Old Habits Die Hard

I could have cried.

Right there. In the aisle at the grocery store.

I hate cereal. I do not at all feel breakfast cereal is in anyway a viable option. I hate its extensive list of artificially fortified and genetically modified ingredients. I hate its misrepresented serving size table that makes you think you’re ONLY eating 8g of sugar & 120 calories in a giant bowl, when in reality, nobody ever truly eats JUST 3/4 of a cup of cereal. I hate the excessive packaging and money pumped into marketing cartoon characters with catchy phrases that make a kid associate someone or something with the brand, making it that much more personally desirable to them. Who can ever say no to a cukoo bird, a white rabbit or a leprechaun with sharing issues peddling cardboard-tasting sugar-crack?

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But what about when it’s free?

I’m a self-proclaimed, semi-retired, not-too-extreme couponer.

I never got $300 worth of groceries for $50, but I wasn’t shabby either. That is, I wasn’t too shabby until I started adding more real food to our diets & supporting local Washington farmers & artisans. I’m not complaining! Not at all. Nothing in any packaging or box on a shelf could compare to the taste of grass-fed beef or an apple picked fresh from the tree the night before delivery. But that stuff does come with a cost much less immediately tangible than that of the things that are able to be gotten cheap, half off or even free, like the items pictured above.

Despite my better judgment, I opened the newspaper & found a rebate form to get all the above items (minus the Carnation Breakfast Essentials which were free a few weeks ago with coupon) FREE after rebate. And against my better judgment, here I was, in the cereal aisle, at my wits end from not being able to understand why I was buying food I don’t believe in & cringed at the thought of feeding to my children.

Even worse, what should I come across?

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All I can keep hearing every time I remotely think about buying something processed, something packaged in plastic, something shipped from Ohio or even worse CHINA is clichés.

“If you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

“Nothing in life is free. Someone pays the price for it eventually.”

“Companies don’t send you coupons because they care to save you money. They send you coupons hoping to get you hooked, so you continue to buy when it’s NOT free!”

I remember when I started couponing. It was February 2011. Here we are, March 2013 & it’s like my brain has been completely programmed to the normal American attitude. We want it cheap & we want validation for who we are as a person based on what we have & how much we paid for it… whether that’s the end of the spectrum of multi-million dollar mansions or a $1.29 2liter of soda pop.

Now for the next two years, I’ll be UNprogramming my brain away from that mindset that cheap is good, expensive is bad (not that expensive is particularly good either since it goes hand-in-hand with the “keeping up with the Joneses” consumer culture too). Back to the basics of “you get what you pay for”… But what can I say? Digging our way out of debt & saving for our farm….have got me singing “Worst Pies in London”

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Times is hard. Times is haaaaaaaard”

And when times is hard… Sometimes… you got to eat the free cereal.

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About Danielle

just living the american dream, searching for happiness and success whatever that truly means.

Posted on March 18, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I can totally understand- baby steps! Besides, at least it isn’t colored-sugar o’s, there are a few redemptive qualities in Cheerios and Fiber One :). I tell myself that at least I’m not eating cereal and frozen meals three times a day, every day. So if I indulge for a meal or two now and then- I’ll still ahead of the curve! 🙂

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