Friday, November 20, 2009

Frugal vs. Healthy?

Is it possible to buy healthy foods while on a budget? This is a very popular question throughout the blogger community. While it is harder to find coupons and deals on healthy and organic foods, it is not impossible. I wanted to touch on this subject because of the fact that I am personally trying to transition my family to healthier, cleaner foods but save money at the same time and I want to share with you some ways that I am doing that.

Last night at Fred Meyer I was able to buy $20 worth of healthy and organic foods for under $6!
Here is what I bought:
Organic Bananas - On sale $.79/lb
Spinach - Clearance Priced $1.19, Reduced from $3.99!
2 Tropicana 50 Orange Juice - On sale 2/$5, used $1/2 coupon to make it $4
Oikos Greek Yogurt - Used 3 Coupons for Free Oikos, Saved $9.67!
Total: $5.98, Savings of 70%!

Yes, a lot of the time, the coupons that get you the best deals are for foods that are un-healthy and/or processed. But you have to remember one very important couponing rule: if I wouldn't buy this in a normal situation, should I really buy it just because I have a coupon? The answer is no. Just because you can get 5 packages of chocolate cookies for $.50/box, should you? Your wallet and your waistline will thank you in the long run for not bringing those cookies home!

Mambo Sprouts is one of my favorite online resources for finding natural and organic product coupons, and even and often have printable coupons available for healthy foods.

What about dairy, produce and meat you ask?

Dairy: Organic Valley and Horizon Organic both have printable coupons available on their websites that you can print and use on organic dairy purchases. You can really start to see big savings by saving these coupons and using them on items you find that are close to their pull dates. These products are still good but the store manager marks them down to move them off the shelves a couple of days before they expire. Did you know you can freeze cheese and butter for up to 3 months? Plus, you are allowed to use a coupon on these clearance priced items! I once got a gallon of Organic Valley milk that was 5 days from pull date for $.59 because I had a $1 off coupon and the milk was marked down to $1.59. My daughter drinks a lot of milk so we were easily able to use the milk before it went bad.

Produce and Meat: Every time I go to the grocery store I browse through the manager's specials or clearance priced items in the produce and meat sections. It is the same case as above, these items that are marked down are a few days from their pull dates. You are able to freeze meats and many produce items. Just because it is marked to clearance doesn't mean that the item has gone bad. The spinach I bought last night had 3 days left before the pull date, because I go through a lot of spinach making "green smoothies" for Naomi and I, I know that I will use up all the spinach with no problem!

I also frequent the local Farmer's Market during the spring, summer and fall months as I often find my produce for substantially cheaper than I can at the supermarket. Plus I know I am supporting local and organic farmers. You can also grow your own herb garden in any window seal at any time of year for practically free and natural flavors.

Just can't find coupons for the things you need? Stock up when items you buy the most of are on sale and use coupons where you can even if its just for your toiletry and household items. Everybody needs toilet paper and there have been very few times in the past year that I have had to resort to Costco for toilet paper because I can almost always find it cheaper by pairing coupons and sales. I won't have to buy a razor, toothpaste or air fresheners for a LONG time and what I have stocked up on I have paid zero to rock bottom prices for.

What are some ways that you have saved money on healthy and/or organic items lately? Leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome, Sam! I have yet to find a balance between healthy and frugal... :(