Mother shares shopping bargains

Vicki Johnson, mother of six, has discovered a timely way to save on family shopping items, which she shares with hundreds of other families, through an internet ministry called Jesus Offers.

Johnson and husband Ron gathered 300 names in a database while operating their bread ministry. Their children helped with this operation, she said, but it eventually grew so large they also enlisted volunteers.

In the meantime, the children were able to see the workings of a mission environment.

“It was a nice family time and a great opportunity to show our children how God makes things work and provides for all our needs, just as He promises,” she said.

The Johnson family operated this ministry for three years, until earlier this year when the economy forced their suppliers to close down.

Now Vicki finds other ways to help the families she once offered food. Ten years ago, when son Kelby was born, Vicki joined some mom’s groups and learned about consignment shops. Then came garage sales, thrift stores and saving coupons. Using coupons, she has saved as much as $70 on one shopping trip.

Searching Internet sites, she discovered Yahoo groups called Freecycle.com, where messages are posted daily about needs and things people no longer need. With Mapquest, she organizes garage sale stops, thus saving on gasoline.

“Every dime I save on groceries can go to another bill or a fun night out” she said.

Johnson shares this information via Facebook and by e–mail to people in her database.

All of this takes time to organize, Johnson said, but it allows her to be at home and help others.

Johnson said Philippians 4:13, I can do everything through Him who gives me strength, has always been an inspiration to her.

Vicki Johnson may be reached by e–mail at

vicsterj@yahoo.com.

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e–mail at ssnivens@bellsouth.net.