As you know, I love food. Food is so much more to me than just sustenance and nutrition. It’s more than just putting a meal on the table and feeding my family. It’s an experience. It’s a pleasure-inducing event. It satisfies me in a manner much deeper than just quenching my hunger. But this love of food comes at a great cost, not only to our waistlines, but also to our piggy banks.
I admit that, in the past, I have never been very conscious of shopping grocery sales or monitoring the prices of individual ingredients. I typically plan our grocery trips based on what we feel like eating or what looks fresh and delicious in the store, rather than basing our meals on sales or what we have in the pantry. This approach is deliciously satisfying, but puts our normal grocery spending off the charts. Lately though, I’ve been trying to become more conscious about our grocery spending; buying meats in bulk, planning a few less expensive meals each week, and even using coupons!
Now, using coupons is something I’ve attempted in the past and never had much success with. I’d diligently clip my coupons, only to arrive at the store with a stack of savings on things I wouldn’t normally purchase anyway or things which would end up costing me more than other similar items, even after the coupon was applied. But, this time has been different. This time, I’ve started following a few coupon-using blogs, which have made things so much clearer. I get it now. Not sure why I didn’t get it before, but I get it now!
I’ve learned about sale cycles, stocking up on items at their lowest prices, and matching up manufacturer coupons with store coupons and sales to get things for mere pennies or even for free. Yes, free! Why in the world have I been paying full price for toothpaste and toothbrushes when stores are giving away my preferred brands for free almost every week? Silly, silly me!
I’ve become a little obsessed. I’ve even set up a binder to neatly organize my coupon collection. I refuse to sacrifice the quality of the foods we eat for savings, but why wouldn’t I try to save money on the things I’d normally buy anyway … money which I can put in my vacation fund for some grand, luxurious trip to a tropical locale, where I’ll overindulge in food, drink, and naps. I’ve already picked the place.
Now, on to the a recipe! One of my family’s favorite ways to enjoy yogurt, aside from straight out of the container, is mixed into smoothies. And this smoothie is a good one. So, use a coupon to pick up some yogurt and then give it a try in this fantastic smoothie which has the taste of a delicious slice of apple pie à la mode!
Apple pie à la mode smoothie
4 granny smith apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1-1/2 cups vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
Peel and core the apples. Cut the apples into small pieces, then toss in the lemon juice. Freeze for a few hours in a covered container. To prepare the smoothie, blend the frozen apple pieces with all other ingredients until smooth. Garnish with a fresh slice of apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon.