The Daily Tightwad Tutor–Lesson 4: Always Check Grocery Discount Bins
It’s typically hit or miss, but never pass by a discount bin in your grocery store–especially the health and beauty bin. You never know what you’ll find! Typically, it’ll be discontinued items. And, you can use coupons with the item. For example, just by chance last week I spotted three bottles of L’Oreal shampoo in a discount bin at ShopRite. They were going for $1.30 each (retail is about $3.99-$4.99 but varies with coupons). I happened to have .25 cent coupons, doubled to .50 cents. So, I got three bottles of L’Oreal shampoo for a total of $2.40 (my daughter loves this brand so it was worth it).
Why the Frugal Should Care about Affording Organic Food
(Please note TFF’s new category: Affordable Organics)
It’s been said that organic food costs at least 20 percent more than conventionally-grown food. Anyone who shops at Whole Foods Market can attest to that. So why is it important for frugal shoppers to care about being able to afford organic food?
As frugal shoppers, we need to prove to everyone that it’s important to put your money where it counts–in our own health and in the health of the next generations to come. It can cost an arm and a leg for our local farmers to obtain organic certification, which is part of the issue. As a result, it’s still the prevailing perception that organic food is only for wealthy people.
This weekend, I was at Manchester Community College for the 30th Annual Conference of the CT Northeast Organic Farmers Association (CT-NOFA) where I was able to be amongst our state’s farmers. (As a brief backgrounder, fourteen years ago, genetically modified (GM) crops were introduced into our food system, and studies show that ingesting GM ingredients leads to health problems which is why supporting organic growers is so vital.) Before the keynote address, Bill Duesing, Executive Director of CT-NOFA, opened his annual review by saying, “Organic Food is Not Just for Rich People.” I couldn’t agree with him more.
To make important and frugal organic food choices, download a wallet-sized list of which fruits and vegetables contain the most harmful pesticides here: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/guide/
Never did I think that couponers would be criticized for their actions. There are certainly more extreme problems in the world than extreme couponers. After reading way too many long and scathing articles about how awful couponers act, you’d think we were a bunch of Bernie Madoffs. C’mon, folks, we’re just trying to cut our grocery bills, not swindle people out of peanut butter.
Now, I’m not an extreme couponer, but I do coupon, and I see the benefits of saving 50 to 60 percent off my groceries at check out, and I will continue to coupon to feed my hungry crew.
I have seen some strange reactions to my coupons, though—from positive to downright rude. I’ve had a handful of people at check out comment that I know how to shop right, to a handful of people at check out give me the once over, tell me they think TLC’s ECshow is dumb (I am a fan of the show because I learn a lot from it), then ask me if my family really needs ten boxes of typically expensive cereal and thirteen boxes of juice packs (uh…yes!).
The benefits of couponing became crystal clear the day before school started when I was running ragged through Target, picking up groceries willy-nilly without thinking about cost or coupons. My thought process went something like this: paying this much for single packet Pringles is crazy, but I will get back to couponing once the kids are back in school…I wonder why other people are willing to pay these prices without coupons…how is it that the woman down the aisle can just throw groceries in her cart without coupons or looking at the price?
After the sticker shock of that little shopping spree, I vowed to get back to couponing asap. Happily, I used my Catalina coupons at Stop & Shop yesterday and walked away with my free toothpaste, $1.00 boxes of Keebler fudge granola bars, and paid pennies for Pantene shampoo and conditioner.
Ahhh, it’s good to be back in the couponing business. I can’t wait for the second season of EC to start. And, I couldn’t care less who gives me the evil eye at check out. ~TFF