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Michelle Fern Michelle Fern
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Keeping your coupons and valuables safe

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I was in the grocery store Saturday morning and had just turned my head for a minute or two to browse some items. It wasn't that long, but when I turned back toward my cart I noticed a man walking up in front of me.

I didn't give it much thought, put the item I selected in my cart and carried on. But when I reached for one of my coupons I noticed that three winning lottery tickets I had in my coupon envelope were gone. I had just seen them, so it didn't take long to deduce the man stole them. They were only worth $2 each, so I chalked it up to him needing the $6 more than me.

Yet the value of the tickets paled in comparison to the thought that he or someone else could have stolen all of my coupons (about $100 worth) or worse, my entire purse.

You'd think that I would have learned a lesson when a few years back someone stole my entire coupon binder. It was devastating I had put the binder on the shelf of the grocery store to look through it and left it after being sidetracked by one of the kids. I walked down a few isles when I discovered it was gone and knew right away where I had left it. But when I went back it to get it, it was gone. I even walked down every isle scanning other people's carts looking for the black and white binder.

I was so upset I didn't even finish my shopping. 

The story here is it only takes a few seconds for someone to steal you coupons or purse, especially in public places where your attention is diverted to the task at hand. And we women love to use the child seat as our 'holder' for our purses and coupon binders. However, this is the least safe of places.

Here are some tips to keep your purse and other valuables safe:

  • Hold your purse close to you and make sure it is zipped or the flap is next to your body.
  • If you carry your wallet in your pocket, keep it in your front pocket.
  • When carrying your purse in a crowd, carry it with one arm across it or with the strap crossing your body. Wear the strap under your jacket or sweater.
  • Do not leave purses, wallets, or coupons unattended in shopping carts.
  • Keep a record of your entire bank and/or credit card account numbers and customer service phone numbers in the event you need to cancel stolen cards. Keep this information in a safe place at home. 
  • Do not carry any IDs you don't need for shopping, or other documents like insurance card or Social Security cards.
  • Keep your keys and phone separate from your purse. Why? If your purse is stolen, you'll be stranded with no car keys and no immediate way to call anyone
  • Have your cell phone out and don't hesitate to report suspicious behavior.

 If you find that your purse or wallet has been stolen:

  • Call the police right away
  • If you are still in the store, notify the store security and/or store manager.
  • Call your bank or credit card companies to find out if the card has already been used, and to cancel your cards.

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