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.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. (Eph 4:31b)

When the 26 notebooks that I knew should be free rang up as around $10 on the cash register, my heart sank. There were two people in line behind me at Target and the poor cashier was already calling the manager over to ask how to do the tax exemption. I didn't want to hold anyone up in the line but $10 was a lot of money when I didn't intend to spend anything. When the manager approached, I leaned over and quietly asked why the price was so high. I looked back in line and apologized to the people behind me and they were so, so nice. The man directly behind me even joked about now having more time to read the cooking directions on his meal for that evening that lay on the conveyor belt. The manager began to help and I politely asked if there was a way to move to another register so we didn't hold up the line and she said, "Absolutely." She didn't roll her eyes. Neither did the cashier or the two people behind me in line. Sure enough, the bar code on the coupon was wrong and it was only taking off $0.50 per coupon instead of $1 per coupon like it was supposed to and the manager apologized to me. I thanked her for her time and patience and was so grateful for what could have been an unpleasant experience, as many retail experiences can be! From both perspectives, customer service is a VERY HARD place to maintain patience, but God tells us that "Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in our lives." Those four people exercised such a pleasantness today that made reminded me of this and for that I am blessed and thankful. This may seem silly to many of you, but I shop at a lot of stores each week and a few cashiers and store managers here and there tend to think negatively of couponers. Did you know that stores make money off of coupons, though? Most stores make $0.08 off of each coupon used. I am helping the economy, and so are all of you when you donate or use your coupons! Plus, 26 notebooks got added to C4C today!

The deal: Five Star Notebooks on sale for $0.50 at Target
Use $1 off Any 2 Five Star Products from 8/8 Red Plum
I had 13 coupons so I got 26 free 90-page Wide-ruled notebooks.

Friday, August 13, 2010

My God Shall Supply (Phil 4:19)

Supply? School Supply? The Bible IS timeless!! Or punny? But seriously, 32 packs of black pens, 27 packs of blue pens, 8 boxes of Crayola Crayons (24 count), and 2 boxes of Crayola Crayons (8 count) later (total Oop under $3), which King Soopers to hit next!? Whenever God provides so much stuff, the first question is, "How does He want this distributed?" Of course there is a need but how do you find where the need is the most with school starting so soon? Please pray that these go exactly where He intended them to go! Please pray that all of this ministry's items go where God intends for them to go, as they are all His to begin with!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Faith as Small as a Mustard Seed (Matt 17:20)

I don't know why I always freak out about this ministry instead of trusting that God will provide. Every time I get a phone call that there is a need and then look at the low supply of goods in my living room (because the goods have been passed out for the week, not because He hasn't provided), I get on-line and God leads me to another amazing deal. Not only that, but my church family and loved ones have provided the coupons required for that deal and my husband is so good about watching the boys so I can super coupon my way through stores to get what is needed for this awesome ministry that God has begun.

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

For I know the Plans I Have For You (Jer 29:11)

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!!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Do Not Store Up for Yourselves Treasures on Earth (Matt 6:19)

God put the passion for this ministry into my heart when Esther and I went shopping together and came back with all of this...and MADE MONEY. Yup, Target and Safeway paid us to shop at their stores. We couldn't believe it. It blew our minds. We started sharing coupons with one another. She would give me all of the coupons for processed foods and I would give her my Greek Yogurt and other healthy food coupons. Then we would go and get so much free stuff, even if we didn't use it in our house. We were ADDICTED. We were getting all of our coupons from family and friends who didn't use their coupons (GASP!), but I started thinking about how much more free stuff we could get if people at, say, church, donated their unused coupons. Then all of the free stuff we got could go back into the community. Esther and I had a blast thinking about how cool this could be. (If we never see another Scrubbing Bubbles deal, it will be too soon!)