can't stand them, or have never even met them to spend one second of eternity in hell...and it should scare you too. It should bring you to tears to think about. It should bring you to your knees in prayer. It should make you question everything you believe in until you have answers. Because the fact of the matter is, if you study the book of Revelation like I did this summer (and I strongly recommend Beth Moore's study because she is easy to listen to), the Bible is so perfectly written by God. It is so connected from beginning to end and everywhere in between and there are so many unbelievable, jaw-dropping commonalities that go beyond prophecy (although the prophecy is jaw-dropping in and of itself) in these 66 books of the Bible all written by so many different people in so many different time periods in several different languages that the only explanation for NO inconsistencies throughout it and NO mistakes in it would be that God wrote it. Jesus is coming back and He will judge.
Just think about one thing. If there was going to be a religion started "just for fun," would people really come up with the book of Revelation to convince people to join their little cult. The book of Revelation. I mean c'mon. Have you read it? There is some pretty ridiculous, off-the-wall, crazy stuff in there (no offense, God). Would they REALLY pick THAT to convince people? And would they let women join their little group, back in the day? And they wouldn't go so far as to die for their cause in such horrific ways as being stoned, beheaded, crucified, etc. Not so many of them.
Christians need to cleanse themselves daily of sin in order to stay in fellowship with God. We are so far from perfect it is scary. And I am so sorry if this is another imperfection shining through because I don't ever stop talking about Jesus and non-believers can't stand how Christians walk around telling them they are going to hell. It isn't like that. We aren't trying to be accusatory. We are scared TO DEATH because we believe that and don't want ANYONE to go there. It isn't funny slang to us. It is the real deal.
What IS the meaning of life? My pastor summed part of it up perfectly yesterday, but I won't quote exactly: We must grow in maturity in Christ so that we can bring others to Him so that more and more and more souls are saved.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
My friend asked me to put a little insert in each box stating who the goods were from. My first desire was just to write, "Love, God." :) But...I knew I was supposed to do more than that. He is to get all of the glory, as ALL of this is provided by Him and is His doing, but I wanted to thank these amazing families for things that you just can't thank people enough for under such circumstances without sounding under-appreciative and, so I was stumped. I prayed and prayed kept putting it off and putting it off. So here is what other's helped me with...
What can we say to the families who send their spouses to fight for our great country and our freedoms? "Thank you" isn't enough, because even though you sacrifice lets us sleep better at night, it probably keeps you awake with worry. So what can we say to you?
At the very least, we can tell you we pray for your loved ones, and for you. It may not seem like much, but He hears our prayers. When the world fails us, no matter what happens, "He alone is my rock and my salvation. He is my fortress, I will never be shaken" (Psalm 62:2). He will provide, and we want to help in our small way through "Coupons for the Community." Our small effort cannot repay you for your sacrifice, but we hope it will ease some of your burdens.
In His Name.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
So, one of the new general guidelines on this new policy is that if a product is less than the value the coupon, the cashier has to mark down the value of the coupon to match the value of the product if you so desire, making the product free! The Purina dog and cat products are $1.99 this week and the 8/15 SS has a $2 off coupon for each. I took 12 coupons of each and got 24 free bags of Purina! The cashier was not aware of this policy, the machine beeped at her twice and she told me I could not use my q's, but I told her the new policy on-line allowed for this, so she called a manager over. I had the policy in my purse. but I was only going to pull it out as a last resort. Sure enough, the manager was well aware of the new policy and marked the coupons down to match the value of the product.
It's a miracle, another miracle, something only God can do! It's a sign, it's a wonder. How remarkable, incredible, phenomenal, sensational, miracle! (Nothing like a little Veggie Tales to end a deal!)
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Use $1 off Any 2 Five Star Products from 8/8 Red Plum
Friday, August 13, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I found this deal on Tuesday at about noon and deals turn Tuesday night, so I was pressed for time. I didn't even have a chance to get the word out to others because I could barely wrap my mind around it myself (and still can't fully). With all of the food He was about to provide, one verse kept popping into my head as if God was looking down on me saying, "If you had faith as small as a mustard seed..."
