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