Tales from the           Coupon Slayer

By: Mega Mom

This is the first of many conversations regarding what drives a professionally degreed, six-figured wage earner to spend time with coupons and coupon applications.  Is it the sense of getting over on corporate giants who overprice everyday necessities, the financial drive to save nickels and dimes to pay for necessary utilities and living expenses, or is it simply a game of math to come out a winner.  Over the past thirty years, I have witnessed the transformation of clipping coupons from the Sunday paper, usually a housewife, in the hopes that they would have a savings on something that my family actually used, and perhaps find a merchant that doubled and/or tripled coupons for the added savings.  The next generation was slow with many rebates requiring you to fill out extensive forms, mail in proof of purchase and UPC codes, and wait sometimes six to eight weeks for a rebate check to come in the mail.  Oftentimes, the receipt was mislaid and the boxes thrown out, and heavens forbid, lost in the mail. Then came the advent of the internet and applications with our smart phones which ushered in a new era of downloading and printing coupons, cash back or money rewards to spend in the store again, or downloading to a shopping card that gives you your savings at the register.  In addition, many shopping applications allow your savings to download to tools such as PayPal, Amazon, Merchant gift cards, and some directly into your checking account. There is an application that gives you points that convert into money just for visiting their product and scanning it in the store.  We all know that savvy, usually female, customer that holds the line up for her savings, often requiring the manager to educate the cashier that the customer is right.  They seem to have a game plan, and to know the rules and regulations of the game, and with a game face hold out for the extra savings.  Lately, I have noticed that they are usually very sharp in math, and seem to not fit in the stereotypical housewife category.  Have you ever wondered what that customer is driving, what they do with all the extra shampoos and body washes, and what drives them to save, save, save. One woman I know supports a homeless pregnant woman’s shelter with her “haul” as it is affectionately called when she leaves the store with a basket full after paying  a few cents on the dollar. Another such woman showed me a receipt where she saved over $2,000 in one quarter at a local pharmacy, and she gives the items away in gift baskets for special occasions.  Lastly, another woman working a nonprofessional job, and being a single parent uses coupons to stretch her dollar, and to add income to her family by way of savings.  Couponing in my experience is part of the new wealth, SMART MONEY, and in the next issue we will explore some basics.  Until then, lets slay some retail.

L I F E

What is Truth?

by: Debra Evans

 

Truth defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary is the body of real things, events, and facts: a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality, a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true.

 

How often we throw around versions of truth to fit the occasion, person, circumstance, and/or to be politically correct in world where eyes and ears abound.  Often were “sugar coat” what is truth, so as not to offend, and in many cases to cause backlash to ourselves and to the brand or company we represent.  After a while, these mini versions or heavily coated balls of the proverbial Truth, (let us give it a proper name), can come back to actually hurt the individual or persons which need a dose of reality to keep them from harms way.  In a politically charged world where ears and eyes abound in the palm of a hand, how many of us actually are comfortable speaking the Truth.  At the end of a tiring day, we must come to our restful state and know that we can lay our heads down, and have a restful sleep because we were authentic in being and example of living in our own Truth.  You are your own brand, your own company, a person of one that represents yourself to the world.

 

This above all-to thine own self be true were the words spoken by Polonius, in The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act I Scene 3.

 

When we are unafraid to be ourselves, to speak from our hearts, to speak from a conviction or an imprinting of sort to our goals, our ideas, our dreams, our understanding and perspective, we are Truth to ourselves.

 

Each one of us has a gift, a purpose, a genetic imprinting as special as our very DNA to walk in our own authentic Truth, and into our successes. 

How To Stay Married 21:01

by: Paisley

 

After Twenty One Years of marriage to the same person, I believe I have some essence to share on how to stay married in todays environment.  In opening, what is needed is the initial understanding that marriage is hard work, and takes skills to navigate through many personal clashes which I can only liken to walking through a mine field.  The most important aspect is to marry your best friend, then make your mind up that you are going to “make this work”.  There has to be a choice that you are willing to work through your clashes, and still love your best friend.  I often liken this to getting a new puppy who you leave at home, only to come and find that your favorite shoes of all time have been chewed up.  After a little scolding, you find love in your heart to play with your puppy, to touch and rub it’s furry body, and forgive your animal when it looks up into your soul and loves you back.  In the human experience, we want to make someone else “pay” for the hurt they have caused us.  In addition, we are unwilling to talk, not scream, yell, call names (we would not dare do that to our cute little puppy), and storm out the door.  We have to make a decision that we are going to give something up (a chewed show), and compromise to find some middle ground.  Now, my husband and I still fight about the thermostat, but we have come to a common ground for the most part on the temperature setting, which we seem to talk about every week now in these hot Texas summers.  The point is, a best friend will have your back, you have to know that there is not one person, including friend, parents, family, church members, children, work and social media friends, that will come between the two of you.  I have a motto, if this person is not alright with you, then they are not alright with me.  In other words, if your mate has a problem with someone, because you are one, then that someone has a problem with you too.  Your circle that you create should be closed and small, and only those that are with your program can come in. No one really likes a third wheel anyway, and unless someone can accept your mate, then they can stay in a satellite status around your world.  It is very important that you have a closed communication with your mate, and that the trust bond remain unbroken, and that your mate always knows that you are numero uno!  Treat your mate like your best friend, and you can make it last, who said a dog is a man’s best friend?  I beg to differ.

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Which world would you like to live in ? The one where we say what ever comes to mind, lie and like beating up on the little guy? Or maybe the good ole girl that is a career politician a liar and seems to be the same old crap we have been getting. Lets see decisions, decisions moving to Canada.

The NAACP has gone the way of Jesse Jackson and the other old heads that the media go to whenever they have questions about the black community. Don't get me wrong without the NAACP of the pass during the heyday of Honorable Thurgood Marshall and Mr. Mfume, black would not have a lot of the progress it has made to date. But today most branches lack true leadership and bite. They very seldom address true issues on a local level. They symbolically shake down a corporation for their annual Freedom Fund Banquet getting up to $10,000 per table. On a national level,  their ACTSO program for the youth is very effective. But Jordan could have really helped young legitimate organizations that or on the front lines of Police Brutality. Sure NAACP is a safe play and it got great reviews for Jordan. But in reality, he shot 50% and had 2 assists on this one and the NAACP got the steal and a block for justice.