Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Buying Healthy Food On A Budget - Part 1 Coupons

Buying Healthy Food On A Budget - Part 1 Coupons

I am learning how expensive it can be to buy healthy food. This is the first time that I have ever tried to eat healthier and lose weight on a budget. In the past I bought whatever food I wanted whenever I wanted and didn't worry about the cost. Now, I have two children and I am on a very strict budget in order to be a stay at home mom.

This is the reason that I started PUDGET. To help other people like myself work within their budget in order to eat healthier. I will start this series off with my favorite way of saving money.

COUPONS - I recently discovered that using coupons actually makes a big difference in what I can afford. I wish I would have discovered this years ago. Imagine how much money I could have saved.

Anyway, I love coupons. They allow me to purchase items that normally don't fit into my budget. Now, I'm not talking just straight couponing (just using coupons on items that you normally buy). I use coupons and kind of play a match up game with sales flyer's from the stores in my area. I start out by clipping every single coupon out of the Sunday News Paper. I save them all in a coupon organizer which I have to say is not as organized as I would like it to be. When I figure out a better way to organize I will let you know. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

You may think it is silly and a waste of time to clip every coupon but I find that it has been well worth my time in saving the past few months. Let me tell you exactly how I do it. Every week I grab all of my sales flyer's. This includes grocery stores and other stores like CVS and Rite Aid. Then I glace through my coupons just so I have an idea of what coupons I have. Then I go through each flyer and match up the good sales to the good coupons and decide if it is something I can afford. A lot of the times I get the items for free or less then a dollar.

The two big grocery stores in my area double coupons up to $1.00 and they have their sales flyers online. I go to their site and click on each item in the flyer that I have a coupon for and it makes a little shopping list for me. Then I go back through that list and decide which items are my best buys and which items I really don't need. This allows me to keep track of how much I am spending and easily cut out anything I can't afford before I go to the store.

This week I spent $110.00 and saved about $30.00 in coupons. I usually don't spend this much at the grocery store in a week and the sales didn't match up with the coupons as much as usual but it will all even itself out in the next few weeks. I will list below the items I got for $110.00 just to give you an idea of the great buys I got. The grocery stores didn't have many great buys on meat this week so I hoping to stock up next week.

4 bags of pirate's booty
4 cans of Hormel turkey chili with beans
10 stage 2 jars of baby food
10 stage 3 jars of baby food
2 boxes of DHA/ARA baby cereal
1 package of Mission wraps (I love to make wraps with these. I will write another post with some great recipes for these.)
2 boxes of 100ct packets of Splenda
2 fresh Sweet Red Peppers
2 bag of baby spinach
2 boxes of fresh blueberries
1 Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches
1 Skinny Cow Ice cream cones (kind of like Nutty Buddies)
1 half gallon of Skim Milk
1 half gallon of 2% milk (for my daughter)
4 6 packs of Sugar Free Jello Pudding cups
2 Snack packs of pudding (for my daughter)
2 cans of pumpkin (for that awesome cake recipe I posted a few days ago)
10 Del Monte Fruit Natural Cups (They even make ones that are sugar free made with
1 package of Hilshire Farms Deli Select Turkey
2 Packages of Healthy Ones honey ham and Turkey Breast 97% fat free
1 Wesson Canola Oil
1 fat free Sweet and Sour Dressing (I love this on my spinach salads
1 Strawberry Nesquick (for my daughter)
1 box of Dora Fruit Snacks (for my daughter)
2 bags of Steam Fresh Meals for Two
3 boxes of Giant brand cake mix (check out recipe on earlier post)
1 container of Pillsbury frosting with sprinkles (for my daughters cake)
1 South Beach Living Chocolate covered peanut butter wafers
1 South Beach Living chocolate covered oatmeal cookies
1 something made by Nabisco that I can't remember
2 boxes of Kellogs Frosted Flakes ( for my husband and daughter)
2 boxes of Weis quality Crispy Rice cereal
3 pounds of Anjou Pears
2 1/2 pounds of Red Delicious apples (for on my salad :))
4 Naval Oranges
4 cans of Campbells Tomato Soup

I think I got a lot of food for $110.00. This is why I match my coupons to the sales and then plan my weekly menu. This food will definitely last me more then a week. I am hoping next week I will only have to buy, eggs, milk and meat.

I also use coupons at other stores for things such as baby formula, diapers, shampoo and other every day needs. I almost never buy toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, hairspray, tissues and many other items. I get them for free from CVS. I match sales with my coupons and add in my extra care bucks (ECB'S) to get these items and more for free or almost free. It is great. CVS and coupons have helped me to stock up on so many items which in turn really helps me stick to my budget. Click here to check out "The Thrifty Mama". She posts the best deals every week at CVS. I think of it as the more I save on these items the more money I have to spend on eating healthy.

See, you really can eat healthy on a Budget!


Rebeca said...

Wow I love this... I'm on a strict budget and trying to lose. I love seeing someone be successful doing the same!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great advice! and congrats on losing the weight:)


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