I've had a lot of questions lately about my grocery budgeting and how I keep costs low. I've written a previous post (see it here), which explains some of my personal tips to try and cut the grocery budget. I'm amazed lately, though that when someone finds out my grocery budget, they automatically assume that I'm an extreme couponer.
I'd like to just set the record straight a bit on that point. I like coupons. I get great deals using coupons. Coupons are great, but they don't keep my costs low. I use coupons to get things we would normally just do without! Every now and then, it'll help reduce my costs substantially, but I have to say, if I had no more coupons tomorrow, my budget would stay the same...or close to the same.
My meal plans are not planned around coupon deals, but around what is always cheap, or what's on sale that week. A lot of my frugality is achieved through doing without things. We don't buy paper towels or paper napkins. We don't often buy chips or frozen foods. We don't buy pricey detergents. We aren't fixed on one particular brand for most things. There are a lot of conveniences that are paid for at the grocery store. As the prices keep going up and up, it's a challenge to me to find new ways to cut the costs. What do we really need, and what is nice, but not worth the price?
I wanted to clarify this, because I've shopped for years without being able to use coupons. I want to be an encouragement to those of you who are looking for ways to economize, but don't want to invest 20 hours of your week clipping. There are other ways. Women in the depression cut costs and made do on next to nothing without couponing...we can do it, too.