A little over a month ago, I received confirmation that Vintage Kids:Modern World was chosen as an online venue to host a review of Money Saving Mom Crystal Paine’s new audio book Money Saving Mom’s Budget. I let them know that we were a family-oriented blog that encouraged parents to get back to the basics of frugality and simplicity, and, just as importantly, to start eating whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods.
Let me say again, Crystal’s book is fantastic (You can read the full review here), and she and her husband seem to be remarkably disciplined and financially responsible. It was just that the majority of her book seemed to deal with couponing and that section didn’t really hit home with me; not because her ideas or suggestions were faulty (on the contrary, she has it down to a precise science!). It was simply because I don’t need to coupon.
For the sake of brevity and focus in my review, I didn’t fully explain why I don’t cut coupons when I published my article. So today, I want to give you the run down on my shopping habits and why couponing is typically not popular with Real Food adherents, WAPF followers, as well as those on the GAPS and Paleo diets.
1. We typically buy a large amount of our groceries (dairies, meats, cheeses, produce, and sweeteners) from a local source – usually the farmer – and the Amish don’t offer coupons!
2. The remainder of my staple items (grains, legumes, oils) are bought either in bulk from a local Amish store, in bulk from a local health food store or online. If purchasing online, I typically wait until I can get free shipping or some store-specific deal before I order.
3. I make most of our “convenience” foods, condiments and dressings: we don’t eat cold cereals, I make granola and dried fruit, tortillas/tortilla chips, we purchase nuts in bulk (or as they are on periodic sale), and we occasionally cheat and buy a package of cookies or some chocolate chips to make homemade treats. Yes, there are more than likely coupons floating around for Nestle chocolate chips, but it’s not worth me buying a newspaper, or even searching online, in hopes to save the occasional $0.55.
4. In Crystal’s book, she encouraged everyone to coupon, because there are always basic items like shampoos, deodorants and even batteries that everyone uses; so therefore couponing applies across the board. Well I do need batteries now and then, but otherwise, we make our own health and beauty products, or we buy in large quantities. For example:
facial cleanser and scrub: made at home
shampoo: I use castile soap for those with short hair (because it can be a little drying when used by itself) and I purchase over sized bottles of organic shampoo from a local warehouse/closeout store that regularly carries overstocked items from big box stores. I recently bought a $25 bottle of organic shampoo for $7, that lasted us well over 4 months.
lotions: I love Burt’s Bees and will indulge on occasion, but otherwise, I make our own lotion.
deodorant: made at home (and I have a great recipe coming soon!)
toothpaste: made at home
baby shampoos, lotions, diaper creams: made at home, made at home and made at home
5. We make our own cleaning products. Gretchen posted an awesome tour of her cleaning supplies that she regularly keeps on hand that you can see here. I know that there are coupons for Lysol, laundry soap, toilet bowl cleaner, etc. but I can make my cleaning supplies much more frugally than I can if I bought something, even with a coupon. Here’s the rundown of what I make at home:
toilet bowl cleaner
counter top spray
a “Soft Scrub” alternative/abrasive cleaner
stainless steal spray
I will admit that I am still looking for homemade recipes for dishwasher detergent and dish soap. I’ve tried a few and haven’t commited to anything yet. So again, like the chocolate chips, I could find coupons for dish soap and dishwasher detergent, but it’s not worth my time.
And finally, here is a little peak inside my pantry, to see what items I regularly keep on hand and what I find myself purchasing on a weekly/monthly basis
grass fed meats + poultry
free range eggs
locally produced honey
gobs of produce
oats and other cereals for breakfast and baking
canned and fresh fish/seafood
Now, please don’t think that this is ALL that we eat! OF COURSE there are other items that I buy and we most DEFINITELY splurge, but these are the items that I buy on a continual basis and very few of them even offer coupons. Now don’t get me wrong, I am thoroughly amazed at the moms that figure out how to combine weekly sales with triple coupon Thursdays with competitors ads in order to get their items for free.
But not at all tempted to try it for myself. And definitely not going to think about it when hauling three little ones with me through the store.
I don’t want to discourage others from couponing, and if it works for you and you’re finding discounts on things that I’m not seeing then please let me know! However, as I mentioned in my review, as well as at the beginning, those that eat a Traditional Foods diet typically buy ingredients, not just food, and very rarely do those items come with a published weekly deal. But that’s ok. I can make 5 loaves of bread for the cost of one commercial loaf, and I can soak my dried beans and end up with 10x the amount that I would had I bought the canned version.
What other money saving tricks have you found while eating a Traditional Foods Diet?
And now, before I call it a night, here is my menu plan for the coming week:
Monday: Tuscan White Bean Stew from here – it’s fantastic! (my twist: I sub bone broth for the water and beef or turkey bacon for the pork bacon)
Tuesday: Corn tortilla tacos with seasoned ground venison, homemade refried beans + all of the messy toppings
Wednesday: Roasted Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic (yes, you read that right!), root veggies and sourdough bread…and breath mints
Thursday: left over chicken with a knock-off Olive Garden Salad and sourdough bread
Saturday/Sunday: leftovers, smoothies, popcorn, and finger foods
This post was linked to Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly The Kitchen Kop, WLWW Link Up at Women Living Well, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS, Your Green Resource at The Green Backs Gal, It’s a Keeper Blog Hop at Everyday Tastes, Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet, Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, The Welcome Home Link-up at Raising Arrows, The Homesteader Blog Carnival at The Morris Tribe, Sunday School Blog Carnival at Butter Believer, Seasonal Celebrations at Natural Mother’s Network, The Barn Hop at Homestead Revival, Traditional Tuesdays at Cooking TF, Fat Tuesdays at Real Food Forager