Saturday, July 16, 2011

Extreme Couponing 101-How to Save on Organics

How to Save on Organics

Shopping Organic can be expensive but there are several simple ways to save!  You will be pleasantly surprised at how many great coupons are available for organic goodness, and most are printables making it super easy to save too!  A few more ways to save big when shopping organic are knowing what is worth buying organic and what is not, shopping generic and in season, and staying on top of store ads and coupon match-ups. I have put together a list of coupon links and helpful tips to save you lots of green on your green shopping trips! 

Use Coupons:

There are loads of printable coupons for organics out there, you just need to know where to find them. Here is a good list of sources for printable coupons.  If there is a company you enjoy, check out their website.  Odds are they have coupons on their site for you.

All You Magazine Online
Brown Cow
Cascadian Farm
Cool Savings
Coupon Network
Earth's Best
Earth Fare  
Garden of Eatin'
Health eSavers
Horizon Organic
Mambo Sprouts
Newman’s Own Organics
Organic Valley
Pacific Natural Foods
Red Plum
Santa Cruz OrganicSeventh Generation
Simply Organic
Stonyfield Organic
Whole Foods
Visit here to find out what coupons will be in your Sunday Paper.

Use store ads and coupon match-ups:

To save even more on your organic shopping trip, take a few minutes to check out the weekly ad and coupon match-ups.  You will find links to the printable coupons with the sale item.  Just print and go.  If you are a coupon clipper, the manufacturer coupons will be listed with the sale item too! 

Consider Generics:

Many grocery stores now have their own organic lines:
Kroger - Private Selection
Harris Teeter - Naturals
Publix - Greenwise Market
Whole Foods - 365 Organic
Giant Eagle - Nature's Basket
Target - Archer Farms Organic

Know what is worth buying organic and what is not!

According to the Environmental Working Group lots of our fruits and veggies are covered in pesticides. Here is the list of of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15. I have to say, I was more than a little shocked and dumbfounded to read how many pesticides are found on our fruits and veggies.

Some things like seafood, cosmetics and cleaning products can be labeled "organic" without the same requirements the U.S. Department of Agriculture imposes on vegetables and meat, making them a less than budget wise purchase.  Here is a great list of products you should and shouldn't buy organic (thanks to SmartMoney!)

Worth it:
Apples, cherries, grapes, pears, berries, peaches, nectarines, plums
Celery, potatoes, spinach, bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, green beans
Beef, pork, poultry, eggs, dairy products
Baby food

Not Worth it:
Bananas, kiwis, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, oranges
Asparagus, avocados, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, onions, sweet peas
Processed foods (chips, pasta, etc.), cleaning products, cosmetics

Shop Local and Buy Seasonal:
Local Farmers and Community-Supported Agriculture programs are a superior source of organic foods.  Many of the CSA's are so much more than just a place to buy organic, they are a community where you can find family friendly events and fun.  Here in Atlanta we have some fantastic farmers markets and international markets, as well as a few community supported programs like Burge Organic Farms and Serenbe Farms. 

You will find better prices when produce is in season.  How to know what is in season when, check out Eat The Seasons (thanks to My Green Side 's post "Family Nutrition:  Eating on a Budget"

Shop in Bulk: has a large selection of organic products.  If you join Amazon Mom or Amazon Prime you get inexpensive or free shipping.  My SIL, Kristin orders her gluten-free flour from Amazon and loves the cost and convenience. shopOrganic, recommended by Kelli B. Grant in her article "5 Ways to Buy Organic Groceries for Less", is another good resource for bulk shopping. 

Fun and Helpful sites:
Organic Consumers Association - tips for shopping organic  
Eat Well Guide - organic product search engine 
Live the Organic Live - find lots of comparison between organic vs. non-organic
The Thrifty Mama - shopping organic at Big Lots

Environmental Working Group

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