Shopping is the answer.
Many people quickly throw up a wall of defense and say they don’t have time for couponing when I mention strategic shopping. The truth of the matter is that couponing isn’t strategic shopping in itself. It can be apart of it, but it isn’t what it’s all about. To me, strategic shopping is about having a plan. You need to have a strategy. Once you know what you want to do and what you want to buy, then you need to figure out a plan of action.
When I am planning out my strategies, I call for a family meeting and we discuss different ways we would like to be able to bless others throughout the year. With the holidays coming up quickly, it’s easy to come up with ways to be a blessing. One thing that our family truly enjoys doing is packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. It brings joy to my children to know that they are giving gifts to someone who otherwise would never receive a gift. Each one of my children works to earn money in order to pitch in towards the shoe box projects.
Once you have a plan you need to know when to buy. Knowing when to buy the things on your list is the biggest part of this plan. My eyes are always seeking great deals that would work well in the shoe boxes. As homeschoolers, we look forward to those amazing back-to-school sales every year. Do you hit the stores and pick up any great deals? I am not sure how many twenty-five cent boxes of crayons I buy every year! (Many school supplies can be picked up at rock-bottom prices and even free during the back-to-school sales.) Crayons are loved world-wide. Children just love crayons! Plus, they fit perfectly in those shoe boxes.
Maybe you missed out on those school sales, but there are plenty of deals still available. The fall is a great time of year to shop. The stores are preparing for the holiday season which spans over the three months leading up to Christmas. They have tons of holiday stuff that they need to get out onto the shelves. But first, they need to clean off some shelf space. They do this by marking things down to crazy prices. I often pick up all kinds of toys, games, and even clothes for as low as three cents!
It is not unusual to see things marked down 90% off in the weeks after Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, as well as at the change of seasons (stock up on winter gloves, scarves, and hats for next year!). Take advantage of these sales to fill up a shoe box, or even a few shoe boxes. You’ll be ahead of the game next year. Do it as a family. Last year, my family filled two shoe boxes as full as we could stuff them for under three dollars each!
You really can afford to be a giver. You can teach your children that it doesn’t have to take a lot of effort to be a blessing to others. You can literally accomplish this with your change purse! I encourage you to start learning how to become a strategic shopper. Through this you will become a greater blessing to your own family, but it won’t stop there. You will be able to fulfill those deep desires in your heart to become a giver.
(This article is a repost of an article written by Candy Foote, a mom of 12 and the ultimate strategic shopper)