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20 November 2009

Feeding a family of six on $4 a week [More:]
Didn't see much in the way of vegetables and fruit in there, but maybe they grow those themselves. I thought it was ingenious to buy quarter-pound portions of things in order to get a whole pound free.

We don't have coupons in the UK, so it always intrigues me when I'm in the States (particularly in Ohio) to see how many sheets fall out of the newspapers with pages and pages of coupons.
At a certain point, coupon management starts to resemble working for a living.
posted by Obscure Reference 20 November | 15:08
Really impressive, but yeah, lotta processed food in there. Hope they're gettin' their veg. And what O.R. said.
posted by Specklet 20 November | 18:24
Definitely impressive. BUT doing that you have to buy the coupon stuff. What if you don't like it, or there's another brands you prefer? Getting stuff for damn near free is cool, but there are limitations.
posted by deborah 20 November | 19:09
It's her full time job - has to be; I don't buy that a couple hours a week thing, no way - and they don't eat anything fresh. Did you see that cabinet? Spooky. I tried the whole coupon thing years ago - it's great if you really don't care WHAT you eat. If you do, then not so much. She's buying stuff just to have it: look, this candle is free! It's worthless and just takes up space; who cares if it's free?
posted by mygothlaundry 20 November | 19:34
This is a classic exchange of time for money. If you have the hours per day to run through coupons and organize them, then great. But you know what, if she had a $15/hr job and worked part time, the groceries are still free.
posted by plinth 20 November | 20:24
Yeah, there's no coupons for produce. Ever. Which means she's feeding her family of six mostly processed food for $4 a week. Over $250 of food for a penny? Most of that stuff's coming out of bags, cans, boxes or tubs, which means shitloads of fat, salt, sugar, MSG and preservatives.

So yay for cheap food, and I can't say I exactly blame her, but on the other hand, food is important. It's worth it to me to pay more money to serve my children fresh food that's five times healthier and ten times more delicious and say screw it to the truly frivolous stuff. There's a reason that obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other food-related illnesses are an epidemic in the US.
posted by middleclasstool 21 November | 00:59
I agree. I'm cheap and broke-ass, and yet I believe that people should eat *food* that's made from ingredients (like meat, vegetables, and grains). Every week I go through the coupons, and though the deals are impressive, there's almost nothing in the coupons that I ever buy. Coupons are to promote brands, and branded food is processed food.

The only time of year I can make much use of coupons happens right about now. Just before the holidays, you start to find coupons for baking ingredients for holiday baking - so you can stock up on flour, sugar, nuts, chocolate morsels, butter, and stuff like that. The rest of the year, it's all packaged prepared biscuits, heat-and-eat entrees, and other stuff like that - what Michael Pollan calls "edible foodlike substances."
posted by Miko 21 November | 01:07
Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, Conan O'Brien, and Andy Richter || In which I confess my fetish...