And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Monday, September 26, 2011

What's Been Missing?

You've probably noticed a lack of couponing posts here at the Chaos lately. If you've been with me awhile, you know I tend to jump from interest to interest. That has a little bit to do with it but.......

I don't know if you've noticed but sales and coupons just haven't been as stellar the last 3 months or so. I personally attribute most of this to the recent "coupon craze" that includes a television program that shows fraudulent coupon use. Also anytime there is a sudden SURGE of something, the rules change. Couponing has become a popular fad. Coupons have been around a long time and I'm sure this isn't the first fluctuation in the coupon realm. However with these less than excellent sales and less than excellent coupons, the deals I'm seeing just aren't as great. Now obviously we all still have to shop, even when things aren't going our way. I still have been shopping, but I have not been stockpiling. I haven't been to Walgreens in about 3 weeks. My last trip to Kroger, I clipped all my coupons, reorganized my binder, and had a list. All that took a couple of hours. I ended up with 39% savings. Not a bad savings but that same trip 4-6 months ago would have had about 60% savings. Our finances are T-I-G-H-T. Our time is tight too so we have to do what gets us the most bang for our time and money.

One new thing I'm involved in is a Freezer meals group. We started last month and you make multiple family sizes servings of one entree to swap with friends. For instance, I made 6 chicken & dressings and I took 5 to exchange with friends. Then I brought home 5 of their different entrees. This saves not only because ingredients can be bought in bulk but also because these meals are easy to pull out of the freezer and cook so we save money by not eating out. We don't get worn out on the meals because they are all different! My group is doing this once a month and I'm hoping to make ahead some more freezer meals just for my family to get us through the winter.

As part of that I'm also shopping more at my nearest bulk store (Sam's Club). I can buy some items in bulk that I will use right away. My best deal there so far has been LARGE cans of crushed tomatos for less than $3 each. I use those in spaghetti sauce, chili, taco soup, and more! I can also buy fruit, cat food, etc there cheaper than I can get it (right now) with coupons and sales. There is also no time spent clipping q's etc.

I haven't totally given up on coupons but the one Sunday paper I receive by delivery is the only one I'm getting. My shopping trips are fewer. I'm also keeping a close eye on Kroger as they are rolling out more and more coupon restrictions. Recently our area has seen a limit of 4 identical coupons. Other areas are losing double coupons. I already have written them to let them know that if they end double coupons in this area, I won't have a reason to return to their store.

So couponing deals won't be frequent but you will still see lots of homeschooling info and product reviews and giveaways! Thanks for keeping up with all our constantly changing Chaos!!!

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