Saturday, April 07, 2007

Nothing is Accidental

Maryanne at HappyHelms has started couponing and shopping at CVS and Kroger. I've been impressed with her desire to cut costs and figure out the best ways to save money. In her post she refers to me as a penny-pinching super-star, which I definitely am not....yet. I'm just learning like the rest of you! A year ago I was just doing my thing, shopping at Aldi and the braving the vast headache-inducing superstore Walmart, assuming that I was getting the best deals. I was so skeptical of people who shopped with coupons. Generic or store brand items are usually much cheaper than name brand stuff, and a $.25 off coupon wasn't going to make me buy an item that cost $2.00 more.

Until I started blogging and reading Biblical Womanhood by Crystal. I found out Crystal actually lived in the same town as me (spotted her one day at the store!), and contrary to my rather cautious nature, I emailed her with tons of questions. She had posted several times on supermarket savings, couponing, etc..and I was intrigued. And she offered to meet with me and help me figure all this stuff out. We decided to bring our kids and go to the mall where there was a play area and seating for moms. And for an hour or so, she shared her techniques and strategies, and gave me a huge running start at this adventure.

Ever since that day I have thanked the Lord over and over for introducing me to Crystal. I am convinced that He orchestrated it all, from my husband shoving me into blogging, to a friend of mine showing me Crystal's blog, to Crystal being willing to meet me. I could have been an internet stalker or something. :) But I knew from her blog that she wasn't...this girl sincerely loves the Lord and wants to live her life to please Him. And coincidentally, soon after Crystal introduced me to couponing, she became very sick with her pregnancy and probably would not have had the time or energy to teach a newbie like me before she and her husband moved away to another town. Just another evidence of the sovereignty of God over the small details of our lives.

This has been a favorite quote of mine:
"I praise You for Your sovereignty over the broad events of my life and over the details. With You, nothing is accidental, nothing is incidental, and no experience is wasted. You hold in Your own power my breath of life and all my destiny. And every trial that You allow to happen is a platform on which You reveal Yourself, showing Your love and power, both to me and to others looking on. Thank You that I can move into the future non-defensively, with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, for You hold the future and You will always be with me, even to my old age...and through all eternity." -Ruth Myers

I love this phrase from Daniel 5:23, "...the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways..."

And I love how, in the midst of this exciting new phase of homemaking I've embarked on, the Lord makes His direction and providence so obvious that, even if I wanted to, I could not deny that He is the Ultimate Provider for our family. I frequently get goose-bumps in the grocery store when I watch His hand work, providing manager's special meat so VASTLY marked down for us. I try to make it a point to pray specifically on my way to the store, asking the Lord for wisdom in what to buy. I'm telling you, this is the way to live! The Lord is so faithful, and He delights in taking care of us. We are so thankful.

Also, so many of you have commented here or emailed me asking to be included on my email list. I really enjoyed being able to share the deals I was finding on a weekly basis, but recently I've been trying to simplify my shopping process and save time where I can. If you've started clipping coupons yet, you know it can take a little time each week, as can going to more than one store. So right now I'm trying to streamline the process and make it a little more effortless. :) That said, the emails aren't happening anymore. So sorry! But I will share my favorite site for CVS info on a weekly basis. It's,f533, a forum where people share the deals they are finding. You can even find info on upcoming weeks, for those of you who like to plan ahead! Check it out! I've found it to be very helpful!

Also, if you're just starting out, here's a detailed explanation of the CVS ExtraBuck program. And Walgreens too. Happy shopping!


Michelle said...

Praise the Lord for your faithfulness to Him. I'll have to check out those links.

bandanachick said...

So true! I am thankful you were sensitive to the Lord's leading, it has helped so many others to follow your lead.

Eryn said...

i am getting really interested in starting this. we have a walgreens right up the street. first, i need to go get the flyer and read about the money saver card, then i may have to call you, cause i am a hands on, visual learner. i have read and reread your articles on walgreens and still feel lost. but i need to start somewhere.

Crystal said...

Praise the Lord that He could use me in a small way to bless you!

The incredible and exciting thing to me is to see how you haven't kept the knowledge to yourself but have passed it on and helped so many others, too. It reminds me of the woman who first helped my mom and so many other women learn. It is thanks to the Lord, to this woman, and to my mom that I ever started on this adventure of grocery savings and knew anything to be able to pass on to others. And now you have continued passing the knowledge on and helped many, many others. As they learn, they, in turn, will probably pass it on, as well.

I think it is wonderful that you are streamlining and keeping it simple, too. That's definitely where I am at right now - doing what I can with the time God has given me and trusting Him to bless and multiply it. And He is so faithful to do so!

marti said...

Rachel, Grace asked me if I would get into this deals shopping with her. We don't have a CVS so we'll be looking for ways to save money here in Tulsa. Aldi is close by though and we do love it!

Thanks for the encouragement you have been to so many, including myself. It's not always the older teaching the younger!

dave & rachel said...

Eryn, I'd be glad to help you in any way I can!

My mom called today and told me about all the stuff she bought and how she only spent a few cents, and she said, "Surely this can't last forever. The store is going to catch on eventually!" But the thing is, these promotions have been going on for quite awhile, but there aren't that many people who put the effort in to make it profitable. But I agree, it seems crazy that Walgreens and CVS provide such deals.

dave & rachel said...

I'm glad you saw my post...I didn't know if you read here anymore. But thanks for commenting. I really appreciate you and your godly example.

dave & rachel said...

As I remember it, YOU were the grocery budget queen when I was a kid. Credit where credit is due..:) I remember something like $1/person per day or per meal or something. Isn't that right?

Have you talked to my mom? She is way into this too!

shawna said...

I was thinking the same thing tonight too! Marti should do a series on those meals.

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