I got extreme one weekend and binge watched multiple seasons of Extreme Couponing on Netflix. It had me totally convinced that coupons were straight up gold and I was an idiot for lazily using coupons in the past. No, extreme was the way to go!
But in practice, extreme couponing or just couponing in general rarely works for me. Here’s why:
1. The time factor. Who are these women who have time to coupon 40 hours a week? I have a full-time job. I don’t even have an extra 20 hours a week for coupons. At some point I need to clean and maybe have a life.
2. Coupons are rarely for fresh fruit and vegetables. When was the last time you saw a coupon for a dollar off a dozen oranges? Yeah, never. I’m not a food snob, but I try to steer clear of the processed, prepackaged food.
3. I have no where to store 500 boxes of Easy Mac. I live in a trailer, ya’ll.
That’s not to say that if I see a coupon for toothpaste, I won’t use it. But I’ve recently discovered a much better way to save money on food. Join a CSA.
Here’s how it works: each week, I get a certain amount of points on food. I don’t let myself go over these points or I will be charged. One of my major money spending triggers is just being in a physical store. OO! Those strawberries look good! Or OOO! Green beans are on sale! Ordering my groceries online has almost completely eliminated my food impulse buying. I’ve whittled my food spending down from an average of $500 a month to an average of $250. I’ve cut that bill in half, ya’ll!
I am lucky that my CSA carries a wide variety of food. They don’t just sell veggies, but also dairy and some pre-made stuff, like bread and jellies. If your CSA doesn’t have that kind of variety, you could replicate the process by buying food through Amazon and holding yourself accountable to only spend a certain amount. Or you could use Amazon’s subscribe and save and get the items you need each month delivered to your door. It’s fast, easy and you don’t even have to leave the house! (And Amazon didn’t even tell me to say this, I just enjoy their services!)
Do you coupon? How have you saved money on fresh and healthy food?