Using coupons is a great way to save money, but the deals can create a nutritional disaster. It is tempting to stockpile treats and processed foods that are purchased at a deep discount. All too often, I see individuals bragging about saving 50%,60% or more on their grocery bill with pictures of the purchased food and low total. These pictures often contain very few fresh or frozen vegetables, lean meats or fiber rich grains. Instead, the pictures usually show a wealth of higher calorie foods that are loaded with sugar and fat.
Shoppers get blinded by good deals and forget about the cost to their health. Many items coupons are available for are highly processed items that are high in calories and low in beneficial nutrition. These foods can be fine on occasion, but making them the main source of nourishment will leave your diet lacking. Being aware of what is going into your cart can help you both get great deals and have better nutrition for your health.
Use the three month rule
A common rule for couponing is to only purchase what can be reasonably used in three months. Sales are cyclical and within a three month period many things will come up for sale with a coupon to match. Maintaining just a three month supply of items will ensure that items will not go to waste. If your household uses 5 snack cakes per week for lunches, it is reasonable to purchase six boxes total on a good sale. Buying ten boxes will leave you tempted to consume extra snack cakes.
Be extra cautious with snack foods
By limiting the amount of sugary or high fat snack foods in the cart, you will limit temptation. If your shelves overflow with cereal bars, gummy snacks, ice cream, frozen desserts and other treats they will be eaten more. These items will be regular fare instead of treats for your household. Instead, try to stock up on high fiber and low calorie snacks whenever they go on sale.
Be selective with processed non-perishable foods
Box pasta dinners, pre-sauced dry noodles and other easy to prepare dishes can be purchased at low prices when sales and coupons are combined. These it items also come with a high calorie count to make them taste better to consumers. Always check the nutritional content of a product before purchasing it. Make an informed decision about if it is a healthy purchase for your family.
Always stock up on fresh and frozen veggies – even without a coupon
Make sure that there is always a wealth of fresh and frozen vegetables in the shopping cart. I have seen many pictures of coupon shoppers weekly trips with little to no vegetables purchased for the family to enjoy. Fresh vegetables can make a wonderful snack that can even be less expensive than prepackaged snack food. Also, limit the amount of pre-sauced or seasoned vegetables purchased. These pre-sauced and seasoned vegetables may be a good buy, but are loaded with salt, sugar and make a healthy vegetable into an unhealthy side. Instead, try to find coupons for your own spices to make custom creations.
Be aware that there is more to shopping than great deals. In the long run, eating a healthy diet will save more money. When I changed my shopping habits, my overall health and energy levels increased dramatically. My grocery bill as also gone down by making smart choices, shopping sales and doing the prep work myself! I still use coupons to get great deals, but am more selective about what is served in my kitchen.
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