Coupon Organization – Day 46: Eating Well On $1 A Day


There are people out there that love to clip, sort, organize their coupons and have a huge binder full of them that they can take to the grocery store so they are prepared for every deal that they come across. I am definitely not one of those people. I hate couponing and, quite frankly, simply don't have the time to spend hours getting it all organized.

I do not clip, sort or organize my coupons. If you were to ask me what coupons I currently have, I wouldn't be able to tell you. I have no idea what is all there and since I have no idea, I spend a lot less time on them. I view this as a hugely positive thing.

When I get my Sunday newspaper coupon inserts, I don't even look at what coupons are inside. I take out a Sharpie pen and place the date it arrived on the front cover. I then put it on a shelf where I can easily find it if I happen to need it in the future. That is the extent of my Sunday newspaper coupon organization.

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This is part of a continuing challenge to eat well while spending an average of only $1 a day on food. You can find the beginning and the rules of this challenge here

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I also have coupons that I find that aren't from the newspaper inserts. I simply place these into a drawer in my desk. I only put coupons in the drawer that I think that I have the possibility of using at some point (this was difficult to know when I first started, but it has become a lot easier after a few months of couponing), so I have a general idea of what is in there, but not exactly.

There are a lot of online coupons that can be printed ahead of time. I don't do this. The only time I print an online coupon is when I am actually going to use it, so there is no organization process with these as well.

There you have it. That is my coupon organization. Nothing fancy. It takes virtually no time (just the way I like it). Now, this does mean that I miss savings opportunities, but the time saved and not having to deal with all the organization is well worth missing a few deals — and I am still able to eat well on $1 a day…

I did make another quick trip to the grocery store to use up the rest of my Rolaids coupons before the sale ended. This is what I bought:

day 46 purchase

2 Nature Valley Nut Clusters
3 Bull's Eye BBQ sauce (Carolina)
3 Bull's Eye BBQ sauce (Memphis)
1 loaf Nature's Pride Whole Wheat bread
3 bananas
1.25 lbs hamburger
1 box Del Monte Fruit Chillers
16 packages of Rolaids (not shown and will be donated)

I was able to get all of this for $0.44

day 46 receipts

day 46 receipt 1

day 46 receipt 2

Some of the purchases were pretty lucky – the Nature Valley nut clusters had the eCoupon on ShortCuts reset just in time to allow me to get another two for free. The BBQ sauce and fruit chillers also ended up being free through stacking coupons. It will be interesting to see what deals this next week brings…

This is what I had during the day:

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

I received this breakfast smoothie recipe from Mary and decided that I needed to give it a try.

2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 banana
1/4 pack Philly cream cheese
1 cup of water

Blend well. Milk works better but in a pinch…

peanut butter banana smoothie

I did end up using milk instead of water and not only was it good, it was surprisingly filling — more so than the fruit smoothies I have been drinking. I can see me having this in the late afternoon when I need something simple and quick that is filling.

Spinach & Onion Omelet

Several people mentioned that I had the materials to make an omelet, so I decided to try that out. I used 2 eggs, milk, frozen spinach, 1/4 onion, shredded cheese, salt and pepper. The cheese was one of two small packets left over from the Lunch Creations that I found in the back and had not realised I still had. I then heated up the rest of the scalloped potatoes I had and ate those as well:

spinach onion omelet

spinach omelet

BBQ Hamburger

When I got back, everyone was already eating BBQ hamburgers and since I had just purchased some and the BBQ was still hot, I threw a hamburger on the grill. I toasted a couple pf pieces of whole wheat bread, added lettuce, onion, salt, pepper and Memphis style BBQ sauce to make top it:

hamburger

It was really good. but I was pretty hungry at that point so anything probably would have tasted pretty good. I was still hungry later that evening so I did some snacking on the tortilla chips (I have about 1/4 of a bag left) and had a couple of carrots with cream cheese as well. I have also started to drink 2 – 4 glasses of water with lemon juice squeezed in now that I have lemons again.

This is the current list of food I still have
This is the current list of what I have purchased:

Money Spent $36.42
Money left to spend: $24.58 ($1.33 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of everything bought: $989.34

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The Beginning ::: Day 47: Where To Get Sunday Coupon Inserts

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11 Responses to Coupon Organization – Day 46: Eating Well On $1 A Day

  1. Elisabeth says:

    I loved the rolaids deal and the water catalina deal. Combined I got alot for very little with $20 in cats for the next two weeks of deals. Looks like you did pretty good yourself!

