Frugal Friday Finds! Vol. 2

Sorry that I wasn’t able to post anything last week.  Miraculously my laptop is now working and I’ll be making up for what I missed!  Don’t bother looking through the following flyers, because I did it for you.  Here’s what I found so far this week:

London Drugs

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Two things here:
– Arm & Hammer detergent: use your $1.25 tearpad coupon (find it in stores NOW)
– Lindt chocolate: this is one of the lowest prices for Lindt and it’s a great treat and ‘healthy-ish’ because it’s all dark chocolate!
Consider price matching a Superstore if these are on your list!

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Not organic, but a sparkling fruit beverage with natural ingredients. It’s delicious and a good pop alternative.

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Ignore the butter fudge on the left and focus on the Panda licorice. This is a natural and delicious alternative to the sugar packed conventional sweet candy. They have red and black flavours.

Safeway
If you’re shopping at this store, don’t forget to bring your rewards card!
This Tuesday it’s 10% off your groceries when you spend $50!

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Have a party coming up?

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Save on Foods
If you’re shopping at this store, don’t forget to bring your rewards card!
This Tuesday it’s 15% off your groceries when you buy $50 (TIP: your total has to be above $50, but your subtotal can be less and you’ll still get 15% off what your total price is)!

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Use your $1 Earthbound Farms coupons!
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Use your $1 Happy Planet coupons!

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Cheapest I’ve seen this bread and a great time to stock up on 15% off day!  Check out their website.

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Coconut!

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Sobeys
If you’re shopping at this store, don’t forget to bring your rewards card!
This Tuesday it’s 10% off your groceries when you spend $50!

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Great price for carrots!

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Anyone ever see quinoa pasta before?!

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Can’t afford organic milk? This is a good price.

Superstore
If you’re shopping at this store, don’t forget to bring your rewards card!
This week if you spend $250 you get a $25 gift card!

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Good price for carrots and sweet potatoes!

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Absolutely great price on diapers! Use your $2 off coupon for an even better deal.

Target

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Not organic, but gluten free. Consider grabbing their flyer and price matching at Superstore to help bump your total to get the $25 gift card when you spend $250.

Toys R Us

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Consider picking up this flyer and price matching at Superstore.

These are the flyer deals I found this week.  If you see any more or any in-store specials, let me know!

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Spend $250 at Superstore and Get a $25 Gift Card. My Tips for Taking Part in This While Sticking to your Grocery Budget.

Wow, long title, but I’m tired and can’t think of anything shorter.

This is a great (and frequent) special offer by Superstore and I think it’s an excellent way to help ‘save’ on organic groceries.  Yes, you have to spend money to get something BUT you can do so strategically.

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In February I started challenging myself to spending $350 on our groceries while trying to buy as much organic/free-from foods as possible (stay tuned for my post on how we did).  I like to shop on a weekly basis to maximize the savings for our family, so spending $250 on grocery items at once is too much for us.  Because I spend $110 on The Organic Box, I really only have $240 left to spend at the grocery store over the next 4 weeks. Determined to be strict with my budget, but wanting to take part in this special offer, I decided to start making a list of non-grocery items I need/want that I could buy during this time and combine it with the costs of weekly grocery bill to get to the $250.

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I could buy these items elsewhere, but buying them at Superstore during this promotion will help get the $25 gift card for me to use for future organic grocery purchases.

How do you shop when this special offer is on?

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Driscoll Berries Giveaway! Enter for a Chance to Win $20 in Coupons!

All correct answers are entered for a chance to win $20 in Driscoll’s coupons! Go to their Facebook page and under their “Win it Wednesday” post by answering the following question:

What was the first strawberry variety Driscoll’s founders began growing?
(Hint: http://www.driscolls.com/about/our-heritage)

NO PURCH. NEC. Legal res. 50 US/DC, & Canada (excl. Quebec) 18+ (19 in AL and NE). Ends Feb. 27, 2014, 11:59:59 pm ET. Official Rules: http://bit.ly/1e5qweM

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5 Ways to Help You Make Your Organic Groceries Last Longer

Here are just a few suggestions to help you stock up on organic groceries when they are on sale.
 