This deal? NINETY items (cereal, breakfast bars, pop tarts, and crackers) for $8 TOTAL, give or take a few cents!!! Albertsons and Kelloggs came together with a promotion that went like this:
Purchase 10 of the items listed in the Kelloggs promotion at $2 each, receive a $10 coupon (catalina) off your next order. Plus, MANY items were much less than $2!
So, 10 items for $20.
And you get a $10 catalina at the end, so 10 items for $10 or $1/item.
But wait... I had COUPONS!!!! ($0.75 or $1 off one, two and three items)
- Transaction 1: Bought 10 items at $2 each, paid $20 - $7.50 in coupons and got a $10 catalina. Out of pocket (Oop) was $12.50. (For my last transaction, I would end up with a $10 catalina that would make this $12.50 = $2.50.)
- Transaction 2: Bought 10 items at $2 each, paid $20 - the $10 catalina from the first trans. - $6.50 in coupons and got a $10 catalina. Oop was $3.50 and got a $10 catalina. Already, this was a Money Maker (MM)!!
- Transaction 3: Bought 10 items at $2 each, paid $20 - the $10 catalina from the second trans - $5 in coupons and got a $10 catalina, Oop was $5 and got a $10 catalina.
- Transaction 4: Bought 10 items at $2 each, paid $20 - the $10 catalina from the third trans - $4 in coupons and got a $10 catalina, Oop was $6 and got a $10 catalina....and so on and so forth for 9 transactions. My coupons weren't as great at the end, but 90 items for $8 is not bad at all!
23 Boxes of Frosted Mini Wheats (24 oz), 2 Boxes of Corn Flakes (18 oz), 2 Boxes of Froot Loops (17 oz), 2 Boxes of Frosted Flakes (17 oz), 2 Boxes of Apple Jacks (12.2 oz), 18 Boxes of Strawberry Pop Tarts (12 pack), 2 Boxes of Smores Pop Tarts (12 Pack), 7 Boxes of Brown Sugar Pop Tarts (12 Pack), 2 Boxes of White Cheddar Cheese-Its, 4 Boxes Cherry Nutri Grain Bars (8 ct), 3 Boxes Blueberry Nutri Grain Bars (8 ct), 1 Box Cherry Pomegranate Superfruit Fusion Nutri Grain Bar (8 ct), 6 Boxes Strawberry Acai Superfruit Fusion Nutri Grain Bar (6 ct), 2 Boxes Original Flavor Cinnabon Bars (6 ct), 4 Boxes Baked Cinnamon Apple Flavor Bars (6 ct), 3 Toast and Peanut Butter Sandwhich Crackers (8 pack), 1 Cheese and Peanut Butter Sandwhich Crackers (8 pack), 3 Italian Herb Townhouse Flatbread Crisps (9.5 oz), 3 Sea Salt & Olive Oil Townhouse Flatbread Crisps (9.5 oz)
Monday, August 9, 2010
At first, all of the "goods" were placed down in the basement of Discovery Fellowship, but our church doesn't have much room and we have no idea where God is taking this ministry. How much will be provided? How often will it be circulated out? How big will this ministry opportunity get? So, I brought everything back home and decided just to bring it all in bins to the church every week or every other week (when my hubby is conveniently off of work) and those who need stuff can come back by the nursery and grab whatever they want during either service or between services on Sundays. It ended up working out that everything was at my house, because the week I brought everything back home, five families came and took boxes full of toiletries, etc. that would help them through the summer. Not only that, but I met a great girl whose husband is in Iraq and, after bringing her a box of stuff, she mentioned a few other military families who could use a little extra help. She also wants to send some male products overseas, as I get a ton of free men's bodywash and was wondering where I was going to send it all. And yes, all of the items here were FREE USING COUPONS!!!!