Coupons – Still the Best Way to Save on Grocery Costs

I have always had an aversion to clipping coupons for groceries. I even used to scan the check out lines, trying to avoid joining check out lines where little old ladies stood ready and attentive, coupons in hand.

That was then. Now, I myself am one of these coupon-clutching women. Although, I don’t think of myself as a ‘little old lady’. I believe that I am a smart shopper who has finally learnt, albeit under duress, the value of coupons, rebates and refunds. This is my story.

About a year ago, I was complaining to a friend of my mother’s about the rising cost of groceries. She leaned forward in her chair, smiled and said, “I have the answer to your problem.” I sighed inwardly, fully expecting another coupon lecture and told her, “I hate the idea of coupons and all the work that using grocery coupons involves.” My mother’s friend was surprised. “Who said anything about coupons?” she asked.

For the next 45 minutes, I listened to this person’s non-coupon grocery saving strategies. To save on eggs, she told me, all I had to do was to substitute three tablespoons of mayonnaise for each egg when baking a cake. She also advised me to buy a large quantity of eggs, on sale, and then try to freeze them. She assured me that frozen milk was ok. It did become watery and separate, but all one had to do was to give it a shake or two and it would combine again. Only very picky people would notice the slight difference in taste, she added.

She looked across the room, nodding in the direction of my daughter Maggie who was sound asleep in her crib, and said, “Now, that’s where you can save big money.” Baby food in jars is extremely expensive. My mother’s friend urged me to purchase fresh vegetables and fruit to clean, peel, prepare, steam and freeze.

By the time she had gotten around to explaining the wonderful savings I could make using cloth diapers instead of disposable ones and substituting cotton wash cloths for baby wipes, I was impatiently eyeing the Sunday paper on my coffee table.

I knew I had seen a coupon for my favorite diaper brand in there that morning. There was also a piece about which online coupon websites were most popular. I had a lot to do before Maggie woke up. I planned to have enough coupons ready and organized to make a trip to the store. I was not about to feed my family frozen eggs.

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