Using Coupons on Healthier Foods

Have you noticed anything different about your grocery receipts lately? Eating well on a budget is no easy task, and it’s getting tougher by the day. Not one to throw up her hands, Jessica of Life As Mom has assembled a team of bloggers to help you maximize your savings in the kitchen. Our Eat Well, Spend Less series will cover critical topics about saving money on food costs, including bulk storage, pantry staples, coupons, and much more.

The series will run over the next three weeks on nine diverse blogs. Are you ready to dig in and learn?

Coupons and Healthy Choices

Do the words “coupon” and “healthy” belong in the same sentence? Perhaps. First, let’s be clear that we all have our own ideas of what healthy eating looks like. For some, this means cooking entirely from scratch with organic ingredients and freshly ground wheat. For others, including myself, healthy means cooking from scratch and eating organic whenever possible, with a few convenience foods thrown in as needed. No matter where you fall in the healthy spectrum, we all want to save money in the kitchen. Coupons can be part of this goal if you use them strategically.

Healthy couponing will never look like Extreme Couponing. A commitment to eating quality foods means you are committed to spending more on groceries. I learned the hard way that stocking up on whatever was free or cheap was not the best way to nourish my family. I made some changes, our grocery budget went up, and our health improved. Coupons still play a role, albeit smaller.

Once you understand the basics of using coupons, you can apply that knowledge at the grocery store to make healthy eating choices. But this will require a little creativity. The vast majority of coupons you will find in your Sunday paper are indeed for processed convenience foods. Some may fit into your lifestyle, others may not. My goals for the food I purchase include minimal ingredients, healthy fats  like olive oil, real butter and coconut oil, and organic if possible.

Finding coupons for organics is not impossible, with some helpful resources:

:: Coupon Database – This free searchable resource is right here on my blog. In it you will find data for nearly every current coupon in existence. By searching for your favorite organic/healthy brands, you can quickly locate the coupons you need.

As you can see, a quick search for the term “organic” revealed 85 available coupons for organic products. Some are printable, some are from newspaper inserts and others may come from a mailer or magazine.

:: Blogs – A desire for healthy and natural living along with the desire to save money has birthed entire blogs devoted to those very topics. Check out Saving Naturally and Organic Deals for daily deals and savings tips.

:: Brands – Many popular organic brands are well known for their coupons, including Cascadian Farms, Muir Glen and Stonyfield. Visit their websites directly to search for savings, and don’t be afraid to reach out and email them for additional coupons.

:: Stores – Finding healthy options is easy at stores like Sprouts, Whole Foods, and even Kroger, all of whom accept coupons! Be sure to get on their mailing lists if you shop at these stores for more savings.

Beyond Coupons

If coupons just aren’t helping you save enough, or perhaps they are not for the items you need, there are other strategies I practice to get the foods we eat at a price I am willing to pay.

:: Grocery Shop Online – I purchase many of our non-perishables on Amazon using their subscribe-and-save feature. They carry many harder to find items like gluten-free flours and healthy sweeteners. With free shipping right to my door, I don’t mind ordering in bulk.

:: Managers Specials – If you want a sweet deal on organic produce, milk or meat, look for markdowns at your local grocer. Often these are days away from expiring so get creative in the kitchen or be sure to freeze them for later use.

:: Join a Co-Op – Nothing beats seasonal fresh produce by the bagful. Check out LocalHarvest.org to see if there is a CSA in your area. Preserve your food to enjoy out of season and keep a stocked pantry.

:: Azure Standard – This Oregonian company delivers healthy food by the truckful in select areas directly to customers and buying clubs. See if there is a drop point in your area for this wonderful service.

