|Homemade yogurt (with jar of whey on left)|
Many people automatically assume that if you shop using coupons, you buy a lot of processed food. One of my goals for our diet has been to slowly decrease the amount of processed food that we eat, and yet, I am an avid couponer. The missing link? Homemade food. Homemade food is generally easier on the budget and better for you (less preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup, etc).
I regularly make our own:
Condensed Cream Soups
Jam (a recent addition...but so easy that I now have 3 jars of different jams in the freezer!)
Incorporating things like making homemade bread into my routine was something I took on gradually. If I had set out to start making all of these things from scratch all at once, I would have been completely overwhelmed. But as I've taken it on item by item, I've realized that it's easier than it sounds. Don't let the words "from scratch" intimidate you!
So, if I make a lot of my food homemade, what does my couponing look like? Well, hop in the car, and let's re-live my latest grocery run.
|My $48.86 Shopping Trip|
6 Boxes Ziploc Freezer Bags - $2 each, used 3 Walgreens $1/2 coupons, 2 manufacturer 1.25/2 and 1 manufacturer 1.50/2 coupon - $.83/each after coupons
4 Jars Ragu Pasta Sauce - $2.53 for 2, used 2 $1/2 Publix coupons and 2 $.60/2 manufacturer coupons - $.47/each.
2 cans Enchilada Sauce - $1.55 each, no coupons
Frozen Peas and Carrots - $1.49, no coupon
1 can Chipotle Peppers - $1.99, no coupon
1 Jalepeno - $.10, no coupon
5 lb bag Flour - $2.29, no coupon
1 Pkg Flour Tortillas - $2.19, no coupon
1 Container Parmesan Cheese - $2.89, no coupon
=$22.02 total - $3 Walgreens RR = $19.02 total
Next stop, a small family-run grocery store that sells local produce. Yes, I know, you don't have this store nearby, which is sad. But if you familiarize yourself with the resources in your town, you can figure out how to get your produce for as cheap as possible. Don't forget to try bargaining at your local farmer's market! Or check to see if there are any produce co-ops in your area...
Here's what I bought (notice that everything, with the exception of the avacados and the green beans, was less than $1/lb!):
2 Russet Potatoes at $.99/lb - $1.22
2 Large Tomatoes at $.99/lb - $1.06
Head Iceburg Lettuce - $.99
3 Organic Haas Avacados - $3.87 ($1.29 each)
Bunch of Cilantro - $.87
Pluots at $.39/lb - $.76
Green Beans at $1.49/lb - $2.40
1 lb Carrots- $.79
Yellow Onions at $.99/lb - $1.19
Peaches at $.69/lb - $1.37
1 Cucumber - $.43
Bananas at $.69/lb - $2.37
Last stop, Sweetbay (some weeks I go to Sweetbay, other times I hit up Winn-Dixie).
1 lb Butter - $2.50, no coupon
2 pkgs Pepperoni - $1.50 for 2, used $1/1 coupon - $.50 for both
Just under 11 lbs of Chicken Leg Quarters at $.89/lb -$9.50
Now it's time to go home, put away the groceries, and put your feet up! I already had enough milk and eggs on hand, so groceries for the week are taken care of. The grand total was $48.86.
I'm constantly learning and improving when it comes to eating healthy and staying within budget. Both experimenting in the kitchen and learning to use my coupons more effectively are helping me meet those goals.
This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday, Wallet-Friendly Wednesday, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Finds, Frugal Friday, and Penny-Pinching Party.