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Q&A: Does Couponing Only Work if You Eat Junk Food?

Melissa left the following comment on my Super Savings Saturday post last week. I began to respond to it in the comments section and I wrote so much that I finally decided it would be better to make this a separate post:

I've been using coupons for a while, but I've just newly done research on getting the most bang for each coupon. The thing that I notice though is that much of the food you get at really great prices is not really so healthy… chips, candy, cookies, and lots of processed stuff which could definitely be left out of the grocery budget totally. I have a terrible sweet-tooth and really love all that stuff, but if I got that much I know it would not be so good for my waistline. Are there ways to coupon and get healthy stuff, or does the couponing really only work for the junk food? I don't seem to find a lot of coupons for fresh foods, and healthy meal/baking supplies. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place? Any suggestions? -Melissa

Melissa, what a great question! There is a widely-held myth that using coupons means you only feed your family junk food. From a cursory vantage point, it can seem like us couponers buy a lot of processed food. And yes, it might appear like my family must only eat MSG and high-fructose-corn-syrup-laden foods. However, that is very far from the truth.

I definitely do buy some processed foods and my grocery shopping trips are evidence of this. I know that bothers some people and I often receive hate mail about it. I understand that some people want to avoid every ounce of processed foods–and that's okay with me! But that's not where our family is right now. We strive to eat a balanced diet and do the best we can with the time and money we have.

We don't eat all organic, we do eat processed foods probably at least once or twice a day, and I don't always bake and cook every single thing from scratch. But if you look at examples of our weekly menus here, you'll see that according to most people's standards, we do try to eat fairly healthfully. There are definitely areas we can improve in and I'm always seeking to work on those. It's a learning process!

Balance is key to me; it's not an all or nothing thing. We've chosen to eliminate food coloring from our diet, we also rarely eat pork, we are very particular about the meat we buy, we eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables (many of which have come from friend's gardens this Summer–yum!), we make much of our food from scratch, we eat very little fast food, we use primarily freshly-ground whole-wheat flour in our baking, we use all-natural cleaners for at least 90% of the cleaning we do in our home, we don't drink soda pop, and we avoid artificial flavoring whenever possible.

Those are just the things we've chosen to do in our own home based upon the research we've done and what works for our family. Every family is different so I encourage each family to do their own research and decide what are their own family's goals and priorities and then stick with those.

While we mostly eat foods cooked from scratch, I do buy some processed foods (such as granola bars, ice cream, and cereal–and occasionally even Oreo Cakesters!) when I can get them at rock-bottom prices. We enjoy these for treats, I pack a few in my husband's lunches each day, and we often share some of our extra goodies with others.

That said, there are quite a few coupons for healthful foods. To give you an example, this past week I was able to get All-Natural Dannon Vanilla yogurt and Musselman's All-Natural Applesauce for over 66% off the retail price thanks to coupons. The week before that, I got 12 organic CLIF bars for free and five boxes of Kashi products for free. There have also been some great Target coupons out recently for fruit and vegetables. Coupons for organic foods and produce are becoming more prevalent than they used to be, and I'm excited about this trend!

If you don't want to buy processed foods at all, but you still use traditional household items (such as toilet paper, toothpaste, and the like), you could just use coupons on household items. By watching for sales on these and pairing the sales with coupons, you can significantly slash your grocery bill–without ever even using a coupon on food items!

For example, I never pay more than $0.20 for toothpaste and toothbrushes. Every few months, these go on sale for $1 and there are quite a few $0.40/1 and $0.50/1 coupons available–which our Dillon's store doubles. I save these coupons and use them during the week of the $1 toothbrush and toothpaste sale to stock up!

It's the same for laundry detergent, deodorant, dish detergent, shampoo, conditioner, and so on. By combining coupons with sales, I often get these items for free or for pennies on the dollar thus saving us a significant portion of our grocery bill.

Unless you truly cook everything from scratch, don't use shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and use cloth toilet paper, you likely buy at least a few items which you could use coupons on. If you even just use coupons on 5-10 items per shopping trip and pair these coupons with great sales, you could probably save at least $20-$30 off your grocery bill per month–and that's money which is then freed up to be invested elsewhere in your grocery budget or put into savings!

I will be quick to say that while I'm a big advocate of using coupons, there are many more ways to save on your grocery bill without using coupons. In fact, I see coupons as just a part of the reason we're able to have a $40/week grocery budget. I also recommend that you have a budget, plan a menu, plan your menu around your store's sales, learn the sales cycles so you can buy ahead when an item you regularly use is at it's rock bottom price, shop with cash only and a calculator, shop at more than one store (if you're crunched for time, just glance at your local stores' ads when planning your shopping trip and determine which one has the best sales that week and then shop there), and bake and cook from scratch as much as possible.

Not everyone can do every single one of these things (and if you're new to the world of bargain shopping, coupon-clipping, and frugal living, please do not burn yourself out by trying to do it all at once. Take babysteps, okay?), but a little time invested in some of these things can go a long way towards shrinking your grocery budget without requiring you to expand your waistline or consume loads of junk food in the process!

For more information and ideas, be sure to read my article on how to lower your grocery bill without using coupons. Amy is also doing a series on her blog on 20 Ways to Save at the Grocery Store Without Using Coupons. Check out the first installments of her series here and here.

In addition, if you're new to frugal living and want some great ideas to slash your
grocery budget without using coupons, I'd definitely recommend checking
out the book I am currently reading Family Feasts for $75 a Week.

What other suggestions do you have for Michelle? Please share in the comments section. In addition, if you eat primarily unprocessed foods and blog on how you do so on a budget, would you be kind enough to leave your link in the comments section?

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95 Comments

  • Colleen says:

    We use the money that we save by getting toothpaste, deoderant, laundry detergent, and other household items for free or practically free (by combining coupons and sales) to buy organic fruits and vegetables and local, humane-raised meats. It works well for us! http://www.pennywisepeople.blogspot.com – love to have folks stop by and check out our blog!

  • Lucky says:

    I usually try to eat unprocessed foods…but haven’t been doing so well lately!

    http://cookingluck.blogspot.com/

    Unprocessed is very individual though — I know someone who considers canned tomatoes (from the store) to be processed food — not me, I happily buy those (with coupons!)

    I think taking baby steps if you’re new is the biggest thing. It took me about 6 months to be able to get down to a $60 a week budget.

  • maygan says:

    I would also say that sometimes buying the junky processed stuff gives you great overage on groceries you will eat and use. I recently purchased 10 boxes of cookies so that I could get milk at less than $1 a gallon, definitely worth it for my family that drinks milk like crazy- and we gave most of the cookies away (people were thrilled to get them).

