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  • The Trouble With Coupons

    (Before I begin, it occurs to me that the title of this post might also make a very fun book or short story title.  Doesn’t it sound like a story about a bargain hunter with a serious chick lit problem? Hmm … I’ll have to noodle on that for a while.)

    On to my real thoughts about coupons–specifically those from Family Christian Stores. I happen to be registered with them, as I really do love their stores, so I receive regular catalogs. Being a book-, movie-, and music-lover, I generally enjoy flipping through the pages to see what new media is now on sale. Is it the latest Max Lucado book? How about the new Brandon Heath cd? (Man, don’t tease me on that one!)

    And then I hit the last page, and there they are, practically shrouded in angelic light.


    25% Off here or there.
    33% off for Grandparent’s Day or whatever other obscure holiday approaches.
    30% off for just being me!

    And I think it’s never been so good to just be me. So I tell myself that I’ll just swing by FCS and take a quick peek. I don’t have any money, and I certainly don’t need anything. I have stacks of unread books at home. But it won’t hurt to just swing by the store and browse. Maybe I’ll get a good idea for Christmas presents–even if it is still 11 months away.

    Then I find myself tucked between two rows of equally sweet smelling books. I reach out to touch one. Just to feel the texture of the cover. Maybe take a little sniff. I do love the smell of new books. And suddenly the book is tucked under my arm as though I’m going to buy it.

    You don’t need it, says my wise inner voice.

    But then I say to myself, “Self, you do have a coupon … just for being you.”

    And before I know it, I’m at the counter setting a pile of books next to the register and proudly slapping my coupon on the top. I smile, thinking to myself how much money I’m saving on all 13 of these books.

    And then the kindly cashier says, “That’ll be $93.” I choke back a sob and dish out the dough. I can’t very-well part with one of these precious books now. Nope. Now I’ll take all 13 of my treasures back to my bulging bookshelves. And when I look for grocery money the next week, I’ll remember where I spent it. And I’ll know that that’s the trouble with coupons.

    Still searching for grocery money between the couch cushions until next time. -LJ