In my whole life, I never thought I'd live to see the day when retired veterans would be standing at traffic intersections begging for food and handouts.
It really breaks my heart, and just goes to show how tough this economy has become, and not just for some folks, but for everyone in general, employed or otherwise.
As much I and the family do our part to help wherever we can, such as taking some canned foodstuffs to the Salvation Army a couple of miles down the road from us, it's a continuous cycle, and it's getting increasingly difficult to explain to the girls on our daily commute to school why we see so many people asking for handouts at traffic intersections.
So, this got me thinking the other day as I was seeking for ways to help out one of our neighbors who got laid off recently.
We do use grocery store coupons from time to time but, as most of you will probably know, it's hard to get coupons for the products you badly want, and you have to settle for whatever the coupon is promoting.
This is alright if you still have disposable income I guess, but can be daunting for those in need of specific food or essential items, but don't have the means to pay full price for them.
As I was saying, I was on the internet seeking for ways to help out one of our neighbors search for a job when I suddenly came across this website that promised to give any user to the site some type of prepaid grocery gift card, in exchange for your zip code!
Now, I am no newbie when it comes to the internet and, being the mother of 3 impressionable little girls, my guard usually goes into amber alert when I come across something like this.
In this economy, there are a lot of companies profiting off the misfortune of a lot of people, and I wasn't about to become one of the unfortunate few lured by the promise of a grocery gift card, only to end up selling vegitables in exchange for the card!
However, curiosity got the better of me, and I went ahead and supplied my zip code, after which I was taken to another page with several survey type questions...
Oh boy, here we go again, I recall thinking to myself! I've seen this one before, - where you spend the whole day answering silly questionaires, each promising the next page would be the last...!
Not so, it seemed this time, only a few questions, some terms and conditions, such as being a legal resident or citizen, be 18 or older etc, and that was it. After providing my contact details, I was done in about 15 minutes.
Suffice it to say my neighbor's and our grocery gift cards arrived via UPS a couple of weeks later, much to our delight, despite me thinking 2 weeks was a bit too long but, this was a free gift after all, unlike grocery store coupons, most of which promote items I do not use or like!
This economy is really bringing out creativity in both companies and people, and it also helps to shop smart.
Grocery coupons and grocery gift cards are two methods one can use to shop smart, or assist their community etc.
With that being said, there are numerous ways to save on your shopping bill, and by no means is the grocery gift card the holy grail of food shopping, after all, once the card is used up, then what?
Whichever way works for you, then all's good. In this economy, it doesn't pay to choose, in my opinion, it's always to try as many ways as possible, and from those ways, hopefully one will resonate enough to share with others.