    Meat and produce coupons can be hard to find sometimes, but they are out there. You really just have to keep your eyes peeled!

  • Trixie says:

    Hello,

    I’m a big coupon user too and yes there are a lot of coupons for junk. There’s no rule that says you have to use every coupon you see. I just pick and choose some things as treats.

    By using coupons to save big bucks on toiletries and household products I have enough extra in our budget to buy higher quality foods like whole wheat flour, fresh fruits and veggies and lean meats.

  • I used to coupon a lot until we switched to a primarily whole foods/made from scratch diet. The great thing is – our budget did not increase one bit! The first month I was in the process of switching over I did sell a few household items that I no longer needed to afford to stock up on some bulk items. But we spent $300.00 a month before even when I was couponing, and now we still spend $300.00 a month on groceries even though we buy more expensive raw milk ($7.00 a gallon) grassfed meats, and farm fresh eggs. It’s all about the style of eating you choose to align yourself with. If you go with a diet that includes processed foods, you can save money with coupons. If you choose a whole foods diet you can save by making things at home more often.

    And you can make most anything from home. From shampoo and conditioner, to face cleanser, to deodorant, cleaners, and food items. Making things from scratch I’m able to afford healthy non processed foods.

    My website: http://www.NaturallyKnockedUp.com

  • Natalie says:

    Crystal,

    This is a little off topic, but first I wanted to say thank for your great website. I have been able to slash our household items budget (and our grocery budget) thanks to your great tips!

    One area I would like some more tips on though – eating out. I know you eat out once a week, and you mention in this post that you rarely eat fast food. Are there strategies you use to get free or reduced meals out? What type of places do you usually eat at? I have 4 kids so it’s not cheap for us to eat out, but it’s nice sometimes to have a break from cooking! I appreciate any tips you have. Thanks!

  • Chrys says:

    Several of our local stores including Kroger and Meijer always have some fresh fruits and vegetables marked down with bright orange and yellow tags that say Manager’s Special and such. I generally look for these items EVERY time I go to these stores and that is what we plan our meals around, the fruits and vegetables that are marked down. I also check the reduced price meat. While some of it is very close to expiration date, I just freeze it as soon as I get home. (Thanks you Ziploc for the cheap products and tons of coupons lately!) I always have a good selection of meat in the freezer that can be used with my fresh fruits and veggies and LOTS of pasta and rice that I got with coupons for next to nothing. A few months ago, when Tyson had coupons out for $1 off Tyson fresh chicken, I was able to find a TON of chicken breasts marked down and used the coupons to get my chicken for VERY LITTLE! We also stock up on breads when we find them reduced or on sale paired with a coupon as well. I have only been couponing for a few months, but this is how we attempt to eat a little healthier.

  • Deal Queen says:

    Hi Melissa!
    Trying to find a sound budgetary and nutritional balance for your family is indeed a challenge. We often mistake processed with bad for you. Pasteurization for example is the key for processed dairy products and indispensable for their preservation and sanitation. I just took a quick look at the first 3 pages of coupons.com and tagged each coupon with a category based on the nutritional impact of the product. Here is the list in which you will notice that there is a sound mix of junk as well as products with sound nutritional value:
    Gold’n Plump Chicken (Healthy)
    Wonka (Junk)
    Freschetta (intermediate)
    Challenge Dairy (staple)
    Grands Biscuits (intermediate)
    Special K crackers (healthy)
    Cinnamon Toast Crunch (junk)
    Ronzoni Healthy Harverst (healthy)
    Keebler (junk)
    Betty Crocker (junk)
    Hellman’s (staple)
    Fruit by foot (intermediate)
    Fiber One (intermediate)
    Chex Mix (junk)
    Cocoa Puffs (junk)
    Nature Valley (intermediate)
    Weight Watchers cheese (healthy)
    Yoplait (healthy)
    Birds eye (healthy)
    Special K bars (intermediate)
    Hamburger Helper (junk)
    Pillsbury Cookie Dough (junk)
    Special K Fruit bars (healthy)
    Chex Chocolate (junk)
    Pillsbury Toaster (junk)
    Keebler 100 calories (intermediate)
    Yoplait delights (healthy)
    Hersheys Milk (intermediate)
    Yo plus (healthy)
    Newmans Own (intermediate)

    Creative cooking allows you to incorporate many processed foods into healthier dishes. In doing this you are able to meet the caloric needs for your family and trim your budget. In taking a precursory look at the list above I can visualize chicken breasts (Gold’n Plump) with a crust made out of spices and cracker crumbs (Special K) As a side dish I would serve steamed (Birds Eye frozen veggies) with melted (weight watchers cheese). For dessert (Yoplait Delights).

    I pray daily for God to give me creativity in cooking and wisdom in managing my budget that I may have enough for us and a good portion to bless others.

    Finally 35% of our household budget is used for non-food items such as toiletries and cleaning supplies. In this area coupons have become a special blessing when combined with programs such as CVS or Walgreens.

    The needs of your family are unique and I am confident God will give you creativity, vision and resourcefulness to be able to be a good steward of your blessings. Budget management is not formulaic but we can always learn from each other adapting and applying the things that do work for us.

    Blessings
    Mey

  • amy says:

    Crystal- can I ask why you rarely eat pork? just curious. I rarely do too but it’s more of a lack of recipes to make with it.

  • I have a few suggestions:
    1. Grow a garden! Even if you live in an apartment, if you have windows you can grow herbs and if you have a porch or patio you can grow tomatoes and peppers in containers. This year I grew my own beans, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers.
    2. Befriend a hunter. If you eat meat, venision can be subbed for beef in many recipes and you will have a better idea of where your meat came from. My Dad is a hunter and we get the meat from one or two deer per year from him as a Christmas gift. You can offer to pay for his or her hunting permit in exchange for meat if that makes you feel better. Anything from deer and elk to turkeys and pheasants can be hunted with permits.
    3. Gleaning. I understand some people will recoil in disgust. Sure, dumpsters are one option to do this. But not the only one. Be on the lookout for fruit bearing trees in your area that are not being harvested and ask if you can pick up the fruit and clean the surrounding area when you are done. One apple tree can yield hundreds of pounds of apples. You could then trade extra apples with someone for something else you need, or you could dehydrate or can the excess to save for another time.

  • Maggie says:

    I smiled when you said something about using “cloth toilet paper”….just the thought….eww. (And I am even a cloth diapering mom!)
    Great post.

