Pay It Forward

I don’t use coupons, not since 2001.

In 2001 several parents, i.e. mothers, clipped coupons to raise money for the Senior Party.  In theory the kids would help too.  In theory.  So for about a month, several time a week, I went to Safeway and attached to coupons to products.  When the customer purchased the product they could use the coupon or donate it to our project.  My aisle was feminine hygiene products and over the counter cold and pain remedies.  After a month of that activity, I throw away the coupons out of the newspaper every Sunday.


Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics coupons, because I can use them for yarn.  The trick with those coupons is that they can usually only be used for one non sale item.  And lots of stuff is on sale.  And one skein of yarn is usually not enough.  A couple of times I have spent twenty minutes walking through Michal’s looking for something to use my 40% off coupon.  Then I realize if I have to look that hard, then it isn’t really something I need.  I’ve taken to finding someone in the store and giving it to them.  People really like that.

A couple of weeks ago it happened to me.  As I stood in the checkout line at JoAnn’s, a couple came up behind me and said they weren’t using their coupon and would I like it.  Of course I would!  When it was my turn to check out I handed the clerk the coupon.  All my items were on sale.  I couldn’t use the coupon. But…pay it forward works.

Another thing I like to do is let people who have one or two items in the grocery line go in front of me in the line at the grocery store.  That happened to me the other day too.  I ran into the store to get a small bag of trail mix from the bulk food section.  The lady in front of me had fifteen or twenty items in her cart and told me to go first.  Pay it forward again.

As the clerk rang up my purchase it came to $1.04. I hesitated.  The trail mix price on the bin was eight dollars and something.  I had a small bag, but not that  small.  Should I mention it or get away with my “deal”.  I knew I’d feel bad all day and especially eating the trail mix if I didn’t say something.  In that split second I decided.  “That really should be more.”  The clerk smiled and said, “We’ll just go with that.”

Pay It Forward.  It will come back to bless you.  Probably when you need it most.


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