I am up to my eyeballs with baseball and book proposals and getting ready for Kenz to fly home next weekend for her 19th birthday, bringing Lysa TerKeurst’s sweet daughter Hope with her. So….
It is time for another guest blog post by my friend Lindsey Feldpausch! If you missed her first one, you can catch it here. Otherwise, enjoy the musings of this young mom of three. I’ll be back tomorrow with a Mother’s Day piece.
Unless my brain is totally fried.
Why, oh why, did I agree to turn in 3 book proposal ideas at once?!?!
During baseball season?
When Kenz is coming home?
And during the month I like life to wind down and school to end so I can spend a little time working in my herb garden or catching up on reading?
Oh well…..here is Lindsey. Looks like she’s gotten herself into a whole other mess……
What I am about to tell you might just cross over from funny to freaky. Let’s start with the confession: I discovered the world of coupons, couponers, coupon insomnia, coupon let down, coupon heroes, coupon creepy people and those who despise couponers.
I discovered the world of coupons through a book at the library that extensively covered the use and worth of coupons. I was on a coupon high for the first few days as I bought my first Houston Chronicle with all the shiny inserts covered in bar codes and expiration dates. I had that initial thought that every couponer thinks; “the sky is the limit, the more coupons I find….why I could save hundreds, even thousands…”
Then the coupon insomnia set in. I stayed up well into the night scouring the internet reading blogs of moms who buy their groceries for obscenely low prices and somehow obtain 20 coupons by getting three Sunday papers and buying 17 others on ebay. Or others that know just how to pair the manufacturer coupon with the store coupon while getting a store rebate to walk out of the store with a case of free diapers.
They are the coupon heroes. This fascinated me and strangely challenged me.
Then came the creepy coupon moment.
I went to the mailbox and found a flyer for the new Burger King that opened not far from our apartment. On the back were coupons. No big deal, I don’t really want coupons for fast food because it isn’t that economical, usually you have to buy one double fried cholesterol patty meal to get the second half off.
I looked it over and saw “Free coffee, no purchase necessary” Well, that is kinda cool, I don’t drink coffee but I might for that price. (Which is what happens when you start getting into coupons. Your husband will say “I didn’t know you liked Tabasco sauce???” as he stares at 6 stacked on the pantry shelf. “Sure I like it, they were $.04 a piece, it’s great….has a little kick at first, but once you incorporate it into every meal, it loses its twang.”)
So as I contemplated the coffee I saw “Free croissonwich; no purchase necessary. breakfast hours only.” Immediately, I pictured myself sleeping in saying “Josh, just use the coupon to get breakfast on the way to school.” Forget those malicious transfat accusations….that is a hot meal with protein.
I threw the other junk mail into the conveniently located trash receptacle.
Uh oh….no you did not.
There on top of the trash lay a whole other flyer with the same coupons.
Are you thinking what I am thinking?……… Oh, yes I did.
Maybe it would have been perfectly acceptable to grab that innocent one off the top of the trash, so I did, however curiosity was devouring me as I sat upstairs pondering; “I wonder how many free coupons for croissanwiches are just sitting in the trash being wasted.” “Just sitting there” “I mean, the people didn’t want them.”
“I would be just recycling paper and helping the environment.”
Folks, I didn’t just dumpster dive. I stole the whole trash bag!
I know, it is outrageous… I just….they were free…and….umm…..I just….no disguising the fact that it was an insane idea. I was really afraid that my apartment manager was going to knock on my door, shine a flashlight in my face and take me to court. Then I pictured my neighbors feeling sorry for me and saying “if you needed some food, why didn’t you say something….our church could take up a love offering for y’all.”
Surely, that was crazy. I know. I just have to laugh though. I just have to laugh.
That was only Sunday night. If only I could tell you about the rest of the week and how I stood in the freezer section with my Texas Instrument graphing calculator (I couldn’t find my student of the month pocket one) tabulating which Pillsbury product would yield the greatest savings per ounce. Never mind I can’t pronounce half those ingredients.
How I made my first score by using a $.50 coupon tripled to get a Tony’s pizza free.
How I had coupon let down when I ran into the couponer’s nemesis at Randalls who gave me a verbal beat down on how people like me are costing them six grand a year and employees are losing jobs because of…….people like me.
Therefore, how it really wasn’t worth all that for four boxes of cornflakes. No, no, no. I surely hope I’m not one of those wacky people who hunt in the trash for coupons or something. What are those people thinking? (wink)
So, God brought me back. I am going to be fine.
If I happen to see you at Food Town, it’s cool, I won’t have a hanging file folder of coupons taking up half the grocery cart and if you want the last Blue Bell ice cream that is on sale, I will happily let you go ahead. Why?
Because for a little while I felt bad that I had wasted our money in the past, not using coupons and smiling while ignorantly buying things we needed that were out of season.
Then I realized, from living through my manic short-lived coupon phase, that with or without coupons, God is concerned about where our heart is.
I may be better off not getting the best deal if it means I don’t turn into a wrinkled up prune that makes her neighbors feel uncomfortable because she is outside rifling through the trash.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father trough him.” -Colossians 3:17
To me, that means, with coupons or without, I better remember that the same God that made the trees that made the paper that those coupons are printed on, knows my heart. He knows whether I am being prudent and resourceful or greedy and fixated.
I do plan on using coupons still, but wisely and not obsessively. Sometimes there isn’t a wrong or right way to do something, such as grocery shop, but there is a wrong and a right heart to have. I hope that mine is pleasing to Him.
Until my next blog visit with you,
P.S. There’s a reason I never mentioned how many coupons were actually in that trash bag….
NOTE FROM KAREN: If you are enjoying Lindsey’s guest posts here, then hop over to her brand spankin’ new blog at http://lindseyfeldpausch.blogspot.com/ It is called Redefining Health: Delighting in God and His View of Good Health. And don’t worry….you can still catch her posts here from time to time on her musings on motherhood and life lessons from God! No coupon necessary. :-)