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Sunday, August 19, 2012

God As My Witness!

          I don’t know about the rest of the country but down south there is a wonderful hobby that can pay off big time if you take the time to simply “clip and save.”  It is called “couponing.”  Each week I get several dozen advertisement circulars stuffed in my mailbox and then another neatly wrapped bundle thrown in my front yard.  It is exciting to dig through them each week because you never know what “treasure” can be found there.  Now I know that those of you who haven’t discovered this hobby despise those of us who have.  Admit it.  There is just something about standing in line at Target or Wal-Mart behind a “coupon connoisseur;” and Heaven forbid if you are actually at the mall or shoe store behind someone who has clipped a coupon.  Maybe you are so affluent that savings mean nothing to you, but there is something to be said for the old adage “a penny saved is a penny earned.”  Now I know it is debatable as to whether a person is thrifty or just downright stingy, but I imagine the person who is saving money really doesn’t scrabble over semantics – no they are laughing all the way to the bank!  My Paw Paw was such a man. This man would pick up cans on the side of the road to collect and take to the salvage yard for cash.  Yes in the trunk of his Mercedes that he paid cash for!  Now I have a confession to make as a southern girl.  I used to be so embarrassed at the thought of Paw Paw picking up cans along the roadside.  Heavens – what would people think!  But a refined southern lady or gent   soon realizes that they have more class in their pinky finger than those with “small minds” have in their whole body!  Sophistication doesn’t have a thing to do with pedigree.  That’s a topic for another day though. 

So yes I have developed the art of “couponing.”  Aside from the coupons themselves that come in my weekly circulars, there are also sales ads for various stores around town that hold special “nuggets” all their own, as well.  I love seeing the acronym “BOGO” plastered across the pages! A “buy one get one free” sale can certainly help stock a freezer or panty. What a wonderful blessing competitive marketing is for a consumer on a budget or for a smart millionaire!  Another thing that has proven to be a blessing is a customer “scan” card for both my supermarket and pharmacy.  By scanning these little cards, even more savings add up over time… 

          Over the last month I have been “pinching pennies” and taking “couponing” to a new level.  As some of you know, I had neck/spine surgery a month ago.  Eight weeks is a long time to be off work without a doubt.  Honestly, I have been amazed at the blessings that have come my way.  It is true that when we are faithful in daily living, blessings find their way to our door.  My favorite place to shop with coupons is my local pharmacy.  They give what they call “extra cash back bucks.”  When you scan your card and purchase a certain item or certain level of merchandize you receive “extra bucks.”  Last week I was in need of several cosmetic items.  I walked into the store with $16.00 in “extra bucks.”  Before I even began shopping, I scanned my card at the card reader booth and voila!  $7.00 more dollars in savings on items I needed came spitting out of that machine.  I pushed my buggy (that is a southern term for shopping cart) around the store, picked up the items I needed and headed for the checkout – coupons in hand.  I was also in need of some cleaning and paper products, but was short on funds so I knew I had to wait until another day.  I approached the register and handed my customer “scan” card to the cashier.  She scanned the card and my items, as well as my discount coupons.  Now you can believe it or not, but this southern belle was raised in the Bible Belt where everyone knows “you lie, you die, you fry” so what I am about to tell you is the truth so help me God.  That little ole’ register began to spit out coupons faster than gold coins from a winning slot machine!  The cashier’s mouth just fell open.  “Why I never!  In all my years of working here I’ve never seen anything like it!”  One coupon alone was a $24.00 cash back “extra buck” and another one was a $5.00 “extra buck.”  Aside from that, was a $1.00 off coupon for an item that was still on my list not yet purchased!  So the next day I walked into the store, picked out the household items I needed, put them in my buggy and with more than enough to purchase the much needed items, walked out of the store without handing the cashier one single dime!  Now that is only part of the story.  Twice in the last few days we’ve had to pick up my prescriptions at the pharmacy.  When I went to check out I received another $4.00 for an item I needed, and God as my witness, just yesterday, my son went to pick up another prescription that only costs $3.00 and that old machine spit out another $10.00 in cash back “extra buck” rewards!  I kind of have a feeling I understand how the Children of Israel felt as they trekked across the desert and woke each morning to that Heavenly white stuff called “manna.”  I have had my own "manna" rained down and multiplied!  Well, I have three more weeks’ journey across my “desert” of post-surgery recovery and I have to say this…  I can’t wait to go to the store in a couple of days to pick up a few more needed items – goodness knows what the good Lord will pour out of that cash register next!    I’ll come back again soon and tell you all about it!

          Have a great week ya’ll!