My name is Andrea and I am a grocery coupon addict. I have been clean for two years. At one time in my life, cutting out grocery coupons worked very well for me. I followed all the advice of all the coupon gurus, and usually got at least 50% off my grocery food bill. I was very impressed with myself, and very young.
As the years went by, I noticed that I had gotten into a dangerous rut. My meals, most of what was purchased with the assistance of grocery coupons were boring, and I was unhealthy. Living on a diet of hamburger helper, sloppy Joes, frozen dinners, canned foods for 10 years is as damaging as eating McDonalds Big Macs every day for a year. We all know how that study went. To top things off, I was having skin issues, so I could not even use the soaps and detergents offered in the coupons. The final negative side effect of using store coupons religiously was that I always had a surplus of foods and body products no one in the house was willing to use or consume. Coupons are often issued for new products to get the word out.
I still save a great deal of money in the grocery store, but on foods and beauty products that are of a healthier variety. Here are my tips for shopping without coupons.
Tips for shopping without coupons #1: Learn the mark down cycle.
Supermarkets mark down meats and dairy at the same times each week. The markdown times usually follow the department manager’s schedule. Most of meats I purchase have been marked down at least 30% giving me a great bargain. Freeze the items you are not going to use immediately.
Tips for shopping without coupons #2: Shop quickly.
I like to shop when I have very little time. I usually drop my kids off for a lesson or activity, giving myself less than an hour to shop and get back to them. This gives me enough time to buy everything we need, and nothing we do not need.
Tips for shopping without coupons #3: Ignore the end-caps.
The end-caps are very much like the grocery coupons you have just given up. They entice you to buy things you did not plan to. These items are seldom healthy.
Tips for shopping without coupons #4: Cut it up yourself.
Whole chickens are far cheaper by the pound than a pack of chicken breasts, or even wings. Learn to eat the whole chicken. In addition, a roast will make lovely steaks and cost far less.
Tips for shopping without coupons #5: Buy store brands.
When you purchase condiments, peanut butter, syrup, and similar products that, you once used coupons for, just purchase the store brand. I have done the math, and the coupons seldom give you a lower price.
Tips for shopping without coupons #6: Make your own cleaning products.
Don’t worry about giving up your coupons for household cleaners and beauty products. Instead of purchasing chemicals, which are damaging to your health and environment, look for recipes for natural versions of the same, which are often made from simple household ingredients?