It’s the last day of the year, an opportunity to pause and reflect – and give thanks to God for His grace! 2009 will very soon come to a close, and a new chapter of life will open with 2010.
2009 has been a year of both joys and trials – like any year of life on a fallen planet. Through it all, we are experiencing the great faithfulness of our loving Savior and Lord. His grace, as promised, has been sufficient.
As I close 2009, I pause to thank God publicly for His grace to me. With this post, I’m specifically celebrating my first full year of avid bargain-hunting. It’s not that I wasn’t frugally conscious before, but I didn’t realize the value of a coupon. Why anyone would try to save a few cents on a brand name item when store brands were almost always cheaper and equally good in taste and/or quality was beyond me! But that was before I understood B1G1 deals combined with double coupons, or coupon stacking, or rebates, etc.
The greatest value of couponing, as it has come to be called in Modern English, seems to be how it can change a shopper’s general perspective. Specifically, I “never” pay full price for anything anymore; if it’s not on sale, I probably don’t need it. There are exceptions, of course. After all, I’m driving the coupon car; it’s not driving me!
Of course, bargaining isn’t just about me and what I can get. Rather, it’s about wise stewardship of the resources God has entrusted to me. As I save and stockpile, I am more able to look for specific opportunities to serve God, my family, and others. What JOY!
As we close 2009, our family gives thanks to God for allowing us, by His grace, to finish paying “The School Bill” (and related expenses) in the fall of 2009. From my perspective, couponing sped us on our way to that goal. It’s not so much that what we saved by using coupons on groceries paid the bills. Rather, couponing created an awareness of a real way to reduce costs and made me, in particular, much more sensitive to prices in general – and to the fact that, if I’m patient, the staples and regulars will be on sale again, i.e. they tend to cycle. Even if I didn’t have a coupon, I had a new idea of what I was willing (or more often unwilling) to pay for any particular item. And each baby step contributed to the giant leap of debt elimination!
I’m thankful for God’s enabling grace. I’m thankful that it’s never too late to learn. I’m thankful for my Dearest and my Little One – and their patience! And I’m thankful for friends on the bargaining blogosphere who shared their stories and lessons learned and encouraged me along the way by example...
So, I’m sharing God’s grace in a small (but significant!) chapter of my life – “Just for the Joy of It!”
2010 promises to be a year of new opportunities to trust God as we launch out on a new adventure.
May we have a Blessed New Year!