12 Ways to Save Money on Organic and Natural Products!

12 Ways to Save Money on Organic and Natural Products - at TheFrugalGirls.com

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Need some ideas for ways to save $$ on organic & natural products?

I received the following question from frugal friend Anna… “Do you have any tips for how to save $$ when buying natural or organic products? I’d love to be more frugal in that area. Thanks!”

Check out these tips from your frugal friends shared right here and on The Frugal Girls Facebook Page

Amy said: “I’d say at least 75% of the groceries I buy are organic.  I only buy what’s on sale… Period.  When I go to Whole Foods or Outpost (our local co-op here in Milwaukee), I just keep my eyes peeled for their brightly colored ‘on sale’ signs and go from there.  Add to that the coupons I print off the web, and eating right is affordable, even on my modest $18,000 average annual income (I’m self-employed).”

Christy said: “We purchase from UNFI as well through a local co-op.  I love how they have the catalogs on their website to browse through, including a sale catalog! (once you join a co-op and get a login, etc..) Some of the prices in UNFI are NOT cheaper than you can get them from the grocery store, and local stores run great sale!  I get emails from Krogers and Whole Foods, and I shop in those stores for the sale products!  If you really want to eat organic, then you and your family can pretty much ONLY eat what happens to be on sale!  It is amazing how much you will save and how you WILL NOT spend one cent more by buying organic!  I shop at Whole Foods on the day their items go on sale and Kroger after the sale paper comes out.  I also shop the sales only from UNFI and my co-op, which allows splits. (if an item comes 12 to a case then you can buy 6 and another member can buy 6!)  Some co-ops do not allow splits but mine does!”

Margaret said: “If a certain item is going for a good price at the Coop, say $0.99 a pound for Fuji apples (a very good price), see if you can buy a whole box of them.  I got a box last week for less than the price per pound when buying a whole box.”

Sandra said: “One thing I noticed in my area – the organics at the regular grocery store (Kroger) cost more than the same products at the store that specializes in organics and natural foods (Whole Foods). I think that is because they are considered “specialty items” at Kroger.  No specialty item mark-up is needed at a store that already carries natural foods. So compare prices at the stores near you.  Another thing to remember – as you move away from prepackaged foods (and cleaners, etc.), and start using more fresh ingredients, you are already saving money. You pay for that convenience stuff!”

Sarene said: “Earthbound Farms sends out coupons for its salad.  I usually buy their large salad package at Costco for $5.  That lasts a long time if you refrigerate properly and don’t let the moisture in.  All the other coupons at TheFrugalgirls are also good.  Don’t get caught up in “natural” though as there is no “standard” for that, it’s meaningless unless a products states USDA Organic.
And not everything need to be organic. “Thin-skinned” fruits like apples, grapes, strawberries, celery, etc. need to be organic, and thicker skinned items like bananas, avocados, oranges, etc don’t necessarily need to be organic.
There are lists of the products that have the most pesticides and which are OK {TheDailyGreen and HealthCastle}.  Tomatoes are usually on the list to buy organic, but this year they were taken off the list, so I’ve bought regular ones.”

Shelly said: “The main thing I buy in organic is fruits, vegetables, and milk.  As far as milk is concerned, Organic Valley and Horizon Dairy release coupons on their website, so I usually buy from them.  During the summer months, I try as best I can to “buy local” through Farmer’s Markets for fruits and veggies.  My parents do a garden every year (we don’t have the room) which is wonderful for blueberries (they get expensive!), raspberries, carrots, beans, corn, etc.
Another option is a local co-op through a local Farmer.  Often they will let you come and visit the farm and ask lots of questions.  I also found a great local butcher that does nitrate free meats (we don’t eat whole lot of meat).  On packaged items, I have to read the labels. Just because something is labeled “organic” or “natural” doesn’t mean it’s any better for you.
As far as cleaning supplies, I really like the Seventh Generation brand. They go on sale frequently and with coupons, I have been able to get some things for free! There is also Method which is good too.”

Ann said: “Bountiful Baskets has an organics option that is still a very good deal for the amount of produce you get. Local farmers markets, small orchards, and even ranches usually are a good source of natural foods.”

Mary said: “Beachgreens in Southern California, is a great company.  Organic, sustainable, local fruits and veggies delivered to your home for a very reasonable price. Saves money, and also kind of forces you to cook fresh veggies so you don’t waste anything.”

Mollie said: “This is my simplified list for going all organic:
1. Shop at Trader Joe’s.
2. Buy bulk organics in the bulk bins at local markets, Whole Foods or Costco (depending on which is the least expensive at the time).
3. Barter with organic farmers and/or join a CSA.  This worked especially well for us when we lived in central CT; one farm allowed me to trade 5 hours of work for bushels of blueberries, peaches and apples.
4. Go to farmers markets at the end of the business day, when they are more likely to make deals with you.
5. Write to companies for coupons and save those coupons for retailers that offer double coupon value and/or Super Double days like Harris Teeter.  For example, I wrote to the makers of my favorite soy milk and was mailed over $100 worth of coupons with no expiration date.  Most companies send around $20.00 in coupons.
6. Know the coupon policy at Whole Foods (ask for the coupon policy at your local store), and use Whole Foods In-Store Coupons.  Make friends with your cashier; they know when sales are coming up. :)
7. Buy coupons off eBay. I’ve even purchased “$10.00 off your next purchase at Whole Foods” coupons off this site.”

Siobhan said: “There is a great book by the hosts of a BBC America show called How Clean is Your House? They have lots of tips and tricks for using things on-hand to clean.”

Autumn said: “I clean with vinegar and water for the most part.  When I need to clean a stubborn spot, I use baking soda and or borax.  A gallon of white vinegar  is 96 cents and an empty squirt bottle is $1.50 at Walmart.  Mix half and half.  Borax is good to clean soap scum, just make a paste with it and let it sit while you clean the rest of the bathroom.  A box will last a very long time and is under $3.  I also started using vinegar instead of dryer sheets, just add a cup of vinegar to wash.  I swear your house won’t smell like vinegar, as it drys the vinegar smell disappears.  I save so much by making my own cleaners.  I have had the same bottle of vinegar and borax for almost 4 months now and still have plenty left.  I also have 3 boys and run a daycare, so I am clean constantly.  Hope this helps…”

Laura said: “You can also make your own window cleaner.  Fill one spray bottle with water and add a couple of drops of dish washing liquid.  Essential oils are also good, just check on the internet for the amount to use and what the different oils are good for.  They make your house smell great too!”

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