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August 29, 2016
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Not-So-Extreme Couponing

I tend not to be as fascinated as many are by those folk who spend an entire work week's worth of time trying to get their groceries for free (or nearly free). The bottom line is, I don't have kids, I don't have pets, and most of the things for which I find coupons are either things I can't use, don't use, or don't need. The food items are almost always in those "center aisles" of the supermarket we, as people with diabetes, are cautioned to Avoid Like The Plague, and many have so much sodium that you'd think they included the entire "corpus" of Lot's wife (after she had been "turned into a pillar of salt"). That said, I do use coupons when I shop when it's for something I need, at a store I can get to, it will bring the price down below that of the store's competitors, and the product won't spoil before I've had the chance to use it.


My preferred method of shopping is "pre-shopping" by going online and searching for the ads and specials from my neighborhood supermarkets (from which I have about a half-dozen to choose) and comparing them against my lists of staples and "what I need, now". I don't have the room, the money, the means of defense, or the means of transportation to be a "prepper" nor do I have the room to store spares of high-volume, low-use staples. For example, we rarely have more than three packages of whole-wheat pasta one of them started in the apartment, and anything larger than a five-pound bag of onions (which I use almost every day) can go bad on me if I'm not making soup, stew, or chili that week.


That said, sometimes it's cheaper overall to purchase larger amounts than smaller ones. If I need two pounds of potatoes for Shepherd's Pie, it's cheaper for me to buy a five-pound bag at $1.29 than two pounds of loose potatoes at $.69 a pound. If the remaining three pounds of potatoes go bad on me, I'll still have saved nineteen cents. If I choose to use the rest of the potatoes with a roast, meat loaf, or stew, I've come out ahead of the game.


This doesn't mean I don't cook ahead or plan ahead. I make stews and chilis in batches that can be frozen as individual servings the homemade version of "TV dinners", if you will. When family-sized roasts and London broils go on sale, I'll make one up, slice up the whole thing, and freeze some in individual serving sizes so The Other Half can take it for lunch. Sometimes I'll slice up the meat before cooking, add in a small amount of soy-and-five-spice marinade, and freeze it so I have pre-marinated meat for stir-fry...and sometimes some the rest of those potatoes will join some of that pre-cooked roast beef to make homemade hash.


For those of us who use coupons, there is a way we can support dLife by couponing. It's called "Common Kindness", and it's a web site that features coupons whose manufacturers (and stores) pay to advertise on the site. The revenue from the coupons you clip goes to charities you specify. Two of the charities listed are the dLife Foundation and the Diabetes Research Institute. Please consider joining the site, following @CommonKindness on Twitter, and supporting dLife, DRI, and/or other organizations of your choosing.

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