Monday, March 28, 2011

Grocery Shopping on a Budget (without coupons)

There is a lot of hype out there about how much money you can save by buying five newspapers and clipping coupons until your hands bleed . And to a point, this is true . I know my sister, my mom, my sister-in-law , friends , and many many people I don't know that do this . They come home from the grocery store with their car overflowing. At the bottom of their receipt it says something like :


Total : $45 .00 Amount Saved : $200 .00

While I agree , paying $45 .00 for $245 .00 in groceries is a big savings , I have to ask . Is it really worth it ?

Before you roll your eyes at me and say I am crazy for even suggesting that "saving $200 .00" isn't worth it , hear me out .

I get coupons in the weekly mailer . Every week I flip through them to see if there are any coupons for items I normally buy . Extremely rarely do I find those . If it isn't something I would normally buy then spending any money on it at all is a waste of money . Yes , you heard me . It is a big fat waste of money . So when you come home and brag about the awesome "deal" you got on buying foods and snacks and goodies that I wouldn't even consider buying , even the store brand of , save your breath . I am not interested .

If there is anything I have learned since spending 3 years desperately trying to dig our family out of debt and break those bonds , it was this . Just because it is a good deal doesn't mean you can afford it . This is a terribly hard idea to wrap your head around . It took me a long time to cope with this simple phrase . I would walk past the clothing stores and see 75% off signs posted all over . I would tug on my husband's arm and say , "But honey ! It is such a good deal ! I can't pass it up ." He would put his foot down and tell me , it isn't in the budget . And of course he would be right . I would do the same things for him , when he would see a new tool , shining on the Snap-On truck at work . He would call me and say "But honey ! It is such a good deal ! I can't pass it up ." And I would gently remind him of the same lesson he reminded me of the day before .

It sucks being broke . It sucks not having money . But life sucks even more when you let your money have control over you . Remember the old D . A . R . E . slogan ? "Just say no". Well , with money , it's the same thing . It can have control over our lives if we let it . We work so hard , our husbands work so hard to bring that paycheck in . Let's keep it . Let's tell it where to go and what to do . Because if we don't , it's going to go anyways , and we will be left with the bill .

Sorry to have gotten a little off track there . My simple question to you is this . Do you need the things you are buying with those coupons ? Are they healthy ? Do they fulfill a spot in your weekly meal plan ? Do you even have a meal plan before you hit the grocery store ? If you answered "No" to any of those questions , I suggest you sit down and take a long hard look at your income and outgo with both food and money . Do this with your spouse or significant other . We aren't very good at holding ourselves to commitments unless someone else is on board with us .



I am a mother to 3 beautiful kids . I am 8 months pregnant and I have a wonderful , loving and hardworking husband . I homeschool my children and am a stay-at-home-mom . My financial contribution is to make sure we don't squander the precious income my husband works so hard for . I prepare and cook twenty-one meals a week on a budget of $60.00 . (Mind you this amount was only $30.00/week when we were trying to get out of debt and we still managed without coupons !) It is possible , just look at what you have , plan your meals , and don't buy superfluous junk foods . If you want treats , bake them, or get them from what is in-season in the produce isle . If you want to go out to eat , make sure you budget for it , and don't make any exceptions .

Now I don't think everyone shouldn't do coupons . There are plenty of things you can get with coupons that are useful . The most common thing I hear is getting free toothbrushes or hand soaps etc , by using multiple coupons , or matching coupons with sales . So yes , coupons can save you money . For me , taking the time to go through the coupons to save a dollar on toothpaste isn't worth it because that is likely the only coupon I would be using . If you buy all those miscellaneous items , (The frozen dinners etc .) anyways , then yes , please coupon .

I guess I just want people to evaluate themselves here . Figure out if you would really be "saving" all that money with coupons or not . If the coupons aren't for something you would normally buy , then don't bother . It would be much more beneficial to spend your time planning meals that match up with your local grocery stores weekly sales .

19 comments:

  1. When I see the coupons in the inserts, they are not things I buy either. They are mostly processed items that are not very healthy. I wish I could get a large amount of coupons for produce and organic items :)

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  2. Coupons are definitely a catch 22! They do tend to make you buy things you would not ordinarily purchase. I tended to get caught up in the "saving money " frenzy and buy a lot of stuff I really did not need for cheap. Ended up giving it away...

    New follower :) Thanks for the follow!

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  3. What a wonderful thoughtful post. I am a new follower and love your blog content. Thanks so much for grabbing my button - I appreciate it and I look forward to following you!

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  4. You stole the words off of my keyboard. :) I get jealous when I see others post about how much money they saved, or even got FREE but then I realize none of the stuff they bought would get used in our house. It's a great point you bring up! New follower here!

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  5. I'm exactly the same way. If I have a coupon for something I'm already buying...that's a bonus! I don't buy things just because I have a coupon.

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  6. EXACTLY! I tried to do this once but I didn't want 20 frozen pizzas!
    Hey there! Following from the blog hop! I would love a follow back! Be sure to enter my giveaway for a custom made bracelet while you're there!

    :)
    Marcy @ Life's Gristle

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  7. What a great post! Thanks for sharing!

    I am a new follower from the Tuesday blog hop and would love a follow back. I hope you have a great Tuesday and I look forward to reading more!

    Hope
    http://www.peanutbutterandhopey.com

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  8. I always find that coupons and sale items are things I would never purchase so I gave up on trying.
    Thanks for stopping by, now following you back from Adventures at Greenacre

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  9. Maybe this is why I haven't figured out the couponing thing. I don't buy about 99% of the things they offer coupons for! LOL

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  10. Thanking you for following and gladly following you back ;)!
    www.opalstevens.blogspot.com

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  11. A absolutely agreed & came to the same conclusion! Although I was talking about food in general - I think you did a better job of hitting it on the nail!
    http://winkeysolutions.blogspot.com/2011/02/food-under-microscope.html

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  12. sounds like an awesome trip for you. I still love the way you think i do not buy items I will not or someone I love will not use I am your new follower find me at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

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  13. Hi! Stopped by from the blog hop! New follower from Minnesota! http://momsbookshelf.blogspot.com/

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  14. Very well written. I agree, people should just buy what they need ;)

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  15. New follower via blog hop. Hope you will follow me too @ http://masalabowl.blogspot.com/2011/03/day-290-blog-hops.html

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  16. Thanks for the follow! Following you back :-)

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  17. I don't know - but I would sure love to find out. Getting $245 worth of groceries for $45 is just too good to pass up. But it sounds a little like winning the lottery - every week.

    Following back!

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  18. Hi! I'm on the blog hop trail. Following you, hoping you'll follow back...

    www.heavenlyhumor.blogspot.com

    Blessings!

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  19. Happy Hump Day!
    Following back
    Life Below Zero
    http://casinofreebies3.blogspot.com/

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