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Serious about saving: It’s all in the coupons B

ev Coody may get stares at stores when she purchases 40 packs of dental floss. But she’s not running a dentist office from her home.

Coody, a member of Bethlehem Lutheran, Longmont, Colo., is a coupon collector, and she uses her skills as a ministry for her congrega- tion. The 24 rolls of deodorant and other supplies she gets for little or no money are targeted for a pantry at Bethlehem. Clipping deals from the newspa- pers, which seems to have grown in popularity with the birth of reality TV shows such as Extreme Coupon- ing, has been a lifelong activity for Coody.

“I grew up in a small town in Iowa, and back then we would clip out the coupons and make our gro-

100 plus

106: Olga Carlson, Trinity United, Waukegan, Ill. 105: Irene Tanner, Our Savior, Iola, Wis. 104: Mildred Sundry Eckblad, Stordahl, Zumbrota, Minn. 102: Bennie Bunas, Our Sav- ior, Arlington Heights, Ill. 101: Catherine Haftel and Violet Powell- Dohlenkopf, St. Paul, Catasauqua, Pa. 100: Olga Anderson, Zion, Man- istique, Mich.; Walter Andrews, St. Paul, Glenside, Pa.; Sigrid Berka, First, Le Sueur, Minn.; Leona Mel- hus, Trinity, Walford, Iowa; Bertha Oliphant, St. John, Mount Wolf, Pa.; Willard Sill, English, La Crosse, Wis.; Lila Strand, Kviteseid, Milan, Minn.

Send your Faces items and 100 plus members to: lutheran@thelutheran. org or “Faces,” The Lutheran, 8765 W. Hig gins Rd., Chicago, IL 60631.


Bev Coody talks about items she has saved money on through her coupon min- istry. On Saturdays, she scours websites for deals and then clips coupons accord- ingly from inserts parishioners drop off at her church, Bethlehem Lutheran, Longmont, Colo.

cery list,” Coody said. “Now the coupons are more prevalent. And about a year ago I realized that if I could do this for my family I could do it for my church.”

Coody asked Bethlehem’s pastor, Mark A. Peterson, if she could use her couponing to help gather supplies that members might need, particularly those who are out of work. Peterson agreed, and allowed her to use the con- gregation’s tax exempt status to help with the savings. She then reached out to worshipers, asking for help collecting coupons. Much of the assistance comes from older members. “They are my army,” she said. “They bring newspapers from their apartments at the assisted living centers where they live.” As the pantry began to fill with items, few congregants were taking them. Instead, in a surprising turn, outsiders began showing up unexpectedly ask- ing for help. Gradually, though, members of Bethlehem have been taking the items. “And one of them might be me,” said Coody, who after 31 years at the same company lost her job this year. Still, Coody plans t o keep donating her time and resources to the church. And she says anyone can do the same with a bit of practice. There are a couple of keys to success, she said. First, locate stores that allow double couponing. Second, learn the art of stacking and which stores allow it, which means allowing the use of manufacturer coupons with store coupons. It’s those cases that allow Coody to “buy” items for free. “I never thought I’d be doing this,” she said. “But it’s so rewarding.” 

Jeff Favre Favre is a contributing editor of The Lutheran.

May 2012 43

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