Friday, November 06, 2009

How to Save Money with Coupons - Part 2

How to Save Money with Coupons - Part 1 

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 us me no good to spend $8 for $100 worth of groceries if there is no love in our my heart. It does me no good to have 40 cans of green beans, 28 boxes of cereal, and 10 tubes of toothpaste, if  I don't also have a giving heart to go along with it.

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

5 comments:

  1. I followed your comment on my beans and rice post at Natural On A Budget. I have to say that I LOVE this post! I have been doing a study on financial prosperity and the main focus of the book is that the Lord blesses us so that we are able to turn around and bless others. I may have to link back to this on my blog if that is ok.

    As for the email button on the bottom of my post, if I knew how to do that I would gladly add it. I am still in a learning process. Any suggestions?

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  2. I love this post too! I love that verse and inserting "couponing" really made me smile. It is true - we need to give to missions and support those in need, what better way than with purchasing things super cheap?

    I really do need to get better at using coupons with store sales and such....I haven't had good luck with it yet but I know it is possible!

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  3. Really blessed by this post as well. Thanks for sharing about the spirit that should accompany these actions. So often I think this is overlooked!

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  4. Amen, sister! I totally agree.

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  5. @Lorrie - You are welcome to link back if you want too. As for the e-mail buttons, I use Feedburner which puts it into my feed automatically and can also give you a small piece of code so it shows up on the bottom of your posts. That is how I get the "email, email the author, subscribe, and share on facebook" links on my posts.

    @Annie - It made me smile too. :) There are lots of blogs that can help. Let me know if you need help finding some.

    @Anna - I am glad you liked it. It took me a couple of weeks to get it all out.

    @Jenn - Thanks!

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