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Rowena Finn

I love this post because it makes me feel like I'm a perfectly normal human. Thank you!


Totally understand the coupon craziness and I no longer really try to cut coupons unless they are what we prefer. I also am brand specific and try to build our dinner menus around weekly sales at the grocery store. Thanks Carmen. I think you do a great job...you can come and cook at our house any time!!!


I used to use an online planning service and match coupons to sales. It took a few hours every weekend. I enjoyed it as a game but it didn't save me a ton in the long run because most of the things I got free or for pennies were not the best things for my family. My newest self mantra is "people before things" and I use that time to visit my elderly father each week instead.


I wish I could cook/love to cook from scratch. I waste so much money on convenience crap and it's totally unhealthy. I think you are doing pretty well, all things considered.


As a family of exactly one (well, and two cats, who require ridiculously expensive prescription food), I have the opposite problem. I'd love to buy bread, but it's almost impossible for me to finish a loaf before it goes moldy. I buy the sketchy ultra pasteurized milk because it's the only chance I have of keeping a decent quantity around for recipes but also finishing it before it goes bad. I try to get some variety with veggies and fruit, but I'm sure I drive the checkout person crazy with my one broccoli crown and three tomatoes.

Looking at the USDA site, I see that I'm usually on the moderate or liberal plan, which makes me feel guilty. I don't eat much meat or really fancy cheeses or anything like that, and I mostly shop at Kroger or Target, so I'm not sure how I could cut back without substituting junk for nutrients. I'm sure you have your tricks for getting inexpensive gas, but we have a couple of Kroger gas stations in my town, and the fuel points are awesome.


You might like the Ibotta app. You just have to scan the barcode of items you bought that are featured, and you get a rebate. You pick which rebates you want to use. Sometimes there are rebates for a gallon of milk, eggs, fruit, veges. There's also a lot of rebates for common stuff. Then you can cash out every $20. I've gotten $98 back so far this year.

Another similar one is Checkout 51. But it doesn't have as many items available for rebates. It has a great rebate for Venus razor refills- was $4 for every multipack you bought. It might be $2 now. We all know how fast you go through those with a lot of girls.

I also do Walmart savings catcher. The only bummer is in our area (someone told me it's not like this everywhere), they discontinued matching produce prices. That used to save me the most money. So I still save some, but not as much as I used to.

The last thing I do--if you have a Kroger near you, they have a great app to use for all their coupons. It automatically applies any coupon to your order, if you have downloaded it in the app. They send me "best customer bonus" coupons all.the.time. We probably spend 4X the amount of a "normal" family! :)

Good luck! Sounds like you are doing the best you can!

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as Social Media Programs Manager for SheKnows, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a dual minor in BS studies and avoiding laundry.