I used to love the Grocery Game. While I was never an extreme couponer I do love a bargain. There was something so satisfying about handing the cashier a stack of coupons at the end of my purchase and watching my total decrease by anywhere from 30 – 50 per cent. I would crow about the savings and inevitably the person behind me in line, although somewhat irritated by the length of my transaction, would ask me, “How on earth did you do that?” I would then spend as much time as I could coaching her through the basics. I especially enjoyed getting free stuff. I mean, who doesn’t? Although I was never crazy like some of these people you see on cable networks, I did end up buying a lot of groceries. And…I ended up spending a lot of time on the project each week. I can see how people can easily become addicted to such success at the register.
Now, the only coupons that I get are those I receive in the mail with the grocery mailers and in the Wall Street Journal…I still can’t quite get over that they come in my WSJ. I hate throwing them away, but here is the thing, most coupons are promoting and saving you money on processed foods produced by the big food companies. We have all but eliminated processed foods from our diet. They also offer savings on conventional cleaning and beauty products. We are on a quest to reduce toxins in our home and on our bodies. There is the occasional product that I might use featured in the circular but as a rule it is easier for me to just ignore them.
When you generally shop the perimeter of the grocery store and don’t purchase grains or other processed foods, it is much, much faster to just grab what you need and get the heck out of Dodge. My goal is to decrease my grocery store usage over the next year. Full disclosure alert…I do shop at Costco for my bulk pantry goods such as coconut, olive and hemp oil. I get a lot of my dairy there for now and meat and produce. I do use the Costco coupons but all I have to do is show the cashier my booklet or app on my phone and they come off automatically. Eating whole food and moving to organic and locally grown does not allow for coupon usage. Do I spend more on groceries overall? Yeah, a little, but I save a lot by not buying any pre-made food and when we sit down to a meal, we know exactly what is in our food.