Nutrition on a Budget

Frankenfood is cheap and you can use coupons to buy it.  Good thing, too, since anyone who eats it regularly is going to need that money later on for medical bills!

Harsh?  Yes.  But, the truth ain’t always pretty.

I generally shop by circular; but, I rarely coupon for food.  Popcorn and cereal are about the only two foods I regularly buy that come in a box and might possibly have coupons somewhere in the universe for them.  In my town, we have several grocery stores – Food Lion, Kroger, Walmart, Super Target, Publix and Aldi.  Let me just tell you right now…I love me some Aldi – even if they don’t take coupons!  When I get ready to shop, I gather all the circulars, and make my list based on what’s on sale.  Beside each item, I put the price from each store listing iit in their circular. (I know. 1. it’s weird, and 2. It takes a long time.  It saves me a ton of money.  So, there.)  I take that list and a cooler and head out to start my shopping.

sweet basilGrocery shopping to me is a game.  How much can I get for how little?  It’s similar to super-couponers only I’m not using many coupons and I’m buying real food.  I start at Aldi, go to Food Lion, then Kroger, then Publix.  The giant discounters get in the mix every great now and then; but, their prices are rarely competitive enough for them to make the trip worthwhile.  Typically, they’ve got one loss-leader; but, I’m not battling the hordes for one thing.

The reason I shop at Aldi first is that, even without coupons or sale items, they normally beat all of the other stores prices – even their sale prices.  For instance, yesterday I stopped by on my way home.  I got kiwi fruit for .20 cents.  Plantains were .39 each.  Tuna in water – .69 a can. Large eggs – 1.19 a dozen.  Mangoes – .49.  Fresh asparagus – 2.99/lb. Zucchini – 1.00/lb.  Fresh ground chicken – 2.89/lb.  For less than $65, I got enough fresh fruit, vegetables and meat for two adults to last for two weeks.  Okay, I may have to run back for some salad stuff; but, their prices, I can fill in that gap for around $10 next week.

When I’m doing my regular shopping, after I finish at Aldi, I head to Food Lion, then Kroger, then Publix because that is how the pricing rises.  Food Lion tends to be less expensive on regular pricing, then Kroger, then Publix, although each of those stores does have some specialty item that I get only there.  Kroger has a great store brand of natural peanut butter and Publix has some different vegetables in their extensive produce department.

I realize that super couponers may get off cheaper than $20 per person a week; however, they are not doing it buying real food.  And canned sauces, boxed dinners, frozen pizza and other Frankenfoods are going to cost us all a great deal in the long run.  I think it’s much better to pay a little extra now, enjoy real food AND the benefits of better health!

So, use the coupons on your soap and toothbrushes.  Buy your food for real.


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