Planning and Coupons

Y’all are emailing and commenting and I’m loving it.  There is joy in sharing the journey. The truth remains that we are all trying to eat well – eat healthy – ALL within a budget. It sounds crazy right? I’m still perfecting buying organic while capitalizing on coupons. Eeep.

From Stacey: How do you shop so well with coupons WHILE eating healthy? Coupons, coupons, coupons. In order to acquire healthy coupons, or for healthy brands, one must shop at health food stores. Normally there will be books, or stacks of coupons just lying near the bagging area, or in the vestibule of the store. The best way to receive coupons is to do a bunch of initial legwork in contacting the companies themselves. Many healthy, organic companies are JUST now jumping on the bandwagon and so don’t have opportunities. At BEST I will go to the store with two coupons from actual healthy brands. So what do I do? Let’s pretend that we are planning for August.

  1. Plan one MONTH in advance of healthy eating, with the idea of 3 to 4 meals a week. Choose a few big meals like lasagna that will have leftovers. Include some meals that children, like Gooner, will enjoy being as a Mediterranean salad is not quite within her two teeth chewing capabilities.
  2. Throughout the month of July I add items to a notebook that we are running out of like snacks for Gooner, the amount of diapers that we will need for the next month, laundry soap, tooth paste…. Things that one needs from a place like Wal-Mart or Target.
  3. I then take my list of meals and begin creating shopping lists. Normally I will have four separate weeks on four separate sheets. Produce is always purchased on a weekly basis. Most pantry items can be purchased at Wal-Mart cheaper than at a store like Whole Foods. Add a coupon and you can save upwards of 2 to 4 dollars PER item on something as simple as pasta.
  4. I then match coupons to the items on my list.

Making a monthly grocery list takes planning, but this way we can eat healthy and still save. How do you shop? Monthly? Weekly? With coupons?

This was Q and I 3 years ago in DC. It’s just a token pic, blast from the past.

Categories: Cuisine | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Planning and Coupons

  1. you two are soooo cute!

  2. OKay,

    You need to come do Philly, and helpy me get organized, and teach me all you know…like a bootcamp for healthy coupon clipping b/c I am THE WORST! I spend SO MUCH on food, its ridic. I have a problem, and it’s called Whole Foods Market being 0.75 mile from my house. Help me!!

    Great tips in the meantime 😉

  3. Cute pic! Um yeah. I am the most unorganized person EVER-I am so bad with coupons! I spend WAY WAY WAY too much money on food. WAY TOO MUCH! But, I would say that I am a careful shopper-I’m really careful to buy sale items, and meal plan, it’s just that food is REALLY expensive here, and my family eats a rediculous amount of food.

  4. So, this might be crazy, but anyway, there is a healthy savings blog that just started called She posts good deals on healthy foods and health food/whole food coupons. It is really helpful! Also, organic valley has coupons on their site (if you didn’t know that) and you can print 2 of each during each cycle. However, if both you and Q sign up with different accounts you can both print 2 of the coupon – which is 4…and if you have other email addresses besides 2, you can print even more. And, then you will also receive paper copies of a newsletter they send out with more coupons for each email address signed up. It has really helped us afford healthy milk – especially since we make our own yogurt.

    • So helpful!! Thank you for the info. You, too, La. I am generally not a coupon person since I don’t buy name brand stuff. I’ll have to check out the site and try to be a better planner. You two are my heroes.

  5. I do something very similar with my coupons, except I plan weekly – with the exception of toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc. Also, if you shop at Kroger, they have ecoupons on their website that you download to your Kroger card. They can be combined with paper coupons – I save a lot of money this way. I also go to sites such as and print coupons, plus buy the magazine All*You from Wal-Mart – they have a ton of coupons too. Of course, mine are mostly normal things and not organic foods, but we do get a lot of coupons on things such as whole grain pasta, etc.

  6. I shop weekly, but I never take the time to use coupons. I probably should, it would save me a ton of money. You are so inspiring, as always 😉

  7. Hmm, interesting post. This is definitely something that wrinkles my brain because every single coupon out there is for brand name products. Seriously…it’s insane. I’m the kind of person who would only shop at Trader Joe’s if I could afford it, but they don’t have coupons. What do your weekly menus look like?

  8. Elena

    Hi Laura! Thank you for giving me your new address! You know, I love reading your blog!
    Love from Italy!

  9. Wow – I am so impressed! We plan a week at a time, and to be honest, that’s all the food our fridge can hold! Right now, our crispers are packed with veggies and the shelves are full of fruit and fish and yogurt. Where do you find room for a month’s worth of food? (Or do you just plan a month in advance and still do a weekly shopping trip?)

  10. I shop staples monthly, with coupons. We only have one health food store that takes coupons, it’s really pooey. My friend that lives in Illinois has this awesome health food store that runs sweet deals on coupons and such, so not fair. Howeva, you do what you can do. I try to buy produce that we’ll eat within a weeks time, otherwise it rots and totally defeats the purpose. I’m enjoying having tomatoes out in the garden, and well, I did enjoy having herbs until the dog dug ’em up. Oh, and my zucchini and cantaloupe, he dug those up too. I have jalapenos, bell pepper, eggplant and tomatoes. A measly feast for the vegetarian in all of us.
    But I digress.
    You rock.

  11. I would love to start using coupons but, as mentioned above, the only ones at my store (Stop & Shop) are for processed, name brand things. It’s all cereals and cookies and tyson chicken nuggets, etc. So I really only get to use one occassionally for the few Gerber baby foods we buy for Ellie still and my Coffeemate creamer, that’s it. I would love to shop at Whole Foods all the time, but that’s SOOOOOOOOOO expensive. So, yeah, I don’t know how to go about it. The bulk of my shopping list (which I plan weekly based upon our dinners/lunches, etc.) – like 95% of it – is produce w/some meat for dinners. The only pantry stuff I may buy is a canned tomato or pasta thing, or a condiment, but that’s it. I love Stop & Shop’s organic line – Nature’s Promise – and like that it’s less expensive but still healthier, so I buy that when I can.

  12. Stacey

    Thanks, La! I will have to use some of your tips, as well as the saving naturally website. I used to do really well at planning a month out, but this past month I’ve been using the meal planning tool in my recipe software. I like it, but I don’t think I do as well when I use it v. the monthly calendar.

  13. How did I miss this cute picture of you and Q? I love it! I do very little planning, this is why I am always broke and starving and end up eating crap!

  14. That is SO inspiring. I really need to get in a better habit of going to the store more regularly. I’m so bad about that!

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