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Before buying anything else from pets supplies to kids clothing, kitchen stuff to fashion products, I always used to compare prices on difference comparison websites and then looking to find latest coupons to save money. I saved lot of money on monthly basis by using coupons. retailmenot.com, coupons.com & couponpark.com are my best website for couponing.
Since eating healthier and buying more fresh fruits and vegetables, I have been shopping at the farmer's market. But I am going to start comparing food prices from the local grocery stores and compare them to the prices of the farmer's market.
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I have never been a hardcore couponer, not for lack of trying. I work at Wal Mart and we get a 10% discount on all fresh produce, so that does help. It also helps that Wal Mart will price match as well, even on produce.
Our main grocery chain is King Soopers (kroger), and because we have their savings card, about once a quarter we get specialized coupons for stuff we actually use. Free eggs, $1.00 off milk etc. The other way we save here is to buy gift cards for the places we like to go to eat and shop, they usually offer 4x gas points for this. So we get a perk on money we'd spend anyway.
We also have the target redcard, not the credit card, this comes right of the checking account, and we get an additional 5%off everything.
Yoda said it best, "Do or do not....
Every morning is a new opportunity to defeat failure.
"if 90% of what I buy each week is fresh fruits/veggies that are on sale via the store circular, is it worth trying to save money via coupons"
If they don't offer coupons for the foods that you are buying then I don't see how coupons would save you any money on food unless you change the type of food you buy to match the coupons. I don't think you want to do that. You could try using coupons for non-food items.
using what you have on hand
watching store ads/comparing prices
freezing/canning excess produce
buying foods that are in season
checking out a farmer's market
growing your own food
switch to buying less meat
don't buy pre-cut or shredded produce, meats or cheese
check the price on a larger containers vs. individual ones
dry beans are slightly cheaper than canned
You might already do a bunch of this stuff and really might be as low as you can go on your food spending.
I used to say "nobody gives coupons for produce" and then my local Marsh store started to do just that... :) They have Marsh cards (for tracking, actually) instead of tear out coupons, so if you show your card then you get the sale price. And about four times a year I get tiny coupons in the mail (little strips) based on my buying history so they are practically all for produce. About once or twice a year they run a 20% off sale for all produce. This week, all tomatoes are 20% off of the usual sky high prices... But I don't have a car and have other limitations, so the Marsh store is the only one I can shop at generally other than online.
Marsh also has digital coupons loaded to the card and are often for things I actually do buy. Plus their web site links to printable coupons which are sometimes useful.
I also just started using a phone app called Checkout51 that supposedly lets you earn money on the selections of the week if you upload a picture of your receipt from any store (can be done in sections within the app fir a long receipt). You have to build up to $20 to cash out (they send checks) so it will be many weeks before I try that, but they seem to have good reviews. They make their money data tracking, apparently. Not limited always to specific brands and some produce is on the weekly selection (I saved a bit on tomatoes, bananas, strawberries this week). Every little bit helps. They say online shopping packing lists also qualify but I doubt stuff could be ordered and received in time (the uploads have to be within that week, runs from Thu thru Weds like my local grocery's sales).
So if you're willing to put in a little time, there are coupon options. I don't know why so many guys are reluctant to use coupons regularly, but it's such a common pattern- my brother, who certainly needs the money, not only refuses to use coupons, he wouldn't even use his employee discount at a grocery store where he worked!!! Baffling, since we are both the children of the Triple Coupon Day Queen and I remember pasting in pages of green and S&H (sp.?) stamps into booklets in my extreme youth when grocery stores were passing those out with grocery purchases (a catalog gave you things for books if stamps). But then I was always the one who picked up pennies from the street and whose piggy bank was always full.
Edited by: JWOOLMAN at: 6/8/2014 (17:06)
LEC358, you may have the same problem I do. I live down a 6 mile road from any grocery store. Those two know they have a captive audience. I am 15 miles from the next nearest grocery store.
As far as coupons, some larger chain stores offer them in their circulars. Our local one offers their own set in their annual calendar, but they are only good for a month.
If you are a meat eater, check to see if your store offers really deep discounts for buying at or near the expiration date. Sometimes buying fruits and veges in bags/bulk are cheaper.
I'm sure you already know these things, but thought I would get my two cents in.
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Growing Up In the 70's
If you live in an urban area, you may find that the ethnic groceries offer better prices on produce than the big name stores. When I lived in Chicago, pretty much all of my food shopping was done at the supermercado or one of the big veggie stands. In addition to great prices on produce, you can often find staples like rice and beans for much less too.
