Frugal Friday!

Tuesday, July 7th: So there is something that I have known about for a long time, but I tend to forget how easy and great it is! It’s also FREE, all the time. I never have to pay for it. Normally, I tell someone what I want and they give me the product/service I request. This situation is a little backwards though, because I start the transaction by giving something to someone and I get something even better in return! The great thing is that there is no bartering involved. Are you confused? Let me explain…

Bonnie spent the night at my apartment tonight and right when she arrived, I decided that we needed to go to Walgreen’s to get some Cortizone 10. Why did I wait until she arrived in her pajamas to decide that I needed to go? Because it’s more fun that way. At 11:00 pm we drove down the street to Walgreen’s. We were a little nervous to see a lady sitting on the trunk of her car with some guy rubbing her leg, and another guy chugging beer on the other side of the parking lot. Shady. We kept driving through the parking lot and turned around to go back towards Tom Thumb. You know how much I hate Tom Thumb, but it was the most convenient place to go at the time. I was really hungry so we stopped by McDonald’s first; drive-thru, of course. So we get up to the window to order:

Lady at McDonald’s: Hi, welcome to McDonald’s. Would you like to try our new mocha coffee tonight?
Me: (Thinking – Really? It’s 11:00 pm.) Not tonight, but thank you for asking. I’d actually just like one McChicken sandwich, please.
Lady at McDonald’s: That will be $1.08 at the first window.
Me: Great, thanks!

I drove up to the window.

Lady at McDonald’s: $1.08.
Me: Here you go.
Lady at McDonald’s: Did you know you the first person to say thank you?
Me: Really?! That’s not okay.
Lady at McDonald’s: Yes. I say, “You want mocha?” They say “No! I don’t want that!”
Me: That’s not cool. I really do appreciate you for asking.
Lady at McDonald’s: Yeah, I tell my boss, “This girl the only one who say thank you.”
Me: Well thanks for your help. You have a good night, okay?
Lady at McDonald’s: Okay.

After we left McDonald’s we went across the street to Tom Thumb. As we got out of the car, we saw a guy walking his cart over to the cart return in the parking lot. We also noticed a Tom Thumb employee bringing carts into the store. She hollered at the guy, hoping that he would bring the cart to her, but he kept walking to the cart return. We could tell that she was upset, so Bonnie and I gathered the 3 shopping carts left in the parking lot and stored them safely inside. As we were walking past the cashier she stopped scanning items and yelled, “Did you girls bring those carts in?!” We said with excitement, “Yes, we did!” She had a huge smile on her face and said in her Northeastern accent, “Oh girls, I feel the love! I feel the love! Thank you so much!” We responded, “Hey, not a problem!” We walked over to the medicine section and got my long-awaited Cortizone 10 and walked back to the register. There was only one register open so we went to our new friend. She thanked us again and said that she was the only one at the store and had so much to do before she could close up. Apparently, the 10 o’ clock crew left without doing their “chores” and she was left to clean up after them. We were glad that we could help her, even if it was as small as bringing in the carts from the parking lot.

Now to pull all of this together, from the first sentence… If you haven’t figured it out yet, kindness is the free item this week! It’s FREE to give, and you feel like you’ve scored the deal of the century when you are kind to someone else! I found an article titled, “The Untold Value of Kindness: Practical (and Surprising) Reasons to Be a Nicer Person” and wanted to share some parts that stuck out to me.

Allan Luks, former executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of Health and the author of the book “The Healing Power of Doing Good,” found that helping contributes to the maintenance of good health, and it can diminish the effect of diseases and disorders both serious and minor, psychological and physical. Among the most significant of Luks‘ findings was a “helper’s high” that 95 percent of the volunteers reported feeling. The “helper’s high” reduced stress and released endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. After the high subsided, volunteers reported feeling an extended period of improved emotional well-being.

Kindness is catchy! The Seattle Times recently reported that kindness has a way of catching on. From patrons at a local restaurant randomly paying for another diner’s meal, someone buying someone else a coffee at Starbucks, and a man handing out free bottled water and juice to visitors at a local beach, kindness evokes more kindness. “In the modern world, we have a lot of relationships that provide reciprocal benefits: I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine … those sorts of contractual relationships,” says William Talbott, philosophy professor at the University of Washington. But, he continues, “We can say, ‘I just want to do something good for you without the expectation of getting anything in return at all.’ And what a thrill it is to be on either side of that statement — the giver or the receiver.”

My challenge for you for the upcoming week: Be Kind! I’d love to hear your stories, too!

In the spirit of kindness, take advantage of this 10% off coupon at Barnes and Noble and get after that summer reading!

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