Every journey looks different. However, there is a general trend in many couponers’ adventures. Come along as we take a closer look at Angie Erickson’s story.
As I shared last week, sometimes large expenses arise and you have to figure out how to deal with them. After much advice and pondering, I realized that I needed to allow myself to use some of our savings to enjoy my sister’s wedding and our Canadian adventure. Now that I’m home from that adventure, I realize it was just what our family needed. I’m glad I allowed myself to enjoy our journey! This week, I am going to share how I save on natural and organic food.
Last week, Carrie gave some great tips on how to save on natural and organic food by using Amazon. Here are some additional tips I’ve discovered along my money-saving journey.
Many tell me they don’t use coupons because the items they buy never have coupons available. Maybe you have felt this way at one time, too. I am not going to lie; natural and organic food is expensive. At first, I did not think those products could fit into our budget. However, I am a determined person!
My approach was to not forget coupons altogether just because I couldn’t find coupons for everything I buy. I decided that if I wanted to buy organic produce (something that we decided we wanted to try to purchase organic), I would find the store with the lowest shelf price and then focus on saving on other things like batteries, toothbrushes, etc. that we were not particular about.
Follow these tips to whittle down your spending while still purchasing natural and organic items:
1. Draft a list.
Sit down with anyone making food decisions in your home. Draft a list of foods you would like to purchase natural or organic, starting with the most important for your family. Agree that you will do your best to get as far as you can down that list while still staying within your budget (that’s the key). You may not be able to purchase everything natural or organic that you desire at first, but set some goals and gradually work your way further down the list.
2. Compare prices.
Pick a few stores you think may have the lowest prices on the food you are looking for and take note of their shelf prices. Costco has good prices on some organic items (organic ground beef, frozen vegetables, fruit snacks). Trader Joe’s prices seem to be very competitive overall (not all things are organic so watch carefully while shopping).
3. Watch for sale cycles on the items you buy.
As I discussed earlier in this series, most products will go on sale at least once in a six-week period of time. I’ll be sharing more about sale cycles next week.
4. Utilize coupons that are available.
— Browse Pocket Your Dollars’ extensive list of sources of Printable Organic Coupons.— Check the Mambo Sprouts website regularly.
— Use the Pocket Your Dollars’ Coupon Database when searching for a specific item.
— Utilize the Co+op Deals bi-weekly shopping list.
— Buy a Chinook Book from a natural food store (new book are coming out on November 1).
— Go to the Whole Foods website (you can print their store coupons from the website and some allow you to stack their coupons with manufacturer coupons).
— Check manufacturer’s websites for coupons.
5. Buy in bulk.
Instead of buying prepackaged items, try utilizing bulk bins. If you’re eating a more natural and organic food diet, you’re probably cooking more from scratch, anyway.
6. Check out farmer’s markets.
Buying directly from farmers can eliminate some of the middle-man costs and help you get local, freshly-grown items (be sure to inquire about what they use when they grow their food). For meat, check into purchasing larger quantities directly from farmers.
Remember, each one of us has different dynamics in our own household which we must navigate through to be successful on our own money-saving journey. Utilize the tips that apply to your family from above and also share what works for your family! People in this community are so creative when it comes to saving money on groceries – I can’t wait to hear your ideas!
Join A Money Saving Journey next time as Angie shares what she has learned about Sale Cycles!
Angie is a Pocket Your Dollars team member who teaches Pocket Your Dollars grocery-saving classes to mom’s groups, Community Ed programs and other civic organizations in Carrie’s stead. Angie also compiles the bi-weekly Co+Op Deals shopping lists. When she’s not doing those things, she is a stay-at-home mom to two little ones. If you are interested in having Carrie or Angie speak to your group, please contact us.
Your turn: How do you save on natural and organic items?