1. If you don’t use PC Points or Superbucks to help reduce the costs of your organic milk, consider buying a month’s worth on 15% off Tuesday at SOF (you can use coupons here too) then freeze it!
 
Make sure you write the date you froze it and the date it expires so you know how much time you have after you thaw it before it goes bad.
 
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Freeze it in a ziplock bag. Lie the bags flat to freeze and to make for easy stacking. You can also stock up on your organic cheese, yogurt and butter for the month and freeze it as well. You can stock up on meats, eggs, breads and produce and freeze as well!
 
2. Learn how to substitute one product for another. On Sunday we made chocolate chip cookies and instead of using eggs (organic eggs are NOT cheap) we used banana as a substitute! Organic bananas ARE cheap and the banana added extra sweetness to the cookie. Bonus: my non-fruit eating son eats them without knowing there is fruit in them.
 
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3. Preserve!  Freeze, pickle, dry. This is an area I am determined to learn more about this spring/summer so that I can make my garden produce last longer. Freezing seems to be the easiest method right now. When you see a sale, especially on 15% off day, stock up on that produce and learn how to freeze it! Freezing fruit is VERY easy! So is blending it up into sauces for baking or eating 🙂
 
4. DIY.  Make your own foods.  Recently I’ve learned how to make our own pudding and have been able to add healthy ingredients into it like bananas, avocados and almond butter.  These puddings are absolutely delicious and by buying the ingredients to make our own organic pudding, we’re saving lots of money.
 
5. Make frugal meals.  Stretching a roasted chicken or maximizing the amount of produce I get can be a challenge, but very rewarding when you’re successful.  This month we managed to use one free-from whole chicken and turn it into 3 meals for a family of 4!  Get creative and search for easy, yet maximizing recipes!  In March I’ll share our frugal meals!
 
Any more ideas?  Let me know!

My Third Organic Box

Now that I know how to strategically shop The Organic Box, I’m loving it. Again our produce lasted us two weeks with some carrying into the next week. I’m trying to get at least one different vegetable or fruit each time and this week we got rainbow carrots: my kids think the purple carrots are pretty cool.  This is what we have for the next two weeks minus a 2lb bag of sweet potatoes (they ran out but we get a credit for next time).

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Organic Food Companies That Will Send You Coupons!

These are the organic companies I know of so far that will or have sent out coupons for organic or whole food products.  I will do my best to keep you up to date when I find more.  Happy emailing!  Let me know what you get and if I missed out on any companies.

Bolthouse – Not organic products, but great smoothies that use only fruits or vegetables.  They sent me multiple $1 off coupons.

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Driscoll – They have organic and non-organic berries.  I was sent a $0.50 off coupon and used it on organic raspberries.  Fill out surveys after buying their products in order to get more coupons emailed/mailed to you.

Earthbound Farms – Great for buying salads!  They have sent me $1 off coupons.

Earth Balance – Not all their products are organic and I have yet to email them for coupons, but have heard they send out $1 coupons.

Eden Foods – They have sent me $0.55-$1 off coupons.

Glutino – Not specifically organic, but provide great gluten-free products.  I’ve been sent FPCs and $1 off coupons.  Here is a printable coupon.

Hain Celestial – They have sent me multiple $1 off coupons.

Happy Planet – They have been most generous with me!  I received 5 FPCs and multiple $1 coupons from them.

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Ingredients Magazine – This is a magazine by the company Saputo.  They have sent out a $1 Dairyland organic milk coupon in their last few issues.  It’s FREE to sign up.

Natura – Not organic products, but provide coupons for rice and almond milk.  They provide for soy too, but I’m not a promoter of soy.

Organic Meadows – They have sent out a 1L milk FPC (free product coupon), BUT so far you can’t buy this product in Alberta!  I’ve traded it for other organic FPCs.

Pillers Fine Foods – They don’t have organic products, but next best: free-from.  I have received $0.50, $0.75 and $5 coupons.  Sign up for their e-newsletters and you can get coupons sent to your email.

These are the companies I know of so far and will do my best to keep you up to date when I find more.

