Coupons saved my way of life.
When my oldest son was a baby, we lived in a neighborhood that had sidewalks. This was the first house we had owned, and money was tight. Because we were a one-car family, I would take the baby out for a stroll in the afternoons just to get a break.
I began to notice on recycling day that many of my neighbors didn’t keep their coupon booklets but rather tossed them in with the other recycling. It took a bit of nerve, but if I spotted the booklets on top of the bins, I stopped and pulled them out. We needed all our pennies, and coupons were one way I could help cut the cost of our groceries. After all, I was a stay at home mom, and I wanted to do my part.
Over the next several months, I began to find more and more of the booklets at the top of the bins. My neighbors were becoming aware of my weekly walks on recycling day and made the effort to make the coupons accessible for me.
Their ministry to my little family lasted for nearly two years until we moved.
During this time, my aunt in Mississippi also began sending me an encouraging note along with coupons for diapers and other items that she knew I used. Through the generosity of my aunt and neighbors, I was able to keep our grocery bill within our budget.
Today, coupons play an important role as a ministry tool for me and my family. We have given coupons for diapers and formula to new mothers and young families, and we have sent specific coupons to friends when it was a product that we knew they used often.
Within my family, I exchange them with my mother-in-law, and on the flip side, I pass them along to my own daughter-in-law. They have become a family tradition, of sorts. Even my youngest son knows to ask for a coupon before going to get a haircut. For us, couponing works.
Five Coupon Tips:
- Don’t buy items just because you have a coupon. The idea is to save money. If the store brand is cheaper or the coupon is for something you don’t normally use, it won’t save you money.
- Team up with a buddy. Nobody can keep up with all the sales. Find someone who is interested and swap coupon booklets every week or two.
- Don’t be an extreme coupon-er if it isn’t you. Do what fits your life style. Some people have notebook binders; others like me have the wallet-sized coupon holder that fits in your purse.
- Put your coupons somewhere, like in your purse or your car, so you’ll have them with you when you’re out. The number #1 problem with using coupons – leaving them at home.
- Remember coupons can be used as a ministry tool. You can use them to purchase needed items for food banks or homeless shelters, or you can find a neighbor who could benefit from your unused coupons and share with them, like my neighbors did for me.
Coupons have played a vital role in the life of my family. They are a McCoy tradition. We use them to save money for sure, but more than that, we use them to bless others.
Writing Prompt: The coupon made me think of my neighbor Lenita…
Hello! I’m Bonita Y. McCoy. I hail from the Great State of Alabama where I live on a five-acre farm with three horses, two dogs, two cats, and one husband who I’ve had for over twenty-five years. I am a mother to three mostly grown sons and one beautiful daughter-in-law who joined us from Japan. I love God, and I love to write. My blog is an expression of both these passions. Drop by and visit.