Do you ever wonder just how much value is in cutting, organizing, and remembering to shop with coupons are each week? Even though I see how many free or nearly free items I am able to get each week using coupons, I still have had moments where I have wondered if it was really worth it. I have wondered if I just shopped at WalMart if it would be nearly the same without the hassle.
I had an opportunity to see just how much value they bring to my life with my recent illness. I went at least a month where I did not use a single coupon. I didn't even shop. I made lists and sent my husband or my two teens to the store to keep us going. They picked up a lot of easy to prepare items, $4 boxes of cereal, pizzas, burgers, chicken nuggets. I had a lot of tests during this time and couldn't eat, so I would stop for something after my appointment. My husband bought lunch out because I wasn't making him anything. In 40 days time we spent $1400 on food. My normal budget is $600 a month. We blew it! We wasted a lot of money and let laziness and sickness take our money. Thank God we are not so tight on a budget that it made us go in debt or caused us to go hungry later.
I am going to focus on making up more items for the freezer. Cooked chicken for casseroles, grilled chicken, grilled pork chops, a cooked roast, cooked hamburger meat. Also stock up more soups and some more things in cans like spaghettios, beef stew, etc. I can't get enough cereal. We were going through over a box a day. I have a lot of frozen and canned vegetables. I ate a lot of crackers since I wasn't feeling well.
I truly believe that the coupons are a big money saver. They allow me to keep my pantry stocked and if I cook from that I can feed my family economically and healthier meals. It is good to have some of the prepackaged items for illnesses or emergency situations, but I wouldn't want to eat that way most of the time. I also don't want to eat out as much as we have. My family has been a blessing to help out so much and I really appreciate them, but I also got a little validation to what I bring to the family with my coupon shopping and using what we have for meals.