I’ve written and rewritten this post about 10 times.
It’s hard to put into words why I quit couponing.
Hard for a number of reasons.
This site was originally founded on the principal of using coupons to save money on your grocery budget. I’ve taught over 100 classes on how to use strategic shopping principals to save money at the store. I was known in certain grocery stores as “hot mama”…the one who uses coupons all the time.
But the days of clipping 10 – 15 coupons per grocery trip are gone. I did an experiment and kept track of the number of coupons I used in the last three months..it was twenty. What I saved wasn’t enough to cover the cost of the newspapers.
Don’t get me wrong, I will still look for ways to save money. (Who wouldn’t?) I will still use strategic shopping principals like making a meal plan, cash only or keeping an up-to-date price book. I’ll shop outside of the box and utilize Amazon Subscribe & Save. I’ll take advantage of Ibotta and Savingstar.
But overall, I’ve decide to quit couponing.
The reason is simple.
There are not enough coupons for the things our family eats or uses to make it worth the time.
1. Coupons and deals are not as plentiful.
When I started couponing, it was unheard of to ever pay for a razor, toothpaste, lotion or body wash. Canned veggies were almost always free. Cereal was either free or $.50 per box. But now, those deals are rare (with the exception of cereal). Brands became savvy. They realized the growth in redemption wasn’t about an increase in trial, rather people stocking up and reselling items at garage sales. The gravy train I once rode is gone.
2. Our family drastically changed our eating habits.
We’ve eliminated many pre-made, from-a-box foods from our house and have focused on homemade, can pronounce all the less-refined ingredients meals or snacks.
We did this for two reasons. One, both my husband and son have cycles of depression. We’ve done extensive research and found the right supplements, regular exercise, and a diet in whole foods can eliminate the depression cycle. (Source: The Depression Cure)
Second, as I have aged (aka turned 40), I have found green juices are a lifeline to helping me staying on track mental and physically.
So we are eating a LOT of fresh veggies and produce from Door to Door Organics and traditional bricks and mortar stores. We have gotten rid of pre-packaged over-sweetened cereal, pre-packaged lunch options and snacks, and are enjoying homemade baked goods, energy bites and dinners from scratch instead.
3. Creating a meal plan was the key to us saving money.
During my couponing hey-day, I would try and cobble items I had purchased inexpensively into a meal plan. Nine times out of ten that meant only one or two meals per week that our family was excited about eating. I felt guilty about buying anything that wasn’t on sale, which made it nearly impossible to try new recipes. I was a frustrated, uninspired, and a bored cook.
Considering I LOVE TO COOK and am gifted at it, it seemed silly to waste a God-given talent in order to save $75 every month. By allowing me to explore my passion, we have defined weekly meal plans every week that I’m excited to make, we no longer eat out on a regular basis and are enjoying a variety of vegetarian and meaty meals.
What Does that Mean for You, My Beloved Readers
Because of the three reasons listed above, it is hard for me to stay on the past road and be authentic.
I can’t post deals about Hamburger Helper. Or Land O Lakes Skillets. Or Smart Ones. Or Peanut Butter Toast Crunch. Because I don’t believe those things are good for my family (or yours).
It also means that starting next week, Redefined Mom will no longer be doing coupon matchups for the local stores or drugstores. I will have a page on the site for Healthy Coupons and will continue to have the Coupon Database available for you to search. And I will still be posting online deals (because I like shopping online.) Outside of the coupon matchups, there should be no discernible differences because we’ve been making small, incremental changes on the site since last September.
I realize this change in me (and furthermore, my site) might make you decide to quit reading the blog.
I hope you will stay around, but I understand. I know there are many of you trying to make ends meat with a limited budget and you RELY on those coupon matchups. Please know that if we met face to face, I’d tell you I don’t take it personally and then give you a huge hug, because I’ve been in your shoes. You need to do what you need to do for your family. PERIOD.
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my vision for Redefined Mom and beyond in 2015 in my I LOVE These Things post.
This site is about redefining who “you” are…that could be your makeup routine, the clothes you wear, how you organize your closet, homemade eye cream, or taking a skiing vacation. (And believe me, I want to find the best deal or the best resources to do it, that hasn’t changed.) I want to provide you articles and information that help better your life, for the long term.
And God-willing, that mantra of helping women redefine “you” will make me relevant for the next five years, as I have been these last five years.