This is a question I get quite often…so, here is my philosophy on coupon clipping (PLEASE no one be offended 😉 If coupons work for you, then that is great! This is what I have found though…

I used to be a ‘coupon clipper’ and still do on occasion, but I have found that watching the deals each week saves me more on groceries than cutting coupons. I know you may beg to differ 🙂 I do have several people who are avid coupon clippers that use my sight and wish I did more with coupons but here is my philosophy:

1- You can still use coupons along with my program. When you see something on sale for ‘red’ prices AND you have a coupon–by all means, use your coupons. The only problem is I have found this rarely happens. It seems items that are not on sale for Red/Great prices are not the ones that have coupons (red deals mean they are less expensive than Costco, Walmart and other warehouse stores). I have found that coupons (generally) are on items that are not necessarily long-term food storage items and are on mostly frozen goods, processed foods and specialty items. These items are great to buy one or two, but the idea of our program is you are stocking up on your year supply of items that go on sale, not just one or two. For example, last week ketchup was on sale for .50 a bottle. When items go on sale for these prices, you are to buy as much of that item as you can afford (a year supply is 15-24 bottles per family). With coupons you may save $1, but when you buy 24 bottles, that savings isn’t as significant as the $20 you saved by buying them at RED prices.

2- Buying your year supply saves you time and money! I found that when I clipped coupons I was only buying one or two items at a time (mostly because Utah stores don’t double coupons, so each coupon had a Limit 1 on them). So..if I bought one or two items at a great price, that only lasts me so long, so when I run out of that item, I then have to go to the store and buy another one at regular price. If you stock up on items when they go on sale for ROCK BOTTOM PRICES, and buy a year supply, then you won’t have to buy that item again for a YEAR–and can guarantee you bought that item at the best price.

3- Coupons do ‘sweetin’ the deal if they are used on the right products. A few weeks ago the newspaper had coupons for the Lawry’s marinades, Best Foods Mayo and Lipton Sides. All of these are some what basic food storage items (counting towards your oil, grains, etc.) and were worth clipping the coupons for because they were items I would add to my food storage anyway. I DO look through the newspaper every week and cut the coupons out for the items I KNOW I will buy anyway (I post coupon information in the ‘tips of the week’ for members). For example, cereal coupons and toothpaste coupons are worth clipping for me because I KNOW they will go on sale and then I will get the item basically free. Granted, I only get ONE for free, but every bit helps. This week General Mills cereal is on sale for $1 at Harmons (with in ad coupons), if you have coupons for $1 off General Mills cereals, go ahead and use it and get a box of cereal for free. I buy 25-50 boxes of cereal at a time when they go on for this price, so I’m not sure how much I care about the ONE free box of cereal–but it makes me feel good! (I get the newspaper because of my ‘business’ but I still think I haven’t saved enough to make my monthly newspaper subscription worth it).

4- Focus on foods your family eats on a regular basis and you won’t waste money on groceries you don’t eat. Go to our website and download under the FREE DOWNLOAD tab the FOOD STORAGE RECIPES and get an idea of recipes that you can make the COMPLETE meal with items found in your food storage. The idea of food storage is that in the event you have to feed your family solely out of your storage, you would be able to make complete meals. Instead of focusing on which coupons there are to cut each week, focus on basic food storage items that your family eats.

5- Learn to cook from scratch! In my experience many of the coupon deals are items that I could LESS EXPENSIVLY make on my own. This seems to be a lost ‘art’ for many. Our society is so used to eating out of boxed items, prepackaged foods and processed foods that we have forgotten how to make meals from scratch and how to use basic food storage ingredients! Why buy pancake mix when you can easily make your own with a little sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, milk, oil and eggs (all of which are BASIC food storage ingredients). Learning to cook this way will save you SO much money!

6- Use the Meal Planning Tips (post below) to help you plan your families weeks menu and save you time and money by not having to make extra trips to the grocery store.

Bottom line, you need to find a system that works for you! We all will obtain our food storage and feed our family differently. The important thing is that we are working towards a goal and saving money in the mean time! If you have the time and energy to clip coupons, then go for it! That is great and hopefully between your coupon clipping and our program you will be saving more than the rest of us 😉