  2. Monkey Mama says:

    Tip: Add yogurt to fruit smoothies to make them more filling.

  3. Mel says:

    I so did not expect what happened today! I went to pick up some groceries, and suddenly your blog entries were nudging my conscience…and they would not shut up!! :) It caused me to be more deliberate about what I purchased…and aware of the prices…and that found me doing a lot of wincing.

    I’ve known my grocery bill is in the high range every month, but I had valid reasons (excuses). I added what I’ve spent on groceries the last 2 weeks, and realized the amount of money I’ve spent, is, well…obscene.

    I used to clip coupons and go to all the different stores…but it got so time consuming and laborious, I stopped. Now, however, with this system you’ve got where I don’t have to clip, I’m gonna give it another go.

  4. Sheila says:

    You could make Spanish Rice. Substitute extra onion for the green pepper. This would use up that 1/2 jar of pasta sauce that must be getting ancient by now. I like to bake it in the oven to brown the top. Cheese is nice but not essential.

    http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1650,147191-248207,00.html

  5. Sheila says:

    Just tried the peanut butter banana shake using one one my stash of frozen bananas. Wow my daughter and I love this!

  6. Norine says:

    HI Jeffrey,

    I love reading your blog. You have been doing a great job and I am impressed at what you are doing. I am a couponer also (since Dec ’09). Right now I carry a coupon book with me when I shop. But my binder is getting extremely full and heavy with so many coupons. (I get at least 10 papers each week)
    I am interested in trying your method of not clipping. Could you please share how you find your deals if you don’t know what coupons you have?
    Do you spend a lot of time researching other websites?
    I would appreciate all the help you can share.
    Thanks!

  7. jeffrey says:

    @Norine — Yes, I will address that question in the next few days.

  8. Dana says:

    I think you have a good plan, and I like how easy it is. I hope you don’t mind me sharing my system in case it helps others:
    I do a lot of couponing, but don’t clip and organize my coupons either. When I’m ready to do my shopping, I gather up my food ads and have http://www.couponmom.com/grocery-coupon-database-10 open on my computer. I look through my ads and if there’s something that looks like it’s a bargain, then I use my browser’s edit-find function on the Coupon Mom page to see if there’s a coupon available. I don’t sort through my ads, I let my computer search for me to see if there are any bargains. For example, my Safeway has Dial Liquid Hand Soap for $1 this week. So I go to Coupon Mom, search the page for “Dial” and I see “06-13 RP Dial Bar Soap pack or Liquid Hand Soap $0.35/1” so that means I need to find my June 13th Red Plum and pull the coupon out. I don’t do that for most of the items in the ads, I guess because after awhile, I kind of know what does and doesn’t have coupons. I would like to say that I look at my ads every week, but I don’t. I’d like to if I have the time, but I usually just pull them out of the paper and put them away till I need them.
    I also visit the forums at PinchingYourPennies.com because they have the shopping deals listed state by state. For example, here’s what’s Cheap/FREE for week 6/16 – 6/22 in my area: http://pinchingyourpennies.com/forums/showthread.php?t=152472 . Pinching Your Pennies doesn’t have listings every state and I’ve heard that some people prefer the forums at AFullCup.com . Both of them have tons of info that cuts down a lot of time I spend on couponing.

  9. Janet Paskin says:

    I’m impressed! Kate linked to your post on Bundle, and I was instantly addicted. Very nice!

  10. Gail F says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for the last week (after catching up with all entries) and am just so impressed. I’ve been couponing for 20 years, from grad school days to doing it for a family of 4, and I’ve learned so much from you blog.
    I am also curious about your methods – if you don’t look through the coupon inserts, how do you know to match them up with circulars? And do you use any of the other couponing websites to find deals?

  11. Lynda says:

    Could you make a basic meat sauce with some of the onions, hamburger, garlic powder, oregano leaves and take the kernels off the corn cob if there isn’t a deal on beans to turn it into a sorta chili? if the carrots are looking a bit miserable, those could go in as well. Could be served on baked potatoes, rice, pasta… I don’t know what the Crunchy Taco tastes like, is that hot enough for your tastes or would you need to look out for a chili powder or fresh chilis? You could make thin savoury pancakes with the eggs, milk and flour to substitute for tortillas if you have patience as it can be a bit of an art to make sure the batter isn’t too thick.