You Don’t Need Extreme Couponing to Save Money on Food Costs

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If you haven’t seen the show, you’ve heard about it. Extreme couponing = People dumpster diving for coupons so that they can go clear the grocery shelves and get loads of free stuff that they hoard in their closets, basements, and garages. Certainly there are critics as well as proponents of such practices.

And, yes, a bit of hyperbole.

Regardless of how you feel about the show and the practices of extreme couponing, grocery prices are on the rise. And as I mentioned the other day, I will not go quietly into this good night.

While I love, love, LOVE to get a great coupon deal, I know that it is not the only way to save money. In fact, there are some tried and true methods to saving money on groceries that will allow you to eat well and spend less without going to such extreme measures.

In fact, you can even eat healthy, wholesome food on a budget. No Hamburger Helper here.

This month I’m collaborating with a group of amazing women to share with you techniques that work for real families throughout the US and Canada. It’s been so exciting to read these posts and the comments that follow and to see that real moms with real families are learning new ideas, getting their questions answered and sharing what works for them.

In real life, not on TV.

If you haven’t already, check out these posts from the week!

Stay tuned for next week when we all share our top 5 Frugal Meals!

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  1. Thanks,can’t wait to check out some of the links you listed. While the idea of extreme couponing is interesting it’s not realistic for me since I don’t have hours on end to dumpster dive and clip coupons – the Sunday inserts are about as far as I go. 🙂 We also eat very little processed food and I find a lot of coupons are for that kind of stuff. That and shampoo – there’s only 3 of us and we wash our hair only once a day so I only need so much shampoo! Thanks again!

  2. Amen! I’m SO looking forward to reading through some of the above posts and ideas to come.

    I am a frugal/coupon blogger and have seen a radical shift in coupon shopping the last few months. (Since the show aired, coincidence?) The majority of my readers are like me, very money-conscious but just want to lower our budget AND put simple, healthy meals on the table for our family. NOT to learn how to hoard cereal like the end of the world is coming.

    I’ve been really trying to incorporate “how to make your own” type posts, for my readers as well as for myself. It’s been really liberating to find out I can make my own hamburger buns, Bisquick, salad dressing, etc. Who knew? 🙂

    Thank you so much for the great round-up of information, can’t wait to hear more!

    1. @Melody, what I’m coming to realize is that the packaged mixes and processed foods are usually just mimicking something our grandmothers already knew how to make from scratch.

      Canned cream of whatever? That’s just a white sauce. We can make our own for less without the junk.

  3. After taking a trip to Sams after a 2 year hiatus, I was shocked at the prices. We came home with very little and spent a small fortune. I had expected to stock up for in between our coupon trips….didnt happen.

  4. Oh my gosh, I am so excited to hear that not everyone coupons to get Hamburger Helper for free. While I *DO* admit I have a few boxes in my pantry, it’s for my husband – if the grill isn’t involved, the poor man doesn’t know how to prepare a meal. I’m going to be doing a feature on my blog coming up on teaching my husband how to cook.

    I LOVE to coupon. I can’t express how much I adore and love my coupon binder. My Jesus blessed me with much in my life: my husband, my children, my home, my family, and my binder. But I do find myself getting frustrated, watching Extreme Couponers, and watching “The Mustard Lady” clear the shelves of 30+ bottles of mustard – that isn’t necessary! We LOVE mustard here, but we probably go through no more than 10 bottles a year…who needs 30 if they aren’t donating it?!

    Living in Wisconsin, we get it rough in terms of healthy food – produce selection gets mighty lean in the winter if you try and eat as local and fresh as possible (which I did this past winter. Talk about jonesing for a good lettuce salad come February!)…and with spring and summer, come both the hope of the resurrection, but fresh local produce as well. And those items don’t come with coupons…but I’ll willingly spend more on them for the sheer pleasure of eating that RED (not orange…) tomato raw, or an awesome zucchini stir fried with some olive oil and sweet onion. It’s hard not to be hedonistic during these two seasons! 🙂 Praise God for all of them, but I cannot WAIT for strawberries!

    And thank God for the ability to coupon when we are able to, and to buy fresh when we’re not! 🙂