Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why I Don't Coupon

I've been reading some articles lately about women who use grocery/drug store coupons and how much money they save when they shop. I admit, I kinda envy them. They put in the time and effort, and they get the reward of having to pay less money. Good for them.

However, I can't do it. Well, yes, I could do it, but I don't and won't. You see, I'm a cook-from-scratch kind of handmaiden. I always have been. It's only recently that I've even used many canned veggies. If I can afford it, I'd rather buy either fresh or frozen, and wait til the produce is in season. There are some things I use that I don't make from scratch, pasta for instance. I know you can make pasta at home, and it doesn't have to be fancy or require a pasta machine. There's ways of doing all of it by hand, because that's how it was always done in the past. And I will use of cream of whatever soup instead of making the soup from scratch. But mostly, I cook using basic foodstuffs that don't come with a long line of chemicals in the What the Hell IS This Stuff ingredient list.

For the past few years, I've been trying to de-chemicalize our household. Instead of multiple cleaning products, I've switched to using white vinegar for the most part. Occasional use of a pine-sol kind of cleaner is OK, too, but most cleansers are just too strong and chemically-smelling for me. They make me feel ill, so I don't like 'em. Vinegar suits me just fine and does a decent job of cleaning. I tolerate the vinegar smell far more than I can Super-Douper Floor Cleaner that costs six times as much.

I've been trying to de-chemicalize us because I think most of that stuff is why we have so many degenerative diseases. That and all the chemicals in our diet. Going to basics means turning your back on all the synthetic chemical products made by the Beast and sold at high cost.

In the past, I'd sit down with a grocery store circular and look at the coupons. I'd think about couponing and saving money that way, but the truth is, I don't buy fancy processed foods. Oh, a few years ago I might buy a package of frozen Salisbury steaks or something like that. But we'd gotten so used to eating real food that the last time I served it some time ago, my husband said "Oh that wonderful chemical taste!" jokingly, but not really. We could both actually taste the chemically flavor of it. And that was that for processed foods.

On the other hand, I'm not a purist about this. If I find a coupon for real butter I'll clip it and use it. Ditto for flour and other goods used for baking or cooking. As I said, I'll use store-bought pasta rather than make my own and there may be coupons for it. If there's a coupon for meat or fruit or some other REAL food, I'll go for it.

But that's the line in the sand: I don't want to eat chemical-laden not-really-food type food. And that's a huge market in this country where people have forgotten what real food is. High fructose corn syrup isn't food, it's a chemical. (I could be wrong here, I'm not exactly sure what the hell it is, except something I avoid.) Food is the stuff around the edges of the grocery store: veggies and fruit, bread, fish, meat, dairy. Almost everything in the middle aisles of a typical grocery store probably isn't good for you, and shouldn't even be called food. Most of it has been so processed and gobbed up with chemicals that I'd bet my body wouldn't recognize it as food.

We do use canned fruits, vegetables, and meats. And we'll can it or freeze it here at home as well. That's about as far as I want to get with processing. I don't like, respect or trust our food-processing industry. They lie. They make their products look good and even taste good through their use of chemicals. They take actual real ingredients and twist them and fiddle them and turn them into something that cannot provide nutritional value to a human being. But it'll taste good. How weird is that?

I'm not expressing myself very well here. I should probably erase this post because it seems I haven't really gotten to what I want to say. But I'll leave it. The point is, if it ain't real food, made by God, then don't eat it. It doesn't matter if you can get it for free through using coupons, what you've obtained is still crap. Free crap is still crap.



D R Zinn said...

Hear hear! (or is it here here?)

Anyway, I wanted to pop in and mention something very closely related to what you're talking about. It's a big change from what you've heard all your life, but look up "paleolithic diet" or "primal blueprint."

Short version: We evolved without grains and sugars, thus we evolved to function best without grains and sugars.

Seriously, look it up.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. Only coupons I've found were for stuff I wouldn't feed my dog (I don't feed my dog canned or bagged dog-food - its 40% wheat and I've never seen a canine grazing in a wheat field).

Whenever there is a coupon for eggs or butter around here, its only if you buy something else like 2 loaves of processed cardboard bread to get the "free" butter.

$3 off a bottle of brand name aspirin which is $ still too much when you can get twice the generic aspirin for $1.98.

I don't coupon either - I cook from scratch and less and less of my food is coming from the grocery store.

Laurie said...

I think you got your point across very well, and I am in complete agreement. Who cares if you can get your whiz-bang, artificially colored, artificially flavored - non-food for pennies - it's still nasty! What I want to eat they don't usually have coupons for. Once in a while I can get Organic Valley coupons or some juice coupons, but not much else.

chinasyndrome said...

HM,I think you made your point just fine. I got it.


Patricia said...

Hey DR--yes I've heard of the paleo diet and actually we follow it somewhat. I think they're on to something with that line of thinking...thanks.

Anon: I buy generic everything too. It makes no sense to me to pay for some company's advertising...

Laurie and Chinasyndrome: thanks! I'll also go for coupons for the health food stores if it isn't for *their* processed foods. :) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ok, time to give up the chili recipe!!