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!