Couponing (or non-couponing)

A post to help all the well-meaning couponers who don’t quite coupon feel better πŸ™‚

I try to coupon.

But I’m really BAD at it!

It kind of goes in spurts.Β  The problem is, that unless I can find staple food items for next to free, it isn’t worth the time at least for a large family. (in my opinion of course, for some, it totally works for them)

My biggest problem:

most coupons come from the paper!

and by the time I buy the paper, spend the time organzing the coupons, finding the deals, and dragging my kids around the store – all while trying to keep the toddler from eating the coupons

(“Hang on a second ma’am while I get him to cough up that last coupon.”),

I would have been better off making a batch of

spaghetti from scratch.

I’ll admit to snagging copious boxes of pasta for free or nearly free – those I can use in grand quantities (I consider pasta a staple), but prepared sauce?

Phooey.

I throw in a few cheapy cans of tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, a smidge of hamburger (if there is any hiding in the freezer), a few canned olives and mushrooms, scatter some herbs about and

Voila!

The yummiest cheapest sauce ever.

See, I think 6 is a lot of kids. I know there are lots of people out there with more. But six is still a good handful to juggle. We don’t do prepared foods. Not so much because their not as healthy, but because the quantity is so

SMALL!

I remember sitting in a couponing class and the lady held up this little box of Uncle Ben’s rice and waved it around. All I could think of was,

“You know HOW many boxes it would take to feed my family???”

All of my kids eat like teenage boys!

Ok, well My 12 year-old girl has a somewhat tamed appetite – she’ll only eat half a dozen pancakes or 2 sandwiches, and the 1-year-old only eats like an undergrown teenager, but my others –

wowee!

My 6 year old son must consume two times his body weight in food! HeΒ  easily ate a dozen home-made (non-mix) pancakes the other day!

If he doesn’t at least get seconds he’s devasted. No matter how much he had for firsts.

He’s like a hobbit.

“But what about secondsies???”Β 

By the time he gets to his fourth or fifth helping I’m putting the food away and he’s wailing, with sauce dripping down his chin and noodles bobbing at the corners of his mouth,

“But I’m starving, Mom!”Β 

All I can do is stare at him, trying to figure out where it all goes.

When he’s done his stomach isn’t protruding, his eyeballs aren’t popping out, he’s not waddling away from the table. He looks just like he did before! I think he’s hollow.Β  All the food just flows into his arms and legs – maybe that’s where all those six-year-old decisions come from –

his brain is full of spaghetti noodles!

Anyway, I love the idea of couponing. I love walking out of a store knowing I got the deal of the day! But, I’ll stick to the websites that tell me what the deals are AND the online coupons.

However, until I am convinced that I really and truly can save more with coupons than I can making most things from scratch,

(using humongous pots and pans that you could use for a baby crib)Β 

I will continue to be the non-couponing coupon shopper, who coupons on special occasions for extremely spectacular deals.

I may not save as much money as the next person, but I have more time with my kids this way, and more time to edit and work on my writing, and even a little time for writing silly blog posts! πŸ˜›

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13 Comments

Filed under Children, Humor, Parenting

13 responses to “Couponing (or non-couponing)

  1. Yeah I am there with you on coupons. I just don’t have the time and generally they don’t offer them for the things we actually eat. I do like the Costco coupons but then they send those right to your house for free, no effort needed on your part. They had diaper coupons two fliers in a row and we totally stocked up. That is the kind of coupon I love.

  2. Nice, Awesome mom – cheap diapers is always a HUGE bonus! I have a couple websites for my area that I keep an eye on that outlines really good deals and where to find them – and I love a good deal – but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to be one of those amazing women who is the master couponer πŸ™‚

  3. I don’t care for couponing much myself. I’m just too lazy! Anyway, now I’m craving pasta…

  4. Sarah

    I am the same way. Last year, when my 4 -year old was in preschool, I had 3 hours to myself and had to drive past 3 couponing stores on the way. I totally had it down. Over the summer, it was just too much work to haul my kids around the stores trying to find deals. It was no fun for them, really. I have tried to do it with my baby, but he gets cranky if he has so spend all day in the carseat, being lugged in and out of stores. And let’s face it, by the time I do that, I am sweating and my blood sugar is low and I am totally stressed out from trying to hurry. So….I do exactly the same thing you do now, it has to be a really great deal, or i will just use coupons on my normal shopping trip to Wal-Mart.

  5. Uncle Ben’s rice and jarred pasta sauce … not to mention that they taste disgusting! Homemade is not only cheaper, it tastes infinitely better!

    I’m very MEH about couponing – I have yet to find a steady stream of coupons for anything I would even WANT to buy. All the coupons around here are for boxed foods, which we don’t eat.

    • Treen – we do boxed pasta – like plain pasta – and there’s lots of coupons for that, which is nice. I got like 80 boxes of pasta for free once – which is the height of my couponing career. heh. But yeah other than few “I’m desperate” standbys like Mac & Cheese or Ramen we are pretty boxless around here too. πŸ˜€

  6. Heather

    I’m with you, too. It tastes better from scratch anyway and is more filling also. And I get lots of good deals looking for specials on staples and buying staples in bulk like flour, sugar, meat under $2 … and of course pasta. It just doesn’t make sense to feed all these kids with a half dozen boxes at every meal when I really need to fill the “cauldron” to get the job done.

  7. Janelle

    I was recently amazed by how much food our little family of 5 (3 petite young daughters) can go through. I can’t imagine how my mom cooked for 10! The thing that kills me is how bipolar my girls are with their appetites. One meal they’ll eat everything I made and be begging for more. Another meal I’ll make tons extra and they’ll polish off every bit. Then yet another meal I make plenty and they each take 3 bites and declare themselves stuffed O.o It’s a mystery.

  8. I have discovered couponing and I admit that I love it. I don’t do it on a huge scale, we only have one store in town that takes coupons, but they do double coupon days… yay! So, I just get my copy of the paper, cut the coupons for an hour on sunday afternoon, then use their website to make my shopping list. I keep my stuff organized in a binder so the baby can’t get them while I am shopping… I am in and out of the store in 30 min usually, lugging my two youngest along for the ride.

    I was in danger of having to get a job outside the home this past summer. I was really struggling with the idea, I want to be a MOM! I live an hour and a half from the closest Walmart… Would you want to go often if it cost you $45 every time in gas? Anyway, coupons have cut my grocery budget in half, seriously in half. I don’t get all the boxed stuff, or pre made pasta sauce, but guess what… I can get tomato sauce and canned tomatoes for next to nothing! 5 cents per can of sauce anyone? Deodorant for 50 cents… And just this past week, I was able to get something for my kids that I have never bought before because they are usually $3.50 per box… Gogurt for 1.15!!! My kids thought they were in heaven.

    I know couponing isn’t for everyone, but for some of us… it’s a life saver.

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