Guest post by Clair Boone from Mummy Deals
In a land far, far away lives a group of people. While they’ve heard the stories of how others are getting free food by a practice known as “double couponing”, they’re not sure how it works. They’ve seen the phrase “Do Not Double” on select coupons but if asked to explain, they aren’t exactly sure they could.
Their budgets are stretched, their creativity is exhausted and when these “doublers” talk about their small grocery bill, the people in the land faraway roll their eyes and smile.
Welcome, folks, to the Land of No Double Coupons.
Whether it’s because I live right outside a big city or because the grocery store choices are too vast and therefore nobody needs to double, I’m not sure. But one thing is for sure: Nobody’s doubling around here, 35 minutes outside of Chicago.
A few months ago I participated in a focus group with Crystal and when asked the question, “What would you say if a big grocery store discontinued the double coupon program?” I didn’t hesitate and responded, “I’d say: Welcome to my world!”
Over the years I’ve learned to be creative with the budget, skimp and save. Even without doubles, our family of 3 lives on a weekly grocery budget of $50 including toiletries and diapers. For those of you in the same boat, here’s some food for thought:
1. Skimp on Meat
I have a man who loves meat and lots of it. Although my hubby would rather eat steak for every meal, it’s expensive and not healthy every night! I’ve learned how to skimp on meat without making it look like I’m doing so by stretching the meal. In other words, I add other cheap yet healthy ingredients and take out some of the meat.
- I’ve been known to add rice or beans to a pan of taco meat to stretch it. I’m not a fan of beans but I know how good they are for me and disguising them in meat cuts down the cost and gets in some of the goodness.
- Many people use Italian sausage for a whole variety of meals and yet by buying it as that, it’s more expensive than if you buy it as a whole sausage, take the casing off and cut it down.
- Instead of defrosting a chicken breast/pork chop per person, if it’s going into a casserole I’ll add a little less and then just add more vegetables or side dishes.
- Meatless Days are great to keep the budget in line and plain spaghetti with whole wheat noodles and homemade spaghetti sauce will bring a family of 4 way under $4 for the whole meal, even with salad!
A lot of these tips are depression era tips that I’ve learned from a group of older ladies at a Bible Study I attend. Back then, skimping on food and yet trying to be healthy was a way of life.
To be continued tomorrow…
She bought diapers for 20 cents a pack prompting her friends to ask her to start www.mummydeals.org to teach others how to save money. She loves to use her couponing powers to buy things and donate them. Originally from England Clair Boone is wife to an amazing man, Mum to a toddler and lives near Chicago.
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