Organic Couponing: Stacking Store Coupons

In my last post, I talked about using coupons to score deals on healthy products.  The deals are even better when you use store coupons on top of the manufacturer coupons.  My two favorite stores for this are Meijer and Whole Foods.  Meijer has a program called Mperks.  You load e-coupons online and then punch in your phone number at the register and the coupons you’ve loaded are automatically applied.  You can stack their store MPerk e-coupons (not their manufacturer Mperk e-coupons) with a manufacturer coupon, so be sure to check which type of e-coupon it is.  Meijer has their own brand of organics that are affordable.  They often go on sale and there are many coupons on Mperks for these items, to save even further.

Whole Foods offers many high value coupons each month on their website.  They also allow you to “stack” these with manufacturer coupons that you find in the paper or the coupon websites I mentioned in the previous post.  There’s no limit on the amount of store coupons they will allow you to use which works great with their bulk program.  If you buy a product in bulk (usually 6-12, depending on the item) they will offer you an additional 10% off.  Often times you can find a product on sale, use a WF coupon, a manufacturer coupon and buy in bulk and you end up paying less than you would at the regular grocery store for a cheap, unhealthy product.  I’ve often gotten items free from WF using these methods.

Kroger now also has their own brand of Organics, called Simple Truth. They are priced below name brand organics and often go on sale. Kroger has a similar program to Mperks, however, you cannot use manufacturer coupons with them.  Sometimes, the coupons are high value enough that it’s worth using.

Trader Joe’s does not offer store coupons, but they do accept manufacturer coupons.  Their prices are reasonable and they offer a lot of products that are hard to find.

Natural and Organic Couponing

A few years ago,  I fell in love with the hobby of couponing.  It was so exciting to come home with bags of free food and merchandise (don’t worry, it was legal!) and stack it into a pile to show it off to my husband.  As we began switching to a healthier lifestyle, however, I thought my couponing days were over.  Thankfully, as healthy living is becoming the norm, there are a lot more deals to be had.  I had to switch my methods slightly, but I’ve found that living healthy does not have to break the bank.

I’ll be starting a series on how to find the best healthy deals online and in stores.  I will also post healthy coupons as they become available and announce special healthy deals as I find them in the stores and online.

To start, gather as many coupons as you can.  Coupons.com and Save.com often have organic coupons.  Mambo Sprouts has a ton of organic coupons that are frequently updated.  Another great way to get organic coupons is to check the company’s website.  For example Silk often has high value organic coupons on their website and Facebook page.  You can also email the company to obtain coupons.  I’ve written to Seventh Generation, Food for Life, Earth’s Best and several others that have mailed me high value coupons.  I then wait for a sale and use these coupons to get free/cheap products. Amazon Couponshas many e-coupons including Seventh Generation brand items.

See my post here on how to coupon organically.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook for all of the latest natural and organic couponing deals!

Simple Swaps: BPA Free Cans

 

You buy a can of beans or tomatoes with no preservatives and that seems like a healthy choice, right?  It may even be organic.  But, if the can is not BPA-free, the health consequences can be disastrous.

Why? BPA (Bisphenol A) is a chemical used in plastics and as a resin in cans.  It has been found to be dangerous and has been banned in all baby items in the US, but still appears in many other products.  BPA contains xenoestrogens, which mimics estrogen, causing dangerous levels of estrogen in the body.  Consumption can cause neurological damage, cancer (especially prostate and breast), hormonal disorders (PMS, menopause, infertility), thyroid disorders, pregnancy

complications and birth defects, hyperactivity in children, and weight gain.

Swapping frugally: This is a swap that I am currently implementing myself.  The cheapest solution for beans is to cook a large batch of beans http://www.ehow.com/how_5225_cook-beans.html, then freeze individual servings in glass jars.  I’d like to start buying tomatoes on sale, peeling and chopping them and then freezing them in glass jars.  Making and freezing your own soups and marinara sauces are also an idea.  If you prefer the convenience of canned food,  I’ve found that all Muir Glen products (tomatoes, sauce, soups, etc.) , Eden Foods beans, and Trader Joe’s beans, fish, corn, poultry and beef are BPA-free.  Many of these can be found at most grocery stores or online (see links below).  Muir Glen and Eden Foods often have coupons that can be found online (coupons.com, mambosprouts.com, wholefoods.com and their company websites).  In fact, by pairing coupons with a sale, I’ve gotten Muir Glen pizza sauce, tomato sauce, soups and tomatoes free.  Buying these on Amazon with their Subscribe and Save program can also save you a bundle.  If you purchase 5 Subscribe and Save items in a month, you’ll receive a 20% discount off of the entire order.  Plus, Amazon often has e-coupons you can pair with this.  Another option is to purchase these type of products in glass containers or paper packaging.  I’m still researching other products that are BPA-free and will update this list as I find them.  I’ve heard that Campbell’s will soon introduce BPA- free products, if only they’d work on the ingredients they use!

With these topics there is more information than can be fully covered in one post.  Please leave a comment below with any questions and stay tuned for more information in future posts.

Simple Swaps: Sea Salt

sea-saltWhen I first became sick, I had to very quickly make changes to my diet. There was no easing into it, as I felt the effects of every unhealthy choice I made. It was overwhelming to completely relearn everything I knew about cooking and food. I was eating a moderately healthy diet before, but I hadn’t realized how many unhealthy choices I was still making. From ingredients in baking to personal care,

I had to research and change everything that I was using. I’m hoping this series of “simple swaps” will help others make an easy transition into healthy living and eating.

I’ll start with an easy swap that many may already be doing, sea salt.

Table salt contains unnecessary ingredients such as sugar, unnatural iodine and anti caking agents. With the rapid drying method used to produce table salt, there are virtually no minerals left in it. Sea salt is a healthier choice as it contains trace minerals, including potassium, magnesium and calcium without the added chemicals and sugar.

Sea salt can be bought at any grocery store and is used the same in cooking. If you are sensitive to saltiness you many want to use a little less sea salt than you would table salt.

With these topics there is more information than can be fully covered in one post. Please leave a comment below with any questions and stay tuned for more information in future posts.

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