Do you think eating healthy and saving money go hand in hand? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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About Alyssa Francis

A thirty-something wife and mother of four! Two daughters by birth, one son by marriage, and a sweet baby boy born in April of 2009. Oldest sister of four girls raised by a single mom. California native. Grew up in Hawaii. Somehow ended up in North Texas. Once a single mom. Former agnostic. A survivor of abuse and addiction. Forgiven by a great big God. Married to my best friend.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing! Very nice post. I saw at our grocery store that the Organic Spring Mix Salad was the same price as the ordinary. We tried it and loved it. One bag was $2.99… a little pricey but .. oh well!
    20something Saver´s last blog post ..Living- GIVING- &amp Saving

  2. Thanks for the links. I never thought about using Amazon to buy natural.

  3. Great post, Lyss! Just found out there is an Azure Standard drop 20 minutes away from me. I am in awe, as I normally have to drive waaaayyyyy out of the way to get ANYTHING like this! Hopefully, I can get in! Thanks for adding that!

    -A
    Amy´s last blog post ..Banana Nut Bread Recipe Giveaway from Tropical Traditions!

  4. Michelle @ From the Same Nest says:

    Another tip I have on this topic is that “regular” brands that we often see coupons for can have an organic product line that their regular coupons will work for too. For instance… heinz ketchup… if you have a coupon for heinz, it will work on their organic ketchup also. It won’t be as big of a cost savings as stacking coupons with sales, since organic isn’t usually on sale, but 50 cents off is still money saved.

    http://www.fromthesamenest.com/2011/04/breaking-down-my-grocery-budget-by-food.html
    Michelle @ From the Same Nest´s last blog post ..Floating Butterfly Mobile

  5. Claire at Saving Naturally says:

    Thanks so much for the shout-out to http://www.savingnaturally.com!

    The coupon database is a really important tip! I get so many readers that think that the coupon database simply won’t have anything natural or organic on it — but that’s completely not true (and not a good attitude, to boot) ;)

    There are so many great deals out there for natural deals. Truly!

  6. This is a very helpful and relevant blog.
    Maris (In Good Taste)´s last blog post ..Bait &amp Switch- Citrus Chocolate Chunk Cookies

  7. Yes! I definitely use coupons, but mostly for things like crackers, some yogurts, and other not-so-processed things. And I love it when Kroger sends me coupons on their store brand cheese, sour cream, carrots, or butter. Coupons can be useful, but I don’t expect to see the same 99% savings I might get if I weren’t as picky in what I bought. Great post!

  8. Thanks for including my site in your post Alyssa!

    I think finding coupons and deals on organic, natural and healthy items is becoming easier and easier as more people are demanding it. Often times I can grab organic fruits and vegetables for the same price or less as conventional.

  9. Alyssa Francis says:

    @Amy, Oooh, you will love it! I just placed my second Azure order today. They have a wonderful selection and very reasonable prices!

  10. Alyssa Francis says:

    @Susan At Organic Deals, You are right, it is getting easier as more shoppers become aware of the benefits! I even think organic produce tastes better, too. :)

  11. Alyssa Francis says:

    @Diana, Thanks for your comment, Diana. I am like you, I pick and choose what to use coupons for, although I used to be much less picky. While I do spend more now, I believe it is worth every penny.

  12. Because our family are vegetarians, there are times where I find it quite difficult to find relevant coupons- I do take the time and track them down though. :)

    Our biggest help is the bulk room at our local health food grocer. I can get dried beans, rice, cereal, maple sugar, real salt, nuts, oats and fresh ground flour for a much cheaper price than even W*lMart.

    It takes a little work but it can be done. Currently our total grocery budget {includes cleaning/healthcare/beauty products} is $180.00 every 2 weeks for our family of four. It’s not as cheap as I used to shop- but my cart is no longer laden with processed foods…

    It’s all about finding a balance!
    Rachel´s last blog post ..Rebecca St James I Will Praise You Release And Giveaway!

  13. Thanks for this post! I thought maybe I was the odd one out because at the most, I use $20-$25 in coupons each trip. I just do not buy most of the products that coupons are for. I do things like you do; make most things from scratch and buy organic when I can. I just don’t find many coupons for the things I buy. Thank you so much for writing about these additional resources!

  14. Thanks for all the info!

  15. Ashley G. says:

    First of all, thank you for your post. It has really helped. I am interested in Azure but don’t know where to find my drop point. I have already created my account. Please help! Thanks!

