Christine Luken, the Coupon Queen, is back to dispel some myths and give us some solid ways to save money on healthy foods. After Christine’s last guest post, it was clear we have some very discerning fans that are looking for ways to make products that are good for them also good for the budget. ~D.S.
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There’s a myth floating around out there that I am constantly trying to dispel. It goes something like this: “I’m eating healthy/organic/gluten-free, and there aren’t any coupons for the food I eat.” Or: “The only coupons I see out there are for processed and packaged foods.”
Let me set the record straight: You can eat healthy AND save money! The two are not mutually exclusive.
Now, it’s true that there are many coupons out there for products like Pop-Tarts, Rice-A-Roni, and Frosted Flakes. However, there are also coupons and deals to be had for Kashi Frozen Dinners, Cascadian Farms cereal, Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, and all-natural Luna Bars. You just need to know where to find them!
The first strategy you need to follow to save money on healthy food is to buy it when it’s on sale with coupons. Then you need to stock up on it so you have it on hand when it’s not on sale. This is known in couponing circles as “stockpiling.” Stockpiling does not mean you designate an entire room in your house to food storage. It simply means that you buy enough to last until the next sale. Never buy more of an item than your family will use before it expires. Things like organic cereal and granola bars have a reasonably long shelf life. You can freeze extra loaves of gluten-free bread when it goes on sale.
So where do you find coupons for organic and gluten-free products? It’s true that there aren’t too many of these in the Sunday paper (although you might spot a few.) The best ones I’ve found are online. Coupons.com frequently has printable coupons for Kashi products. With printable coupons, you can typically print two of any coupon per month per computer. So if you both you and your spouse have laptops and your kids have a desktop computer, you can potentially print six of the same coupon. You can also have friends and family members print some for you. Another great website for printable healthy coupons is MamboSpouts.com. I also recommend that you follow Organic Deals on Facebook. I frequently re-post deals they share for organic and gluten-free products.
Another way to get multiple coupons for healthy food is to search for them on E-Bay. Just type in the product name and coupon in the E-Bay search bar. There are quite a few “coupon clipping services” on E-Bay that will cut the coupons for you so that you can pay a few bucks for ten to twenty of a coupon. Let me give you a real-life example of this. Just a few weeks ago, I went to E-Bay and purchased twenty 50-cents off coupons for Luna Bars, an all-natural, 80% organic energy bar for women, for $6 shipped. My local Kroger doubles coupons so these are actually worth $1 for me. Guess what? Kroger sells Luna bars for 99 cents each. I use my coupons (usually five or ten at a time) to get my energy bars for free! My cost for the Luna bars was $6 for twenty, which is 30 cents a bar. 70% off isn’t too bad! Sometimes, people in other parts of the country, like Colorado and California, will get organic coupons in their Sunday papers that I wouldn’t get here in Cincinnati. Just make sure you are buying from a reputable seller with a good rating and that you’re buying original manufacturer’s coupons.
Do you have a favorite brand of organic or gluten-free food? If you write or email the manufacturer singing the praises of their products, they will frequently send you free coupons! It’s also a great idea to sign up for your favorite brands’ email lists and follow them on Facebook or Twitter. They frequently reward loyal followers and subscribers with printable coupons and free samples.
One last tip to reduce the cost of eating healthy is to use coupons for your non-food items. Even if you have a hard time finding good deals on your organic and gluten-free food, you can still use coupons to get your toilet paper, garbage bags, deodorant, shaving cream, dish washing liquid, and fabric softener for less. Now you can eat healthy without emptying your wallet!
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Christine Luken is a Coupon Queen, Financial Coach, and author of the e-book, Confessions of a Coupon Queen: Secrets Retailers Don’t Want You to Know. Christine has a passion for helping families save money so they can build up their savings and pay off their debt. In her spare time, you can find Christine on the golf course, at the mall shopping for shoes (coupons in hand!), or at home watching cage fighting with her husband. You can find her on her website or email her directly.