  • andrea says:

    I am sorry that anyone would send you hate mail about what you buy and eat when your blog has been so helpful to so many. Your suggestions have covered anything I could think to say.

  • susan says:

    Thanks! I had been wondering the same thing about the junk food, but have slowly started to come around to a lot of the ideas you talk about. Thanks for all the good tips!

  • christina says:

    what a great and positive post!!! thank you and keep up the good work!!!

  • Angela says:

    I agree with you a ton! We try our best not to buy or eat any processed foods. But I have a husband that enjoys them. Grrrr… You can see how I mostly buy whole foods, a lot of times organic, here http://thesuburbanjungle.blogspot.com

    I show my weekly shopping trips and where our food comes from. Maybe you can get some ideas. 🙂 But I completely agree on following sales cycles.

    I buy a lot of produce, but pay very little for it. I only buy what’s on sale. That saves us money AND gives us variety. Lots of variety. 🙂 LOL

  • Amanda says:

    I save money on fruits and vegetables by shopping at my local farmers market. Last weekend I got two containers of raspberries from a local farmer for $4. They were priced at $4 each at my local grocery store!
    I also tend to get larger pieces/quantities of fruits and vegetables from the farmers market for the same amount of money I’d pay at the grocery store.

  • I do pretty much what you do Crystal, except maybe I don’t use coupons as much. I don’t subscribe to a newspaper and have a hard time finding local coupon inserts for free, plus, it’s just been easier to use my brainpower (precious and dwindling after having recently had my 2nd son!) to structure a menu around items I know I can either make or find for relatively inexpensive prices on a consistent basis w/o coupons.
    Stocking up at loss leader sales and having a local produce store that has super-low prices for great-quality produce (Farmer Joe’s, if you’re living in the Bay Area) are the two best strategies that have worked for me. I also keep a spreadsheet of go-to meals, organized by type (soups, vegetarian, casseroles, etc.) that I’ve calculated the cost per serving for, and that’s helped keep our budget under control as well.

  • elizabeth says:

    Hate mail? Are you kidding me? You are providing a wonderful service to many of us. I think the amount of processed food in your family’s menus is admirable. Thank you for your practical and inspirational posts!

  • Olathe mom says:

    I always tell my friends that I practice what I call “sane frugality.” I use some coupons, have a meal plan, try my best. Like you, I think, I have lots of things to do each day and many priorities that need attention. I make my kids homemade pancakes and they often have yoplait yogurts or “coupon” crackers, etc., for snacks. We also make the now-and-again trip thru the drive thru at McDs. I know…the horror!!!
    I am always encouraged that you, too, seem to do-your-best and strive for continued learning.

  • Catherine says:

    I definitely agree that it’s all about balance! Also, sometimes I come across deals that are SO GOOD that I just can NOT pass them up, even if I know it is a product I won’t use. I think to myself, “Who can use this?” and then I donate it to an organization or the local food pantry. There are so many people that do not have access to these great deals because they don’t have a) a car to get to the inexpensive stores, b) a computer/the internet/a printer. I like to be able to pass my savings on to those who are less fortunate.

  • brookeb says:

    My husband and I also tend to eat organic produce, higher-quality meats, etc, but I’m a fan of couponing. I can take the money that I didn’t spend on meds & toiletries and use that for my grocery bill. Also, though, I see the very inexpensive or free things that I get as a way for me to donate on a very limited budget. I save the toothpastes, soaps, and shampoos to give to shelters and collection projects at my work. They cost me next to nothing and they’re needed.

    One last tip — I definitely agree with the idea that knowing the patterns of sales can help anyone. Also being in the drugstores on a regular basis allows you to pick up some great deals. I recently stocked up on Tom’s of Maine toothpaste when it was marked down to 1.25 at Wags — that’s 75% off with no coupons whatsoever.

  • Chrissy says:

    I was wondering about the pork thing too…I’ve never read anything bad about it healthwise, of course I’ve been out of the loop for awhile and am not exactly on top of things…

  • Kathryn says:

    We eat primarily unprocessed foods (including as much organic food as we can afford), and here’s what works well for us:
    1. Buy the Sunday paper EVERY week. That way, you won’t miss the less-common coupons for eggs, cheese, and other unprocessed staples.
    2. Sign up for Mambo Sprouts newsletter and organic/natural brands’ loyalty programs to get coupons for organic milk, yogurt, etc.
    3. Sign up for your preferred grocery store’s frequent-shopper card. The store will track your buying patterns and send you coupons for the food you buy most often, including produce and natural/organic food.
    4. Eliminate as much meat as possible from your diet. Pound for pound, beans and tofu are usually cheaper even than sale meat–and they’re better for you.
    5. Consider buying frozen fruits/veggies instead of fresh. Unless something’s in season, it’s probably cheaper frozen–and frozen produce typically has more nutrients than fresh.

  • Courtney says:

    Great post, Crystal!
    In my experience, there are lots of coupons for healthy foods available on the internet but not so many in the Sunday paper.

  • Michelle says:

    I started out cutting all coupons and looking for great deals, but over time have stopped clipping coupons for what I do not need. I make my own cleaners, don’t buy fruit snacks, things like that. I agree that everyone is in a different place at different times, so it is frustrating to learn that someone would judge another based on food purchases. Not a great way to education, IMHO.

  • Cheryl says:

    Great topic! I am on a quest to also disprove this common thought! Within the last few months, we’ve tried hard to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from our diet, and switch to nearly all whole grains. These two changes can really limit what we are able to buy in the store, and it is true that my use of coupons has decreased. However, my budget has not increased. (We do a cash budget, so since I didn’t put any more cash in the envelope for food, I KNOW we didn’t spend more! It was impossible!)
    I haven’t blogged about this yet, but hoping to soon. In fact, a lot of friends have been asking how we maintain our budget and still eat. 🙂 I’ve taken a few friends shopping with me (their jaws dropped) and I’ve shared some of our menus (jaws dropped again – they can’t believe we actually eat that well for so little money – haha!)
    I’m planning to start blogging our weekly menu plan as a way of sharing our healthy choices, and the steps that I take to make them affordable.
    If you want to stop by, it’s savingmeetsgiving.blogspot.com. Hopefully something will be posted there on this topic in the next couple weeks.

  • Mary Ellen Ash says:

    Thank you for all you write about! You are inspiring and have lots of great ideas. What you write helps me tremendously in my efforts to live frugally, and gives me an extra added boost on how to do the best I can for my family. I love the fact that you are a Christian ~ it shines through!

  • Kimberly says:

    I am also curious about the no-pork thing. You also mentioned no food coloring. What have you learned through research that made you decide to eliminate these things from your family’s diet?

