This may come as a shock to you, coming from someone who loves to organize and even more so, save some moolah.
You see, I used to spend the time clipping and printing coupons. I was so proud of myself. I would take my little coupon organizer to the store with me (just in case I forgot one coupon), and have my little stars by each item that I had to get at the store, to use my coupon.
It was great and I was saving money!
Then I realized that maybe some of the things we really didn’t need. Just maybe some of the items I bought only because it was a great deal.
And then I had a child. For a few months, I did not even feel comfortable taking Mazy to the grocery store (let along multiple) because she really struggled. She cried a lot and the last thing I wanted was to be “that mom” whose child was screaming in the checkout lane an aisle over. I just didn’t want to deal with it. I am so grateful for a friend who was willing to take Mazy for a few hours so that I could get my errands run and get my groceries. I get that not everyone has or had that option. That is why I am so grateful for her! After a few months I felt comfortable taking Mazy and it went well. Though we were still going to only one grocery store.
And that was Aldi. And Aldi is one of the main reasons why I no longer clip coupons.
So why no coupon clipping for this girl?
1. Desire to eat whole foods. We are trying to eat more whole foods at our house, so that means eating foods that are typically on the outside aisles in a grocery store. Like meat, milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables, etc. These are foods that often do not have coupons associated with them, but maybe sales. As a result, no coupons to clip!
2. Don’t buy enough to make it worth it. We are big cereal eaters and maybe I could save on cereal by clipping coupons, but I don’t buy enough of it to make it worth clipping coupons for it. Pasta, well, maybe I could save a few cents, but Aldi is starting to carry organic options and it is much cheaper there than it is anywhere (or at least where I could find).
3. Produce. One thing I love about Aldi is that I feel they have good produce and it’s CHEAP. In comparison to Wal-Mart, I would say Aldi’s produce quality is far higher and it is sometimes half the price. Again, no reason to clip coupons.
4. Time. Of course there are some things that Aldi does not carry, but I try to just go to one grocery store a week. Plus, since we live a little ways from a grocery store, a “quick” run to the store is not quick! This also means choosing simple recipes that don’t have obscure ingredients, so that I can just go to one grocery store. And of course, the time I save trying to find the “best” deal. The time I save I can now spend with my daughter – what better way to spend my time?
5. I actually SAVE money. Like I said earlier, because I don’t clip coupons, I am not buying items that just sit on our shelves, just because they were a good deal at the store. Though I have a LONG ways to go with this, I am not buying food items with no purpose in mind. I am buying food intentionally, which may mean meal planning, but again, that saves me time and money too.
Do I frown upon those who clip coupons? NOT AT ALL! In fact, I admire those who can use coupons in such a way that they end up getting items for free, often! I remember doing that and it was so fun to come home and tell Dan how much I saved. Though then I realized I was more proud of how much I saved, than realizing how much I was spending on things that I didn’t really need.
It’s not like I never use coupons – don’t get the wrong idea. Think DIAPERS. I have saved so much money with coupons from Target for their Up&Up diapers, by using Cartwheel, and by using their in-store promos. Like I said, it’s not like I’ve given up on deals. I have just realized that for me, couponing just wasn’t worth the time.
What do you use coupons on mostly? What is your go-to grocery store? How do you save money when grocery shopping?