I’ve been looking at our actual food spending and discovered that I was sorely mistaken on how much we were spending each month on food. We are spending way to much and I want to learn how to save money through meal planning, couponing and canning/preserving in-season vegetables.
I was wondering if anyone had ever attended one of the coupon workshops. I want to learn how to use coupons to purchase products that I would actually use in my house. Whenever I find coupons in the newspaper, a lot of times they are for products that I would never use in my household. I don’t really want my family to eat a lot of processed foods, and that is what I seem to find coupons for. For me, just because a product is almost free, doesn’t mean I want to use it. I’ve spoken with my husband and I think that we both need to go to a coupon workshop because we both purchase food. I made a comment to my friend Kristen yesterday when she told me how much she had in her food budget. I responded in surprise, thinking that I spend way less than that. Uhh, nope, I get to stick my foot way in my mouth. Discovered we’ve been averaging more than them and I truthfully only want to spend between $350-$400 a month in groceries and toiletries. I had a huge laugh at myself moment when I thought that I was so good with money, saving a ton but in truth, I hadn’t been comparing what I had written down in the budget to what we were actually spending. Stupid smart person!
Here are the things that I want to save money on in our food budget.
We try to use natural cleaning products, so really I would only want to find sales on vinegar and baking soda.
Laundry Detergent (or a cheap way of making our own and sourcing the ingredients)
Shampoo (I stopped doing the no ‘poo thing. I hated my hair and decided to find some that were safer on the cosmetic database website)
We are planning a big garden and I want to freeze or preserve a lot of it, but in the mean time, I want to find sales on these types of products. The farmers markets are starting to gear up, but the only one that I know of right now is on Wednesday afternoon’s and I ride in a vanpool and most of this stuff really isn’t in season yet. On anything remotely processed, I’m always concerned about the ingredients. I’m not okay with HFCS, extra sugar, partially hydrogenated oils, cottonseed oils, GMO (if it is possible), monosodium glutamate (MSG) or any ingredient masking itself by another name. Fortunately when you move towards more whole foods, there is less label reading.
I would prefer fresh, then frozen, then canned.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Grapes (Imported)
- Sweet Corn (Frozen)
- Sweet Peas (Frozen)
- Kiwi Fruit
- Brussel Sprouts
- Green Beans
Whipping Cream (for whipped topping or butter)
Yogurt (I’m considering making our own, but I still need milk sources)
Cheese (String, Cheddar, mozzarella)
I want to find local, but if I can’t, I want coupons for them
Non-GMO Corn Starch
Whole Wheat Flour
Other types of flour
Flax Seed Meal
Bread (if I don’t make our own. I’m working on making it)
Tortillas (I could also make them, just don’t always want to)
Pastured Chicken (I have a good source here locally, but sometimes I buy the Greenwise brand of chicken at Publix)
Cereal-Greenwise Brand, Kashi, etc.
Breyer’s Ice Cream (We tend to buy it on BOGO, we do make our own, but then once again, need milk)
Luckily my friend Leah over on The Frugal Twosome has been doing some calculating lately and is helping me see whether things are more economical to purchase or make homemade. I loved your post today on tomato sauce because that has been one I’ve been thinking about.
I want some help. I know I need to go to one of these live workshops and see how it works. If you haven’t been to one of these workshops but are interested and local, let me know. Maybe we can get them to do one for us. For those of you that live out-of-state. Help! Sophia, you are the coupon queen. I need you in TN to help me figure this stuff out.