Cropping for Cash

Maceo Keeling - SCORE Member, Business Owner and Consultant. Photo: Urban News

Maceo Keeling – SCORE Member, Business Owner and Consultant. Photo: Urban News

By Maceo Keeling –

If you see a dollar on the ground, would you pick it up?

What about a five-dollar bill? Would you bend over to pick up a quarter? Perhaps I should ask could you pick it up, but that’s a question for another article.

For now, I’m going to talk to you about MONEY!

Currently, I teach a financial literacy class here in Asheville, and have found that many of us don’t even look at our junk mail. If you take a moment to examine the coupons you get in the mail, in newspapers, and online, you’ll find that you have found access to money! There are treasures everywhere you look, which means that all you have to do is pick them up. Grocery stores are willing to help you save money, and want you to come back.

When you do go shopping, how many times have you left home for a loaf of bread or some milk but come out of the store with a cart full of stuff and maybe a video or two? I call it the “$25 loaf of bread junk run” because you haven’t planned, and instead of picking up savings, you’ve picked up more stuff you don’t need.

Here are a few tips that work:

Don’t go to the store hungry. There is a much higher chance that you will make emotional purchases like snacks and comfort foods, which usually are not very good for you.

Get a store card for discounts and coupons. When you swipe your grocery card the store keeps a record of what you buy, and also gives you coupons for the items you’ve bought in the past. Those benefits are great, but there’s more! At one major locally based grocer’s, when you use your grocery card you earn gas points for discounts on gas. I know a family who pool their gas points and the take turns filling up for less than a dollar a tankful.

Shop with a list. Figure out in advance what you really need to buy, write it down, and stick to it!

Bring your savings! Take the time to get your coupons together before taking your trip to the store; after all, you must be purposeful.

At most grocery stores, if you spend $10 the store will double up to three coupons; six coupons get doubled if you spend $20. If you spend $50 they will double as many as 15 coupons!

To recap: First, eat something. Then make a list. Third, get “your” coupons together. Then go to the store. If each coupon is 50 cents and you spend $50 you could save $15 or more!

Check out the grocery store listed in this month’s print edition of The Urban News for some cost-cutting savings. Why pay more?

Also remember, this works with clothing as well. Everything on the clearance rack was once on the specialty rack. Just because someone else didn’t buy it means you can, if you like it and can afford it. As with trends, the outfit may still be in style, but the season is coming to an end. Stores need the room for new inventory.

Same with vehicles; buy on Thursday, before the weekend, and at the end of the model year, when the dealer needs to clear the lot for next year’s models.

If you are interested in learning more ways to get more and spend less, call for a schedule of my next financial literacy class and sign up.

Answer the Call!

“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to become great!”


Dr. King had a dream, now we must have vision. The Conscious Call radio program airs every Monday at 11:30 a.m. on WRES-FM 100.7. In a collaboration with the radio program, the Urban News will help keep readers informed about events, programs, news, and the progress of The Conscious Call. For more information, contact the Conscious Call at (828) 989-6999 and visit

The opinions and statements made in this column are solely the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of The Urban News.

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