  • Cyndy says:

    I’m so sorry you get hate mail about eating processed foods…I wish people would use their time to bless instead of curse. There are more important things to write about than other people’s choices regarding what food they buy for their family.

  • nanasewn says:

    from where do you learn the sales cycles at a given store?

  • Lauren says:

    I started copuponing in June of this year and have lost over 25 lbs. since then. So, couponing has not expanded my waistline – quite the opposite. I feel that I now have more options. I can buy unprocessed, low fat or organic food with coupons that would have never bought before because the price would have been too high. And like Crystal pointed out, I have more money in our grocery budget for fresh fruit and veggies, which we all know goes a long way towards shirnking our waistlines. With couponing I have also cut down the time it takes me to shop. That leaves more time for things like exercise and spending time doing fun activities with my family.

  • Lindsey Ohland says:

    I, too, LOVE your site! One thing I wanted to add about finding coupons for food items you actually buy – go to their website. I recently just found some coupons for soymilk (which is so expensive!) by going to the company’s site. GL!

  • Rosie T. says:

    great post! I recently had a friend ask if I really felt it was worth it to coupon… she was skeptical becuase of the myth that couponing=junk food. I told her that even if she never used a single food coupon she would save a bundle just on her household consumable… paper products, cleaning, personal hygiene. I’m certain thats where I’ve saved the most. I know that amazing deals for junk come around often, but I generally don’t even clip the coupons for things I don’t want in my house. Not that we never buy them, but I make choices based on what I know we’ll use wisely and what will probably just make me fat faster. =)

  • Bethany says:

    Hate mail??????? Over what foods YOU choose to buy for YOUR family?? I’m sorry, were you somehow forcing THEM to eat the same?

    PLEASE, people!

    I’m sorry you have to deal with that! Thanks for all that you do!

  • Rae says:

    I haven’t read the whole post yet since it’s so long (but I promise I’ll come back and finish later today) but wanted to say that I can’t believe you get anything near resembling hate mail. I think you do a fantastic job with not only your blog but also with how often you make homemade things from scratch for you family. Keep up the good job and ignore the haters!

  • Jaclyn says:

    Shame on anyone who would send you hate mail! What is good for one family may not work for another. I think that there are health and genetic issues that tend to dictate the diet we feed our families.

    Thank you for everything you do! I have definately saved quite a bit! As far as coupons for healthy items I find that these are hard to find (I eat mostly organic, vegitarian). However, coupon overage allows me to use the savings on those healthy items. Plus just this past week at Kroger I have gotten catalinas for 55 cents off a bag of Organic fresh veggies (often cleanced for 99 cents), $1 off a bag of potatoes, 55 cents off a bag of salad, $2.50 off any $10.00 bakery purchase, $1.50 off a bag of frozen salmon etc.

    As far as what to do with the processed foods… Well for me I use them to make gift baskets for friends and family (I actually just made one today for my mom to give to her secretary). This saves me a ton!

  • Melissa says:

    Thanks for this post. I have seen in a few different posts where you list your target price for different items. I am wondering if you could write a post about your target prices. I know prices vary around the country, but it would give me a goal to aim for. Thanks.

  • Tammy Boley says:

    I have to agree with other commenters about overage and the ability to get healthy foods as well. Right now, I’m buying the Old El Paso items to get free chicken or beef. I can always find great coupons for fresh veggies like Mann’s, Dole, or Eat Smart. They’re there if you look. Like with most things in life, look past what is easy and search out what is valuable!

  • Jennifer says:

    We do eat processed food.

    I try to buy enough healthy food every week to make sure we have healthy meals and snacks… and I fill in the rest with free/really cheap items with the coupons.

    A snack might be crackers I got for free with carrot sticks I bought at Aldi. Another common snack is yogurt, and there are LOTS of great yogurt coupons out there.

    As long as I’m remembering to buy enough in quantity of the “healthy” stuff, we do fine! It’s when I get carried away with the sales that I look around and think, “Hmm, all we have is junk!”

  • Haila says:

    My husband and I both work full time outside the home, and are always looking for better ways to achieve balance in our life, and prioritize our two young sons. And sometimes, having a quick & easy meal option (yes, including processed foods) means more time to read or play with our precious little boys. And yes, we do ensure they have a healthy, balanced diet – even if it isn’t 100% organic and made from scratch.

    Perhaps some of your readers have their act together better than us, and really can “do it all.” But we’re just not that perfect (plus, we’re not too fond of sleep deprivation!). I also think a little humility never hurt anyone…

    Thanks for all you do. Your blog is a tremendous service, and I hope you can ignore any naysayers.

  • Pamela says:

    I actually have been able to buy more fresh fruit and veggies by using coupons.Sometimes with that, you have to buy the junk in order to get the good stuff (just divy up the goods you don’t eat and take it to a food bank). Stacking/pairing coupons is the way to do it.I have been able to save so much money that I now can afford those drum lessons for my son!
    Today I went to publix and bought a gallon of organic milk, soy milk,thomas english muffins,sara lee whole wheat bread,2 pkgs. hillshire farms deli meat,2 bags of salad,2 hormel bacon toppings,soy sauce,2 pkgs. of texas toast(ciabatta),2 pkgs. of eggo whole grain waffles.Although normally I do not buy the waffles or the texas toast,the coupons allowed me to do so and the kids will eat these (eggos) on the wk/ends & my hubby loves the toast (which I normally do not make bread for dinner).I paid w/tax $3.81!!!
    I have very well stocked pantry on the items I normally use,this allows for some overage in the fresh/organic sections of the grocery store.

  • Chris says:

    Since we know that junk is easier to coupon for than healthy stuff I just make tight personal limits on how much junk I will buy in any given week. I will only buy one or two pack of cookies. I collect Coke points and I try find/get enough to buy 2 20 oz Diet Cokes each week (one for me and one for DH ;). In other words the exact opposite of stockpiling, but instead store junk at the grocery store. Now if I find a great deal (free or nearly) on toilet paper or organic oatmeal I’ll find a space for it!

    I also think that it is easier to find coupons for organic milk than for regular milk. It still more expensive the conventional milk.

    I loved Milk Donor Momma’s ideas. I enjoy both u-pick places and have gleaning from places that I know there are apples, pears, nuts, grapes, or raspberries (free, organic and no coupons involved). I also garden, make bread, and make sprouts at home (very handy in the winter fresh produce regardless of your climate).

