Coupons, those wonderful little things that manage to add monetary value and great influence to our lives all wrapped up in one delicate piece of paper. The value that is added to people’s lives and eventually their shopping cart can range from a few cents to a few dollars. Coupons also hold great influence on what people buy and what they eat every day. This is all in an effort to save money. However, there is one problem. Coupons are not that important.
In the grand scheme of things, as it relates to food, coupons should not be the primary determinant of what ends up in your grocery cart. couponare Firstly, you should only buy what your family will use and what you truly enjoy. Why buy pickles, just because they are on sale if you hardly eat them. Five jars of mayonnaise really…, just because they are on sale. Not only is this a waste of money, but, buying food just because you have coupons for those items are just not healthy. You wouldn’t say I just had to buy a gun because there was a “two for one sale” would you? After all, they are hazardous to your health.
I love coupons as much as the next coupon clipper but, there are not that many coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables, leans meats etc. Although, I find shows like Extreme Couponing kind of inspiring, I have to wonder…how many “trans fats”, salts and sugars are sitting in a grocery cart thanks to awesome coupon deals. I love saving money and clipping and redeeming coupons is pretty exhilarating. Healthy living and eating is more than exciting though. It is rewarding. Our health sets up the very basis for what we can accomplish and achieve in this life. It can set limits on us and even set us free.
Here is a quick guide on how to Clip and Shop Wisely:
• Avoid buying too many foods of convenience on your shopping trip. If you are buying items because they are precooked, already prepared or purchasing lots of “convenience” items, they are probably loaded with preservatives.
• Are there lots of jars, bottles and packages in your cart? You could be looking at loads of hidden sodium, sugars and fats.
• Do yourself a favor the next time you go shopping. Start at the periphery of your grocery store. Fresh fruits, veggies, leans meats and seafood should be in your cart first. After, you have walked around the periphery (a little more walking I know), fill in the gaps by picking up the items that you still really need in the center aisles.
• Get great use out of your coupons by getting deep discounts on entertainment, beauty, cleaning supplies, toys, health products, paper products and other household supplies.
• `Save more money on fresh fruits and veggies by buying items that are “in season”, visiting local farmers markets and forming relationships with the merchants and shopping around.
Still looking for other ways to save on fruits and veggies year round? Check the freezer and canned goods department of your favorite grocery store. Look for key words like: flash frozen, salt free, no salt added, no preservatives, no sugar added to indicate that you are getting the very best. Most companies package their vegetables at the very peak of the season to lock in flavor. For example, winter time is not the best time to buy ears of fresh corn so buy frozen or canned corn instead. So while coupons are important, they should not single handily determine your shopping cart’s destiny.
Lisa is a true learner of life. Although much of her learning came from the academic arena, she garners her lifestyle management lessons from any setting. As such, she credits much of her money-curbing spending lessons to her own experimentation and good old trial and error. After many years, she has developed 21 smart and effective ways to save money.