Monday, April 15, 2013

Does Couponing Have A Place In The Homesteading Lifestyle


This is the time where you hear many people say that their goal is for their farm/homestead to be totally self sufficient. Personally in this age I don't think that it is possible. Their are so many things that I can't produce. Yes even I, the self reliance queen, still trail to the local town and burgs, reusable cloth bags in hand, to purchase those supplies. Things like my husbands heart medications top that list. Along with our vitamins and such personal care items as alcohol and peroxide, razors and feminine hygeine products. 

Other things that I buy include oils. Although I can produce lard easily I purchase olive and coconut oil regularly. Since I can not grow either olives or coconuts in my climate I don't see that changing. 

Dairy I can produce but choose not to. Instead I buy local when available and when not I buy from the local grocery store just like you. Rarely do I ever see coupons for milk. Because of our ages and health we choose to keep our livestock small and easily manageable and do not raise milk cows. We do raise chickens, turkeys, pigs and rabbits for meat. O Wise One hunts venison and fishes the local ponds, streams and rivers keeping us in bass, catfish and perch.  We occasionally purchase cold water fish such as tuna and salmon both high in Omega 3. We keep that to a minimum though concerned about mercury contamination levels. We will occasionally purchase a 1/4 beef from a local farmer if we feel inclined to beef which is not often.  These days we produce and smoke our own sausages and bacons.


In the kitchen I purchase thing like vinegar, baking soda, salt, canning supplies and occasionally cereal, foils and waxed papers. I continue to purchase things like dish washing liquid and occasionally paper towels.  I purchase grains in bulk along with baking supplies such as chocolate, coconut, sugars and flours. So you see just like you I am a consumer. For almost all these items I will occasionally find coupons. 


Do I spend 40 to 60 hours a week clipping coupons? No way! But I do buy a newspaper every Sunday for coupons. Before shopping I do print off any available online coupons I can find for the items I do buy. I never pass up saving money on those items I buy anyway.  I also get the Wednesday sale fliers for all the local grocery stores in the mail. They are also available online. What I do not do is purchase all those prepackaged fast foods. To me those items are no different than sitting down at McDonalds for 3 meals a day. I attempt to eliminate from my diet those dyes, preservatives and additives if at all possible. I think that there is no way that I can eliminate them all but I do like to think that I can eliminate a great deal of them. I do buy fruit such as citrus and bananas and occasionally potatoes, onions,  carrots, fresh cabbage and romaine. Many times I catch these on sale but rarely do you ever see coupons for these items.   

.50 for a pack of 8 at the Dollar Store with coupon

Now  I will be the first to tell you that I am very fortunate that I live near a small grocery store that doubles coupons up to 99 cents everyday. This amounts to huge savings sometimes on everyday items when I find coupons and I have walked out of the store saving 50 dollars or more at a time. Do I have rooms full of stashed coupon finds...no not really. Although I do stock up on some items occasionally when it is on sale. Do I venture to town every week. No way! I grocery shop about once or maybe twice a month. If someone is going to town to the library, to pick up feed or other errands I will get them to stop by the grocery and pick up the odd sale item on their way out of town. (they hate this!!!!!!)

SO IN MY HUMBLE OPINION coupons are just another tool  to saving money, but BEWARE they can also be a slippery slope to buying lots of frivolous things that are not necessarily good for you.  I always keep in the back of my mind that coupons are just another form of advertising made to lure the customer in and assure that sale. Stay strong and resist. Coupons can be a way to save money but they can also be a great temptation to spend money frivolously. 

So I am interested for a show of hands here as to how many of you homesteaders are also coupon divas? How often do you use coupons and for what ??

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

20 comments:

  1. I don't coupon but, I do check the weekly sales flyer from my meat and coke store. Yes, coke is full of crap I don't need but, I've been drinking it for 40+ years and I'm not giving it up.

    I can save up to .50 cents on a 2 ltr bottle. I have to buy from the store as I don't have a large enough area to grow or raise enough livestock to be self sufficient. I mostly garden and keep chickens as a hobby but, to reap the rewards from them is pretty cool, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike honey.....that stuff will kill ya : ) Hugs and we love ya anyway. My downfall is bread so we all have our bad habits!!