  • Andrea says:

    Actually not all of the cereal coupons are for the unhealthy kind. There are almost always Cheerios coupons, and there were Quaker oats ones recently. Probably the most important thing is to stock up on the basics (chicken, flour, etc.) when they’re at their cheapest and plan your menus around the sales. We stock up on frozen ground Turkey when Meijer runs their sales and use it in place of ground beef. It’s cheaper and healthier, too.

  • Melissa G says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my comment in such a helpful way! You have all given me great ideas! I’m lucky that my husband is a hunter, and he even butchers his game himself, so we do currently have a freezer full of venison.

    Anyway, I’m not against processed foods or dessert items, I just know myself that i can’t stock up too much on these items because I’m weak and give in to temptation too easily! I’ve got ‘special’ dietary needs because of a recent liver-transplant and now diabetes as a result from the transplant. My liver-health-specializing-nutritionist reccomends a high protein diet for me with limited processed foods. The liver is usually what metabolizes the processed stuff and for a liver that tends to be a little stressed anyway, it is just good to stay away from them for the most part. Though it’s not like I can never eat them.

    Anyway, you can read my transplant story on my blog. http://melissasmerrymayhem.blogspot.com/2009/09/back-to-blogosphere-update-on-our.html I’ve been out of work, so our budget has been a lot less than it was and that is what made me do some more research on coupons, frugal living, etc.

    Thanks again to everyone who gave me some great tips!

  • I am a big couponer and because of personal choices and food allergies we are pretty careful about what we eat. We use coupons for ALL of our household purchases and strive to get them as cheap as possible. This allows us for a little more room with our food budget.

    -We do a lot of our grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s (the cheapest place for use to get natural/organic foods)
    -Buy our organic produce at the farmers market based on what is in season.
    -Purchase our organic beef locally in large quantities. -Save money by cooking from scratch.
    -Use coupons for healthy products at places like Target and Walmart when it is available (with a few treats here and there).
    It is definitely a little more effort, but completely worth it!

    Today I posted my most recent Walmart trip to show an example of fairly healthy food I got for great prices, along with some household Items we needed.
    I blog at http://www.twinmamaloves.com

  • Lisa Murphy says:

    I found this post really informative and helpful. It remindined me that it does take baby steps to save even more and find deals for food I actually use. I have tried to stop using fast food coupons and replacing fast food runs with healthy snacks at home to hold any of us over until a healthy dinner is on the table. I also recently started replacing chips or things that I could grab at a liqour store with fresh fruits or cereal bars.

    Another thing I noticed is that all of the local grocery stores have been cutting their prices which helps everyone even if you don’t have time to cip coupons or you forget them at home when shopping.

    Just a little tip when replacing junk food with healthy stuff. ALWAYS read the box. I have noticed that some foods claim to be healthy and end up not being very good for you at all while the product right next to it is twice as good for you. It is kind of frustrating but worth checking out.

  • Diane says:

    Do you mean “Family Feasts for $75 a Week” that Kendra over at preschoolersandpeace.com recently posted about?

  • Blaire Ruch says:

    well said, Crystal! 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    Crystal,

    Thank you for blessing my life with your website. I check it every day, and I have learned so much from you. You are like the Dave Ramsey of grocery shopping, and I love it. Thank you for being honest and straight forward with your blog. I send all who are new to couponing to your site first. I am still learning, having only been at the game for about 6 months, but your site has helped to keep me at home for another year! Thanks.

  • Nancy says:

    I love this blog and this is a great topic. But reading over the comments really made me giggle. I understand that people want to do the best thing for their family, and nutrition is a huge concern, still I got a good chuckle out of these comments.

    For example, some readers consider “organic” food healthy, even things like organic candy or crackers. Some people think anything “processed” is bad, while others think it maintains safety. Some think beans are the ticket and othes like whole grains. Humane meats and limiting meat; we all live differently.

    I am just glad we (at least for now) live in a country where we all can have our own opinions and speak about them (respectfully I HOPE!) like this.

    Finally I am REALLY glad some people don’t coupon because otherwise the deals would probably not be as good.

  • Madeline says:

    We try to avoid processed foods, but I generally save at least 8-10 bucks just at the grocery store. I am sure it really depends on where you live, but I use coupons for CA milk and dairy products, granola bars, cheese, butter, whole grain crackers, kashi products, cereal, pizza dough, and canned and frozen veggies. I also use them for different snacks each week – this week was Whole Fruit bars and microwave popcorn. Like Crystal, I use these as little treats, but they aren’t the staples. I don’t buy hamburger helper, boxed pasta sides, and things like that, but I sitll save a bunch!

    Thanks for you site, Crystal. P

  • Suzy says:

    Well God bless anyone who takes the time to write you hate mail over such stuff. Honestly, they need it. Obviously something is lacking in their lives. I love the Internet, but it brings out the worst in a lot of people. Thanks for the post. I check your blog every day.

  • I only eat organic food and thanks to blogs like yours have figured out how to coupon for these foods.

    There are a ton of coupons & deals for natural and organic foods, you just have to know where to find them. I used to think there weren’t any, but when I found your site and other coupon blogs, I started looking and it opened my eyes to saving a ton of money! I coupon at Whole Foods and tons of people ask me how I can save so much on the “good stuff”.

    http://organicdeals.blogspot.com/

  • Tyree says:

    Wow, yes you can totally save money and not only eat junk food. I have a years supply of femine products, TP, shampo, razors, kids soap, kids bandaids, neosporin, laundry soap, dish soap ect ect. All after doing this for only four months with my budget going down and not up. Getting cheap crackers, yogurt, cereal, and snack foods (yes not all good but things I might have bought some of anyway.) Has given me SOOOOO much more money in the budget for produce and healthy food. I now spend about $20 a week just on my produce and don’t have to worry about it at all. Household stuff included I easily spend less than $60 a week for a family of five. Getting so much for cheap or free has made it easier for me to buy that bag of pea pods for $2.50 once a week or a box of strawberries etc etc. I bought over 12lbs of fresh blueberries one week and still spent under $45 on groceries that week. Anywho it is how I can afford to eat so well.

  • Katie says:

    Hi Crystal,

    I am an avid follower of your blog. We don’t have coupons in the UK or not to the extent you have them anyway. Often I’m envious (not in a bad way!) what you can get for your money by using coupons. I have however followed lots of your’s and other fellow bloggers’ advice with regard to menu planning, writing lists and shopping only with cash and have found it very successful in terms of saving money.

    I also have found Tammy’s recipes very useful indeed! Especially the new section on what is in season.

    Also, everyone has a little junk food in their lives don’t they? We eat healthy but I’ll never say no to ice cream!

