I did a decidedly un-Frugal thing yesterday…I rejoined Weight Watchers. The last time I was a member was over a year ago in my pre-hardcore frugal days.
But there is nothing like getting a family portrait taken to prove to you that you have gained a few pounds….and according to my weigh-in yesterday, it's been 13 pounds, putting my new weight at 32 lbs overweight. But I figure now that I am much more frugal than before, I have even more of an incentive to lose weight and hit Lifetime so I can stop paying $14/week!
(yes – I know that some of you say “just do it on your own”…it doesn't work for me. I need the meetings and the general annoyance of paying to get on a scale as a motivator)
So now we have the big question…how to do Weight Watchers on a budget? The answer? Coupons! (like you didn't guess that already)
After a quick inventory of my pantry & freezer and attempting to make a menu plan for the week, here is a list of some of the best Weight Watchers-friendly foods (and many should be counted as “Filling Foods”, which is part of the new program unveiled this week) that come from coupon-friendly companies:
Green Giant Valley Steamers: there has been no need for anyone to pay for these since they came out. They go on sale 10 for $10 all the time and there were $1 coupons for them last month and $.50 coupons for them in the 12/7. The sauceless veggies count as Core/”Filling Foods” and the Broccoli w/cheese sauce is only 3 Points for the whole bag! Green Giant Boxed Veggies also go on sale 10 for $10 all the time and coupons can be found almost every monthin the SmartSource (SS) inserts as well as here here here and here and my sidebar coupon printer
Ronzoni Smart Taste and Healthy Harvest Pastas: although these are 3-point pastas, they are only that high because Weight Watchers caps the fiber at 4 grams when calculating points. There have been plenty of $1 coupons for them in recent inserts and they go on & off sale at 4 for $5.
Muir Glen Organic Canned Tomatoes: These run about $1.75 to $2 in most stores, with the tomato paste being $1.09 at my local store. Muir Glen puts out a TON of $1 and $.75 coupons, with the $.75 coupon making for some seriously cheap tomatoes after doubling (try this: heat up a can of the Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes with some cooked chicken and pour over some Smart Taste Pasta for a very filling meal!). Here's a link to a $1 coupon and another and there were $.75 coupons in the 10/26 & 12/7 SS
Fiber One: from using the regular cereal as Bread Crumbs (thanks Hungry Girl!), to a wonderful Raisin Bran with 11g of Fiber, to Toaster Pastries (AKA “pop tarts”) that have lots of fiber (and come in a chocolate variety that is nothing short of decadent) and a 1-Point yogurt, Fiber One products will be a staple in my house. And it is not just because the products are good, but because they are made by General Mills, perhaps THE most generous company when it comes to coupons and Catalina deals. Coupons appear monthly in the SmartSource inserts and in the same places as the Green Giant coupons above. Use the search bar on my site for “Fiber One” or “FiberOne” to see how cheap I get their products…heck – I usually MAKE money buying it!
Eggs: Egglands Best have been putting out $.35 coupons recently, which (at Giant when not on sale) will get you an 18-pack for $2.69 after doubling. This works out to about the same price as Store Brand. From a cost standpoint, it is much better to use real eggs instead of “liquid egg substitute”. How can that be? The regular size cartons of egg substitutes can be had for about $2.25 (when on sale) and only contain the equivalent of 7 eggs. Buy an 18-pack of real eggs for $2.50 (either Egglands with a coupon or just store-brand) and mix 1 egg with 1-2 egg whites and you STILL end up ahead financially (and with a decent-sized serving of scrambled eggs)!
Thomas's English Muffins: I can't remember a week recently where they weren't BOGO somewhere. Look for peelies on the packs when you are shopping, grab a few (NOT ALL – save some for other people) and hold on to them until the next BOGO sale
Yoplait Yogurt: once again – a General Mills product which means TONS of coupons every month and in the links above (with Green Giant). Put a yogurt in the freezer for a few hours and you'll have a low-point “ice cream”
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: not exactly a “coupon food”, but by watching the sales, you can usually pick it up for $2 per pound or less (Acme has it for $1.88/lb starting this Friday). With a typical Weight Watchers portion size of 4-5 oz (uncooked), that makes for about $.50/portion meat. Simply buy it, spend a few minutes cutting them up in to 4-6 oz portions (depending on how many points you want to use for meat) and freeze the individual portions. Then just keep an eye on the sales!
What are some of your favorite Diet-Friendly or Weight Watchers-Friendly “coupon foods”?