Planning a specific meal, I have learned, is very difficult with coupons. I’m making jambalaya for my friends tomorrow night
with shrimp I got on sale last month that is in my freezer. Buying the pantry ingredients was easy, as I had coupons for those already from places like save.ca and coupons taken from the inside of rice boxes (a lot of products offer coupons inside the boxes of their products to encourage you to buy more, so look for those). The peppers I got in a salad on coupon from one of my late-night shopping trips this weekend. The spices I already have (I know, a little cheating, but I’m not going to go out and buy more of spices I already have as that would be wasteful). My brother is donating the chicken to the cause in the agreement that he gets the leftovers for his lunch. But the sausage has been the most difficult part. I searched forever online for a coupon and was so happy to have finally found a coupon for $1 off Johnsonville Italian Sausage from their website. But alas my one friend doesn’t eat pork! And the only ones on sale are the pork sausages. I couldn’t find any other sausage coupons that were valid in Canada. I think this jambalaya will have to go without.
Searching online for coupons is a good way to find specific items, but I found is not always successful. I’m concerned about how my coupons are influencing my choices of what brands and products I am buying. It seems easier for me to choose the products that I have coupons for and make a menu out of that, than work the other way around like I did with the jambalaya. Even when I’m trying to choose a place to go out and meet friends for dinner, I am influenced to go to certain establishments because they have coupons online, I’ve gotten them from flyers in the mail (more for takeout places), or I’ve found them in my Entertainment book. I’m seeing more and more the marketing potential of coupons and how brand name companies put them out to influence potential buyers to buy their product over another. I imagine the people who most use coupons are the same people who buy the groceries for their whole family and therefore it is not just marketing potential to one person, but to several with each coupon. I’m definitely going to have to examine this idea more.