About Me

I recently started couponing on January 1, 2011 as a New Year's Resolution. I had never really couponed before because it always seemed time consuming- "how could a 25 cent coupon REALLY save you money?" I thought. Plus, I have never really stuck to a New Year's Resolution. So this year I decided to make a change- I would stick to both! And I have. So far I have cut our weekly grocery budget 70%! We used to spend $150 a week on little things that we could not even make a meal out of AND then we would eat out on top of that! Thousands wasted over a year. Now I spend on average $58 a week on groceries and personal items (toilet paper, body wash) AND I stock up on many of these items so I won't need them again for another 6-12 months! These number keeps going down as we begin to live off our stockpile. If you follow my blog, I will teach you some of the ways this newbie couponer has saved lots of money!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It Pays to Be Nice

During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. "Absolutely," the professor said. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello." I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
~Joann C. Jones

Every person is important in God's eyes, so they should be important in our eyes as well. The lady at the DMV taking your car registration check, the janitor that cleans your office, the lady at the gas station as you pay for your coffee- all are important, and usually they are enhancing your life, so why not enhance theirs? You never know what a simple smile or a kind word can do to brighten someones day.

So how does this tie into couponing? Oh, it does. Just yesterday, for example, I was at CVS. I was confused because all the deals in the latest CVS ad were not as easy to find in the store because all the hang tags saying "SALE!!!" with the sale price were removed. Nothing matched up. A deal I had been so excited to scavenger and see if I could find, was becoming frustrating.

I went up to the Assistant Manager, and asked for help. Because he knows me and I have been respectful and kind to him in the past, he came right out from behind the counter. He showed me which shampoo/conditioners were on sale and which size. Then he went to find the Puff's kleenex's on sale. The area I normally would go to was empty. He personally walked me to two more areas where they *keep* Puffs. Who knew there were multiple areas for tissues?! Apparently they are in the tissue aisle, in the medicine aisle and then in an area near the pharmacy. The point is, had I been rude to this man in the past and not treated him with the respect he deserved, he would not have taken his time to explain the shampoo/conditioner confusion to me AND THEN personally walk me to three area's where the Puff's were. To top it off, he asked how many Puff's I needed for my deal, I said 8, and he counted 8 and put them in my cart! Now THAT is way above and beyond his job duties.

TIP: If you can't find an item, search multiple areas or ask a friendly CVS employee! :)

This is not the first time a store employee has come to my rescue. A few weeks ago I was trying to figure out a makeup deal at CVS. I had it worked out where the deal would cost me around 60 cents, and I would get $5 ECBs back for 5 items of Almay makeup. As I turned in my ECBs, coupons, etc. the sweet cashier pointed out that I had $1 left to *spend* on anything or I would lose the money from my ECB I turned in (apparently I had calculated a little off or didn't include tax). He did not have to do that; he could have thought "silly her, oh well." But he didn't. He was kind and helpful, because I was kind. I had talked to him about his day, and therefore, he wanted to help me out. He was so excited when I got a *free* pack of gum.

TIP: Genuinely care about the people putting your items in your reusable bag or swiping your debit card. The key word is genuine: people can sense fakeness. A genuine smile. A genuine "how's your day" can get you a long way.

A third and final example: A couple weeks ago I was at Kroger getting my $1 newspapers since they discount them down.

TIP: Go to Kroger or CVS for newspapers. They are marked down weekly from $1.75 to $1!!!

The cashier and the bagger and I were chatting and laughing about the day, weather, etc. The bagger right before I left said, "You buy these newspapers for coupons, right?" Yup, sure do! "Well, I saw that there was only a small amount of coupons, are you sure you want 4?" We looked at the coupons inside and I realized I did not need four, so they returned two. Because I was nice to them, they saved me $2 and frustration of buying extra papers I did not need. And now we have an ongoing relationship. Just yesterday the bagger told me that she was getting a new Golden Retriever puppy in May. (I need to learn their names!) It sure makes going to the store more fun when I get to see friendly faces.

TIP: Get to know your cashier, bagger, door greeter, etc.

Ironically, on the way to Kroger this morning to buy my papers for coupons, I saw a stray dog wandering the main drag. I started to keep going because that little voice in your head says, "He's dirty...you're busy..." but I couldn't. So I turned the car around and called out to the dog. She cowered, but crawled over to me. I opened the car door to get out, and in she went! Guess she made up my mind for me. So I delayed my newspaper quest for a few minutes and drove back to my house and placed her in our fenced in backyard. I then gave my husband a heads up about our visitor (I knew he would not be too thrilled since we had a cat visitor a few weeks ago and she just found a new home :). The dog has to have an owner since she has a collar, rabies tag, and sits/lays down when you tell her. Plus, how many strays just hop right into people's cars?

"Do unto others as you would have done unto you." My dogs, Lilly and Riley, are my babies...


I adopted both of them; Lilly actually had been wandering the interstate when the dog catcher found her. If one ever ran away, I would hope a person would pull over, look at their tag, and call me. I would be heartbroken if I knew someone saw my dog wandering, kept driving to get her coupons, and my dog was hurt.

I mean look at this face. How could you leave this on the side of the road?

So if you have any tips on how to find a dog's owner, please let me know! Or, if you are in the Middle TN area and recognize this pooch, let me know. :) Since it is Sunday, I can't imagine I will get far. But tomorrow I was going to call my vet to see if they had a rabies database or something to locate the name of the person. I can't just call the pound.

Happy couponing!!!

Update: I ended up calling the pound with the rabies # to see if they had the dog on file after the dog got aggressive with my dogs, dug up my garden, and scratched our fence up...no good deed goes unpunished, right? :) Apparently this dog has been bothering the nearby elementary and high school. The local officer had been trying to get the dog for 2 weeks. This is the 2nd time in a couple weeks this dog has had animal control come get him, and the owners are only a few streets away from me. Animal control was very thankful that I helped them out (wonder if they will come replant my thyme and cilantro and restain the fence? :) and they said they were going to bring the dog back to the owner (after they fined them, of course).

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