I seldom have one of those shopping trips you hear about, where the
woman buys $100 worth of groceries for $2.98, primarily because I do not buy a lot of processed, prepared foods. I have a garden; I bake from scratch. My grocery bill rarely includes anything but staples, meat, paper goods, and the few produce items we do not grow, like onions, potatoes, and garlic. You don’t find many coupons for those things, but occasionally I make a “coupon coup.” There was the jar of mustard, regularly $1.29, on sale for 99 cents. A 50 cent coupon brought it down to 49 cents. There was the week Publix
actually put their bakery’s key lime pie on sale for $4.50. I had a $2.50 coupon PLUS they gave away a free loaf of French bread with every pie. So for $2.00 I got a key lime pie (regular $7.49) and a loaf of French bread (regular $1.99). I couldn’t have made a key lime pie alone for any less than $4.00, and theirs is nearly as good.
Then I raided the drug store, the popular hang-out for those who are aging. Keith needed glucosamine chondroitin. $30.00 a bottle. It was buy one get one, plus I had a $3.00 coupon. We needed vitamins, regular $6.00 a bottle.
They were buy one get one, plus I had a $2.00 coupon. They also had my favorite shampoo on sale, one I hardly ever get to buy because it is usually $4.29 a bottle. They had it for $3.00, plus I had a coupon for $2.00 off 2, plus, for buying two, they automatically gave me another $1.00 off anything in the store at the check-out, effectively making the price $1.50 a bottle. Finally we needed some low dose aspirins--$4.69 a bottle. I had a $4.00 coupon, making that 69 cents. Are you keeping track? I bought $86.29 worth of items for $38.19. Don’t tell me the time I spend clipping and sorting isn’t worth it.
Redeeming coupons brings to mind another sort of redemption. I am always thrilled when I get a high quality item for a low price. I would never pay full price for a crushed box of crackers or a dented can of tomato paste; nor would I for wilted produce—maybe half price for overripe bananas because they still have some use. But top dollar? Forget it.
I am so glad God was not as stingy as I am! He redeemed me, paying full price not for dented cans, crushed boxes, or even overripe bananas. He got the culls, the totally useless, rotten, spoiled produce; he paid top dollar for
something no one else would have even considered buying.
I think, when you have “been good” all your life, perhaps “raised in the church,” as we are prone to say, it is hard to realize our worthlessness, and really appreciate what has been done for us. An old song goes, “Alas and did my Savior bleed and did my Sovereign die; would he devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?” I noticed that in one of the newer hymnals that last line has been changed to “such a one as I.” Unh-unh. We need to get the “worm” back in there, because that is how low we were—totally worthless and disgusting--when Jesus redeemed us, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold…but with precious blood, as a lamb without blemish and without spot, even the blood of Christ, 1 Pet 1:18,19. Truly the Lord is gracious. In fact, we got the real bargain—precious grace for irregular, damaged merchandise!
For while we were weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, maybe for a good an someone would dare to die. But God commends his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:6-8