      Delete
  2. I've been a couponer for years and what folks call an "extreme" couponer for about 5 years. I've slacked off quite a bit, though - the deals are getting harder and harder to find. Most good coupons are now printable off the Internet rather than in the newspaper. As you mentioned, it is a slippery slope that can very quickly consume all your time. I do buy things I don't use because I can actually make money by buying them and then that allows me to get discounts off things I do want that you never gets coupons for (think milk, bread, gas, etc.) I like never paying for feminine goods, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, etc. And it also allows me to give generous donations to the local pantries and women's shelters.

    Having said all that, couponing is NOT for everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like you I think those money making deals are harder and harder to come by. The other issue is that I spend so much time gardening, canning and preserving food and, sewing, quilting and homeschooling that...well lets just say there are only so many hours in the day and only one of me! The other issue is that the nearest town of any size is 45 minutes away with 1 Walmart and a couple small stores. There are no large CVS, Rite Aid, Targets etc. A large chain store like that is a 2 hour drive away 1 way. With the price of gas that takes a big bite out of any savings.

      Delete
  3. I so want to coupon but with full time work, 2 houses & trying to learn canning & gardening, and, and, and. I can't justify the time. I'd rather spend my little bit of extra time reading blogs since I'm learning so much from them. I do clip an occasional coupon if I know I am going to purchase that item soon, usually around the holidays. A group just started a coupon club at work as well, so I will attend the lunch time meeting tomorrow. Even if I don't fully participate, they tell me I can go through their public coupon folder and take what I need.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I use coupons fairly regularly...It's where my journey towards self sufficiency started after all. However, I DON'T buy a lot of junk.... and I DON'T buy what i can do for myself. Now if I can find coupons to get stuff for free or 75% off as a minimum I will do. As my "stockpile" grows I get choosier and choosier on what I spend money on...Many "necessities" aren't... we've simply been raised to think they are. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I coupon less than I use to do. It is more difficult to get coupons for the products I use.

    I do pinch every penny until it screams and buy off-brands if they have passed my quality test.

    ReplyDelete
  6. when I run across them I will use a coupon cause they save money, but most I can't use. however we can save money is a good thing

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your right, couponing is a slippery slope. I was doing the couponing thing, I got two papers a week, and clipped coupons for only things I know we buy. And let me tell you we saved so much and my pantry got stocked. Which helps us with our low summer income. But what we found was, we were buying a lot of things we are trying to cut from our diet like pastas, potatoes, rice, chips and crackers. So we stopped using coupons because of that. but I do think I need to do it just for the cleaners and stuff. Those are so expensive and it does help. In Florida they don't double coupons. But Publix does buy one get one free all the time and will allow you to use their coupon with a manufacture or another store coupon so the savings is big. I'm just afraid I will start buying the other stuff just because its cheap. Its a trap we have to watch closely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cleaners are the last thing I buy. You should try some of the natural cleaners. They are so much cheaper and work just as well if not better. I shall have to do some posts on natural cleaning.

      Delete
  8. If I see a coupon in my daily paper or in a magazine for something that I use then I will clip it out and use it.
    Other than that I don't do the coupon thing, your not saving money if you end up buying products that you don't ever use.
    The supermarket is always doing a 'bogof' on products (buy 1 get 1free) again I only ever go for these if its something I need and use.
    I shop with a list and hardly ever deviate from it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. If I find a coupon for a product I use, I'll use it. But, it's pretty rare, because being vegan, most of our shopping is fresh fruits and vegetables during the months we don't grow them ourselves and want something different from what we have canned and dried. You rarely see coupons for rice or spices, which are the main things we buy. I rarely bake so a bag of flour and sugar lasts us months. BTW, you can make your own vinegar easily from apple peels leftover from canning. It's as easy as making wine, just need a mother vinegar, which I'm finding is becoming quite accessible at most grocer stores.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm not the couponing queen (hate the word diva) that I once was. I have scaled way back on couponing because...

