A common concern for those who want to eat real, whole foods but also want to save money is whether couponing is:
b) even possible
This is an issue that I have had to personally struggle through, and here is what I have come to… Yes, it is possible. No, it may not completely revolutionize your budget, but it will most certainly help.
I do use coupons, as a way to supplement the other money-saving strategies that I already employ in our grocery/household/toiletries budget. I probably only use them for about 5% to 8% of what I buy.
That may seem marginal, but I don’t think it’s insignificant. If I can get even that 5% for free or very cheap, that can chop a couple hundred dollars off of my yearly expenses, freeing me up to be able to afford that much more good, wholesome food and other high-quality products.
For more on this idea, check out Money Saving Mom’s post, Everyone Should Use Coupons.
I also strongly believe that if there is a way to help families to afford more high-quality, whole and organically-grown foods and other products, then I want to share about it. I know that it isn’t for everyone, but for many, coupons may be the thing that helps to ease up on their budget enough to begin buying more nourishing food and less toxic products for their families.
This in turn means more people that are supporting the fantastic companies and pioneering farmers who are working so hard to care for the earth and bring incredible, natural and wholesome products to us, the consumers! Every little bit helps!
For All Those Real Foodies Who Aren’t Interested in Couponing
This site will still have MUCH to offer you. In additional to regular coupons, you will find discount codes, free shipping or special deals from many online, natural food retailers, such as:
- Bob’s Red Mill
- Wilderness Family Naturals
- Tropical Traditions
- Amazon Natural Groceries
- Mountain Rose Herbs
- And many, many others…
Additionally, I will be sharing deals for other natural products that you may be interested in. These will include things like:
- Beauty and body care
- Cleaning products
- Cloth diapers
- Reusable feminine products
- Non-toxic toys
- Vitamins and supplements
- Kitchen appliances, like blenders, grain-mills, dehydrators, etc.
- Family fun and recreational activities
- And many other products that fall under the canopy of natural, healthy living!
Want to Learn More About Couponing in a Whole Foods Diet?
Just to give you a bit more of an idea of how real foods and couponing can play well together, I’ve included an excerpt from the Couponing chapter in my book, Real Food on a Real Budget. To learn more about the different ways that I save money in my own budget, you can purchase my book here.
Closing the Gap Between Real Food and Couponing
I recently attended a couponing class and felt the strong pull of that same old tension-‐‑ I want to be able to do this, but it just doesn’t work for 90-‐‑95% of the things that I buy. About half-‐‑ way through the class, the teacher mentioned the struggle that many people who are into “natural stuff” have with coupon-‐‑ ing, and that is the desire to just dismiss it because so much it doesn’t work for them. She encouraged us that although these techniques might not work for everything we buy, maybe they can work for something. “Do what you can”, she said.
She’s right. I may still buy the bulk of my groceries, toiletries and beauty products, cleaning supplies and household items in the same ways I currently do. However, if I can use coupons to dramatically lower the cost on that small percentage of my bill, isn’t that worth it?
Of course, that’s the question we have to determine the answer to. At what point is it worth it? How much is my time worth, and how much am I willing to put into couponing for a small amount of savings? Everyone’s answer will be different. For me, at this season of life while we are starting a new business and living on a tight budget, I will do whatever I can to save in some areas so that I can continue to buy real, whole foods of the highest quality in every other area.
What Items Might a Real Foodie Use Coupons For?
- Garbage bags
- Toilet paper
- Light bulbs
- Ziploc bags
- Toothbrushes and floss
- Razor blade refills
- Feminine Products (if you don’t use reusable alternatives)
- Disposables diapers (if you don’t use cloth) and Wipes
- Baby wash, soaps or lotions
- Dishwashing liquid
- Dishwasher detergent
- Laundry soap
- Kitchen or bathroom cleaners
- Stain removers
- Baking soda
- Canned tomatoes
- Canned seafood
- Condiments (soy or tamari, mustard, etc.)
You might be looking at that list thinking, “but you don’t know the brands I buy. There just aren’t coupons available for those things”. I understand. In our home we are committed to using products that are natural, non-toxic, environmentally safe and very gentle. You won’t see a bottle of Lysol under my sink, or a tube of Crest in my bathroom. For the few food items I listed, I am also very choosy, and stick to things like organic fermented Tamari sauce, wild Pacific salmon, and organic tomatoes.
Fortunately for those of us with a more natural bent, manufacturers of many natural and organic foods and products are beginning to change their ways. There is a growing abundance of coupons available that make even pseudo‑hippies like me happy. 7th Generation, Nature’s Gate, Stonyfield, Nature’s Valley, San-‑J, Frontier Spices and many, many more companies are jumping on board the coupon bandwagon.
Copyright 2010, Stephanie Langford, Real Food on a Real Budget: How to Eat Healthy for Less. May not be used without permission.