I price match. I coupon too. It’s a commitment, takes an hour to two hours a week, but I think it’s worth it. I estimate that I take $25 to $35 off of my grocery bill every time I shop. It would be even more if they doubled coupons around here, but so far no luck.
I don’t want you to confuse me with those extreme couponers you see on TV. That’s not me. No chance of me dumpster diving even if you gave me the whole store for free. I don’t get 55 copies of the Sunday paper nor do I consider it an enjoyable evening to cut the same thing over and over and over again. I’ve never spent 8 hours in a grocery store. In fact once I hit the hour mark I start to panic, after an hour and a half I’d probably break out in hives. You won’t catch me buying 176 bottles of mayonnaise and storing them in my kids’ shower. No wack-a-doodle stuff, but if I can get what I need and spend less, I feel a sense of accomplishment.
I think I’ve always been this way. I remember one time, quite a few years ago, I found a pair of Joseph jeans at Marshalls for $10. I bought them, of course. I remember wearing them to go apple picking with my family and 2 other families. We had a great time apple picking, then sat and had some apple cider and caramel apples. I didn’t have anything to eat or drink, just stood by my friends and family. I had to lay the car seat all the way back for the ride home as I had for the ride there. The Joseph jeans were a size 25 waist, I could neither eat nor sit in them, but d*mn (darn) they looked good, and they were only $10.
I think you all know by now that I bake to relieve stress. The truth of the matter is, though, that I do save a lot of money on snacks by baking. Especially given the accelerated rate at which my kids and their friends seem to be increasing their eating. I price match my flour, sugar, butter and eggs. I buy local and in-season when I can, so I don’t pay what has in the past 6 months become an absurd price for my ingredients.
Mixed Berry Pie
There are things that are out of bounds when it comes to saving, though. Well, yeah, the refusal to store 176 bottles of mayonnaise in the shower thing, but it’s more than that. Quality matters. Not that I didn’t already know this, but I learned it again when I tried to buy some of those “no name” items. Some are just as good as the brand name, and some have gone straight into the trash. Equally important, the boys only wear a certain brand of socks (skateboarding), shoes (skateboarding), shirts (skateboarding), and I wouldn’t have it any other way. What they like matters.
Then there are the things that are just out of your hands. Prices we pay that have nothing to do with money. Each new instance, new issue, new experience has a price. There seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of energy I expend in anticipation of any given circumstance (first day of school, grades, driver’s license, etc.), and the ease of the actual event. Something like this:
When it comes to kids and stress you can pay up front or on the back end, but pay you will. Full price. And I keep looking, but I just can’t seem to find a coupon for that.
Mixed Berry Pie
1 pair Pie crusts (my Mom makes the best from scratch, but I use boxed. Shhh, don’t tell)
1 Tbsp flour
6 cups mixed berries (my favorite is strawberries and blueberries)
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Splash of lemon juice
*Spread 1 Tbsp flour over the bottom crust. Turn it upside down (flour on bottom) into a 9 inch pie plate. I do this with all fruit pies, it helps the bottom crust not to stick to the pie plate.
*Mix the rest of the ingredients (except 1 Tbsp of sugar) gently together.
*Put into bottom crust, top with top crust and seal well. Lightly moisten top with a little water and sprinkle with the 1 Tbsp sugar. Cut 4 small slits in the top crust.
*Fully line the bottom rack of the oven with tin foil or you’ll be sorry. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
*Put the top oven rack so it’s about 2/3 of the way down in the oven.
*Bake for about an hour or until bubbly and browned. Start checking half way through to be sure the edges aren’t burning. I put a pie shield on half way through to protect the edges.