Thursday, March 13, 2008

Equip Them to Be Smart Shoppers

A very important aspect of running a home efficiently is to be able to shop wisely!

One of my New Year's resolutions was to be a better steward when it came to grocery shopping. I do consider myself a wise shopper, but I knew I could improve. So I chose to read and learn how to shop the CVS and Walgreens' deals. I have to tell you it is well worth the time! With the cost of groceries going up each time I walk through the doors of the grocery store every little bit helps!

In less than three months of shopping the CVS deals I have managed to stock up on most of our toiletries, over the counter medications and make up for pennies on the dollar, often getting things for free!

We live in a small town so shopping options are limited which makes me even more grateful for a CVS! When I made my trip this week the cashier said, "If I would take the time to learn how to do this (shop the deals) I'd probably save alot of money." I was SHOCKED! How can she work there and not shop the deals? She also told me that there are about 5-6 other people that come in and do what I do. I couldn't believe it. Only 5 or 6 out of our whole town shop the deals? When I say deals I mean getting the most form the ECB's.

My 13 year old daughter commented how there are so many needy people that could use the free soap and things. Oh how true! I thought of all the children that spend 2-4 hours a day just watching TV, listening to their Ipods, playing video games, and talking on the phone. What a blessing it would be if these young people would take a few hours a week and read Money Saving Mom or other blogs like that. What if they clipped the coupons from the Sunday paper and learned how to compare prices? Crystal (and others) do most of the leg work for us! Anyone that can read and do simple math can do this.

What if these same young people took on this task, invested a small amount of money to get started with their ECBs and took all of those toiletries and over the counter medications and donated them to needy people?

Possible places to give to:

Homeless Shelters
Hospice Groups
Ronald McDonald House
Senior Care Centers
Group Homes for Children
Foster Care Children
Care Baskets for the Military
Care Baskets for the elderly in your neighborhood
Fire Victims -People that loose their homes to a fire.
Disaster Victims - Keep a stock pile for times of natural disasters, not just for yourself, but for your neighbors.
Check with local churches to see of they have a food bank you can donate to.
Start a food bank at your church.
Overnight hospitality baskets for your house guest. We always place a basket next to the bed when we have guest overnight.

I'm sure there are other ways to share of your stockpile. The point is to be on a mission of blessing others.

Moms are busy, especially if you have several children it may be hard to find a couple hours a week to shop the deals. Why not teach one or more of your children to do it for you. This is a PERFECT way for them to learn to be a smart shopper and to have a ministry of giving right from home. They can do most of the research at home and then on shopping day they can have the list and coupons ready! A plan of action!

Does it take work? Yes! Will it improve math skills? Yes! Is it worth it? YES! When I walk through the door of my home and have $60 worth of merchandise and only spent $5-$6 (or less), oh yeah it is worth it!

Equip your children with this life long skill of smart shopping! One day they will be able to bring this skill into their marriage, and what a blessing that will be! Until then, they can be a blessing to their family now and to those that are truly needy!

For more frugal ideas go to Biblical Womanhood.


Candace said...

Well, mine are still too little to help out much, but using CVS stockpile as a ministry is a great idea for me.
I have three five and under so in this season, this may be a way that I can help others.
thanks for posting.

Dana said...

Just read this on your newsletter. Have to say that I'm trying to teach Katie how to do this already, and she's only 4 1/2. We do a lot with the CVS ECBs too. Not so much with Walgreens, but I'm not sure why.

I wrote about this on my blog last week. We got 10 boxes of cereal for a total of $0.98. Some of them we'll eat, and some will be donated.

I consider it a challenge, and a strange kind of hobby, to see how much I can stretch our food dollars.


CC said...

I wrote about almost this same thing last week as well! Read it here

Sherry said...

Great post! I think I will work on CVS-ing with my almost 12-year-old this summer! We save up our extra toothpaste, soap, lotion, vitamins, etc and give to the local crisis pregnancy center. Perhaps my girls can start their own stash to give!


Brent said...

I've been thinking about this as well. Showing my children how to shop the deals and compare prices is something that I'm going to do.

However I don't feel right getting free, or almost free, things from CVS to just give away. These deals are to encourage shoppers to come and spend money at their store, not get free things to just give away. I'm pretty sure if that was the case they would do that themselves.

To each their own but to me this is taking advantage of the system far and beyond what it is intended. Some take it even further and claim a tax deduction on the "giving".

As I said though my children will learn about comparing and spending money wisely.