I don’t use a ton of coupons because I buy a lot of generic food items. If the coupon makes the brand name item a better deal I’ll use it, but more often than not I wind up leaving the coupon on the shelf for someone else to use.
I try lots of generic brands. I’ve got nothing to lose, as most grocery stores want you to buy their more profitable store brands so badly they offer a money back guarantee. If we try something and don’t like it we can return it for a refund. Much to Husband’s chagrin (“You can’t return that! We ate some!”) I do indeed return generics that don’t taste good, like WalMart’s Crystal Light Iced Tea knockoff (which, according to Husband “tastes like ass!”).
Many times, though, the generic tastes as good or better than the name brand. One such example of this is raisins. WalMart’s Great Value raisins are, in my opinion, better than the more expensive SunMaid. And lots cheaper.
There are exceptions to this, of course. There are certain foods where only the name brand will do. Diet Coke and Hellman’s Light Mayonnaise are two exceptions. No generic I’ve tried has ever come close to tasting as good. So my plan is to buy them on sale, and use coupons whenever I can.
Diet Coke is easy to find on sale. In any given week it’s either Pepsi or Coke are featured in the circulars, so I can stock up easily, though coupons are rare.
Hellman’s isn’t quite so easy. Publix runs Buy 1 Get 1 mayonnaise sales occasionally, and I always buy 4 jars to make sure we never run out. Coupons usually appear somewhere along the way between stock-ups, so I can often use 1-2 to get an even better deal. I refuse to pay $4.46 for a jar of mayonnaise!
Well, at least I refused until today. We have (gasp!) run out of mayonnaise. An unthinkable sin in my house. Publix did the BOGO sale a few weeks ago, but I was dealing with everything at my Dad’s house and never made it to the store that week.
I was in Publix yesterday and just could not spend the $4.46. I thought they’d have it at Costco (my next stop), where I hoped to at least get the bulk discount. Much to my chagrin Costco doesn’t carry Hellman’s Light. Which left us mayonnaise-less.
So today I went to a grocery store near son’s school I don’t normally patronize. I hoped their price would be better. It wasn’t. But they did have a great sale on Crystal Light Iced Tea and the shampoo I use. As I was sitting in line waiting to check out I decided it was time to try to make my own mayonnaise. After all, it’s only eggs, oil and lemon juice, right? I can make it for under $1!!! So I paid the $4.46 today, weeping all the while (okay, not really, but in my soul), and vowed to learn how to make my own.
Turns out it’s a little more complicated than that – or a lot more, depending on the recipe. So, here are a few links to homemade mayonnaise and mayonnaise substitutes. Click on one and join me, or post your favorite recipe in comments!
$4.46 for a jar of mayonnaise? Not again.