A year ago, I was a self-proclaimed coupon queen. If you found my blog via Google today, you may have gotten here by following links to my coupon organization posts. Today, I'm proud to say that I rarely use a coupon when I shop for food or other products. In fact, I'm more proud of my lack of couponing than I was of my incredible savings when I was using coupons.
Yes, it's true, you can save a lot of money by utilizing manufacturer and store coupons with the right sales. My $1000+ monthly grocery bill had dropped to $500-600 per month and my cabinets and pantry were bursting. My bathrooms were filled with toiletries and cleaning products; many of them products I had never tried before because they did not fit my budget. Now I was getting them for half-price or even free. Couponing was an incredible experience for me. I loved every moment of the planning, organizing and shopping and was so delighted with my bargains that I'd come home and take pictures of my haul after almost every shopping trip.
That is until I discovered the truth about the products I was buying. I realized quickly that they are so incredibly worthless that even being paid to put them in my cart and take them home to my family was much too expensive. Except for the olive oil, there is not one single product in the above picture that I would feed to my family today.
Food manufacturers and grocery stores can afford to give us this food for a sale price or even completely free because it doesn't cost them much to make. These lifeless, health-robbing food stuffs are lining the pockets of a handful of corporations and causing Americans to fall into chronic diseases such as infertility, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
They've got us where it hurts, folks. I was so thankful for couponing a year ago when my grocery budget had been reduced and I didn't know how I would feed my family. I was able to get so much for so little. I was thankful to the grocery stores and manufacturers for their sales and coupons. I had no idea that they were essentially poisoning me and my family. And I was glad to pay them a few dollars each week to do it.
Now, I have an even lower grocery budget than I did this time last year, but we no longer eat foods for which coupons are provided.
I can't give my farmer a coupon for our raw milk, pastured eggs or grass-fed beef. There are few, if any, coupons for the produce we buy at the grocery store, and certainly none for what we buy at farmer's markets. From time to time I get a coupon for cheese or organic chicken or some other product I use from Earth Fare, but I've never used a coupon at our local health food store.
Many of the pantry staples I need are bought online at a price cheaper than I can get them at the grocery store or health food stores, but there are no coupons for these products.
Somehow, though, we still eat and are healthier than ever. There are no boxes or bags to pull from the freezer or pantry when we're in a hurry. I must cook or otherwise properly prepare even the simplest snacks. But the value of the foods I'm serving my family is much more than any $3.00 box of cereal. The feeling I get from knowing that I am putting our health first is much more exhilarating than the feeling I used to get from getting that $3.00 box of cereal for free.
When it comes to couponing you truly are getting what you pay for.