I need to make a confession here, I haven’t been couponing. For about a month I have been really trying to determine what my priorities are and what in life deserve the most amount of time and what needs to be cut back. In the last six months I have switched our family over from eating a combination of both processed and whole foods to a mostly whole foods diet. I will occassionally buy all natural fruit snacks or crackers for my kids but mostly we are eating foods I make from scratch or fruit, vegetables, meats and other whole foods. With coupons you can still eat a healthy diet but when it comes to buying all unprocessed foods that has been a different challenge. You may ask are you still saving money without coupons? YES!! My savings just looks much different then it did six months ago.
What I do to save money:
Buy Produce at Costco:
While Costco is definately not the cheapest on many of their processed foods, when it comes to fresh produce their prices are great. Even with sales I can rarely find a sale on produce that beats Costco’s price per unit. I make weekly if not twice a week trips to stock up on lettuce, spinach, berries, bananas, peppers and avocados.
I also have been splitting packages of produce that we won’t eat enough of with a friend and she shares with me when she goes to Costco so we are not wasting any of our fresh produce. The other day I bought a humungous bag of spinach and while I know we eat a ton of spinach there was no way we could eat all that in a week so I passed some onto my friend and she gave me peppers and mushrooms in return. It is great if you have another family to trade with.
I avoid looking at the processed foods, entertainment and clothing departments. I get in, go to the produce section, stop if I need other things and then out the door. Costco can be a spending trap if you peruse the isles, so I don’t!!
Shop at Winco:
Winco is a no frills grocery store we have in WA and their bulk section is great. I stock up on any baking/cooking items I need there. The other day I stopped and picked up baking powder ($ .62), baking soda ($ .48), oatmeal ($5.00 for about 8lbs), and walnuts ($5.00 for about 1lb). I also purchase my whole wheat flour at Winco in #25 bags for around $11.00. Purchasing at no frills grocery stores is a great way to save and buying in the bulk section allows you to buy the amount you need without over spending. I make monthly trips to Winco to stock up on items from the bulk foods section.
Cook from Scratch:
I want to feed my kids whole, organic foods with no additives. If I buy all natural groceries at a specialty store or the regular store we would be paying a ton of money every month for groceries. Instead, I am learning to make a lot of foods we like from scratch. I am going to try one new recipe every month to get rid of a store bought item and make it from scratch. This month I will be attempting to make homemade yogurt. I make my own laundry detergent, bread, pasta sauce, granola and bake lots of yummy homemade breakfasts like cinnamon rolls, banana berry nut muffins, and banana pancakes.
My family loves my from scratch meals much better than store bought mixes or boxed dinners and while it is more time consuming I am saving money and giving my kids healthy foods.
Isn’t Eating Healthy More Expensive?
Why yes it is. It is also worth it. I feel so much better when I am eating a healthy diet and excercising regularly. Our family has had to increase our grocery budget in order to provide the fresh produce, nuts, meats and other great foods we are eating but there are not coupons regularly available for those items so we are being creative in our shopping, watching for sales and stocking up on food when it goes on sale.
You may be asking what’s next with the blog, and with couponing? We will still continue to offer great deals as we see them, we will share what is going on in our lives like goals and meals with you, I am planning to blog about my homemade meals and share with you what I am discovering about healthy living and cooking from scratch. As far as couponing goes, I have decided that the reward for me is not worth hours of clipping and shopping each week. I will still coupon, just on a much smaller scale. When I see a great deal with a printable coupon or if I happen to have a coupon for an item I need I will always choose to live frugally. I will still play the drugstore game when it works in my favor but I will not run out for a great deal just cause its there. You will probably see the deals on our blog focus a lot more on whole foods rather than processed foods because thats where we are at. I know Jessica and I both love eating a whole food diet and are constantly experimenting to find ways to save money while feeding our children healthy meals.