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Then : S & H Green Stamps

Now: Going Green

Before coupons and member reward cards, grocery stores gave away trading stamps.  Remember those?  The most popular ones where I lived were S&H Green stamps and their competitor the Blue Chip Stamp.    

I can't tell you how many hours I spent licking those stamps and placing them into the stamp book.  I have to say, those were wonderful times even though my sister and I would argue over who was going to paste which stamps where.  Go figure.  I guess sisters can fight about anything.  And I certainly don't know what the thrill was in all that licking.  It definitely wasn't in preparation for any future occupation.  It was just one of  those sisterly moments

Once the books were complete we would go with our mom to the Redemption Center.  A large building offering all sorts of items ranging from toasters to dog bowls.  But it didn't really matter what product we got by trading in our stamps.  The act itself was a symbol of  "life in the 1960's."

Today, rather than "saving green"  we are supposed  to be "going green" in order to save our planet.

Lately, I've been wondering why we're going Green.  Why not Blue?  I mean isn't this whole business about saving the atmosphere and the last time I checked the sky was blue.  Or why not White?  Let's go White!  White reflects the sunlight off the earth. And isn't that the purpose of going green? To preserve the Earth from the sun and global warming?  

But okay, so we're going stuck with calling it Green.  I suppose because vegetation is green and that's the color we think of when thinking about Mother Earth.    

But whatever color we call it, it is everywhere.  From the products we put on our bodies (lotions, creams, sprays,) in our bodies (food, vitamins, water) over our bodies (blankets, umbrellas, roof tops) to those under our bodies (seat covers, carpets, fertilizers). From cleaning our sinks to sending greeting cards.  From changing diapers to watching TV.  Nothing is exempt.

And this does get expensive.  If you have a choice between buying your kids new shoes or buying organically grown toilet paper, well, is there really a choice?

I'm  all for saving the environment.  Don't get me wrong.   But I'm also for saving my sanity.  And that calls for savings those greenbacks that I get each week and spending them in the thriftiest way possible.  Even it means every now and then I have to go—ungreen.  

I'm not being unpatriotic or uncaring.  I care about this earth as much as the next person.  In fact, I'm still using the clothes basket that I got from that stamp center so many years ago.  I fill it up with papers, cans and bottles and carry it to the recycle bin outside.  And each time I do, I see my sister and I bonding together just as tightly as those stamps stuck to the page in the trading book.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tinaf wrote Apr 27, 2009
    • Oh, my, my, S & H Green Stamps!  My mother used to collect those, as well, and turn them in for things.  And you are still using a product you got with it...amazing.

      Not so long ago, schools were all about scrip, for everything from supermarkets to gas cards to restaurants, and I often connected the two in my head.  Whereas my mother used to predict  how many stamps she would get for her weekly supermarket purchases, I used to predict my spending to make sure I had enough scrip before going to the store.

      Thanks for another stirring blog that brings up great memories!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Justjer wrote Apr 27, 2009
    • Way too many images to respond to...Bravo, Janie on another really great post.  I know it will hit many people on many levels.  It did me, but I’m afraid to get started. Maybe later, after I talk to my sister...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Apr 27, 2009
    • Tina - I remember scrip, but I never used it as much as my mom did those stamps.  And she still has her 36 cup percolator!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Apr 27, 2009
    • Justjer - Talking to your sister is always a good thing.  Did you lick stamps together, too?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lindao wrote Apr 27, 2009
    • Ah, yes, I remember S&H Green Stamps well.  I once got a huge number because of some promotion and remember spending hours pasting them into the books.  Don’t recall what I got with them, though.  Today, I like the concept of everyone working together to save the planet by going green, but I don’t believe people are thinking it through well enough.  For example, I shop often at Ralphs supermarkets, and, to save some trees, they just changed their paper bags so you can’t get them with handles.  Yes, I could buy a bunch of their cloth sacks, but they don’t hold as much, and, besides, I use their paper bags for recycling.  And now I think more people will want to put their paper bags in plastic ones for ease of carrying now, so where’s the “going green” in that??? —LindaO



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Apr 27, 2009
    • Linda - The guy at Ralphs told me it cost as much to make the handle as the entire bag.  But I’m still taking paper, although it is harder to carry.  More thought does need to be put into this endeavor.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pamaloon wrote Apr 27, 2009
    • Hi Janie!

      We didn’t lick those stamps - my mom made us tap them onto a wet sponge. LOL! I remember thinking it was extremely fun to do. Talk about times changing!  

      As for going green - I try, and I’m definitely getting better, but I sure do wish I could remember to put my cloth grocery bags IN my car. That seems to be the only way they work - you actually have to take them with you! :)

      Great post!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Apr 27, 2009
    • Pam - I’m with you on those cloth bags.  I always forget to take them with me.  I think we started using a sponge after awhile, too.  Who could lick all those stamps? But going to the Redemption Center sure was fun.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Apr 27, 2009
    • Ah, Green Stamps!  That brings back memories.  And whatever kind of coupons came in Dad’s pack of cigarettes.  We save lots of those too.    

      I remember one year for Easter mom had us paste in all the green stamps and she took them and got my brother and I (who would fight over who got to paste the big ones) each a brand new red letter, King James version Bible.  I still have that Bible to this day.  It’s much worn, marked in and the spine is broken, but it’s beside my bed and read most every night.

      As for going green, well, the things I do to “go green” now are the things we called “making do” when I was a kid.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandyde wrote Apr 27, 2009
    • I remember the S&H Green Stamps, but I don’t recall a single them I redeemed with them. lol.  

