Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why Extreme Couponing Isn't For Me

If you know anything about me, you know I love to save money. I feel it's part of my job as a homemaker to save my family money in the area of groceries and toiletries. About 2 or 3 years ago I had a little fling with extreme couponing. It was exciting and fun! But over the past year, I've realized couponing, or at least the extreme variety isn't for me. Here are my main two reasons:

1. Time and Energy

I have a hard time keeping the laundry up (who am I kidding, the laundry is never caught up around here). So, adding something into my schedule that takes up a good bit of time is just going to cause me to neglect something else. I have terrible time management skills and I know me. Something important would be neglected. I would rather spend my 'extra' time cooking a batch of homemade oatmeal cookies, making a double batch homemade muffins for the freezer, mixing up solution for homemade disinfecting wipes than clipping coupons and scouring through sale papers. Not forgetting to add in gas money and time driving to different stores. And you know what, all of those things I listed help me save money too.

Now for the most important...

2. Health

I find most coupons are not for real foods. Real foods consist of anything that doesn't come with a bar code or at the very least has 5 (real and known) ingredients or less. Once I started learning about real foods... things like produce, grass fed meats, cage free eggs, cheeses, milk and fruits I quickly realized that you can rarely find a coupon for any of these things. Even organic milk from the grocery store is highly processed, so local (shout out to Wright's Dairy) is best. I started reading real food blogs and learning a lot about natural sweeteners, healthy fats, whole wheat and cooking from scratch. It just made sense couponing and real food don't mesh well. Even organic or natural processed foods are still processed.

As far as non-food items go I do occasionally use a coupon for toilet paper/paper towels if I happen to come across one. I make my own disinfecting wipes. I use a half and half vinegar/water to clean just about everything. Add in some baking soda for my toilet bowls and tubs and that is the extent of my cleaning supplies. I've been doing research on what we put on our bodies and have slowly changed a few of our hygiene products (though not all). The boys use Baby Bee's by Burt's Bees and the Hubs uses the Burt's men's bar. I use Dessert Essence Tea Tree Oil for body wash and Alba Original Fragrance Free Lotion. Coupons for these items are hard to come by. We live on a very limited budget but we are able to purchase them by scrimping in other areas! I told someone recently that I'd rather buy a shirt at WalMart on clearance for $3 and spend $20 on organic produce than the other way around.

As I stated earlier, it's my job as homemaker to help my family save money in these areas. But it's also my job to see that I'm taking care of what goes in and on their bodies! Yes, we have freedom in Christ, but we also have brains and a vast amount of great information on how to take care of what God has given us!

We're not perfect. In fact, there are Cokes in our fridge right now and a gallon of Blue Bell in the freezer. Ok, so my mom bought them both but I do still allow those types of things. And we do eat packaged cereal but only because we get them on WIC. We are a work in progress. Hopefully, I'll share more about what we've kept in our diet and what we will hopefully be changing in the future. I'm not casting judgement, friends. I'm just sharing what works for our family and the journey we're on.

When the inserts in the paper start having $ off for fresh produce and free range chicken*, I'll have my scissors ready!

(*That is only a dream of mine, I can't find free range chickens anywhere!)


Jessica said...

I don't do the coupons either...I am like time for that. :)

jeana said...

I think you and I are just about the same. Those are the two number one reasons we don't coupon either. =]