Welcome to Allergy Free & Cheap Like Me!

gluten, dairy, egg & soy free

I’m so happy you are here! I hope to create a place for you to find lots of information about food allergies, as well as, lots of goodies to help you not only eat better, but more affordably! Please feel free to share all of your own tips, tricks, and recipes too! Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again very soon! You can read more about my allergy story here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Healthy Crumbs Week: Cheap Tip Tuesday: Coupons!

Healthy Crumb: Cheap Tip Tuesday

My Cheap Tip Tuesday this month is all about couponing. Many people hate using coupons, and I completely understand. The world of couponing can be overwhelming at first. Most people think it takes too much time to find them, cut them all out, organize them, and then remember to use them at the store before they expire. I get that and honestly some of the time I completely agree. But when I see all the savings coupons can bring it reminds me how much it really is worth it. Especially when the money saved by using coupons can be used for something fun like family vacations and trips. 
The two things to remember about couponing are to buy low and stock up. Pretty simple. You want to buy at the lowest price possible for the products you need. Once they reach rock bottom price, you simply stock up to last until the next sale! Add a coupon to the mix and it gets even cheaper!
My first tip is to start off slow. A lot of people want to dive right in, but end up getting burnt out quickly because they spend way too much time at it in the beginning. You don't need to find and get every deal every week. Start of by just seeing if you can find coupons for the items you already buy on a regular basis. Then you can gradually dive in further.
Where do you find coupons? Check out manufacturer websites, the weekly Sunday papers, websites of your favorite stores, coupon codes online for online stores, and coupon websites such as, coupon cabin, mambo sprouts, smart source, and red plum for coupons. 
The next step after actually finding the coupons on products you use regularly is to know when to use them. This requires you to know your prices. This is key to getting the best deal possible. Start out by paying close attention to the prices at your local grocery stores for a few weeks on the top items your family buys, everything from cereal to pasta, and try to get a general idea of when prices are at their lowest. This will help you save whether you are couponing or not. You might be surprised at how much prices fluctuate. And always remember just because it is "on-sale" doesn't mean it is at it's cheapest. For example last week at Fred Meyer I noticed Freschetta Pizza was on sale for $4.99. This week Freschetta Pizza is also on sale but for $7.99. Both weeks it was advertised as a sale but obviously one week the sale was much better. When you see something you use regularly hit its lowest price, buy a little extra to get you through to the next sale, most likely every 4 weeks or so.

My second tip is just because you have a coupon, it doesn't mean you have to use it. Don't buy something you never buy just because there is a coupon for it, that is not saving money, it's spending extra money. Only buy things you need and use. I see so many people stocking up on a product they never use, because they have a coupon, and end up with 50 boxes that sit on the pantry shelf and expire. That is a waste of both money and food. Yes, it may be a good deal, but it doesn't mean it is a good deal for you. Know what you eat and the quantity you eat, there is no use for a product to go to waste because you couldn't eat it before it expired.

Here are a few allergen free product coupons to help get you started couponing!
Manufacturer coupons from their websites:
Mambo Sprouts has coupons on all kinds of natural products you can download and print out to use at any store, they change regularly so check back often!
Also check out the Whole Foods websites for coupons if you shop there, they change regularly and can save you money when shopping at Whole Foods!
For more tips on how to save money on an allergen free diet check out my earlier Cheap Tip Tuesday blogpost; Saving on the Cost of an Allergen Free Diet!

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