The Golden’s Rule: use coupons to keep your eye on the bottom line
Lt. Joanne Golden started clipping coupons as a teen. Her parents made a lot of sacrifices in those days to send her to private school so she wanted to help them make ends meet.
She started looking at newspaper ads for the stores where they shopped and cut out coupons for the items on their grocery list. Lt. Joanne got so good at finding deals that she’d go with her mom to the supermarket and tell her before they left the house, “only bring $25, because that’s all we’ll need.”
This money-saving habit has served her well as a Salvation Army officer. Few organizations know how to do more good with less better than The Salvation Army! For us, being careful with money is a spiritual matter; we need to be faithful stewards of everything God gives us.
She and her husband Lt. Christopher Golden are the commanding officers at The Salvation Army in Inglewood, California. Among other things, they have a daily sack lunch program for seniors, homeless people, day laborers and struggling families that costs about $30 per day – for up to 75 lunches!
And, it’s no ordinary lunch. Lt. Christopher is committed to giving his guests something nutritious and delicious every day.
Some of the food is donated. For instance, the bottled drinks are from their local Rotary Club and the fresh fruit is from the food bank. But the rest is purchased using a clever coupon-clipping strategy!
My colleague Dawn Wright and I spent some time with the Goldens and got to witness the money-saving genius in person.
First, Lt. Joanne went to the Target website to find store coupons on lunch staples like sandwich bread, deli meat, sliced cheese, as well as plastic bags. Then, she clipped the manufacturerss coupons for some of the items on her list to multiply the savings. But before we headed out, she grabbed her Target RED Card – their store credit card – for an additional 5% off her purchases.
With Lt. Joanne at the wheel of the shopping cart, she and Lt. Christopher worked together to get just what they needed. They compared prices and discussed each purchase. When they found a great deal on something but only a few left on the shelf, they called in the Target management to try and fetch more.
Everything in their basket – including the unexpected deals on school and art supplies – came to $112.89, with special values, coupons and their Target RED Card discount. Combined with donated drinks and fruit as well as bags of chips they bought at Costco, their purchase will feed lunchtime guests for well over a week!
But that’s not all, Lt. Joanne created her “Top 10 Tips for Saving Money” to help you get the most for your dollar too. Click here for a link to the list on our Southern California Division website.
And, if you’d like to see more photos of the Goldens clipping coupons and shopping for deals, please click here.
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