Fun for free
As I stated in my first post, one of my goals of this blog is to disprove a common myth: giving is expensive. So for the record, today’s act of kindness cost me zero dollars.
While I’d like to consider myself a well organized person, there is one area where admittedly I know this isn’t true…coupons. My current “system” comprises of a small magnetic container stuck to the side of my fridge. I have the best intentions to keep them in order and up to date. In reality though, that never happens. Instead it becomes just a giant pile of overflowing papers that rarely get cashed in. In fact, my husband often refers to this bin as “the place where coupons go to die.” And more times than not, he’s right.
But not this time. I decided to go through this huge pile and put them to good use…but not for me.
My triple play…
I had three stops to complete my act of kindness for the day. First up, Kroger. Over my lunch hour I walked through the aisles searching for the specific products and then taped my coupons up where it would be easy to find. In total, I scattered just over $20 in coupons throughout the store. While at times I did feel silly, I reminded myself how happy I would be if I found one.
Next, it was on to Smoothie King to cash in a buy 1, get 1 free coupon. I had never been there before. If you are also unfamiliar with it, let me fill you in. “Medium” is not really medium…extra, extra large would be a more accurate name. In any event, I took my two “medium” smoothies and headed back to the office. I was in luck…Nicole was not at her desk. It gave me the perfect chance to surprise her with a tasty treat and a thank you note. Nicole is on my marketing team at work. Among her many talents, she is by far a very savvy social media guru…and the person who nudged me to start this blog. Since then, she’s helped me get it set up and has gone out of her way to show me tips. While I may technically be her manager, in this case she is the teacher and I am definitely the student. Also worth noting, she is currently six months pregnant and in my mind, pregnant women always deserve to be pampered with kindness and surprises. When she got back to her desk, I got just the reaction I was hoping for…a huge smile.
Later that night, I made my last stop on my coupon adventure…this time to a fairly fancy steakhouse, Carver’s. I had two very good coupons and both were going to expire by the end of the day. So on our way to dinner, we pulled up to the restaurant and I was ready to hand them out. When I got out of the car, I saw a young couple getting ready to go inside. They must have thought I was a crazy woman…”Hello! Excuse me!” I yelled at them, waving my arms in the air to get their attention. They hesitantly turned around and waited while I ran up to them. I’m pretty sure they didn’t know what to think of me at first when I told them that I had a coupon for $10 off that I’d like to give them. Once they realized that I was being genuine and not some kind of psycho serial killer, they were THRILLED! “Oh my goodness! Yes! That is so nice of you! Thank you so much!” Just inside the restaurant, I saw a woman getting ready to join the rest of her party at their table. I approached and again, the four people sitting in the booth first looked at me very confused. Their faces soon changed though when I gave them my coupon for a free appetizer. It was as if I had given them a million dollars. The thank yous poured out and the smiles immediately beamed on each of their faces. And on mine as well.
I loved doing this act of kindness. It was small. It didn’t cost me a penny. But I know I was able to make several people very happy today. It doesn’t get better than that. Before this challenge, those coupons would have ended up in my trashcan, but instead they made a difference.