Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Where Have the Green Stamps Gone?

Remember S&H Green Stamps? (If you are under 40 – never mind) Remember the thrill of getting enough Green Stamps with one purchase to fill a page? Remember the even bigger thrill of filling a whole “book?” With enough Green Stamps, a family could furnish their house from the redemption catalog.

Short of fresh foods, you could get almost anything with enough stamps. With some negotiating, you could probably get a train load of fresh corn. I read somewhere that students from one school saved enough stamps to “purchase” two gorillas for their local zoo.

Green Stamps, those tiny little glue-backed squares of perforated paper, made a difference where a person shopped. Moms would often go out of their way to buy the week’s groceries where they could get those little gems, fill the last book, and finally bring home new canisters or set of frying pans.

Only the most responsible kid was assigned the chore of gluing the stamps in the redemption books and reporting the progress to Mom. Until ready for pasting, the “onesies” and “twosies” were stored, along with the books, in an old cigar box held closed with a sturdy rubber band. The cigar box was then hidden in the back of a kitchen drawer, safe from younger siblings’ hands and burglars. If the house were on fire, Mom would grab the cigar box and leave her wedding band behind!

One of the surest ways to get out of being the “paster” was to lick and slap a stamp on your forehead and waltz through the house as if all was normal. If you didn’t escape Mom’s wrath fast enough, you could count on losing a bit of facial skin when the stamp was removed.

The glue on the back of those stamps must have been made from the most disgusting things on earth. It only took licking three or four stamps to get a green tongue and send you running for a wet washcloth or sponge in a saucer of shallow water. Bleaugh! It wasn’t long before those little tube “moisteners” with the sponge thingies on the end appeared. Fill the tube with a bit of water and gently – gently! – dampen the back of the stamps. (Too heavy a hand and you had to wait for the stamp and surrounding tablecloth to dry, then go find the bottle of paste.)

I just found out you can still redeem old Green Stamps, but they are much more fun as “collectables.” The redemption catalogs from which to choose your treasures are even more fun. Did we really think “earth colored” lime green, orange and yellow dishes made food more attractive? If you are really determined to cash in your stamps, check out the “green points” link below.

For a bit of fun, paste a few stamps on your forehead and waltz through Walmart. Just be ready with a really, really good explanation when the security guard says, “Please come with me.”

Redeem your Green Stamps: http://www.greenpoints.com/catalog/cat_use.asp

For a bit of history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S&H_Green_Stamps

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords


  1. WOW, I haven't thought about S&H Green Stamps for years. I love filling those stamp books. What a jolt of nostalgia your post sent through me Suzz....thanks.

  2. Anonymous1:44 PM

    Mom kept her stamps in the bedroom (no kids allowed). When she came back from the store she would head to the bedroom to get her books and YES, one of us kids had to glue them into the book for her. She would then inspect your work and take her books back to the bedroom. What a wonderful memory.

  3. Anonymous11:25 AM

    I still have some of my stamp purchases...a canister set on a turn table, a wonderful lamp with globe and glass shade, and an apothecary jar for my cotton balls. I felt so rich when I could redeem my stamps for ludgeries.

  4. Anonymous10:11 PM

    Hi Suzz, thanks for calling in to holtieshouse, always good to meet new people, have only had time to read a couple of your posts as yet but I'll be back to browse some more.

  5. Hi Suzz, I've clicked over from your comment on holtieshouse - just popped in to say hello, I'll be back to do some more reading too...

    I don't remember having green stamps here in Australia, maybe we had something similar?


  6. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh yeah!!!!!!!!! My mom saved them religiously and still has the Lenox china she got with them. Even gas stations had them in Toledo where I grew up (sorta -- I hope I never truly grow up) and Mom made Dad buy gas there. Kroger's also had saving stamps called Top Value Stamps --they were yellow -- & Mom saved those, too! Thanks for the blast from the past!!!!!

  7. Anonymous8:22 AM

    You can still redeem them! Check out this article:

    How to Redeem S&H Green Stamps

  8. Anonymous12:00 PM

    My wife and I were in bed talking and ironicly we wer talking about those green stamps and the memories that came with them. Thanks for having this page to view and to share a laugh. Memories like those never die.

  9. Anonymous4:12 PM

    I got a hanging lamp that reminded me of a crystal web ball. It was about 1+ foot in diameter. I gave it away decades ago. I would LOVE to find that lamp again. If you have it and want to sell it: 7sGate@gmail.com