We made the decision when I was pregnant with my first daughter that I would quit my job and stay home with her. It was a painstaking decision. I made more money than my husband at the time and so it cut our income by more than half. The first week after she was born, the price of diapers made me realize that I was going to need to get creative to make it work. My sister-in-law was into couponing so I got some info from her and dove right in!
Couponing is a great way to save money on a tight budget. I never paid more than 5 cents a diaper and a lot of times got wipes for free. It definitely helped stretch our budget and I am grateful that I had the info at that time. It was fun for me too! Figuring out how to get things for free or make money off of items to bring my bill down was like a game, but there are some do's and don't that will help you save money AND have a healthy lifestyle.
1. Don't stock your home with processed food.
Most of the coupons that you can use are for processed food.You will find some coupons for veggies and fruits, and, of course, household products that you use but you need to be wary of stocking your house full of boxed and bagged food items. They are chemical laden, nutrient poor and don't fuel your body. The foods that should be consumed in your home are veggies, fruits, healthy carbs ( whole grains no preservatives), proteins, and healthy fats which are mostly found on the perimeter of your store. I spent many years calorie counting and eating whatever I wanted but it wasn't until I was educated about nutrition and started choosing foods that fueled my body that I began to see the outward changes that I was looking for without the constant struggle of cravings and denying myself. If you do buy processed foods because its a money maker item, throw them out! It's not good for you and its not good for others.
2. Do buy fruits and veggies that are in season.
I know it seemed like fruits and veggies can be expensive but when you aren't wasting money on all that processed food it does free up money for healthier options. A few of the ways to do this is to buy fruits and veggies that are in season. When they are in season they are their lowest price. You will notice strawberries are $2.99 in the summer and $4.99 in the winter. As you get used to knowing the seasonal veggies you can build meal plans by season that will be tasty and inexpensive. You can also find local farmers markets that have amazing deals on these items and often they are organic and much much less than in store. Check out what farmers markets are available in your area. I also buy eggs from my farmers market!
3. Do buy your proteins from a farm or a company like Zaycon.
We buy our proteins in bulk from our farmers market or Zaycon and freeze it until we need it. Its much cheaper than buying it from the store and we know where it came from and how it was fed. Its much healthier and less expensive than buying it from a grocery store. As a side note. we only have the freezer in our refrigerator and it stores the meat just fine. That's all we keep in their since we dont have it full of processed foods or frozen veggies. but we dont need a huge freezer in our garage to make this kind of commitment. There is roughly 40 pounds of various proteins in there at any given time and there is still room to spare!
4. Do coupon for household items and healthy items you can stock.
Some of the things that have been super helpful to coupon for us are diapers, wipes, paper towels, toilet paper,paper plates, olive oil, spices, peanut butter, cheeses, bottled water. If you use store bought cleaning products this is also a great way to save on those items. ( I don't but that's for another blog post! ;)
I know if you have been couponing for awhile and used to walking out of the store having spent $5 on $75 worth of products that this might stress you out but once you realize that those items you are eating are causing you to feel awful and gain weight, it gets a lot easier to let it go. We spend a lot in this country on beauty supplies trying to make us look and feel better and yet when we eat the food that our bodies need, we don't need all that junk. Our waistlines don't need girdles, our faces are glowing and don't need foundation, our hair and nails are healthy and later on we pour money into doctors because we didn't take care of our bodies. We pour money into trying to look better when really we need to take that money and put it into our health. I love the quote, " Pay the farmer now or the doctor later. So couponers, don't panic! Give it 30 days and you'll see I speak the truth! I have challenge groups running each month, jump and I'll teach you how to make it work for your family. We spend $125 a week for our family of four eating healthy foods and this includes all our paper and personal care items as well as eating out ( which we dont do that often). When looking at your food budget you need to look at how much you are spending eating out and on coffee runs or other "treats". You can free up a lot of funds through choosing a healthy lifestyle!
To my noncouponers! You can learn a lot from us crazy coupon ladies and you never even have to clip a coupon. The most important way you can save is to learn the sale cycles. Every 6 to 10 weeks all items are at their lowest price, so you buy enough to last you 6-10 weeks depending on the item. Example! I am a Publix shopper, so when organic olive oil goes buy one get one, I buy 4 bottles at that price and it lasts me 10 weeks until I need them again. ( It's actually more than I need but I make all my own salad dressings so I don't like to run out!) If you only buy one, you will run out before the next sale and pay full price for the next one, so stocking up on your healthy most used items will save you tons of money over time. it takes a slight shift of perspective but once you make it, you'll never go back. The site I use to check the lists is www.southersavers.com. She posts the Publix list on Monday and then on Thursday when the sale starts I go do my shopping. You simply check which items you want to buy and print out your list. Super simple! If want some more info on this, there are videos on how to coupon on her site!
If you have questions about couponing, healthy eating, or my challenge groups, please send me a message at AubreyK916@gmail.com. I would love to talk more with you and help you navigate how to serve your family's budget and health!
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"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.