Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Coupons and Gardens

I have to admit that I am not big on coupons.  I am not one of those people who can fill a grocery cart to overflowing, whip out a wallet full of coupons and wind up paying $1.98 for the whole cart full.  I'm just not that organized.  Never have been.  Never will be.

My local big box grocery sends out weekly sale sheets along with a coupon booklet a couple of times each month.  A year ago or less, I could find good deals on staples - flour, sugar, baking supplies, meat, vegetables, etc.  That's when I used coupons, even if it irritated me that the store set limits on the number of items a person could buy.  If I am stocking up, I want to buy 50 lbs. of hamburger or 30 pounds of carrots at a time - not two puny packages of meat or 3 lbs. of carrots.

Anyway, I am finding now that most of the store coupons are for things like frozen pizza rolls, soda and  chips.  It is a rare day when I can find the basics on sale.  I thought it was just my paranoia kicking in, or that my tin foil hat was on crooked, but then I read this article.

Guess I'm not alone at thinking that we are having processed and sugary foods pushed at us.  I feel for those who rely on store coupons to stretch the grocery budget.  They are getting crap for their trouble.

I am not rabid about non-organic food.  I would prefer to eat organically grown produce and meat, but I am also sensible enough to know that in this world, that just is not possible.  For one thing, I can't afford to spend double and triple the price to buy all organic.  And for another, I have no place to grow my own.  So my best bet is to deal with the Farmer's Market vendors that I have dealt with in the past, and know from experience that they sell a quality product at a reasonable price.

I would urge those folks who have the space, to grow whatever you can.  My son plants corn and tomatoes along side his house, rather than growing flowers in that space.  He has set up a small raised-bed garden in his back yard.  Not only does he raise vegetables for his family to eat fresh, but there is enough of a crop so he cans salsa and tomatoes and pickles.  From what he says, he may increase the garden space and is talking about buying a pressure canner.  Not only does he raise good food for his family, but the kids are learning about gardening.  And they help with the canning.

These pictures are from last summer.

Jacob and Maddie picked a wagon load of tomatoes.

Boston and Maddie picked the last of the green beans.

And they bring me pickles and cherry tomatoes, which I love.  They garden and I get to enjoy a taste of what they grow.  And the kids have learned another self-sustaining skill.  Everybody wins!


  1. Ah yes, we get coupons from CUB and when you stop and compare their prices to Walmart, Walmart is cheaper. Cub had milk 2 4 $6 (coupon)Walmart has twin pac 2 4 $5 (no coup.) More Manf. coupons now are online. My daughter Lisa is getting them for diapers online vs in the paper or coupon book.

  2. Rob...If I still owned a car, I would be going to Walmart. (I dislike Walmart, but living on a fixed income, one can't always be choosy.) But for me to do that, I'm looking at a two hour round trip bus ride, as opposed to one hour for Cub. And I am limited as to the amount I can carry. So sometimes it just isn't worth it. My son does bring me 25 lb. bags of sugar and flour from Walmart, and now and then my daughter takes me to Sams Club. As I work at staying independent, the rest of the time, Cub it is. I just wish they would put more staples on sale and less soda and chips!

  3. Vicki, I know what your talking about. We had no car for about 4 years in Florida. We took the bus every place that we could. Even grocery shopping. It always took two or three of us depending on how much we bought. I am on SSI right now and its no fun.

    You can always email me if you want its on my blog. I check it all the time.

  4. Rob...I'm lucky in that it is just me here to worry about. And my kids are really good to help me out if I need to get somewhere the local bus doesn't go. It isn't so bad. I think the cold of winter just makes it seem more difficult than it really is. I will be so glad when spring arrives!