Is the love of money really at the root of all evil? It sounds wise, but we mustn't take this too literally. Rich or poor, I've never met anyone who hates money. It's hard not to "love" money, when it represents so much in our lives. Money, to a large degree, defines our quality of life and for many of us it determines if we can meet our basic needs.
Considering our tough economic realities, this is a great time to consider becoming frugal and one such way is by using coupons to stretch those precious dollars, which even if we deny loving, sure are essential. Once, one is aware of something it changes us. Now that I'm aware that I can save so much money, I'm unwilling to "throw" it away by just giving in to impulsive and expensive unplanned consumerism.
I've only recently discovered couponing (a new verb to me). My daughter, who like so many young women with little children struggles to make ends meet, has learned to save considerable amounts of money with coupons. She has taught me a little, though I'm still quite the novice. Yesterday, I saved all of $1.80 with coupons at the grocery store. Not enough to make me rich, but "A penny saved is a penny earned," according to Ben Franklin, the wisest of our country's founding fathers. But my daughter has paid $20.00 for $80.00 worth of groceries. Not bad. I've heard of women who pay nothing for $300.00 worth of groceries. Definitely, free is best but I suppose you must be somewhat of a professional couponer (a new pronoun) to accomplish such feats.
To help with our coupon education there are tons of websites dedicated to this new science of saving. I take it from a good source that the following sites are really good:
I have discovered the following on my own:
Obviously, I'm no expert yet, but I have followed some preliminary steps, which you can do too. I have:
- started clipping coupons from the Sunday newspaper (I'm told that's one of the best sources of good coupons), magazines ("All You" is a great magazine for coupons), and web sites (I already got a free Dominoes Pizza. Wow!),
- set up a coupon binder to organize my coupons,
- set up a separate email to receive offers from various companies,
- overcome the laziness that tries to convince me that couponing is a waste of time. Time is money!
- I've started to experience the rush one gets from a great bargain - minimally of course, I've only saved $1.80.
So, you thought this was supposed to be a spirituality blog. What's spiritual about saving money, you ask.
I think everything we do is spiritual. We are, after all spiritual beings. And I do think there's something spiritual about money. It's symbolic of our life stream - like blood, can't really do much without it. Within this context I think the couponing movement has a spiritual component.
First of all, it's primarily comprised of women. The Divine Mother must have something to do with it.
Secondly, the women who are involved with it seem to be most concerned with love of their families. Wherever there is Love, there is Spirit.
Thirdly, many of the participants are sincere, genuine givers. There are many blog sites devoted to sharing this possibly life saving skill. Also, there are many women, who once they have mastered the art, are willing to freely share their knowledge with others by hosting and teaching mini workshops on couponing. Some women, who stock pile groceries, cleaning supplies and cosmetics, donate a portion to food banks or shelters. Not all couponing is intended to just remain contained within the confines of one's own household. It has the potential to expand giving in a creative and fun way.
"(S)He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured (her)his own."
Many blessings to all those who willingly share what they know. May their rewards be tenfold.