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Ody's Country Meats

The Working Mom - 8/29/11


Fri, Aug 26th, 2011
Posted in Columnists

We All Need a Little Hope Sometimes

We all need a little hope sometimes. Especially when monthly bills seem to cost more these days, the packaging on the food we buy is getting smaller for the same or higher cost, and the average cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is now around $227,000. Expenses for child care, education, transportation and health services represent the biggest increases in child-rearing costs-but, hey, who wants to cut corners and start shopping around to find a cheap daycare? Hmmm...that doesn't even sound good. When my son was around 6-years-old, I remember a shopping day with him when he called me "cheap" because I bought the items that were on sale or the off-brand when possible. His words stung a bit back then, but have since become a characteristic that I am proud to have. When I took on the challenge to try to save money on grocery shopping, I didn't think I could do much better on my savings because, as my son puts it, I am already "cheap." BUT...it was a huge surprise to me how much money I could save by simply using coupons. My friendly grocer, Tim, in Preston started saving leftover coupons from the papers for me and I was off and running. After watching extreme couponers on TV, I promised myself to buy only those items our family can use---just because it is a good deal does not mean that you have the refrigerator or freezer storage to house it, or the product might expire before we are able to use it. My son even got with the program and spent a night sorting through the coupons and claiming a stash of them---i.e., ice cream, cereal, yogurt, and pizza. When we went shopping, I kept him busy looking for his stash of treasured coupons, but did refuse to spend over $7.00 on a frozen breakfast product he liked just because we had a 35 cent coupon---seriously! My words of advice to you...if you are thinking of trying couponing, Go For It! My best savings have been on everyday items such as deodorant, soap, body wash, salad dressing, mayo, seasonings, and much more. Just know that you will be spending time clipping coupons, searching online for store coupons, and matching up your coupons with the sales flyers to save the most money. My inside tip is to check out the website www.krazycouponlady.com, which checks some of the major stores for you and tells you what coupon to use to get the best price. And, even though many people are sold on shopping at the super store for groceries, you will find many great deals when you shop locally for groceries and even better deals when using coupons. Even though I still keep the hope of winning the lottery one day, I know I am keeping $$ in my pocket each time I clip a coupon. Good luck!

We deep-fried these sweet sausage appetizers at the campground, or bake them in the oven if you are at home----dip in your favorite sauce if you like. Make sure to use the Panko brand crumbs, which are my new favorite thing---they are also a GREAT coating on baked fish fillets.

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