It all started with coupons…
I would go into a store with a dozen coupons in my hand, and I’d come out with a bag of stuff that cost me half what the original price was. And I thought that was good…
This past weekend I begged my best friend to go shopping with me. Now – most ladies would be excited about the prospect. But when I ask… well, it’s met with hesitation. I can see Renee thinking, “How many RiteAid’s are we going to go to?” And the less-than-obvious, “Do I get my coffee first?”
So we didn’t stop for coffee before “shopping” – and we survived. Barely.
I was the leader of the little train of three carts we pushed around the store. It was me, Renee, and her husband Brian - can you believe he wanted to come! (He loves figuring out how much we’ve bought for so little money.)
While Renee and I were busy discussing the pros and cons of spending $1.50 on Garnier and Aveeno, Brian decided to organize the carts. WOW! I turned around, and there they were… Carts with neat little stacks of John Frieda Styling Products, Gillette body washes, Garnier Towelettes, AirWick Air Fresheners, Purina Dog Treats (for the Canine Corp.), and Dozens of Trident Gums. It’s only because of that little move that we kept our sanity at the checkout counter!
We get to the registers and they call for backup. The cashiers at this RiteAid were amazing! They kept their cool, and chatted during the hour-long checkout process. (Oh yes! Each item had a coupon… it takes a looooong time to checkout!) I started each transaction, calculating the out-of-pocket cost at under $1.00. When Renee got tired of watching, she broke into another line – and checked out all by herself! (Might not seem like a big thing – but if you are a couponer, you understand the sheer panic!) I give Renee and Brian both high praise – we’re making a great team of “Coups for Troops”.
The trunk of the car was full, we headed home (after Starbucks, that is!)
Renee brought reinforcements today to help pack the boxes… Darling Chelsea, her sister-in-law, wife of one of our military contacts who is currently in Japan. She jumped right in, and between the two of them they packed dozens of boxes of hygiene, laundry detergent, and food.
Then a wonderful woman I met this past week at RiteAid stopped by with more goodies for the boxes. Krystal donated a large bag of body washes this past week, and today she was equipped with fruit chews, nail treatments, feminine hygiene products, and a beautiful smile! I put her right to work packing feminine hygiene kits, because clearly she had brought treats to pamper the ladies.
We used up every last bit of product we’ve collected the last two weeks – and I have over a hundred boxes in various stages in my room. Forty of them are completed and ready to be shipped out, and a dozen are near completion.
The paperwork for nonprofit status is in progress for the state of Oregon, and a local newspaper is running a story about what we’ve been doing in this week’s edition…
The boxes are ready to go, and the only thing lacking is the money to cover the postage. It costs $12.95 to ship out each box, and most boxes have over $100 worth of product in them.
Can’t wait to see what happens this week!
Thank you to everyone who has helped us get here!
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If you would like to help sponsor the postage for a care package to our troops overseas, please contact: