On Sundays, I coupon.
I’m not an extreme couponer (like my mom), but I try to stay in the $40 – $60 weekly range on groceries. This is easier said than done when trying to eat more healthfully. In case you’ve never noticed, most coupons are for… well, crap. You’ve got to get creative when trying to live frugally and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is where careful planning and stockpiling come in. For example, I know that every few weeks, English muffins go on sale for “Buy 1, Get 2 Free.” There’s no way I’m going to buy one package of English muffins on an off week. I’ve got a freezer for a reason.
I also have my freezer stocked with frozen veggies (whatever brand is on sale for $1 or less, and I buy 3-5 of them a week, as the budget allows), and I always have canned tomatoes in all sorts of varieties on hand. Again, I only buy these items when they’re on sale, and I try to shop strictly from the sales circular. I plan my meals around these sales, and my local grocery store even has a bi-monthly “Healthy Bites” publication that offers store coupons and recipes.
Store coupons are my favorite because you can stack them with a manufacturer’s coupon. I got Garnier Fructis shampoo for $0.21 each by employing this fun little trick. I bragged to all my friends at work all week.
Anyway, my store also has e-coupons that you can load directly to your store card, which is awesome because sometimes I totally forgot I had one of them loaded and unexpectedly save money.
So, those are the usuals, but on top of shopping from the circular and using paper/e-coupons (I’m not big on printing online coupons because I’m too lazy to constantly buy printer ink), my mom also turned me onto cashback websites, like Checkout 51 and SavingStar. These 2 sites in particular are great because they have weekly healthy offers, usually at least 1 produce item. For those of you who don’t coupon, I have to point out that anytime you can get a coupon or cashback for produce, it’s like gold.
I’m still not into the $40-$60 range where I’d like to be. I’m hitting about $80 a week right now. Does anyone have any tips for eating healthfully on a budget?