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Baking potatoes 5 lb bag – 2/$4

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

That poster in my supermarket window caught my eye. It was one of many, but it was the only heavily advertised special that wasn’t some kind of processed food.

Entering the store, before even walking through the main doors, there are bins of all the 2 for 1 specials – Doritos, Mac & Cheese, Cookies and bottles of some kind of colored drink.

Then there’s a machine which will read my store discount card and give me coupons chosen especially for me. I always do this. Maybe I’ll hit the coupon lottery and there will be peanut butter or cheese. It rarely happens. Who knew there were so many products that I never buy.

I get a lot of coupons in the mail too, also for tons of stuff I never use.

Once Inside the main door of the supermarket I stop at the produce department and pick up a bag of potatoes. Fortunately I don’t actually have to buy 2 bags to take advantage of the discount. 10 pounds of potatoes are a lot for 2 people even though baked potatoes (white or sweet) are our starch of choice.

I’ve always been a frugal person. I like to save money, but the savings being offered to me have unfortunate consequences if I regularly take advantage of them.

There was a stage in my life when I had to watch every penny. Time was in short supply too and trips to the supermarket were hurried. I was the person those banner ads were meant for.

Living a healthy lifestyle would be easier if the forces of commercialism weren’t arrayed against us. Yes, we are all personally responsible for our own actions, but I wish those with the money and resources would help not hinder our efforts.

Most supermarket coupons promote junk food, sugary drinks:

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I used to be an avid coupon shopper. Now that I don't look at processed foods, I don't look at coupons either.
    1596 days ago
    Many coupons are for the stuff that the manufacturers can make a larger amount of money from if they can get you to buy them habitually. Even healthy stuff... prewashed and packaged greens, peeled carrots, cut veggies or fruits etc. are more expensive than buying them raw and doing it yourself. (though just TRY to get baby spinach unpackaged.)
    I'm using very few coupons these days compared to years ago.
    1598 days ago
    You are so right! The vast majority of coupons are for processed foods. I used to work doing demos at a large chain grocery store. Every once in a great while, there would be a coupon for produce of one sort or another, but that was the exception.

    As a result, I almost never use coupons, because they are never for anything I regularly buy.
    1598 days ago
    ---too bad the coupons aren't more useful!-=-I'm not a coupon person--(wish I were!)----but I admire people who do that! Lynda
    1598 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
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    1599 days ago
  • DR1939
    I seldom use coupons for the same reason. Although there were times when I needed to be frugal in my grocery shopping, I never felt using coupons was a savings because the items were not healthy. One of our shops gives cents off gas but it is usually on items that I never buy. Another one gives stamps that can be used to get $.60 off a gallon of milk or cents off gas at several stations. These also can be given to our school (which we do).
    1599 days ago
  • _UMAMI_
    Nice post!
    I do sometimes have coupons for produce or other healthy items, but, I agree---most are for junk foods that I wouldn't want, even if they were FREE.
    1599 days ago
    You're so right! Our supermarket has an ad campaign where you buy something and then get 3-7 more items for "free." While I may sometimes take advantage of it if it was something I was going to buy anyway, too many of the "free" items are not very healthy food choices. I've finally learned to ignore these "sale" items unless I had to get them anyway (and then I give away the junk food).
    1599 days ago
    Well said! This is why I never even look at coupons any more. And by the time I remember I have one that I might use, it will have expired.
    1599 days ago
    Very True , I have noticed that I receive coupons for food we do not consume . The other day there was Quaker Oatmeal Original buy one get one - I took advantage of that sale . I am trying not to focus on the price of produce due to the drought in the West as it always factors in - thanks for all of your support - yes - smokers , why I outta ! Karen
    1599 days ago
  • KANOE10
    That was a goo article and blog. You are right about the coupons going for junk food..and processed food. Also the sale items are often for the same junk food.

    That was interesting..and all too true.
    1599 days ago
    When I get coupons at the grocery store for products I don't use, I return them to the cashier. I'm pretty sure they throw them away, but I think I'm going to tell the manager to log those refused. I actually can claim coupons for products I do use on line-if there are any.
    As usual, great blog.
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    1599 days ago
    I always shop for specials and in clothing or other stores look for the clearance racks and sales first LOL. I'm with my son/dil now and it's harder because they have fairly good incomes (aren't rich by any means) and they shop at some of the medium priced stores but don't look for sales And I see a lot of leftovers thrown away and such that really does pain me a lot They don't understand me but I will always be a shopper!
    1599 days ago
    The coupons they print at the check out at that store often do better for me. The $2 off your next order, etc, and I always try for meat mark down day on Thursday. In general, produce rarely even goes on sale, kind of sad. I do find it cheaper to cook completely from scratch. We are able to eat at food stamp level plus 20%( the plus come mostly from buying organic or patronizing ethical companies when I can) which is half of what most families where my husband works pay. I find it a myth that eating healthy is expensive. Eating healthy with convenience foods is expensive.
    1599 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/5/2014 8:15:55 AM
    Totally agree with your observations. I do have a few things that I regularly buy, and I shop at a store that does fuel discounts as well as coupons... rarely use the coupons, as they are for stuff I wouldn't buy anyway... but the fuel cents-off, once in a while, I hit the jackpot on, as once in a while they will do "2 cents for a bag of spinach leaves" or "1 cent for a bag of baby carrots".

    I shop the way I shop any more... I figure my health is worth whatever supposed savings I forego! emoticon
    1599 days ago
    I find almost all of my groceries are things there wouldn't be coupons for. I feel that coupons are just one more part of the excessive clutter we are confronted with in our lives. Avoid them and I'll bet you'll be happier. Glenn
    1599 days ago

    Although I do think there is a too common belief that healthy eating MUST be expensive. Healthy eating can be just about as inexpensive as the just requires a lot more effort than sweeping a bunch of bags of whatever overly processed crap is on sale into our carts...and sadly as a society Americans have been trained for instant gratification for zero effort.

    There is a blog I follow, A Girl Called Jack. She regularly blogs recipes that are homemade for cheap, as proof that even people on extremely limited budgets can eat well (at one point she was surviving on a grocery budget of about $15 - $20 per week, depending on the exchange rate). OK, she does use a lot of canned veggies but when budget is a concern canned veggies are still better than Doritos any day, let alone the ready made processed Frankenfoods.
    1599 days ago
    I saw that article - and you re right even with a coupon if it's junk YOU DON'T NEED IT.

    occasionally I will pick up the extra item for our local food bank or a food drive....something to think about ..thanks for passing along the article.
    1599 days ago
    I agree! Seldom can you get good yogurt or healthy produce with coupons.
    1599 days ago
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