Saturday, September 24, 2011

Coupon Myth: You only get unhealthy food using coupons

This is one of the most frequently used excuses by non-couponers that I hear. One reason they believe this is that they don't know how to properly use coupons to save money.

Many people think you just clip the coupons on Sunday and use them that week. However, if you look at most coupon inserts for one week, they don't seem to contain many items that you need that week. The key is to save the coupons and use them when the go on sale. Two or three weeks from now, you may find that several items are on sale for which you have coupons. You may not need those tampon, bath soap, toilet paper, deodorant or coffee coupons this week, but use them next time they are on sale and save $10, $20 or more on your shopping trip, which leaves you extra money to buy those higher-priced organic vegetable, fruits, meats and dairy you want.

Additionally, even though many coupons may not specify, quite a few national brands offer organic or healthier low-fat or sugar-free versions of their products on which the coupon may be used. Believe it or not, even Kraft Mac & Cheese has organic and whole grain options now!

Healthy foods have coupons, too!
Finally, folks just need to pay attention to see the good stuff. I frequently see coupons and sales on Kashi, Morningstar Farms, Quaker, Paul Newman, Nature Valley, Eggland, Ronzoni Smart Taste and Garden Delight, Silk, Jennie O, Smart Balance, Yoplait, Dannon, Dole, Green Giant, Birds Eye and more. Many of these products have additional coupons attached to/inside the package or have avaiable online printable coupons, as well.

Just the other day, my grocery store had a sale on Quaker products - items like oatmeal, pancake mix, granola and orange juice. When I bought 8 items, I received $5 off my total and catalina coupons for $3.50 off milk and $1.50 off eggs at checkout. Those coupons were good towards organic, cage-free eggs and organic milk.  Another deal offered $10 off catalina coupon when I bought Angel Soft toilet paper and Rotel tomatoe, which were also on sale and I had additional coupons.  I turned around and used the catalinas right away and saved $15 off of the rest of my shopping list and not one item was "junk food." So, just because there are coupons out there for pizza and pop tarts, you are free to bypass them for the good stuff - and to use those catalinas and sales savings to get the items you really want!

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