Thursday, April 7, 2011

thrifty, cheap, frugal, call it what you want

Some people think I'm a little obsessed when it comes to flyers, meal plans and lists.  Ummm, anyone watch Extreme Couponing on TLC last night?  Now, that's insane!!  I only wish we could get coupons and deals like that here.  For those of you who missed it, one family got over $1800 worth of groceries for around $100!!!The coupons available in Canada don't seem to compare to those in the States.

We have been a single income family of five for over a year now.  We've been able to do this because we watch what we spend, including groceries.  I actually enjoy a good deal and take great satisfaction in knowing I've saved us some money. 

I take pleasure in going through all the flyers and making lists of what's on sale.  From there I determine what we're going to eat for the week.  Some people have asked how can I know what we feel like eating on any given day.  The answer is simple. We can't afford the luxury to not. 

If we bought our groceries daily based on what we wanted to eat on a whim we would end up spending more.  More time in the grocery store, more waste, more money...  and we'd eat out a lot more!  We don't have time to waste in the evening trying to figure out what's for dinner.  My brain turns to mush around that time, nevermind trying to plan a meal with kids going crazy! That does not appeal in the least!!

I don't like having to pay full price for things, especially things that go on sale regularly.  Meat is the perfect example.  We don't buy meat unless it's on sale.  When it is, we buy in bulk and freeze it in individual packages.  Therefore meals need to be planned so, if it's necessary, the meat has a chance to defrost.

The challenge I'm feeling lately has more to do with our choice to try and buy more local foods and eat healthier.  We do very little shopping in the middle of the grocery store, shopping the outer edges for fresh fruits, veggies, dairy and meat. We're trying to eliminate most of the pre-packaged processed crap.  We're trying not to buy anything
  • where some form of sugar is listed in the first three ingredients or
  • with ingredients you can't pronouce or
  • made with ingredients you don't have in your own cupboard. 
It's tough.

In our attempt to eat more local foods we would like to visit some farmers markets this summer.  However, last summer we found that often the prices at the farmers markets were quite high.  Unless you're buying a very large quantity of produce, there weren't any deals to be had.  Therefore we're in the process of planning our own vegetable garden.  We're also looking into a local program that runs from May through Sepember, that will provide you with a weekly box of local produce delivered to your door.  I digress.

I regularly check coupon websites like websaverbrandsaver and gocoupons.  These websites allow you to select the coupons that you can use and want and then mail them to your house.  I've signed also up for all kinds of savings websites like Groupon, Bargain Moose, and Wagjag.  I find you have to be careful because sometimes these websites almost entice you into spending when you wouldn't normally... because the deal might be to good to pass up.  You know what I mean?


  1. Hi Tan'
    Just want to mention that your skills in shopping ie: coupons/spotting a bargain and the enjoyment you achieve is most definetly genetic. I expect it started long before Nana Elizabeth, but she would be my influence followed with a strong second by Auntie Joy.....who in her prime could smell a bargain a mile away!!!
    The newer generation is certainly challenged by the pressures to "eat healthy" which is most definetly more $$$, but with your gene pool stemming from the frugal (they wouldn't mind that reference)I have confidence you will manage just fine!!
    Keep up the Great work and good luck with the garden!!

  2. I call it guys are amazing!
    You have the property to have an amazing vegetable garden & great weather!

    My parents have a vegetable garden even with crappy NL weather. They manage to grow enough of the stables potatoes, carrots, parsnip, turnip, and cabbage to last all winter. We eat fresh spinach almost all summer & lettuce. She grows cucumbers & beets and makes her own pickles, relish and bottled beets..yummy. Last year she grew pumpkins..she had so many (even with the bear carrying some off and the moose walking on some, lol) she tried a pumpkin pickle recipe..they taste amazing..who knew..pumpkin pickles! She also grows yellow & green beans every year and she bottles them in the fall, they taste of all she makes enough for us : )
    I tried gardening last summer..I get tomatoes & peppers out of the green house and the spinach was lettuce not so much. I planted my beans late and they got destroyed by Hurricane Igor...hoping for a better garden this year. (I also blame poor planning on my part so I've started planning now..I'll put things in the green house come mid-May but won't plant outside stuff until after Father's Day in June. (short NL growing season) I can start spinach now..they like it cold and wet..perfect for NL climate! xoxo Terri