Monday, August 30, 2010

Bargain Hunter's Dilemma

This week, Shaws is having a neat deal on General Mills products. When you buy any 10 of the products on the back page you get $5 instantly off of your order and 50 bonus Box Tops for Education (Slickdeals has everything you need to know about this deal).

The bargain hunter in me was excited. Cheap food is right up my alley. But then I looked at what products are being offered and I got some mixed feelings.

The awesome deals are for things that I don't buy for my family. Bisquick would be free after coupons and the instant savings and cake mix and frosting would be super cheap after coupons and instant savings ($2.50 for five cans of frosting and 5 cake mixes) but I make these things from scratch. I have some coupons for them so my temptation to buy them is high- who wants to miss out on a hot deal? Hamburger Helper would be uber cheap too after a .75 printable coupon (.50 for 10 boxes) but I haven't bought that stuff for years because I just don't think it is healthy enough to feed my family- besides, making homemade American chop suey with some ground beef, pasta (my huge stockpile of Smart Taste) and canned diced tomatoes takes no time at all and is much healthier.

The things that I do buy are not that great of a deal- Cheerios would end up being $1.15 a box for the 8.9 oz. box after using $2/5 and $1.50/3 catalinas that I have, Old El Paso Dinner Kits would be $2.00 a box (I have a ton of the seasoning packets in my stockpile and buying just the shells is way cheaper than getting the whole kit) and the Go Gurt would end up being $1.25 each after a .75/2 printable coupon (I have enough Go Gurt to last awhile from a deal a Stop and Shop last week).

The only thing that I could possibly get is the Progresso Soup- after the instant savings and .50/2 printable coupons it would end up being $5 for 10 cans and I would get a $3 Catalina for purchasing 8 cans. I usually eat canned soup for lunch because it is quick and easy to make but I still have about 10 cans from a Shaws Catalina deal awhile ago.

Being frugal seems to go hand in hand with buying unhealthy and convenience foods but it really doesn't have to. I get tempted to buy junky food when there is a great deal (and sometimes I do buy junky food because everyone needs a treat and some of the foods taste so darn good!) but there always needs to be a balance (I also have an issue that if it is in the house I will eat it- I admittedly have no self control when it comes to eating salty, sugary, processed food). The bargain hunter in me wants to buy the super cheap Hamburger Helper because it is super cheap even though I don't want my family to eat it- is this how people start off hoarding (buying things they will never use because they are cheap)?

Disclaimer: I am not a health nut and do not feed my family a 100% organic, vegan, low fat, high fiber, cholesterol free, fat free, sugar free diet. I do the best I can to give them the healthiest foods we can afford but also give them quick and easy options when I am just too darn tired to care (which sometimes feels like everyday). I in no way judge anyone for doing things diffently than me because God only knows that I can be the queen of cutting corners and finding the easy way out.


  1. I buy the cake mix and frosting to keep on hand to bring to cookouts, parties, etc...Veggies frozen and canned are a great deal! The bisquick in deals like this is always cheaper for me then making from scratch. I think if your not gonna use it DONT buy it I fell into that and now I have sooo much extras :)

  2. The reason I was even thinking about this was because I just had to throw away a bunch of Progresso Bread Crumbs that I got from a Shaws Cat Deal awhile ago. I bought them becuase they were really cheap/free but the thing is, I don't use bread crumbs that much- especially 10 containers of them. I should have donated more than I initially did but I always get scared that if I give too many things away I'll run out and have to pay full price.

    I think I might just buy 10 boxes of Hamburger Helper for .50 and donate it so I can get in on the deal and get it out of my system. My husband thinks I'm crazy and after reading what I just wrote he may be right!