I admit it.
I buy my kids junk food.
But Clean Couponing is all about being frugal with more than money!
How can a parent be concerned about issues like health and ingredients while admitting to buying junk food?
Here’s how: In a perfect world I would have enough space for not just an organic garden but a mini-farm in my own backyard, where I’d produce enough food for everything I needed in the kitchen. I’d have time to cook absolutely every meal and snack from scratch for my family. Plus, my kids would have no outside influences tempting them to try greasy, sugary, fattening, processed foods. That’s not the world we live in, is it?
I do grow organic vegetables in our garden. I do cook from scratch as much as possible. I also need time-saving methods. I also spend time shuttling kids to various activities. I also give in to their requests for “fun” food.
Where Clean Couponing comes in is that it can help me strategically stock up on the kinds of “fun” meal and snack foods my kids want to eat, while giving me the chance to play defense with the ingredients. I’m using the term “junk food” loosely, meaning no offense to any particular food or food maker.
At some point, the kids will beg for chocolate cookies, and if I’ve checked ahead of time for the cookies without the trans fats and genetically modified ingredients, I’ve accomplished something. They will want ice cream or candy or gum, so I can choose from the few brands that don’t use coal-tar derived food dyes and suspicious preservatives or fillers.
My kids know I scrutinize ingredients and practice Clean Couponing because I love them. They also know I find creative ways to let them enjoy “junk food” because I love them, too. If I stock up ahead of time, watch for sales, check out brand coupons online, it helps me provide these more wholesome versions of fun or junk foods, which is harder to do at the last minute. If we really get in a rush, if I’m behind on meal preparation, and if I haven’t stocked up on better “junk” foods, those are the few times when we get into a downward fast food spiral, and that can really wreck a family nutrition plan.
Perhaps the biggest pitfall in stocking up on healthier “junk” foods is that even organic, GMO-free, gluten-free foods can still be high in sugar. This is a legitimate concern, and a reason to never lean too heavily on processed foods, even if they bear all of the politically correct food labels. Despite this potentially pitfall, I stand by my method of staying stocked up on some fun alternative foods.
How are you Clean Couponing to make sure your family’s fun or “junk” food is as clean as possible?