I threw my coupons away!

This weekend I went through all my coupons with a fine tooth comb and got rid of every mega-processed item and anything I didn't really want. I ended up with just 2 inserts worth of coupons. It felt so good to be free of all that paper!

And all the drama. I never "have" to buy cereal again just because it's free. I personally hate breakfast cereal, and I no longer feel like I have to buy it. I'm not talking oatmeal; I love oatmeal! Our pantry supply of junk is dwindling and I finally feel free to plan according to what we want to eat rather than what's on sale.

Today, I went shopping at Target for our weekly groceries, and brought just one coupon with me. I stuck to my list. I bought my groceries without any coupon hassle, and I felt good about all of my purchases. So what did I get?

You should be able to click on the image to enlarge it. :)
I bought: 100% grass-fed hamburger, grass-fed milk, 2 cartons of cage-free omega-3 eggs, organic half/half, organic whipping cream, nitrate/nitrite free bacon, nitrate/nitrite free ham, 3 loaves of whole wheat - no HFCS or trans fat bread, 3 packages of natural cheese (32 oz), 1 gallon of hormone free 1% milk, bananas, apples, strawberries, pears, chocolate chips, and a sweet potato. My total for the week was $48.

Not everything in the picture is exactly what I want to be buying, but it's close and I'm making steps in the right direction. For example, I'd rather have truly free-range eggs and all grass-fed cheeses and milk. I'm easing into the idea of whole milk and so there will be some mixing for a while. But all in all, I feel good about our progress.

Keep in mind that my pantry/freezer is still well stocked with frozen fruits and veggies, whole grain noodles, and baking supplies. And when summer comes, we'll be pulling fresh organic produce right from our own backyard. I really think we can do this and still spend a similar amount of money on groceries. And save a lot on stress and annoyance.

No more junk food buying guilt, no more excessive non-necessity stock-piling, and no more coupon craziness. Wahoo! I am so much happier!

18 comments:

Puanani503 said...

you did great, Angela:) I'm going to start going in that direction as well. I just finished going through my pile of coupons here at home.

Margaret said...

That is a great direction to be moving in! Everyone should do that in their lives!

Midnite Skys said...

Good job! Well with the 2 girls with me it wasn't that easy to get just real food......... They think I am crazy that I don't let them buy cookies but it's ok to make them..... trying to eat like less chemical junk... I realllyyyyy have a hard time getting them off the cereal, the youngest 19... really eats up the sugary cereal, the oldest likes the bran flakes but after really looking a the package it to has 10 grams of sugar!!! AND is label a healthy special cereal for losing weight... right!

Lauren said...

I have the same problem with coupons. We get the paper mailed to my work everyday for free, and I spend my Monday's glancing through all the catalogs and snipping out coupons, even ones I know I'll never use. In fact, I still have a ton stuffed in the pockets of my wallet that probably need to be cleaned out. I think I play mind games with myself. I'm trying to save money so maybe cutting out coupons makes me FEEL like I'm working to save...yeah, right. I need to trash them! Lol. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. :)

Coupon Teacher said...

I am not ready to give anything up yet, but it is great that you feel good about your decision!

Tammy said...

Hi Angela,

Your shopping order looks very healthy. My daughter would like to move more in this direction. Did you use a coupon for the Horizon whipping cream? I think you can get coupons on their website.

My daughter has written to may of the organic/healthier choice companies and requested coupons to try their products. She received one from Kettle Brand and we thought we would get a free bag of chips with it. When we read the coupon it said it was good on any Kettle Brand product, including the nut butters. We used it on a jar of Hazelnut Butter for free, savings of $9.99.

That being said...don't toss the baby out with the bath water. There are coupons out there for lots of the products you are trying to convert to.

Wishing you continued success on your savings journey.

Tammy

Angela said...

Whoa! Horizon does have coupons. Thanks for the reminder. I kind of went that day to find the best whipping cream and half/half I could find. I was hoping Target would surprise me with a grass-fed whipping cream on the shelf. :) The day that happens, I'll be making my own grass-fed butter. lol

I still have some coupons, but only for real stuff. I'll continue to save coupons for the stuff I want to buy but it should be Soooo much easier now that I won't have to weed through so much gunk.

Thanks for all the kind words. It's definitely a work in progress.

Laura said...

Organic valley has coupons online, too, which they reset once monthly, i think. Lundberg rice, earthbound organics, melissa's organic produce, and cal-organic produce have all sent me coupons in response to an email praise and request for coupons!

Anonymous said...

While I understand wanting to stay away from the processed foods, every household needs HBA items and coupons can/do save you a bundle there. If you're organized coupon use is drama free for the most part. So worth it to me!

Angela said...

I'm still saving any toilet paper or dishwasher detergent type coupons for brands I'll actually use. I agree with you on that. I'm not an organized couponer so I'm erring on the easier method.

Thankfully Thrifty said...

Good job! I'm not the best at organic either, when it comes to produce anyway. I'm pretty good at dairy and meat though, so like you said, it's a step!

Noelle said...

I think it's great that you are committed to this for your family and health. We try and avoid HFCS, amongst other things, and I sometimes forget to check the label, but we do still eat some processed foods.
We are lucky to have a Freihoffer's Bread Outlet in town and they stock Arnold Bread, which is HFCS free and also a Freihoffers HFCS FREE variety. They are occassionally on the discount table for $1, which is a steal. It's not organic, but it's the compromise that we can make to keep our financial goals/budgets in check. If you have a local Bread outlet, this could be a great resource.

It also looks like you have some of the Hormel lunchmeat that's nitrate free. Hormel often has coupons available at their website (currently none for lunchmeat) http://hormel.com/updates/coupons/

Kudos to you for the healthy choices you are making!

Melissa S., Lancaster PA said...

Thanks for this post! I come from this background and just recently discovered couponing, but have been wondering if it is taking me backwards in that the majority of itmes are highly processed foods. So I am going to continue to use them, but very judiously.
My Mom never used coupons (probably b/c she is not that organized) and raised 14 of us children on a farmer's income. I am realizing how much I learned from her! Large garden, food storage and buying in bulk, homeade/natural cleaners.
My Target here on the East Coast carries nothing fresh/natural/organic (excepting the highly processed kind), so you are lucky for that!

Mary said...

Your Target looks really great. The closest one I have--and it isn't that close--carries no produce and not much in the way of organics, either. What they do have is processed stuff. I still use coupons but try to avoid processed foods whenever possible. Ditching cereal is a problem with my son and husband, so I try to get natural and organic whenever possible. I am hoping to extend our garden this year, too. Last year we had so much rain that many things (tomatoes in particular) didn't do so well, but funny things can happen even when things don't go as you plan--I had seeds from several kinds of organic squash sprout from my compost pile because it rained so much, so we unexpectedly ended up with butternut and acorn squash, which was really pretty fun.

gwen said...

While using coupons and stocking up is great. The hazle of all the coupons where taking my life. So this year I decided to take another aproche.
I still have my weekly budget, but buy what's on sale and will be useing that particular week only.
If I go over I just take it out my cart until next week. If I'm under then just add pantry staple items.
What a difference!

Melonie said...

Other companies along these that have coupons are Kashi, Seventh Generation, Cascadian Farms, Earthbound Farm, Marcal Small Steps (recycled paper products), Burt's Bees and Tom's of Maine. You can get HBA and toilet paper and so on with coupons and still be free of the processed stuff. :-) Even Sue Bee Honey and the like. If you have a Whole Foods near you, be sure to pick up their Mambo Sprouts coupon books (or sign up for it online if you don't have one nearby). I also see lots of coupons for these and other companies in KIWI magazine.


We've done a lot of organic/natural for years now, so my new effort has been tackling HFCS as another commenter mentioned. I think you did great!!! I love the picture of all that wholesome stuff. AWESOME! :-P SO encouraging!!!

Short On Cents said...

Good 4 you I am proud of your accomplishments. I was just diagnosed two days ago with diabetes and have to start eating healthier, however, not ready to give up the coupons-oh how in the world could one give up coupons-i guess you just get to that point : ) CONGRATS

Marcia said...

I'm all for going organic and getting rid of the junk. But before you gals toss out all those coupons, why not put them to good use and send them overseas to our military folks? They can use our expired coupons up to two months past the expiration dates in their commissary (military grocery store). Go to www.ocpnet.org to "adopt" a military base to mail your coupons to. They will love you for it! I just got my church involved in this project. It is a way to give back to someone in need.

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

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