Beginning To Coupon.

After watching a few "Extreme Couponing" shows, I was both intrigued, & disgusted. Intrigued, by how neat it is to save so much money, and disgusted by the fact that some people just hoard a bunch of crap they don't need. Sure its neat to get a bunch of stuff for free, but by buying junk they don't need, some really abuse the system. Making it harder for *real* families that are trying to use coupons (they put tighter restrictions.), is just not fair. Grabbing stuff for free costs *someone*... and if its not being put to good use, its just a lose/lose for everyone.

Negative feelings aside, I know the majority of people don't abuse the system, and there are definite perks! It really opened my eyes to how we spend our money in our own household. On the shows, I noticed that a lot of people buy overly processed foods with coupons, and that's not something I like to do. I wondered, is there a way to buy real foods? Produce, meats etc.... I'm not one to say that we only eat healthy 100% of the time, totally not true. I do occasionally buy instant soups, frozen pizzas, and sugary drinks, but its not by any means something we eat on a daily basis. I'd feel sick if I ate frozen microwave junk meals all of the time.

Reading couponing blogs, I did in fact find out that there are ways to save money on meats and produce, which is right up my alley. I also read suggestions about being open to new products etc., but I'd rather try to buy strictly items we already use. I have no use for cheap shampoo that I know will just sit there, and there's def. no point in purchasing a billion bottles, unless its going to be donated. That will be something to keep in mind as I get the hang of it.

Before I start writing about my couponing, I should mention...

As I read through a few couponing sites, I noticed people wrote about Walmart, Cosco, Krogers, but no one mentioned ethnic stores. It boggles me that no one realizes how much they could save just by going into an Asian mart, Mexican grocer, or an Indian one. But as I thought about it more, I can see why places like these could be intimidating. Its hard to buy from people who aren't speaking your language, and buy products you aren't familiar with. But what you don't know, is that a lot of the "gourmet" products you find at Whole Foods, can be easily found at these ethnic stores for almost 75% less than what you pay. Take fresh young coconut for instance, you find them at gourmet shops for over 3 dollars a piece, but at an Asian store you can find them for about a $1. Meats get very pricey, at Walmart, they cost about $10 a pkg (maybe a lb or so), and you can find Top Sirloin at a Mexican grocery for about $3 a lb. The only problem is they label the meats in spanish... but that's where I'm going to begin. Before I start blogging about my coupon adventure, I'm going to write posts on how to shop these ethnic stores, what brands to look for, and what goodies you can get that are fresher, and cheaper than what you're buying at the huge stores. I'm going to write about the names of foods to buy, cosmetics, and other household items you could find for less. Once I get those gems out of the way, I'll continue on my couponing journey. If anyone is interested in joining me let me know! It'd be neat to see who's saving, and maybe you can share some tips of your own!

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