    1. I'm stocked on the hba items for a while and don't need/use the chemical cleaners (make homemade ones instead), etc. Make our own laundry soap and I don't see coupons for the 3 things I use in my laundry soap (zote soap, borax, and super washing soda), and have enough dish soap and dryer sheets for some time (all free after coupon) and I only use the dryer in the winter months.

    2. We eat a lot more organically, locally, and less-processed foods now which like you said, don't often find coupons on such items. We are buying more in bulk and growing more ourselves as well.

    3. What coupons are out there now usually don't match up with the sales now (that's to a certain extreme show I'm sure) and most of the coupons are not for the items I wish to buy now. I do occasionally find printable coupons for items we purchase but it's not often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. forgot to say, once the store bought hba items are gone such as shampoo, conditioner.. those won't be bought anymore either... I have howto's on how to make the stuff with items I already keep on hand anyway.

      Delete
  11. I don't coupon at all. I think it's a waste of my time due to the lifestyle we've chosen. In our area all the coupons are for prepackaged food, which we don't purchase any more. If we can't grow it or make it ourselves we purchase it from Azure Standard. Once in a great while if Azure doesn't have something we go to a health food co-op about 30 minutes from home. I frequent a regular grocery store rarely - maybe once or twice a year? Once in a great while (maybe once every 2 or 3 months) I'll have hubby stop and pick something up but that's only for something special for a birthday or special occasion.

    And in response to Jane above... you don't need a mother to make vinegar. At least we haven't. We've made it 3 years in a row now and it has made it's own mother every time. We made ours just like The Deliberate Agrarian. He says that the mother is only to get things going faster. Still ours only took about 2.5 months to be "ready".

    ReplyDelete
  12. The more whole foods I buy (or grow) and the more homemade cleaners and personal hygiene products I make, the fewer coupons I use, but you can bet when I do find a coupon for something I do buy, I'll use it.

    I do use other kinds of coupons, though. We don't eat out often, but we sometimes use coupons when we do. If I can find coupons for discounts to activities or entertainment (bowling, festivals, etc.) I'll use them. We use coupons for oil changes whenever hubs doesn't have time to change the oil himself. If I decide to buy a haircut instead of cutting my own hair, I'll use a coupon. If I buy something online, I'll look for a coupon code. None of these determine whether or not we spend money, but if we've already decided on an expenditure, they can often save us quite a chunk of change.

    ReplyDelete
  13. So well said. I mostly make everything homemade and there are no coupons for those basic necessities

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree that the good deals aren't like they used to be. I have used coupons for years on things that we would use anyway, but I don't buy something just because I have a coupon. I have to need the item in order to use the coupon. I am fortunate that I work in the same town that has two stores that double coupons to 99¢ and has a Rite Aid and a CVS. If there is a good deal at one of these stores, I can stop by on my way home from work. I don't buy junk food anymore except the occasional bag of chips for hubby and daughter.(They feel deprived from junk food since I had my heart attack.) I have been finding some coupons for gluten free crackers that are actually low in fat and salt and taste pretty good. I either make my own or get cleaners for pennies with coupons. All of our toiletries are bought with coupons. Canned Quilter, I don't know what kind of meds your hubby is on, but at my Giant Eagle I am paying $8 for my Atorvistatin, and then I get a $10 gift card for my next in store purchase. I wish I could do this with all of my meds as I pay $75 out of pocket each month. Not as much as some, but it is still too much.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My husband has heart rhythm issues and takes actually several heart medications. I do not have Giant Eagle nearby. That is the problem with coupons in my area are a lack of choices for stores but we manage to survive just fine without them : )

    ReplyDelete
  16. I use coupons but not weekly.. I dont go to the grocery store weekly either.. I used to be a pretty good couponer but after that horrid Extreme Couponer Show, they really ruined it for couponers.. Both stores & manufacturers changed the game and its not near as convenient as it used to be.
    I do have a nice stockpile of health & body products and rarely need to buy any.. I've got a decent stockpile of foods too but most have nothing to do with coupons..
    I just use the ones I'm going to use anyways, as you do.

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry, but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (abusive, profane, rude, or anonymous comments) – so keep it polite, please. Also I am not a free advertisement board if you want to push a product on my comments I will delete you fast !!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails