A Page in the Life of A Mom / Housekeeping / Archives / 12-10-2011 / Saving money while buying organic?

Topie: Saving money while buying organic?
May 20th, 2010 08:45 AM
cuz_He_lives I enjoy coupons, I really do. And I used to use them-when I bought "regular" food/groceries. But that has changed in the past six months since I've switched to natural and organic products as much as possible. I don't intend to make this post a health and nutrition seminar (though I'd be happy to!). What I want to know is: 1- are there others out there who shop like I do or am I a lone duck here? And if there are others, what tips do you have to save money while maintaining a healthy lifestyle? and 2: to you "coupon gurus"- have you found coupons for organic products? I know the reasons why they are harder to find, but thought just maybe you would know some inside loops that I don't? The Sunday paper is more or less useless for coupons anymore, except for sandwich bags and toilet paper!
May 20th, 2010 09:16 AM
cretorakline when i buy local or organic products, i try to get the sale items only-that helps alot on the grocery bill and makes the food stretch.

i don't ever find coupons, though. Not that I'm a coupon guru...:)
May 20th, 2010 09:47 AM
Becuz_of_Jesus I buy raw milk from our local farmer. That is always a savings compared to the store bought milk. I think store bought milk is up around what $3.00 a gallon and I get it for $1.50 a gallon.

I buy whole grain bread without enriched wheat flour at a "amish" farm where they get day old bread in. So it's really good bread that is usually 4r or $5 a loaf and I get it for .50 a loaf. That is a huge savings and we are eating healthier bread. It is wheat bread that is double wrapped.

So I am not the biggest organic person necessarily, but there are ways to save here and there for me. I think the community I live in depends a large deal on how some of this works out.
May 21st, 2010 11:38 AM
ewaldro Angela, here's a website for you! Organic sales and coupons site
May 21st, 2010 12:00 PM
HappyMusser ooh, i am so all ears here! This is one of the reasons why I don't feel like pursueing coupons since I don't really feel like stocking up on lots of processed foods.
I buy raw jersey milk too, and make my own butter from the cream. I am learning about using sprouted grains, to make my own bread and possibly pasta, since I love homemade pasta. Also make my own yogurt, and am thinkng about learning to make cottage cheese, ricotta and mozerella.
Also get free range eggs at the same place, so Love that too. I also have recipes to make homemade cream of mushroom and chicken soups, altho I have yet to try them:-)
I have a garden and also buy alot of produce at local stands--altho I'm sure most of that is not organic by any means.
We get our beef from my dad who raises grass fed beef. I'm still trying to figure out an option for chicken that isn't too expensive.

also, as far as cleaners, I have switched to using a white vinegar/water spray for alot of my weekly cleaning, it's so amazing to me how clean everything gets. I know it's prly old school for alot of people, but i never realized what a great cleaner white vinegar is:-) I was kinda a cleaning product junkie as a result of being a cleaning person for many years.
I am still figuring out personal care items, I've heard Target has some good all natural/organic items-I think the brand name is Avalon Organincs. I don't know if they ever go on sale, or if Target ever offers coupons for them...

anyway, I will stop now, this is a subject that is on my brain alot, and I'm trying to learn all I can so I will def. be checking this thread:-) I'm sure there are many more of you who can offer alot better advice here.
May 21st, 2010 03:07 PM
lotz2njoy tell me more about this vinegar/water spray for cleaner. I have heard of it but feel a little uncertain yet. Is it equal parts of each or how do you mix it?
May 21st, 2010 03:28 PM
HappyMusser i did half/half, but you could prly do less vinegar. I like how I can clean through my whole kitchen with my bottle of spray and a microfiber cloth--stainless steel, glass, kitchen cabinets, fridge, appliances, spots on the wall, counters. And the same in the bathroom, since it deodorizes and disinfects.

there is a website, if you google white vinegar that lists tons of uses for white vinegar, fun stuff.

If you have white water spots or buildup on faucets, saturate a cloth/paper towel w/ vinegar, lay it on to soak for awhile, and the spots will be gone.
May 21st, 2010 05:29 PM
cuz_He_lives Thanks, Elaine! That site looks amazing! Anyone else have tips??
May 22nd, 2010 07:18 AM
cretorakline Thanks to Thelma for the cleaning tips! I've never done the white vinegar solution.