      As for “going green“...well, I try but it’s tedious and can sometimes be a pain in the butt trying to remember to carry those cloth bags with me to the store. But around here the grocery stores are going to start charging 10 cents per plastic bag—as if my wallet needs to take another hit—lol. So, that will be some added incentive for me to remember to keep the cloth bags in the car.

      As usual, another great blog, Janie, that’s made me reminisce about my childhood happy

      Thanks,
      Sandy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      007pouty wrote Apr 27, 2009
    • I also remember the S & H Green stamps, licking, arguing about what we were going to get. But, no for long, Mom always was ahead of us and had it all planned out!
      Thanks for the memories!  estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Apr 28, 2009
    • Tulip Lady - I remember that S&H Green Stamps came with my grandmother’s cigarettes.  And you‘re so right.  “Going Green” now it a lot like “making do” back then.

      Sandy - Like Pam said, for those cloth bags to work, we have to take them with us!

      Pouty - My mom always had the final say, too.  

      Thanks for the comments.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Apr 29, 2009
    • Nonickname - I’m with you on the paper bags.  I use them to collect my cans and other recycled goods.  I don’t like the bags without handles, but I guess that’s the way of the future!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Apr 29, 2009
    • Hi Nonickname - I think plastic is now recyclable.  At least where I live.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Chattycathie wrote Apr 30, 2009
    • My mom used to pay my sister and I 10 cents a page to stick the green stamps in for her-which was a dollar a book.  It was great money then.  I remember spending summer days in the backyard pasting the stamps into the book for her.

      I think if we had been more environmentally conscience back then, it wouldn’t be such a problem now.  It takes the planet getting in trouble for people to take notice.  My mom grew up in the depression, so saving and reusing was part of our everyday life. If it was up to her, nothing would go in trash.  My dad who was a little older, is still that way.

      We use the cloth bags and as far as handles-we don’t carry them.  We keep a plastic folding cart in the truck (have many of these-you can get them at staples)  We put the bags in the cart and wheel them into the house.  You never have to worry about a bag breaking this way.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Apr 30, 2009
    • Cathie - Great idea about the folding cart.  Thanks for stopping by.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Livingvictorious wrote Apr 30, 2009
    • estatic S & H Green stamps-what a blast from the past! hardly anyone i know has made the transition to cloth bags. the carts aren’t even a thought yet.
      the economy here is amazing and our city is booming. i feel until we have seen and felt the crisis we are in, then the changes will come. obama will make sure of those changes, that i’m sure of.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Apr 30, 2009
    • Livingvictorio - What city do you live in?  And yes..those trading stamps are a blast from the past.  And what a past it was!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Diane Klapper wrote May 6, 2009
    • Hey you don’t have to wait for me to respond. Get started I enjoy reading your comments especially when I’m included.  xx00xx



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Diane Klapper wrote May 6, 2009
    • Hello,
      I know that I’m commenting to your blogs out of order, but I’ll put my $2.00 in anyway.Yes I really do remember those days . I remember going to Butler Brothers on Van Nuys Blvd to redeem the S&H green stamps and I loved looking through the catalogues wondering what I could save for next. I also remember the Blue Chip Stamp store on Kester & Magnolia. I was really sad when the were discontinued. How old were you then ? I remember having my own books actually I still have one ., Seriously I do. I was going to throw it out but thought maybe It would be a collector’s item someday, and I think that day has come. Maybe I’ll put it on E-BAY.
      As far as going green I am really making a concern effort to help SAVE THE PLANET. It’s to late to save myself. Anyway I want my Grandsons to enjoy the beauty the we were able to.
      Anyway, Love Ya



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Livingvictorious wrote May 6, 2009
    • Sorry.It’s taken five or more days to respond as to where I live. I live in a city of/over 200,000 called Amarillo, Texas. It has been booming for 14 years. The medical field, it’s pharmacy school, pantex-makes/disarms nuclear warheads, we own the rights to all the helium in the world. we have Bell Helicopter which makes the Ospreys which flow outward or upwards or sideways.
      I know obama has cut back on spending on war equipment less and less to defend our country.
      He might as well hand us over to the muslims because those are bad vibes i get from someone whom never served for our Majestic Nation! He will form a union with 12 countries which try to crush the USA, AND HE‘LL BE LONG GONE WHEN IT ALL FALLS A-P-A-R-T!
      THE brighter side to us is that Amarillo, Tx. was featured one month ago in the Forbes Magazine the fourth from the top of a city to live in the Unitrd Startes...Virginia Magallanes-Dunn



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Livingvictorious wrote May 12, 2009
    • I recall “We the People” would agree to make changes for our country not the president ignoring our rights as to how our tax money will be spent.
      how do you feel about your tax money being spent on an underaged teen having an abortion in Mexico or some third world country?
      We should be voting on that not the President sticking his grubby paw in what’s not his.
      He’s cut way back on military/weapon spending. Who’s going to protect us when the Islamic Terrorists in our own nation have protection against our boys and girls coming home that are labeled, “Terrorists” against the ones we are supposed to be seeking out first. Afterall, who were the ones who crashed into the twin towers?
      Thank You,
      Livingvictorious



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Justjer wrote May 12, 2009
    • Livingvictorious/nonickname:

      I am going to say this as nicely as I can.  I would appreciate it if you would take this conversation someplace else...I don’t mean to another site; I just don’t see what this has to do with S&H Greenstamps or anything else Janie’s blog pertains to.  Yeah, I could just not read it, but when I am advised that someone has responded to my favorite blogger, I would like some sense of assurance that it had some vague connection to the original blog and not ....well never mind...One of my favorite things about Janie’s posts is the many levels on which one can relate.  This isn’t one of them. Time to take this conversation somewhere else, and certainly let us know where, in case someone else is interested.  Thanks.......Peace Out...Jj



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