Before I go on with the how's of saving money, I'd like to address the very important "why" of saving money. If you will, please allow me some liberty as I re-write on of my favorite passages of scripture, 1 Corinthians 13.1-3.
If I speak in the tongues of coupons and of sales, but have not love, I am only a squeaky cart or a clanging cash register. If I have the gift of savings and can fathom all FLIPs and all sales ads, and if I have a stockpile the size of a mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my stash to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.You see, it does
We are clearly taught by the Bible to be good stewards of our money. This is so that God might be glorified when the world sees that we value God more highly than money or possessions. God receives no glory when we stack coupons so others might see how clever we are with our manufacture, store, peelie, blinkie, and competitor coupons. Instead, God is glorified when we "coupon" in a way that points people to Him.
We are also taught to have a generous spirit. No longer do we live in a time when giving 10% is sufficient. The New Testament calls us to a higher standard, to give sacrificially, regardless of the percentage of income. This means different things to different budgets. Some can give 90% and live off of the remaining 10%. Some might find that giving sacrificially means giving just 5% of their income. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, if you do it without a generous spirit than your gift is not honorable to God.
One way I can give generously using my couponing abilities is to stock up on expensive health and beauty items when they are on sale and I have coupons. Just recently, our church had a missions conference and as one of our local missions projects, toiletry bags were made up for the local men's shelter. Here is a picture of the items I was able to donate. I could have never afforded to buy these at full price, which is at least $50. Instead, I was able to shop wisely and estimate that I spent no more than $5 on all of these items.
You see, saving money in and of itself isn't good enough. Bragging at the end of the year that you saved 92% based on the numbers at the bottom of the receipt isn't sufficient reason to do all of this. Spending so much time clipping coupons that you can't make time for your friends and family is not wise.
Therefore, while I encourage you to spend your money wisely and be a good steward of this resource God has given you (no matter how little or how much you have), I doubly encourage you to see how you can honor God with this skill. Consider using the money you save to support a missionary. Or pass along your surplus to local shelters and food pantries. In this way, we can make "couponing" an endeavor worthy of our calling as Christians.
Whether you eat or drink (or coupon), or whatever you do,
do all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31