  • My couponing now is limited to non-food, household items – diapers, cat food, paper products, razors, dish and laundry detergent. Saving on those items (by either using coupons or shopping at a discount grocer like ALDI) has allowed me to spend more on what we consider healthier food – local, grass-fed/pastured meats & eggs, organic/organically grown fruits and vegetables from our farmer’s market and stores like Whole Foods, Earth Fare and Trader Joe’s. There are plenty of ways to save and every little bit does help!

  • Gina says:

    Here is a link to find coupons for some organic brands of food: http://coupons.mambosprouts.com/online_coupons/index?page=1

  • Michelle says:

    Thanks for your great post! I have been couponing since March and have such a huge stockpile that I am now able to go weeks without a grocery purchase. I also garden and can, bake my own bread with flour I grind myself, and stock my freezer with locally grown, natural beef which I have read is much healthier than feed-lot beef that can be bought at the store. I have noticed that we have more processed foods in our pantry now, but those are the things that are stockpiling and eaten very slowly. We all enjoy a quick, easy treat now and then and I have gotten so many great ideas from you. I love walking into my pantry and seeing the mostly free fruits of my couponing labor!And I’ll be the first to admit that I love the jars of pre-made spaghetti sauce that make for a quick, easy, mostly healthy meal when I sure don’t want to cook. Beats spending $25 on take out pizza in more ways than one!

    Thanks for your great blog! And I sure hope people stop sending you hate mail for the great ideas you post. It’s really none of their business what other people eat. People need to spend more time focusing on themselves and their own actions than what other people do!

  • Erin says:

    I’ve been able to cut my grocery budget literally in half, thanks to your website tips and tips from your readers. I am a strong advocate for naturally grown fruits and vegetables, along with organic foods. I am able to purchase a balance of these items along with a few processed things (such as crackers, cereal…) and still stay in my weekly budget. I buy ahead (meat, bread, cheese) when they are at a great price, too. Coupons are good on so many items – so much more than just “junk food”.

  • Melissa says:

    One of the reasons that junk food deals probably seem so prevalent right now is because of the sales cycles. Back-to-school season seems to bring a lot of deals on convenience processed foods, since people are starting to buy things for school lunches and after-school snacks. And, there are always tons of coupons for candy in the weeks leading up to Halloween. In the next few weeks, as we get closer to winter, there will be a lot more coupons for things like baking supplies (because of holiday baking) and oatmeal and other hot cereals. Then March will be frozen food month, June will be dairy month, and late spring and early summer will be the time for deals on things like grill meats and condiments. I think if you watch the cycles for a while, you’ll find that deals do roll around on more healthy things too.

    Also, if you’re in a state that has NAPR (no alcohol purchase required) winetags, I would recommend looking for those. I have gotten a lot of these that are for $1-$3 off any meat, cheese, produce, juice, etc. And, look for coupons that let you save on meat or produce when you buy other things. Like, I got several months’ worth of meat for literally pennies because I had a ton of tearpads for $2 off meat when you buy 2 participating Kraft condiments – I used them at Kmart during super doubles and got tons of both condiments and meat for practically nothing.

  • Rebecca says:

    Go to miserlymoms.com and buy her book. Or check it out at the library for free! You can’t go wrong.

  • Tina says:

    I find a lot of coupons for foods that are healthy for my family ~ salad, pasta, whole grain cereals, seventh generation cleaning products, yogurt, etc… For things I don’t want to buy for my family I just skip those coupons. But, I love that I am able to get toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, lip balm, etc.. for free regularly.

  • stephanie says:

    I am curious about a couple of things. I have 2 little boys and I am always looking for healthy ideas!
    1. how do you get your little ones to eat lots of fruits and veggies.
    2. how did you cut out dyes and artifial flavoring? What do you little ones drink(juice)?
    3. Have you ever posted your price points for individual items? just wondering what you pay for paper goods etc.. I wanted to set some goals!
    Thank you. Love your posts!

  • Becky says:

    Great post! I don’t see the post by Melissa as being “hate mail”

    ********************
    Money Saving Mom here: Oh! Melissa’s comment was in absolutely no way “hate mail”. I’m sorry if anyone thought for two seconds that that was what I was saying! Her question was great and I was glad to answer it.

    I referring to a number of other emails I often receive from people who are very, very upset over the fact that I sometimes buy processed food. The majority of these emails would definitely not be fit for publication here as I try to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging. 🙂

    I hope that clarifies things!

  • Elizabeth says:

    One of the best ways for me to eat healthy foods on a budget is to buy our meat and produce from the farmer. We belong to a CSA (in Pittsburgh we have both organic and non-organic options) and we buy a lot of our meat “off the hoof” from 4-Hers. I also look everytime I am at the grocery store a the meat case at their organic/hormone/antibiotic-free meat. It often has $3 off coupons that bring the meat down anywhere from 40-80%. Likewise, our co-op often discounts its organic meat on Wednesday mornings and you can get it for less than half price. Buying in bulk at the co-op is a great way to save, too.

    I find http://www.thegrocerygame.com to be a great way to coupon. In our town you can sign up for a “mainstream” grocery store as well as Whole Foods. Mambo Sprouts has lots of organic coupons, and brands like Cascade Farms and Kashi do too. Our “mainstream” grocery store has an organic line, and sometimes has store coupons or catalinas that bring it down further. I think also picking your battles for organic foods can make a big difference– we try to buy organic and/or locally-raised meat, milk, and eggs, and the “dirty dozen” in produce. The rest of it, I will go for store brands that I can coupon it-up on! And some brands have coupons that work on both– I just bought organic beef and chicken broth from Swanson and used a Swanson coupon– worked just fine.

    It IS easy to fall into the, “well oreos are 85% off” trap, but if you don’t need it (shouldn’t have it) it isn’t a bargain!

  • Jennifer Leonard says:

    “I would also say that sometimes buying the junky processed stuff gives you great overage on groceries you will eat and use. I recently purchased 10 boxes of cookies so that I could get milk at less than $1 a gallon, definitely worth it for my family that drinks milk like crazy- and we gave most of the cookies away (people were thrilled to get them).
    Meat and produce coupons can be hard to find sometimes, but they are out there. You really just have to keep your eyes peeled!”

    This poster is on the money, we did the cookie deal also. You can also freeze cookies to make them last longer and therefore have a years worth in one fell swoop! Also there are MANY MANY mail in rebates concerning produce and meats that are out there.

    and I agree with Nancy also, to each their own…

  • L Wheaton says:

    So sorry to hear that you get hate mail… You won’t be getting any from me! We try to eat healthfully in our family, and your blog has helped us to do that. Thank you very much for the service you provide!