If you have formed the habit of checking on every new diet that comes along, you will find that, mercifully, they all blur together, leaving you with only one definite piece of information: french-fried potatoes are out. ~~Jean Kerr
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~~Anais Nin
Life is too short for self-hatred and celery sticks. ~~Marilyn Wann
I understand completely. Suggestions to afford healthy options:
Look into gardening options (rooftop, pots, community, etc depending on your living situations)
Plan an Aldi's trip once/week
Call local farmers and make them offers
Trade valuable coupons for frozen veggie coupons
Pray for God's provision; He will honor the fact that you are trying to keep your body healthy to better love and help those around you
Make your own yogurt (oven or crockpot)
Make your own broths for nutritious soups that can be frozen
Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 5/19/2014 (04:22)
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
The way I look at it is that the weekly circular is our "coupon supplement." If you read the sale ads, the fruits and veggies that are in season are deeply discounted. Plan meals around them, and you get the freshest, healthiest produce at 25-50% off of average, all without having to clip or download anything.
I don't coupon right now because I live 130 miles from the nearest supermarket, and almost 300 miles from the nearest town big enough to have a Sunday newspaper. But when I did, I was like the PP who mentioned using coupons more for non-foods. For a couple of years, I essentially got my deodorant, soap, and hair products for free by combining clearances, coupons, and instant rebates. Occasionally I even got more in instant rebate store credit than I paid-- I made a profit off of the coupons. When that happened, I usually donated the product to a homeless shelter or the humane society or whoever else could use it. I wasn't about to buy a bunch of extra and hide it in my garage like the "extreme coupon" TV show contestants, but if I could buy it for nothing, I would get it for somebody who needed it worse than I did.
We'll said ! Russ
Edited by: DARCYBLUE at: 5/17/2014 (15:12)
When I was vegetarian, I couponed hardcore. Now I'm Paleo/primal and there's not much I eat that has a coupon. Occasionally I'll score deals - today at Target I picked up buy 2, get 1 free organic green tea. I also had a coupon for it via the Cartwheel app.
I'll pick up the Whole Foods coupon flyer when I'm in the store and occasionally, there are a few coupons in there I can use, especially for cleaners and the like. On the whole, I rely on shopping sales and stocking up on meat and produce when it is on super sale.
If not now, when?
I eat low carb, so when I look at the store circulars, most of what is on sale, I can't eat.
Coupons cover 0% of what I eat. The processed foods are cheap, and have a higher profit margin, than real food, so they can give you a discount.
I prefer not using coupons. I find the idea of a coupon to just be a piece of paper that says... I am screwing everyone, but here is a ticket to not be one of them. They should just be charging one price for everyone, that gives them enough money to survive, and that goes up or down based on what they pay for it, and the demand for it.
I look at a $1 coupon on a $3.99 frozen dinner to just be an admission that they are marking it up 25 %, and then giving you a 25% off coupon. Obviously, they make plenty of money at $2.99, so why not just make it the regular price?
I would love for them to give discounts on fruits/veggies, and the government could do it's part with subsidies to bring the cost down. Maybe if berries didn't cost $2-3 for 6 ozs, people would eat more of them. As long as a box of macaroni and cheese is $.59, and bread is $1.19, those are going to be a much larger portion of a person's diet, than fresh fruits and veggies. I pay $3.99 for 2 peppers. Or I could eat 6 boxes of mac & cheese. I choose the peppers, but most people eat the crappy boxed mac & cheese. So I have to struggle to find store discounts, and change my menu on what is on special.
It is very simple. If poor food is not as expensive, people will eat it more often. Until we find a way to make healthy food affordable to all, we will have a lot of poor people, who eat a terrible diet. Of course they also didn't have health care till recently.
The cost of health care covered by the government could be offset by subsidies to healthy food. What is more affordable... subsidies on fresh fruits and veggies, or paying the costs of treating a sick person with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer?
With Medicaid expansion, the state now pays for health care up to $50 K, if they have 3 children. Up to $17 K for single adults. That covers 1 million people here in Michigan, who did not have health care before. Since we are paying so much for health care, it would be a good idea to have a little prevention, by making fruits and veggies cheaper, and when people are 50, they might have less health problems.
As a heart patient who was in between jobs, I found out that 6 days in the CCU, costs about $125,000. If that can be avoided by getting people to eat healthier, then $125,000 would go a long way towards that. I just have to believe that helping people eat better food has to be cheaper than millions of people in CCU's costing $100K a stay.
