If you’ve ever tried couponing, you realize that much of the stuff you buy with coupons (or get FREE or REALLY CHEAP with coupons) is unhealthy.  It’s hard to try to balance meals if that’s all you buy – the junk.  But, couponing doesn’t mean always eating unhealthy foods.  And stockpiling isn’t selfish or hoarding.  It’s actually smart, and even generous!

Have you ever thought that we may be using the money we saved to buy healthier options for our families, and spread out the “junk” over months into a healthy “in moderation” meal plan?

Don’t always assume that we “crazy couponers” are gorging ourselves on toaster pastries with icing and pasta with meatballs EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  We’re not!  We often use our savings to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, or healthier options for our family, which we can’t normally buy with coupons.  And we spread out the unhealthy options sparingly between our more balanced meals.

Last week, I got these 8 items for only $1.80 by combining sale prices and double manufacturer coupons at Lowes Foods (including a $3.00 coupon I also used).  But don’t worry, my children will NOT be having Toaster Strudels for breakfast every morning.  These will be a special treat every once in a while (spaced out very far in between with our regular breakfasts of cereal, oatmeal, grits, or eggs).  And, the meatballs will probably go with spaghetti (and salad), about every other week or so.  These bags of meatballs will last us for quite some time.

Stockpiling can be criticized by those who don’t coupon.  Some folks may say, “Why buy four boxes of Toaster Strudels and four bags of meatballs? What selfishness or hoarding behavior!”  But we do eat this stuff.  I make sure that the things I buy won’t expire before our family eats them.  Or we share it with friends or the food pantry.  Most couponers are conscientious about making smart buying decisions, not wasting or hoarding.

So please don’t look at a couponer’s cart in the grocery store and judge us.  We are feeding our families the best way we can, and it’s not always how you may think.  Our families probably eat VERY well, and for much less than most other families do!  We’re probably looking at your carts and thinking, “Wow, she just paid $11 for toilet paper.  If only she’d learn how to coupon she could have gotten her toilet paper for $4 and bought a couple pounds of extra lean ground beef…” 

When was the last time you could say that you fed your family of five a balanced dinner for less than $5, every night that week?