  • Jenn says:

    Just because something says “Organic” on the box that doesn’t mean it’s Healthy.

  • I didn’t address this topic in its entirety, but mentioned it in my post “Are coupons worth it?”
    There are So many healthy items that you can purchase with coupons, and my post shows a fraction of them.
    http://inpassionatepursuit.blogspot.com/2009/09/are-coupons-worth-it.html

  • Shannon says:

    Thanks for posting this! I’m new to all this and am trying to figure it all out. We do eat processed foods (cereal, frozen pizza dough, frozen pasta, and the occasional treat, like candy, ice cream, etc.), but I try to make sure most of our diet is based on whole, organic, and humanely raised food. Here are some ways that I have found to save money on the foods we eat most often:
    – Farmers’ Markets. Most communities have one now, and if they don’t, look for roadside stands or try to find a local farmer.
    – CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). You’ll get a box of fresh produce (and in some areas, meat and/or eggs) every week. You can Google “CSA” and the name of your city or state to find one near you.
    – Buy in Bulk. Whole Foods and food co-ops offer a huge selection of items in bulk that are super cheap. Everything from spices to dried fruit to oats can be bought this way.
    – Save money on produce that isn’t one of the “Dirty Dozen.” Bananas, broccoli, mango and many other fruits and veggies are just fine if they are not organically grown. These are often on sale at the grocery. By saving on these, you can use that money to buy produce that is much safer if it’s organically grown (peaches, apples, strawberries, etc.). There’s more info here: http://www.ewg.org/node/22569.

  • Holly says:

    I stumbled upon this website a few months ago when I became a SAHM and to be honest at first I was a little skeptical at first glance, but then I read your menus and saw that your kids weren’t eating Oreo Cakesters for dinner 😉

    We eat all natural and organic but- we have added some processed foods back into our diet as with one income we have to eat something. I reach for the grapenuts versus the Honey Bunches if you catch my drift. I have been able to save using your website and I appreciate the service you provide.

    Thank you to your reader for the question!

  • Stacie says:

    Great post Crystal! I have learned so much from your website and look forward to your coupon matchups each week. Please keep up the good work!

  • Hi Crystal,
    Great ARticle.
    Can I please use this post as a guest post on my site? I think this would really help my readers.

    Since I held this position, prior to really getting into coupons some 28 years ago, I can really appreciate your response. I now see how you can feed your family very healthy by using coupons!

    Please let me know, as I would love to get this out asap.

    Thanks, Deb @ Frugal Living And Having Fun!!

    **********************
    Money Saving Mom here: Yes, you are welcome to use it as a guest post. All I ask is that you say that it is used with permission from MoneySavingMom.com. Thanks for asking!

  • bondgurl says:

    I just want to thank you for everything that you do. Your blog has given me so much to think about over the past few months that I’ve been reading. No I am nowhere near perfect at budgeting, menu planning, couponing, etc…but I have made little adjustments that add up to a HUGE change for the better!
    Every family is different….I happen to be a single working mom of two little girls…so not everything that works for someone else will work for me. The trick is just sharing and gleaning what you can to make life better for your family! Thanks again!

  • Marlene W. says:

    Thanks for this article. And I have to say I’m so sorry you get hate mail about processed foods! We are all at different stages and have different needs in our lives . . . the occassional bag of Chex Mix or an Oreo cakester won’t hurt anybody 🙂 You have truly helped me figure out this coupon thing and I have an amazing grocery bill thanks to all your help!

  • Melissa says:

    Really, it can’t be said too many times: even if you buy all of your food at full price (though, even without coupons, there are sales), you can still save a ton of money using coupons on personal care and cleaning products.

  • jean says:

    i think we all strive to feed our families nutritious food…and I think we probably all do quite well. I truly appreciate the pre-packaged snacks at low prices–i’m not a fan of these, but the public elem school in our city will not accept home-made snacks for the students. I send in more than my share of snacks and can only afford to do so because of coupons and great deals.

  • Challice says:

    I am unable to read all 77 comments. But what a fantastic post. Most coupons I cant use if its food based. Usually food coupons= wheat or dairy which I need to avoid BUT once I get the hang of the coupons and our small town availability I know that most of this will be very useful As it is, I have gotten GREAT deals here.

  • Heidi says:

    Free or nearly free Kashi cereal. ’nuff said!

  • Kelly says:

    I can’t believe people send you hate mail because of your shopping choices?? that’s evil! I am always impressed with your posted menus and, if you follow this blog, I think you can see that your family eats very healthy. thanks for all your work!

  • Lynette S says:

    Great post! I am one of those people who buys a lot of processed foods- I take all the short cuts I can! But I still feel like I feed my family a relatively balanced diet – just noy an organic, made from scratch one. I do feel like I get much better deals on non-food items than on food, but like you said- that’s still a grocery budget slashed, even if I didn’t use any food coupons.

  • Christine says:

    I laughed out loud to read that there are some people with so much time on their hands that they can send you hate mail over your shopping preferences! Hilarious! Tragic and annoying too but also hilarious.

  • JuliB says:

    I eat processed foods, as well as organic veggies too. Not all of us are food purists – you’re writing for a variety of people. Some of us are weaning ourselves out of eating out a lot (my fiancee), and even processed foods are cheaper.

    I LOVE Bertolli bagged skillet meals (the chicken, spinach and pasta dinner) and it saves us money rather than going out to an Italian restaurant when we don’t feel like cooking.

    In addition, I save a TON of money on cat and dog foods (and dog snacks). My dogs will eat anything, esp mixed with pumpkin (from a can), so I can use coupons and buy what’s on sale.

    Consider this a fan letter!

  • Christy Carden says:

    I too would love to see a posting about dining out on a budget! I know many places have coupons/special promotions on Mondays or Tuesdays since they are not busy nights. It looks like you eat out on Fridays a lot so specials/coupons are probably not in effect.

    The restuarant certificates that you buy a $25 g.c. for $5 or whatever don’t have any in our area.

    We really don’t go out to eat very often, but we live in a suburb of Charleson, SC and like to go to local restaurants, when we do go out, since there are so many great options and so many historical or waterfront options and I never see deals for those! We do sometimes go to chains closer to home, mostly when our Sunday school group goes so we could work deals then.

