Buying Ingredients Not Convenience

Marye, one of my bloggie friends I used to¬† is running a wonderful new series on saving money without using coupons over at her blog Restless Chipotle called Why Coupons Don’t Save Me Money.

I think a conversation several of us were having on Facebook the other day on coupons got her started. I don’t use coupons much myself, since I usually purchase ingredients, not convenience foods. I won’t say I never purchase them, just not often. When I do they’re usually organic brands, and again not that often. I usually buy ingredients, like fresh vegetables, fresh ground spelt (from a local farmer), and fruits. There aren’t many coupons for those items I’ve found.

I watched one of those coupon shows one night, and I was a little horrified. I can’t believe people actually feed their families on the stuff they get with coupons. I wondered if they read the ingredients before they ate their bargain basement foods. They might not be paying at the grocery store, but they’re probably going to eventually pay with their families health. Most of the foods are loaded with GMOs and extra additives and preservatives I can’t even pronounce. Even before the diet overhaul I’ve gone through in the last year I wouldn’t have purchased many of the items that have coupons in my weekend paper.

Marye’s post made me think of one of the rules I try to live by today, KISS ~ Keep it simple silly! Honestly cooking and creating your own food from ingredients instead of a box does not have to be difficult, or time consuming. It can be as simple as grabbing your favorite vegetable and adding a lean protein like fish or chicken and you have a meal.

Here’s my lunch today, grilled salmon with asparagus fresh from the garden. It just doesn’t get any better than that, coupons or not! There was more asparagus there, but I ate it before I could get a photo.

I actually don’t shop at the grocery very often. During the winter I buy some of my fresh produce there, but I purchase most of my food through a local chapter of the UNFI natural food coop, where I can get flours, spices, and items like toothpaste. I own a herdshare at a local farmer to get raw dairy, yogurt and butter. During the summer we always have a large garden to supply us with plenty of fresh vegetables, and several fruit trees to supply us with the sweet stuff. We raise our own meat, or purchase it from a local farmer. Local farmers markets round out our food supply.

I guess I feel like I’m voting with my food dollars every time I make a purchase, and I vote for the small local farmer who’s taking care of his land whenever possible. I try not to vote for factory farms, and large corporations that use the cheapest ingredients possible.

It’s been a journey for me over the last few years to get where I am today in the way I think about food. I probably do pay more for my food, but I feel like my families health is worth it. I would rather skimp and save in other areas, not on food.

I would love to hear if you have had success with coupons, or not. Maybe there’s something I’m missing?