If you know me at all, you know I've been on a quest to save money since January of this year. As I state on my money-saving blog, every dollar NOT spent on ordinary things like food and household products is a dollar that can be saved or spent on something more interesting! I still believe that.
Before I go on, I want to make sure anyone reading this doesn't think I'm anti-coupons or anti-saving money. That's not the case at all. Nor do I seek to persuade anyone to think the same thoughts I've been thinking. I'm simply sharing them. I'm open to feedback, too!
Anyway, since January, I've been *almost* obsessed with finding new ways to save money. It was fun, a challenge, and a rewarding endeavor. Much of the money-saving process involves using coupons to one's greatest advantage, and it works wonderfully. It takes a lot of time to figure everything out, but the savings are amazing!
Then, in July, we were on vacation in California for 2 weeks. Two weeks without grocery shopping, clipping coupons or scouring ads. I kind of missed it, but also felt rather, well, FREE! Before that time, my mind was always working, always planning, always looking for the best deal. Nothing wrong with that, but I needed a rest! lol
So, as I rested my weary mind (ha ha), there was room for other thoughts to start growing in there. :) I'm not even sure what started it, but it began to dawn on me just what those coupons are buying/selling. This is not true of ALL coupons, but I think it's safe to say it applies to a majority. Many of the available coupons are for food products that contain harmful chemicals or no nutrition, or for cleaning/household products that also contain harmful chemicals. Is that really what I want to be spending my money on, even if it is inexpensive? Is that what I want to bring home to my family, even if I get it free?
But then that leads me to the question of whom to trust. I mean, the government of my country deems those chemicals to be perfectly fine to ingest. But, at this point, I don't trust the choices/decisions/declarations of almost everything pertaining to the government, so why stand back and just assume they're telling the truth about nutrition? On the other hand, how do I know all the talk about harmful chemicals and the need for organics is true either, or just something that has been blown out of proportion? I'm not an expert on any of it, so I have to rely on reputable resources, but how do I know who is truly knowledgeable?
If I'm left to my own devices, my "intuition" tells me that it's probably not the worst thing on earth to eat "junk" once in awhile, but that many of the chemicals we find on or in our food were not put there by God and, therefore, may truly be harmful. I've been careful about reading labels for awhile, but I'm fairly convinced we need to weed out even more of the unnatural stuff. I don't even like to buy "low-fat" or "non-fat" versions of products because, in many cases, they take out the natural fat and put weird stuff in. I've come to the conclusion, at least for my family, that these things should be enjoyed in moderation the way God made them, or not at all. And cleaning products--some of them smell really good, but what exactly are we inhaling into our lungs when we enjoy the "fresh" fragrance? I don't know--it's a little scary.
I guess it boils down to this: I don't want to buy junk--food that has little or no nutrition or has a list of ingredients I know nothing about--just because I can get a good deal on it.
Let me tell you what this doesn't mean:
- It doesn't mean I won't be using coupons anymore--just fewer.
- It doesn't mean I don't ever buy food with weird stuff in it--just less.
- It doesn't mean I think you have to do the same. You might not feel the same "conviction" about this subject that I do. No problem. I don't make judgments about people based on what's in their grocery cart. In fact, come to think of it, when I run into people at the store, I'm focused on the people themselves and I don't really even think to look in their carts. Who cares?
- It doesn't mean everything I buy will be organic. It is often SO much more expensive. I'm just doing my best.