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.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"She watches over the affairs of her household..." (Proverbs 31:27a)

Ah, yes, the "Proverbs 31" woman. All Christian women strive to be her, but the road map of life always has too many hills... and those hills turn into mountains before we know it. We don't know how to balance our lives. Often times we take on too much, don't we? I looked up some characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman:

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.

Transaction 1:

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

Transaction 2:
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 Jesus increased in wisdom...Luke 2:52)

This was Luke's Bible memorization verse for this week at Awana. Mary and Joseph started home from Jerusalem after a great celebration at the temple when, after a day of travel, they realized Jesus was not with them. Jesus was still back at the temple talking with the wise temple teachers, listening to their wisdom (Psalm 1:2). When I first read this verse at the beginning of the week, I thought it was kind of silly to be memorizing and not very applicable, I will admit. But here I sit, and God is teaching me yet again. Tonight, I left Luke at Awana (mind you voluntarily and NOT after an entire day of not knowing where he was - Mary!), to learn from the wisdom of his elders so that he might increase in wisdom. I had done the same thing for myself this morning at BSF.

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

"...a strong tower..." (Proverbs 18:10)

I never know what I am going to write beside each picture of the freebies I get due to the many coupons given to me for free each week. I just wait for the Lord to give me something. The manager was not very nice to me at all, even though the cashier tried his hardest to bypass her rules since he knew she was way out of line. But I maintained my integrity, I hope, and thanked the cashier for his help since he and I both knew that the manager was in a bad mood and simply assumed I was out to get the world with my coupons. She also was plain old wrong on some things, but that was the first time I have seen her in this store and the other two managers are VERY nice, so let's move on to what I think the Lord wanted me to mention with this post. :)

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

"Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone." (John 8:7)





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)