8 reasons why we never use coupons.
I like to save money like every other person. But one thing I never really use or worry about, is
I know people, that swear by the power of coupons and I also have seen one single episode of Extreme Couponing. It saved people tons of money. But in our household, we almost never use them.
Don't take me wrong. We are not extremely rich people that don't care about money nor we are big spenders. On the contrary, I am very interested in our household's financials and am not scared of talking about money. Saving money makes me happy. What I have been noticing is that the coupons simply don't serve us with our lifestyle.
Here is why.
1. We eat fresh. It is almost impossible to find coupons for fresh produce. They are usually just on sale and don't need coupons. We mostly buy our fresh produce at Farmers market and they don't need coupons. When we miss the market and have to go to stores, we just buy mostly organic fresh produce. They also almost never have coupons.
2. We eat local and seasonal. We focus on eating local. I never understand why we have to buy food that have been traveling around the world. We are fortunate enough to have enough of everything produced here in our own country and state. I feel that my family will be just fine if they don't eat the Tilapia fish produced in, let's say Taiwan. We can just eat the fish that has been caught wild in Pacific Ocean. Nobody ever died or deeply suffered from the lack of Tilapia.
3. We don't eat processed food. This one is a big one as far as coupons go. I would say possibly 99% of the coupons are from the big corporations and are almost always for processed, wrapped and boxed food. We make almost everything from scratch and don't need all those boxed, processed and old food.
4. We (almost) don't produce waste. Everything with coupons is packed and wrapped. We buy in bulk and always bring our own produce bags. Again, there is no coupon for bulk and produce food.
5. We don't buy anything we don't need. That means we don't buy bottled water, paper towels, juices, sodas, candies, snacks and junk food,.... these are usually the items which the coupons are used for. I make home made regular or sweet potato fries instead of packaged chips. We make strawberry and banana smoothies and i freeze them for home-made Popsicles. We make home made cookies with my kids instead of watching TV on weekends. It is a fun and healthy activity. We love the quality time and the cookies are delicious made with organic sugar.
6. We almost only eat organic meat. They are from local farms and don't belong to the big meat factories with big names and brands. Again, no coupons. We eat tons of vegetable and eat meat maybe two to three times a week. We eat lots of organic eggs and fish during the week.
7. We don't buy frozen food. Since we eat local and seasonal, we don't need to buy anything frozen. I do freeze our leftovers. But living in a country that stores are in every corner and even some are open 24/7, I don't feel the need to pack our refrigerator and freezer with tons of food. (We don't own a second "garage refrigerator" like most suburban families do).
8. We shop once a week and buy only for that week. We don't buy something, unless it is finished. On the other words, we don't buy anything that we still have more of. We don't have forgotten food and expired goods. In fact, what we buy doesn't have expiration dates since they are not packaged. Since we buy only for one week or so, we never worry about expiration dates and freshness of our produces. It is always fresh.
Looking at our grocery habits, you will know why we never really need coupons. Eating almost all organic meat and healthy food with lots of bulk nuts and fresh fruit and vegetable, you might think we must spend a fortune on food.
I track our spending closely on Mint.com and our spending on grocery shopping is not out of ordinary. We like to eat out sometimes and do eat out around ten times a month.We also enjoy having friends over.
How much in average are we spending on grocery shopping and food in a month? Around $600-$700 for a family of four. That includes our eating out and our coffee treats in coffee shop. This is our family's base grocery spending. It could vary depending on circumstances.
This also does not include the extra spending on gatherings with friends which i consider it to be by far our best investment. The spending on inviting friends is a great investment in a better life enriched with wonderful friends and family. That is when we spend with pleasure.
But still one thing I never have to worry and think about is clipping coupons.