Monday, April 23, 2012

What To Use Coupons For

You might have heard about the show Extreme Couponing on TLC.

I admit I was totally fascinated. I have always used coupons. I even remember helping my mom sort coupons in the 1980's when we shopped at the Commissary on the Navy base.
The show boasts impressive savings on extreme shopping trips. 80 bottles of mustard, 200 bottles of energy drinks, packages of lunchmeat taken home for pennies on the dollar.  In this economic climate it's inspiring for families who are struggling.

But let's take a couple steps back and think about what they are buying on the show. Lots of condiments, processed foods, just lots of junk food. They do that because there are usually big sales on those products paired with coupons and other store discounts. The show is truly unrealistic the producers ask the people to do "extreme" shopping trips. It paints a picture of what they buy on the show is what they eat all the time. Frankly that is gross and is a turn off to use coupons.

There are tons of coupons for crap (as mentioned in video above), which is a big reason for folks not to use coupons.  "There are only coupons for junk." I hear that a lot but it's not true. More on that in a second.

In a previous post I wrote;
"We spend lots of money on our homes, cars and clothes but we skimp on the costs of our food. Which we put into our bodies that we hope will last decades."

I think that is so backwards, why are we like that? I too, became "victim" to cheap eats especially when I was a single mother. I just couldn't afford to buy fresh produce all the time.  A head of cabbage costs as much as 3 frozen burritos. For a struggling family the choice is ruled by money and quantity rather than the healthy choice. Today I spend less in other areas of my life to buy organic meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables.

I make the choice of not using coupons for "junk food" and I choose to use coupons on household goods.  Dish soap, napkins, hygiene products, medicines, band aids... things like that I will never pay full price for.  I have come across many coupons for environmentally friendly products and organic foods. There are good coupons out there, when we use them and buy those products it is like we are "voting" for those products. Just the simple act of buying an item lets the store know that is what is in demand. 
You can find great organic and gluten free product coupons on Mambo Sprouts.  
Most of your favorite organic foods manufacturer's websites or Facebook pages offer coupons too.
Whole Foods even has their own store coupons.  My favorite local store PCC Natural Markets even accepts coupons which surprises many. I buy all of my produce there and I keep a garden too which keeps my produce bill low.

Other sites to visit are:
Totally Target - tips on deals at Target. Did you know you can combine a Target coupon and a manufacturer's coupon to get an even sweeter deal? 
For local moms a great hub for all deals online, drug stores, chain stores etc - visit Coupon Connections


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