Monday, October 22, 2012

Not so extreme couponing...

I am a coupon-er. I'm not a freak, I'm not a hoarder (unless you count crafting supplies..and really, if you actually use it are you really hoarding?!?) I just use coupons as a way to keep the family budget down.

I have had those trips like you've see on TV, maybe not to that extreme, but I have purchased 50 of an item (Hamburger helper) to stock up when the price was right (umm..$.25 a box...I'll take it) Or as during this past weeks shopping at the buy 5 get $5 event at Kroger when I purchased a total of 175 boxes of Pasta Roni, Rice a Roni and Betty Crocker potatoes for $4.00 (yeah, $.02 a box? no brainer!) and I do have about a years worth of hygiene and dental items I paid little to nothing for, but what makes the coupon-er's budget work is that all of the money that is saved by NOT buying those items we get free is used to buy fresh produce and meats.

In my case, I coupon to stock up for several months, and then, I don't shop for anything but the basics for a month or 2. instead we use up the stockpiled items and put the money from the grocery budget to better use elsewhere. For example, last year I stopped grocery shopping for anything more than produce, bread and dairy in November, and didn't pick back up with the rest of the grocery shopping until mid-end January. Thereby saving that $100 a week to use one something else, in that instance Christmas and Birthdays for the boys.

Now, to those naysayers clucking their tongues at the thought of boxed dinners, let me give you an example of what I do with those. This was Sunday's dinner..and it cost me less than $1.10 per serving..

Here is the cost breakdown.
1. Half a loaf of walmart everything bread-- Reg price $1.87, marked down to $.99 ( I bought all they had and froze them, wrapped in foil and popped in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes and you can't tell it's day, or rather weeks old bread) - $.50

2. Seapak shrimp poppers- reg price $1.67 a box X 5 = $8.35, after my coupons, $4.60

3. Green Giant Seasoned steamers, Reg price $2.29 Sale price $1.67, after my coupons, $0.17

4. 2 boxes of doctored olive oil and italian herb Pasta Roni- Reg. price $1.38 X 2 = $2.76 , sale price, $2.00, after coupons $0.04.

5. 5 fresh mushrooms sliced- $.25 (pack cost $.069, I used a hair over 1/3)

6. 1/8th of a red onion - $0.15

7. 2 garlic cloves - $0.05

8 1/4 cup grated parmesan - $0.50

9. 3 TBS Olive oil - $0.65

10 Sweet Basil - .05

Which gives me a total of $6.96 , This equaled out to about 6.5 servings, which brings my total in at  $1.070769 etc..

Here's how I doctored up the pasta.

In a med/large skillet, bring 1 tbs of olive oil to a med heat. add sliced mushrooms and sliced onion. Salt and then let them sweat for about 2 minutes. add sliced garlic clove, finish cooking until nicely sauteed. Prepare pasta according to package directions. After sauce thickens a bit, add contents of skillet, a pinch of sweet basil and 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Toss and serve..

Not bad right?

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