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EZ Organic Living: Save a Dollar Here, Shift a Dollar There

Monday, March 21, 2011

Read this previous post for an explanation about what this is all about.

This week's challenge:
For a full week, make a conscientious effort to save money by using some of the tips provided. Then shift your savings to organics!

Since we buy groceries for the entire week on Saturday morning, I spent last Friday night planning our shopping trip. Our weekly grocery budget is $100. [update: Kim was surprised at our food budget, so here's an explanation: we eat very little meat. we only buy chicken and eat it as a meal every other day. we eat lots of bean dishes in between.] My goal was to stay within our normal budget. My strategy was to use the tips for this challenge-- find lots of coupons and pass the savings to the organic items I wanted to buy: eggs, dairy, fruits and vegetables.

I spent 2 hours searching for coupons and learning about organic brands (it will be much less time as I get better at this). I was surprised at how many high-value coupons and deals I found for organic brands when I looked at coupon sites like Money Saving Mom, the store circulars where I shop, and the guide at Healthy Child. Even better, I came away with stacked coupons for several brands! We hit two stores armed with coupons, reusable shopping bags and a calculator.

So, how did we do? Pretty good! We spent $104.05. It was slightly over because I picked up a couple of items we normally don't buy because the discounts were too awesome to pass up. Here is a breakdown of our coupon savings:

@Whole Foods
Sea Salt Almond Nut Crackers (we don't usually buy boxed snacks)
2.99- .75 WF coupon= 2.24

OIKOS 8 oz.Plain Organic Greek Yogurt
3/$4 on sale (bought one)
1.33-$1.00 WF coupon= .33
(my biggest score!)

Babara's High Fiber Cereal (we don't buy boxed cereal, but the double discount was calling my name!)
4.69-1.00 WF coupon-1.00 manufacturer coupon= 2.69

Organic Valley 18 Count Medium Brown Eggs
4.99-.75 manufacturer coupon= 4.24

Organic Valley 8 oz. Cottage Cheese
3.99-1.00 WF coupon-.75 manufacturer coupon= 2.24

Muir Glen Organic Canned Tomatoes
3.19-1.00 WF coupon-1.00 manufacturer coupon= 1.19

Seventh Generation 48 oz Dishwashing Liquid
4.99-1.00 WF coupon-.50 manufacturer coupon= 3.49

Total Savings=$9.75!
There is a catch. The Whole Foods we shopped at does not stack coupons, but they made an exception just this once. I'm going to have to rethink shopping there because matching up coupons is a big part of affording to shop organic for us.

With our almost $10 in savings we bought these organic produce: bell pepper ($2.89), blueberries ($3.99), and apples ($1.60). We can't afford to buy all organic produce, so we mainly stuck to organic fruit and vegetables if they were on the Dirty Dozen list of foods most contaminated with pesticide residue. It helped a lot that our second stop, Sunflower Farmers Market, was having a super sale on organic produce. We picked up more apples...plus broccoli, carrots, chard, celery, lettuce, onion, spinach, and yams:

I should also mention that I received a $.60 discount off our bill for using reusable shopping bags.

My next goal is to find a way to afford organic meat. Damon heard that Costco has decent prices on organic meat. We happen to have a free membership, but never go...so guess where we went on Sunday? Costco offered two organic whole chicken fryers for $20-$25. Not bad! We didn't purchase any this week because we had already spent our grocery money for this week, but I'm already working it in to week's shopping trip.

To learn how you can cut costs so you can afford organic and/or to try this challenge register at Baby Center at join the Easy Organic Living Group.

Disclosure: part of the Easy Organic Living program co-hosted by Baby Center and Healthy Child Healthy World and sponsored by Stonyfield


Kim said...

I can't believe that your budget is $100 and that you are able to stay within it. I don't know what it is, maybe Canadian prices (likely) but we are spending upwards of $200. per week and Naveen doesn't even eat much.

Superdumb Supervillain said...

You did great! I am so jealous of Whole Foods, we don't have one here. Or CostCo, for that matter…

Betty Manousos said...

I'm impressed!
You did just great!!

Here in Greece the cost of living is too high...we regularly spend 200 euros.

Happy Tuesday!


Help! Mama Remote... said...

Good job! I still havent tried the greek yogurt. I have a coupon too. Hope to remember the next time I go to the grocery store.

Heather said...

I really like how you are working in the coupons and sharing coupon sites in doing the challenge~I need to do better with that!

Anonymous said...

I read this post this morning and am so on this bandwagon that I ran out to my local Publix and did just so! What an easy concept and so easy to implement. Thanks Teresha.

My best, Lynn

Unknown said...

I can't get by on hundred dollars of groceries, but hubby want set down to a mean without meat. That seem to be all he wants to eat.

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