Ok ladies, want to know how I was able to get all this stuff for free?! Not only did I get it for free, but I MADE money!

Though most of these crazy coupon women seem to have a super difficult system that takes way to much time and patience, I have found a website that has enabled one to tackle the system with fairly minimal time and effort. I will try to explain the basics below, though if you have questions feel free to leave a comment and I would love to try to help!

First- get your heart right. In a book, Crown Financial Ministries, it talks about two key elements of the Christian’s responsibility to be faithful. They suggest: 1. To be faithful with what we are given. 2. To be Faithful in every area. This book encourages Christians to understand that we are simply managers of money, and God is the owner. It says, “I hope it becomes apparent …that God requires us to be a faithful steward in handling 100 percent of our money, not just 10 percent. Unfortunately, many churches have concentrated only on teaching us how to handle 10 percent of our income–the are of giving. And although this area is crucial, by default we have allowed the body of Christ to learn how to handle the other 90 percent from the world’s perspective.” As a faithful steward of the grocery budget in my family, I want to try to keep as many pennies as possible in our wallet and still purchase the items that we need. My goal is also to try to find good deals in order to bless my husband with fun purchases of items he would desire (not just need based) to have around the home as well as bring home items to donate to our community’s needs. The CFM book also encourages the faithful steward to work hard as there are many benefits: “You will experience more intimate fellowship with Christ; Your character will be developed; and Your financial house will be set in order.” What more evidence do you need to get started saving money? Begin by praying and asking God to help you save money, and teach you how to be a faithful steward.

Second- log onto southernsavers.com and familiarize yourself with this site. I think it is wise to tackle one store at a time. I have used the link for Harris Teeter, but at this season, I am especially enjoying all the deals that Rite Aid has to offer.

[But Joy, i can’t clip coupons all day, I don’t even get the newspaper! It’s ok, you can still save big as long as you have a computer and a printer! Read on!]

Third, Log on to the Rite Aid section at southernsavers.com, and Click the Link with the current week. The week I just used was http://www.southernsavers.com/2009/10/rite-aid-weekly-ad-1018-1024/.  Basically, Rite Aid has developed Single Check Rebates which enable the buyer to purchase items, enter in the receipt online and receive money back. But it gets better! Rite Aid has items that are actually FREE when you receive your check back for your rebates. All you have to do is look on the week and see which items that are free which Jenny has typed in for you. Then (at least until December 19th), print off a $5 off $25 coupon which is located at the top of each of the week’s posts. Finally, print off any additional coupons underneath the items posted that are free. [in case you didn’t understand- many coupons are now online, and you can print them off, on southern savers she actually has links to all the coupons that you need!]

Fourth, bring your coupons and go into Rite Aid for blissful fulfillment! The store clerks are super helpful, feel free to take advantage of their knowledge. Ask which items are free after SCR (single check rebates). Put all of these items in your basket. Then, separate them into $25 piles. Check out the items, present the $5 off $25 coupon first, then any additional coupons, and wha laa you have made money!

[simple scenario, see the above link for a more visual idea. I purchased the lip balm, ready rinse, little colds, zucol cold care, and zantac 75 tablets. The total purchase was $25 and some change. I first handed her my $5 off $25 coupon, then I handed her my $5 off Zantac coupon which I also printed off Jenny’s website. Since all of the items are already free from the single check rebates, I made $10.00 from my coupons! (well technically I made 8.07 because there was 1.93 of tax). Make sense?]

Fifth, log onto Riteaid.com and make a username and password, and then log in your receipt (it will ask for the store #, Transaction #, Register #, and date). Then at the end of the month, you can claim your check! (that is the only catch, you can only claim 1 check per month; but it comes within 2-4 weeks).

Now, I can decide if I want to use the lip balm for myself, save it for a nice gift for birthdays/christmas/whatever, or donate it! Not only did I find items that my family needs, but I also allowed our family MORE money to use towards giving to those in need, and purchasing things we may not normally get to have if we didn’t have the money.

I also like to make competitive goals for myself. Like, my last goal was to use our family’s grocery budget to pay for an additional $35.00 value pack of diapers without spending any additional money and still buying the things we needed. It is an interesting challenge. But the Lord enabled me to do it, and still have $3

I hope this helps you to be a faithful steward of what the Lord has entrusted you, as well as bless your husband in another aspect.

Look forward to hearing what deals you get!