Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cooking on a Budget - Bonus: Coupons

This will be brief....and let me say there are a ton of websites out there about couponing that will say it much better than I can....this is not a full course on the subject.

If you like to coupon at all, you have probably seen the extreme couponers on TV.  I'm not that kind of girl.  To get all that stuff for free or close to it is a full time job, and let's be honest....some of them are getting things that they cannot possibly use.  Now I'm not judging!  I'm just saying be careful.  Unless you are donating 100 bottles of Tylenol to your church's medical missions team, I don't think you'll be able to use them all before they expire.

And ask yourself this: is my goal to save money for my family or is it to play a game where I come out on top?  Trust me, just saving money for your family can be fun too.

That being said....and remember, I'm not judging anyone....this is how I recommend you use coupons.

There are some great coupons out there, especially when there is a new product on the market.  But you don't have to use every coupon you come across.  Ask yourself some questions first:
1. would I have bought this product anyway or am I only buying it because I have a coupon? (now, let me say, that if you have wanted that item, but never would have bought it because it cost too much, but now you have a coupon, give it a shot!)
2. does this coupon make the item cheaper than a lesser known brand or is it still more expensive?  I had a coupon for a certain type of bread...it was 75 cents off...but if I would have used that coupon, the bread was still a dollar more than another wheat bread that we like just as well!
3. does your family like this food and will they eat it?
4. will I be able to use this before it expires?
5. can I easily use this food in my regular meal and snack planning?

Like I said, this would be brief.  There is a ton out there about couponing, but sometimes you can actually spend more when using them.  I would only use coupons on things you know you will use, and especially at the same time they are already on sale....that's where you really save!  I've said it before....get your grocery ads out and match them up with your coupons and then plan your meals and snacks around that as much as you can.  THEN you'll really be saving money!

Until Next Time.....


  1. Never thought to look at sale ads at different stores to get more out of my coupons. Great info. Thanks. Also, How much do you budget for food in a 2 week period?

  2. well, that budget is going to be different for every family and their income. Not counting dog food, I probably spend about $50 on average a week depending on if I'm buying any meat or pop. Week before last I only spent $10 because I used things for my menu that I already had and I only needed milk bread and tortilla chips. If you can, stockpiling on great deals and then using those things spread out over a few weeks will really save you money. I know some people that make a lot of crock pot, one pot, and casserole meals from ingredients that are easily stockpiled and they only spend on average about $30 a week. That takes a lot of planning, but it can be done! I hope that helps. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help. my email is frugalfranny16@gmail.com