  16. @Ashley G., Hi Ashley! Here is a link to getting started with Azure: http://www.azurestandard.com/getting-started On that page, there is a phone number, and you call them, and give them your zip code. They will then search to find a drop closest to you. It took only a few minutes for me, and my rep was super nice. After you discuss which drop site is closest to you, the rep will send you an email with the contact information for that particular drop site’s coordinator. You can then contact the coordinator from there, for more information about that particular drop.

    HTH!
    -Amy
    Amy´s last blog post ..Banana Nut Bread Recipe Giveaway from Tropical Traditions!

  17. Alyssa Francis says:

    @Amy, Thanks so much for answering, Amy! Great info. :)

  18. Oh man…the great debate of eating healthy and grocery budgets. My personal opinion is that it totally depends on each family’s habits. I believe that most families overeating junk, eating out, and thriving on instant processed food can actually save quite a bit if they transition to a healthier lifestyle and that’s actually one of my selling points for my 8 Week Lifestyle Transformation Program – that I will save them the $47 it costs to participate in grocery costs.

    I did a little experiment over the last few months with coupononing and granted, I’m no expert, but we spent the same amount in groceries, but ate so many more empty calories than we would have otherwise. I was too tempted by the great deals to pass up some things I really should not have purchased. Couponing can become addictive and lead to a nutritionally poor, yet stocked pantry. I need to find more people who are succeeding with healthy eating and couponing before I make my final decision on it.
    Nisha @ Healthy Mom’s Kitchen´s last blog post ..Weight Release Weight Loss Breakfast Recipe- Quinoa Porridge

  19. Thank you for pointing out that coupons are often for processed foods! I’ve noticed this and often get frustrated when trying to use them to save money for my family. I’m so glad to learn of these other options. Going to check out some of your links now . . . thank you!

  20. Ashley G. says:

    Thank you so much Amy! I will give them a call today. Thank you Alyssa for your blog.

  21. Great post! We are vegetarian and try and eat organic when possible and very little in processed food. I often get discouraged when I read about people who can spend so little on their groceries every week. I have been working hard to cut our grocery budget but am able to use very few coupons. I also love Amazon for buying grocery items. Thanks for the reminder that we can’t all save mega bucks every week on groceries!
    Jamie´s last blog post ..Tempeh and Green Bean Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

  22. Alyssa Francis says:

    @Courtney, My pleasure, Courtney. I find myself using coupons more nowadays for non-edible items like toilet paper, razors, etc. and buying more produce and meats instead of processed foods. Amazon has been a lifesaver for healthy food choices!

  23. My husband has been unemployed for 8 months now. We have cut a number of things but our healthy food choices were not up for negotiation. To continue eating well and stay on budget, we opted for less meat and more veggies. We bulked up our portions with brown rice, beans, and other cheaper sources of protein. By adding several shredded carrots, and more tomato to our family favorite, sloppy joes, we decreased the meat and kept the portions the same. Finding local sources for bulk organic meat has also helped our budget. Learning to cook cheaper cuts of grass fed meat was another way to cut costs while still eating the same quality of food. Purchasing dried beans and cooking them in my pressure cooker and then freezing in 2 cup portions, is a huge cost saving. We also stopped buying extras like crackers and cookies which we can make cheaper at home!

Trackbacks

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  2. [...] shares some ways to get coupons for healthy food – yes, there are coupons for organics and healthy [...]

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  9. [...] Most shoppers LOVE their boxed and frozen fare. I am a bit of an anomaly. There is no soda or Velveeta in my cart! I purposely shop the perimeter of the store for meats, dairy and produce with a few conveniences (bread, cereal) thrown in. This forces me to cook from scratch and menu plan whether I feel like it or not. You can even find coupons for healthier options. [...]

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  11. [...] free updates. You can also connect on Facebook for more frugal tips. Thanks for visiting!As I have mentioned, eating organic is important to our family for many reasons. But it is not the most frugal choice. [...]

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  15. […] Using Coupons on Healthier Foods – KingdomFirstMom.com – Another tip I have on this topic is that “regular” brands that we often see coupons for can have an organic product line that their regular coupons will work for too. […]

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