We are basically making unhealthy food cheap, and it is costing us billions in health care. Lets make healthy food cheap, and see if we can save billions in health care.
"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "
- Albert Einstein
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”
- Henry Ford
Some stores i shop in for lower prices don't take coupons or checks . If another store has a good coupon and i don't have to spend a lot of gas ( over 2 miles away ) i will go get that item . I think it is always good to check prices for the lowest but beware coupons and buy one get one free are not always a bargain .
Also i am not sure how it works or if every county may have one but i know there are 'farmers market coupons ' but it is not welfare coupons ( sorry no offense intended , don't know the politically correct name ) and you can buy fresh foods and the farmer gets paid too .
a sinner saved by God's Grace and Mercy
I do in-store weekly specials for most fruits and veggies. I use Target Cartwheel as well, which gives 5-10% off certain fruits and veggies. I also shop Trader Joes, which can be lower then regular grocery store prices. I use coupons for other household items, condiments and other shelf stable items.
I use the non-food items, and I will do a bit of price-matching for the stores which offer it. Rarely I'll get some coupons for items that I *do* buy, but I never expect or much hope for those.
The bit of money I save I do by buying the in-store sale items. I live in a town where there's plenty of grocery stores, so I don't have to drive long distances to get to the various ones. I check their websites and print my shopping list from their sales items and then pair the ones I can with any coupons which I'm lucky enough to have.
Most of my grocerying is done at a little independent market which is strongly supporting the local growers and producers. Even if I don't have coupons, I go there first. I love their produce!
...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
~attributed to Chief Seattle
We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
Some stores will put out coupons for fresh fruits and veggies. Target sends me one or two sets a year and they do crop up as printable coupons as well (they just go very fast).
Only you can answer if the cost of getting the coupons is less than the value of the coupons. my newspaper subscription doubled in cost and I have been finding really great coupons online, so I have been keeping track of what I redeem to see if it will be worth it to renew next year.
-google first. ask questions later.
I get the newspaper on Wednesday to see what is on sale at the grocery stores near me. I then check my coupons to see what I have a coupon for that is also on sale. When I drive home from work I pass the 3 main grocery stores and I will have my ad for that store and my coupons and I will buy only what is on my list. So I am not making a special trip to go to the grocery store.
I use coupons mostly for non-food items.
I shop at a store that doubles coupons. If I happen to see that something is on sale and the coupon makes it super cheap, then I use the coupon and keep in my stash for when there's a food drive or someone is soliciting donations of non-perishables.
I've got the magic in me.
Price matching...I'll have to see if one of the grocery stores near me does that. The grocery store that I can walk to easiest (there's another that's worse quality produce that's also walkable but a tiny bit father, urban living ftw) recently started doubling coupons but since I don't buy that much in the way of processed stuff and get a lot of cleaning/household products from the dollar store I can't figure out a good way to take advantage of it.
price matching sounds like a good way
185 on my fourth anniversary of July 7, 2010
Joined weight watchers on 10/18/10 @ 188.0/after multiple 17 week passes took a break on 2/11/12
Weight Loss in 2011--24 lbs.
Plan to lose 12 lbs in 2012
2012--lost 12 lbs this year!!!
9/29/13--138 50 lbs
3/26/14--diagnosed with diabetes
I've been recently introduced to price matching, I saved a LOT of money price matching fruits and veggies on sale.
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Do you buy pet food, paper products, cleaning supplies, health and beauty items, etc? If so, that might be where coupons could help you more. I use more coupons at Walgreens and Target than I do at the grocery store most weeks.
Coupons for items like pasta, canned or frozen vegetables, peanut butter/salad dressings/condiments, cereals or oatmeal, canned tuna, soups, cooking spices/sauces, etc come out pretty regularly. I keep a small stockpile of these pantry basics on hand, making sure I buy at the lowest possible price combined with a coupon where possible.
If you opt not to coupon, that's OK...it's not for everyone. Just make sure you know what the rock bottom price is on the things you use the most, and stock up when you see that price. Shop the circulars and plan your meals around what's in season and on sale. Lastly, keep waste to a minimum. It always pains me to throw out food that we simply didn't use in time, or forgot about in the back of the fridge.
The most processed thing on my weekly grocery list is a tie between the store brand greek yogurt and string cheese that I keep as a snack. So here's my conundrum: if 90% of what I buy each week is fresh fruits/veggies that are on sale via the store circular, is it worth trying to save money via coupons? Or should I just accept that I've cut my grocery budget to the bone (without driving 10 miles out of my way to the Aldi)?