"I've never worked for so little. Except once, and that was a very noble cause. "
So I coupon a little. Really, I do. I get my paper and I cut my coupons, and I try to use them when things are on sale to really reap the savings. I've managed to cut our typical grocery bill down some, even with our Green B.E.A.N. Delivery every 2-4 weeks. But still, I look at these women who proudly boast a garage full of groceries that they got for $4.73 total, and I wonder, Why can't I even get below $100 per week?
And then I realized. It's because I don't buy Pop-Tarts.
Well, Pop-Tarts, or Fruit Roll-Ups, or Easy Mac, or most of the stuff that I usually see coupons for.
Now don't misunderstand—I respect the mighty Coupon Lady. I understand that she is not feeding her kids Pop-Tart Surprise for dinner just because she got all of the ingredients for $.06 at Target. Many of the Coupon Ladies stock up and then resell for a profit, or donate their stockpiles to disaster victims or shelters. I think that rocks (the donating, not the reselling). I don't judge that. Hell, I'm in awe of that.
But what I've realized in my case is that, although our diet is not perfect (there are DEFINITELY some Totino's Party Pizzas in my freezer and a bag of Doritos in my snack cabinet), the reason I could never cut my bill as drastically as the Coupon Ladies can is because of the things I buy. All of my produce—all of it—is organic, and most of my dairy and meat are, too. Husband and Spazz refuse to eat beans, so while I do prepare meatless meals on occasion, I can't sub beans into my recipes to save money. Buncha' whiners.
Please understand, I'm not complaining or blaming, and I'm not looking for praise for my food choices (did I mention the Ramen Noodles in the cupboard?). And because I know myself, I realize that even if I did forgo all of the standards I've set for our food in the name of saving money, I would never, ever have the patience or the skill to figure out how to bring a cart full of groceries from $200 to $13. Ever. But when I decided that I would buy only organic tomato products in glass jars, that meant that my ready-made pasta sauce selections would be very limited. And while the Ragu Old World sauce seems to be on sale every other week, the organic variety never is.
So while I will continue to try to trim our bill by buying consciously and with a carefully planned list (and my coupons!), I've decided to forgive myself on this one. For the most part, I like the way we eat, and I don't want to compromise it in the name of saving money. I do find coupons for organics on a somewhat regular basis, but the amount of fresh produce we purchase is a large chunk of our bill that I'm not willing to give up. I'll settle for the cheap-o garbage bags and toilet paper, but I will not give up my fresh, organic grapes! Well, once they're in season again. Pfft.