  • Bonnie says:

    I read an article once that said frozen veggies/fruits were much higher in their vitamin content because they were flash frozen shortly after being picked. A lot of people think that buying “fresh” is best, but they would be amazed at the length of time from the produce being picked until it is eaten by your family. Just something to keep in mind when you pass up frozen produce coupons/sales for the “fresh” version. Unless you have a garden of course:)

  • Angie says:

    I find that the bulk of my coupon savings is on non-food items which frees up my budget for groceries. There are milk, cheese, fruit, salad, nut, yogurt, meat, and organic coupons out there. You may have to look a bit harder for them. Last year I bought nearly a year supply of frozen veggies for FREE using coupons!! Not to mention all the cheap yogurt that makes for great snacks.

    Growing a garden every year can also be a huge budget saver. I spent $1.89 on 6 tomato plants and froze enough salsa, spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes to get through the winter.

  • Staci says:

    This just crossed my mind.

    Matthew 6:25 (King James Version)
    25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

    Matthew 6:31 (New International Version)
    31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

    I strongly believe balance is the key when it comes to your food and how you get your food (gardening or couponing). I have some processed foods but not a lot. I grow a big garden and that is a blessings. I just need a balance when it comes to this topic. Yes, sometimes chicken nuggets are for dinner and that’s ok with me. We eat pretty healthy I think.

    Just think about what you want your kids to remember about their day to day childhood- Do you want them to remember you playing with them at home and taking them on adventures to stimulate their minds. OR do you want them to remember junk food as a reward, going to stores to get the best coupon deals 4 times a week, or a mom who cleans the house all day, a kitchen mom who spends most of her day cooking, canning, preserving, and cleaning it all up? I think BALANCE is key here in ALL areas of life. Good luck everyone in finding that peace and balance.

  • Rae says:

    Christy… about eating out with a bunch of kids, you might want to check your local Ihop if you like them. Ours is (for a limited time) doing kids eat free every night! From 4-10 I think it is. One per paying adult. So you might want to call and see if yours is doing the same 🙂

  • Gail says:

    One of my tricks is to keep a $50 bill in my purse that I use in case I see a too good to pass by deal. Recently our local Meijer had many organic soups at 75% off. These were simply brands or kinds that they were no longer carrying. Since I am a household of 1, I made sure they all had long expiration dates of late 2010 or early 2011. I spent around $38.00 on soup that was marked down to between 75 cents and $1.07. I saved $106.00. I then bought 1 gallon of milk (loss leader at $1.59) and 5 boxes of 100 calorie snack cookies and crackers at $2.29 each. Kraft was doing a $5 off 5 instantly promo, plus I had 4 peelie coupons for @1.00 off any Nabisco product, and 1 for $1.50 off milk when you bought oreo cakesters. I paid just $2.54 for all! I had organic tomato soup sprinkled with a few of the wheat thins crisps instead of crackers for lunch (how’s that for balancing organic with processed?). I often have yogurt for dessert, and will add a few of the mini Lorna Doone 100 calorie snack cookies to that for a treat. The Cakesters came 6 pkgs per box, and I think I might add to gift baskets for the holidays, or will make a gift of a nice coffee mug, with a few samples of tea or coffee, and a pkg of cakesters.

  • Kristina S says:

    What a great post! Thank you for this website, it blesses my family every week. I am so sorry you get hate mail, that is very sad. Couponing has helped my family immensely. We get almost all of our toiletries free by only buying them when we can match a store sale and coupon. We have a years supply of toothpaste, floss and toothbrushes and most of it was free. We have a years supply of Electrasol dishwasher detergent that we got earlier this year for around $5, we combined a Meijer sale, meijer coupon and Electrosol coupon and stocked up. I have gotten most of our medicines free and have even made money on some of them with things like Walgreens register rewards and CVS bucks. We got around 30 jars of Ragu sauce for around $0.20 each. We got Kashi cereal free. We get whole wheat pasta for $0.60 and under all the time. I got a ton of Tuna for FREE-$0.09 a package thanks to coupons. We’ve gotten organic meat and dole salad with coupons and catalinas. We’ve gotten yogurt free. We stock up and get Dish soap such as Dawn for $0.25-$0.50 when it comes on sale. We get our laundry detergent for cheap and stock up. I think the key is stocking up when the healthy things come around. Couponing frees up money for more fruits, veggies. Whole wheat pancake mix is often close to free, as are Kashi fruit bars. I recently got Cocoa Wheats for $0.30.

    Alot of people have asked about pork. Some studies have showed that the diet set forth in the Old Testament is the healthiest way to live. I am not Jewish (I’m Christian) but I do try to follow the old testament diet. We do not eat pork or shrimp because studies are showing they are not healthy. Pork often has parasites in it even after cooked. I watched a naturalpath on tv and she believed shrimp was some of the most unhealthy things you could put in your mouth. If you put pork +unhealthy or pigs +unhealthy in google you can find a ton of articles on that topic.

    Crystal again thank you SO much for all you do on this website. God bless you and your family.

  • erin says:

    If you’re interested in eating more organic products, I keep a special category just for that on my savings blog–just click and it’ll show you all the new products, freebees and coupons! Good luck on your healthy choices! I really admire everyone’s effort to feed their family in a more healthful way…http://thatwentwell.net/

  • Shaina says:

    Hi there! I’ve been reading silently for awhile but now am really trying to get into couponing and get the hang of it. One question, since I know you do a lot of shopping here – does Aldi take coupons? Or do they mostly not have national brands? I’ve never been in one but thought I would give it a shot. Thanks!

  • I read you don’t eat foods with with food coloring in it, which is great. I’ve had to do artificial dye elimination with our diet due to my son’s sensitivities to it.

    However, on your 9/5 post for Super Saturday Savings (https://www.moneysavingmom.com/money_saving_mom/2009/09/my-entry.html) you pictured the Kellogg’s Cinnabon bars, which to the best of the my knowledge, all have artificial dyes in it. I’m not sure how that works out?

    I certainly think it’s ridiculous to send hate mail to anyone for any reason. I do clip coupons myself and am not fanatical about not having any processed foods. I try to keep it low but it’s not forbidden. The idea that coupons are ALL for junk food is a myth, however, being a clipper, I do see that if not the majority, probably close, are for foods that are not ideal for a healthy diet.

  • Melissa says:

    I would really like to read all the comments on this, and it looks like more are being posted, but I can’t see them on my computer either at home or at work. The last comment that is showing up was posted at 1:48 on 9/29. Can that be right?! Thanks, and great post!

    ****************
    Money Saving Mom here: Only 50 show up per page. You have to click the little arrow at the bottom of the page to read more. Did you try that? If so, I’m not sure what to tell you.

  • Jenny says:

    Crystal, I didn’t catch the reason you avoid food coloring? Just wondering since I don’t know much about it. Thanks!

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