Can Coupons and Real Food Co-exist?

Welcome to Purposeful Homemaking where I share about Living Simply and Honoring God. Some of you might be stopping by as a result of Katie at Kitchen Stewardship's Eat Well, Spend Less series. I'm glad you came by! For my topic today I'd like to discuss how coupons can play a role in helping you stock your pantry (and deep freezer!) with the right foods.

So, the question is: Can Coupons and Real Food Co-exist? And the answer to that is, Yes, I believe they can! Sometimes when I mention using coupons, people (who buy organic or natural items) say they don't use them because they're not for items that they buy. But, would you consider using them for items like batteries, toothbrushes, etc.? If you did, it could free up money for you to put towards more organic items. Or, you could save the difference!
Secondly, did you know there are many organic coupons available on line? Sites such as  and have a lot of organic coupons!

I also love Jennifer's blog at Healthy Life Deals where she matches up sales and coupons for stores like Trader Joes and Whole Foods. This saves me a lot of time and helps ensure that I don't miss any deals! I also pick up store coupon booklets located at the entrance of some stores. I use these to grab any coupons I didn't know about for that particular shopping trip and also to save them for subsequent trips.

Here's a look at what I do when I'm preparing to go shopping. First, I always look at the store's sale flyer for the week and try to purchase only items that are on sale. (I base my meal planning around this).  Then I look to see if there are any coupons that I can match with the sale items I intend to purchase (this is really fun actually!). In addition, some stores will also let you stack coupons. By this, I mean using a store coupon with a Manufacturer's Coupon.  If you combine these with a sale you will save significantly! Honestly, I have saved anywhere from $30-40 at Whole Foods by shopping the sales and using coupons. It is worth it!

Perhaps you're still not convinced that couponing is worth your time. Then maybe you'd like to check this article out by Brett Arends from the Wall Street Journal entitled, "Doing the Math on Coupons". After reading this you just might start clipping (or printing) coupons!

Here's a few more tips to help you eat real food without going broke:

Eat what's in season. You will definitely save money by following this principal. By buying strawberries in the summer or going to a U-pick farm you will save significantly. Just buy a lot when the price is low and freeze them to save for winter. They're great in smoothies or for homemade strawberry jam!

Learn to Shop the Loss Leaders. Loss leaders are the items featured on the front (and sometimes second) page of the weekly store circular. Stores take a loss on these items but are willing to do so in order to lure you into their store. You, however, will stick to your list and get the items you need and thank them for selling them to you at such a great price! :)

Meal Plan. By meal planning you are only buying what you will use. This saves you from wasting money on unused food.

Stock Pile. If an item goes on sale (and especially if I have a coupon for it) I will stock pile. The general rule of thumb for stock piling is to get 4-6 weeks' worth. This should be enough to last you until the item is on sale again. Recently, grass fed beef was on sale at Whole Foods for a great price so I got enough to last us several months...hopefully until it goes on sale again!

Overall, I firmly believe coupons have a role in the pursuit of Real Food. It's nice to know that the money you're saving by using coupons can be used to put towards stretching your food budget or paying bills. Personally, couponing has enabled me to purchase organic food that I would not otherwise be able to afford.

I have taught a coupon class before and here's the handout I use. Obviously you can use the general principles in this handout and apply them to using coupons for organic food. (Please do not post this on the web or redistribute. Instead, please direct people to this post. Thank you for your cooperation in this manner.)

Have you found coupons to be helpful in purchasing organic food? What tips do you have to share?

For those of you that are stopping by here from Katie's blog at Kitchen Stewardship here's a little information about me:

I am a simple girl who is passionate about making a home for my family. I realize that having a husband and children are a blessing and I want to be purposeful in making life beautiful for them.

Life can be difficult, but if I can give my husband and children a place of refuge in our home, then I am satisfied. Christ has made a refuge for my soul and it is because of Him that I can, in a small way, create a refuge in our home.

In my waking (and sometimes non-waking hours) I take care of three sweet peas ages 5, 3 and 17 months. Two are red heads (or auburn as we like to call it) and one broke the mold and favored his daddy. I have my daughter's eyes as she likes to tell me, or as I tell her, she has mine....I love being home and have put all of my talents into being the best homemaker I can be.

I'm so glad you stopped by today! I hope you'll come back often. Be sure to become a follower and to sign up for e-mails so you don't miss a post!


Amy@ServingPinkLemonade said...

What a great post. Thanks! My sister and I were just talking about this. We don't coupon much anymore because we don't want pop tarts, but maybe we were wrong about couponing. Great insights. said...

Love your blog btw Amy! :) I'm glad you liked this post and I hope it helps you buy healthier food for your family but still stay within your budget. :)

Jennifer's Healthy Life Deals said...

Becky- Thank you for the shout out! What a great blog! Love your post and your adorable family!

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