I also buy raw milk-but it's $6/gal. lol You can send some of that $1.50 stuff down here any day. :) I also do yogurt, which is a HUGE money saver for our family.

Angela, another thing i do during the summer is to patronize the local produce stands. Some of those are not organic, but they're raised in a garden with the real sun, vs. a green house w/ fake lights. The taste is always better, and usually prices, too!

Do you have health food store nearby? Ours sells produce (all organic and/or locally grown) for close to the same price Safeway does here in town. I drive 20 min. to get there, but it's not a big deal when you're already shopping for other things.

I'm all out of tips. :)
May 22nd, 2010 05:19 PM
janedi Here's an e-book that I found out about recently on one of the blogs I read. I haven't read the e-book...but it looks like it has some great tips....kinda pricey though!

That blog and this one are my favorites because they offer a lot of frugal tips about real food and living naturally.

Recently I bought some grassfed beef from a guy I work with. The ground beef was $1.50 lb....very cheap. Like Cretora said, if you can find someone who basically practices organic but isn't certified organic...that's a big savings. I also find it cheaper to buy seconds of stuff...often it's still pretty nice and way cheaper. (This would be at the local farmer's market).

Something else I've heard about it these bulk food type companies that sell mainly natural/organic foods/produce and do drop-point deliveries. If the order at one drop-point is over, say, $300...the shipping is free. Of course you'd have to combine with another family if you can't make $300 yourself. I haven't personally used a service like this because I didn't think there was any with drop-points in our area. I was excited the other day when a friend told me about one that delivers in the next county! YAY! It's called Frankferd Farms Foods and it's based in Saxonburg, PA. If you go to their delivery page it'll tell you the delivery schedule and areas. Looks like PA, OH, MD, WV, etc. I went to their contact page and requested a catalog. Can't wait to try it out!

I use vinegar too! My mom came to help me clean and I think she thought I was pretty weird! :-)

I also find couponing to be useless to me....most of them seem to be for highly processed stuff that I don't even want in my house/body. The discount store I work at has lots of organic stuff really cheap. I'm spoiled...not sure what I'll do when I quit there!

If anybody would like more info about real food, etc. I'd be happy to make a list of all my favorite blogs/books about the subject. It's something I'm passionate about and I don't have many friends that share my passion!
(Edited by janedi)
May 22nd, 2010 10:01 PM
HappyMusser i would so be interested in your lists of blogs/books, Janelle. This is all still pretty new to me, so am trying to learn where I can.
It all started for me when I got serious about loosing weight, in my reading and interest in that led me to learn how our bodies are affected by the enviroment around us, and what we put in it, how processed food is a foreign product that our bodies don't know what to do w/ thus they translate it to fat. Cutting out processed food and sweets has been so helpful with weight loss. And also,how the chemicals in our houses can wreak havoc on our hormones, etc. I had never given these things much thought.......anyway, I'll stop, since this is totally off the subject of this thread.
May 22nd, 2010 10:34 PM
kadensmom I don't necessarily use a lot of organic food yet, but we eat a LOT of fresh fruit and veggies and whole grain stuff so I'm not big into coupons either because all that stuff is so highly processed! Thelma, I LOVE the vinegar tip. thanks a ton for sharing it :) didn't know I could get so excited about a cleaning tip lol!
May 22nd, 2010 10:37 PM
HappyMusser me either:-) i was kinda pumped when I realized what a good cleaner vinegar is, because it is SO non-toxic and safe to use when my little girl is playing nearby while I clean. It might not be the greatest thing for hard-core cleaning, but for daily/weekly cleaning and polishing, it's perfect for me.

btw, Janelle, I clicked on the link for the book--LOVE that blog/website, now I am having fun clicking around from there, what a great resource!
May 25th, 2010 08:35 PM
mom2one Thelma, I would like to hear about your experience with using sprouted grains. I've heard some about it and would like to know more. Do you think it's worth the extra work, can you taste the difference in your bread, etc.?
May 25th, 2010 11:00 PM
HappyMusser ack, i am just beginning! My husband bought me several books from his work-he works at a bullk food distributor, and also got me the sprouted wheat flour there since they carry it. I did one batch of bread w/ it so far. I used a recipe that is heavier to begin w/ so it turned out a little heavy and dense. I don't know if it was the flour, or the recipe that made it that way. I also underbaked it a little, which made it doughy--still learning the whole homemade bread thing:-)
The next time I make the bread-sometime this week if it's not too hot, i want to use the recipe out of the sprouted grain cook-book, and see if that makes a differance.
As far as taste, it's really good, different, but good, not as strong as regular whole wheat. The texture is more gritty I think, or crumbly, but again I don't' know if that is from the recipe.
Anyway, i will def. report back again. I'd like to perfect using it, since the health benefits seem wonderful. It digests as a vegetable. I noticed when eating it, it is very filing and satisfies hunger for a long time.
May 26th, 2010 09:20 AM
millerseven So you talk about not using coupons because you don't want all that processed food??? I buy things like ketchup, mustard, mayos, salad dressings, packaged sandwich meats, frozen veggies (I like having mixed veggies on hand) my personal products, toilet paper, tissues, etc., etc. Do you not buy these things? Or do you buy all these things organic?
May 26th, 2010 09:45 AM
millerseven wrote:
So you talk about not using coupons because you don't want all that processed food??? I buy things like ketchup, mustard, mayos, salad dressings, packaged sandwich meats, frozen veggies (I like having mixed veggies on hand) my personal products, toilet paper, tissues, etc., etc. Do you not buy these things? Or do you buy all these things organic?

I been wondering the same thing. Sometimes people get the assumption that using coupons is for food thats processed or already prepared. As long as you use personal hygiene products there's alot items you can use coupons on! As far as processed food. I don't feel like I buy alot of processed food. I buy frozen pizzas, cereal and crackers but I be buying this stuff anyway regardless whether I'd be using coupons or not. I also have gotten ketchup, mircale ship, worchestire sauce, vinegar, flour, cake mixes, peanut butter, taco seasoning, taco sauce for really cheap/free with coupons. This is all stuff I buy anyway because I would have no clue how to make my own. :p

Angela as far as buying organic, I noticed that Kroger has good sales on their organic produce. This week they have organic romaince lettuce (3pk) on sale for $2.50. I think I'll be buying some of that. Sometimes they'll have their organic baby carrots, strawberries, & apples on sale for a decent price. Have you shopped at Whole Foods? If I had one close by I would definately shop the sales there. Do you read moneysavingmom? She often has lots of links to great printable organic coupons. Here's a link to her recent post on organic coupons. Earth Fare is another store that seems to have great deals on Organic items. Unfortunately if appears to be a southern store with no stores in OH. The thrifty Mamajust posted a coupon today for Earth Fare for a free Organic Ketchup with any $5 purchase.

Edited to add: Here's a blog I found that doesn coupon matchups for Whole Foods but she is based out of Florida. So I don't know if there's a difference in their adds to ours here in Ohio. She also said you can get store coupons from The Whole Deal which is located in the store, upfront.
(Edited by daisy319)
May 26th, 2010 09:57 AM
rachi882 And what about diapers and wipes? :) Last time I checked, organic diapers were worth their weight in gold!! I guess you might cloth diaper? If you don't cloth diaper, you have NO IDEA how much money you can save by using diaper coupons!!!!
May 26th, 2010 10:17 AM
kadensmom I don't do big couponing period. I made that comment because I've seen a lot of pictures of all the stuff people bought for a great price and most of it is stuff I never buy. If others want to buy it that's totally fine. Just sayin' that I don't buy a lot of that stuff. They don't have coupons for most of the cereal I buy and I get my personal care products from places that don't use coupons. I get my diapers at sam's club or Kroger when they go on really good sale.
May 26th, 2010 10:56 AM
millerseven If you can walk away with almost free pampers and personal care products than it seems like it might be worth it to change stores. BUT I know not everyone enjoys it or has time for it and you might be helping a smaller business actually run versus always shopping at chain pharmacies and Wal-Mart.

I hijacked this thread! Sorry! BUT I was wondering about the blanket statement that somehow if you coupon then you are stocking up on all things processed and not good for you and not organic. I don't coupon a lot, I'm just starting out slowly, but I'm still concerned about feeding my family what's healthy.

BUT I could not pay $6 a gallon for raw milk. That would put us in the poor house. Course maybe if that was the only option I had then we wouldn't use milk for breakfast.

(Edited by millerseven)
May 26th, 2010 11:24 AM
kadensmom I don't know who you're talking to about the $6 milk, but i don't pay that price. I get mine at Aldi. And no, i don't enjoy couponing at all!!! Neither do I feel I can justify spending hours clipping and organizing coupons when I barely have enough time to spend w/ my kids the way it is. :) But if it makes you happy then that's perfectly fine!!
May 27th, 2010 11:48 PM
millerseven wrote:
So you talk about not using coupons because you don't want all that processed food??? I buy things like ketchup, mustard, mayos, salad dressings, packaged sandwich meats, frozen veggies (I like having mixed veggies on hand) my personal products, toilet paper, tissues, etc., etc. Do you not buy these things? Or do you buy all these things organic?

No, I don't buy a lot of those things. I make all my own mayo and salad dressing and buy ketchup that is sweetened with fruit and not sugar. Sandwich meats I try to buy those that are nitrate free. As for frozen veggies- if they are on the "dirty dozen" list, I try to buy those organic to decrease pesticide use, if not, I buy regular.

We don't eat much for cereal, maybe twice a week, and I make some of that myself. Don't really buy crackers much either. Taco seasoning, make myself. Shampoo, deoderant, toothpaste- I try to buy those with natural ingredients that are low in chemicals.

You get the picture. What I can make on my own, I try to. Like I said in my first post- sometimes it seems the only coupons that apply to me are sandwich bags and toilet paper, so that's why I asked you all for help about it! It's great finding companionship in this- thanks for your responses. I'll check into your suggestions, ladies!
(Edited by cuz_He_lives)
May 28th, 2010 09:38 AM
HappyMusser sorry, i was the one who made the blanket statement. Guess i was speaking out of ignorance:-) you know how it is when you are typing and things come out not sounding like you meant them to. sorry couponing people.

I guess, like diane, I have seen the pictures of things people bought for pennies, and alot of it isn't anything I use, so that is the frame of mind I was speaking from. However, wow, If I knew I could make $400 at a yardsale off things I got for free, i think I would attack this couponing thing w/ vengeance:-)
Your questions made me think through our lifestyle, and I think for some of you, you are at a totally different place, with multiple children to feed, clothe and keep clean. We still only have one child so the need for personal items, condiments and convenience foods is very low.

We barely use ketchup, mustard, etc. Seriously, we've had the same bottles so long that I'm about ready to pitch them, our salad dressings are so old. We barely eat hotdogs and hamburgers, so hardly ever need to buy ketchup.

I like what Angela said about making whatever we can, that is my goal as well.
We don't have any packed lunches yet, so there goes the need for sandwich baggies and saran wrap. My husband works at a bulk food distributor so he can get alot of the dry goods for me at a discount including freezer bags. Then also, i live in the Mennonite mecca of dent and bent and sharp shopper stores, so anything that opens more option for cheap products for me.

Cereal? I made granola for myself, my husband doesn't eat breakfast, and i occasionally make a pan of baked oatmeal for abbi, or scramble an egg.

also, I do cloth diaper.

so yeah, that's where i'm at, i'll shut up now. carry on ladies you are doing a good thing.

If we each do the little things that work for us and our household, to save money, it's all good. No one is better because they do cloth diapering/all natural/couponing, whatever.
(Edited by HappyMusser)
May 28th, 2010 11:54 AM
millerseven Wow! I'm intrigued by all this and I can see your frustration with lack of coupons for the specialty things you buy.

Angela, maybe you will have to tell us over on the ogranic thread how you came to this point. I'm interested!
May 28th, 2010 12:02 PM
cuz_He_lives I'd like to get over to that thread! I'm still trying to clean up from having company and getting ready for some more, so it might be a day or two before I can write out some of my thoughts on healthy eating and living!
May 29th, 2010 12:18 PM
cherylburk I'd like to hear your thoughts on healthy eating and living! Sometimes I'm not sure where to start. I think it would help my husband too, due to the fact that he has lymes.