The Best Time to Buy Kids Craft Supplies

This isn’t a post about organic living/saving, BUT because I’m a frugal mom, saving money in everything is important to me.  I went to Target in Sherwood Park to pick up a few items on my list (fitted crib sheets, baby bottles, etc) and I went by the Valentine’s Day clearance section to see what they had.  I like to look because after the big ‘holidays’ is a great time to stock up on craft supplies for my 2 1/2 year old.

Crafts are important here because they can be an activity that 1) can be frugal 2) allows for creativity 3) keeps them busy for at least 30 minutes.  While I love everything I picked up, I’m most excited for the 15pk of play dough for $2!

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$20!

This afternoon the kids spent an hour quietly ‘crafting’ together while I prepped supper.  This is just one great frugal activity that we all enjoy.

Ben just picked out all the foam puppy sticker.

Ben just picked out all the foam puppy sticker.

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Art by my babies

(Btw, I bought these items with my PC Mastercard so I could earn points for organic groceries.)

The Organic Box IS Frugal – My Personal (and Long) Review

For a long time I contemplated getting The Organic Box.  I wondered: Will it be worth my money?  I don’t want anything to go to waste, so what size box should I get?  Can I get organic produce cheaper in stores?  Is $110/month in fresh organic produce worth it?  Is there a way to shop strategically to get the most bang for my buck?

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Here’s what I came up with:

Will it be worth my money?  For my family, yes.  Most of us who like to shop healthy make a weekly or bi-weekly trip into the grocery store for fresh produce.  Personally, even with my list, I struggle not to pick up that extra thing here or there (even if that extra thing is produce we don’t need)!  Having produce delivered to my home will not only save me from shopping with the kids (fun to do especially when pregnant *sarcasm*), buying those “extras”, and saving money on gas.  I’m also guaranteed my produce even if my car won’t start, I have unexpected guests or a new baby in the house and I just can’t get out to buy my produce!  Those reasons are HUGE for me.

I don’t want anything to go to waste, so what size box should I get?
As we know, organic produce goes bad much quicker than non-organic.  It’s really disappointing to throw out moldy produce especially when you’ve paid good money for it.  My husband and son do not eat nearly as many fruits and vegetables as my daughter and I, so I wasn’t sure  what size of box would be right for us (it might be different for your family).  It took careful thought and planning, but we went for ‘The Organic Box‘ which has “…enough produce for an average-sized family for a full week.”  I figured we are a young average sized family who doesn’t eat a ton of produce.  The first week, I was disappointed in how little produce I got for my $55…

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My first box. Not strategically bought.

Can I get organic produce cheaper in stores?
Yup!  No beating around the bush there.  You can definitely get [most] produce cheaper – and I will get some things there because of that – BUT here’s what you can’t get: free delivery, mostly local products (trickier in winter), the good feeling of supporting a local business, educational newsletters with your boxes, free-trade and a huge variety (have you ever seen rainbow organic carrots in a grocery store?)!

Is $110/month in fresh organic produce worth it?  
Yes!  First off, when shopping strategically you can get a lot of produce for $110.  I figure $27.50/week for organic produce delivered to my house is GREAT!  And the amount we get certainly lasts us the two weeks!  (We also have frozen and dried organic fruits/veggies that we use to help make the produce last or IF we run out).

Is there a way to shop strategically to get the most bang for my buck?
Yes!  When I plan out my grocery shopping trips, I look for produce that is on sale and we eat that for the week.  Well, a friend had to clue me in that I need to do the same thing with The Organic Box.  They send me a set list of what automatically comes in my box and I can delete what I don’t want then add what I DO want.  Going through the weekly produce list helps me to see what produce is on sale (ex. the red leaf lettuce is less expensive this week than the romaine) and to select based on that.  From what I selected, I then begin to meal plan.

Easy peasy and look at how much I got for the next two weeks:

The box was almost full!

The box was almost full!

This is a lot for my family.

This is a lot for my family.  Don’t see a lot of fruit?  I substituted by getting that for free at Superstore last week.

And finally, I use my PC Mastercard to pay for my Organic Box purchases to get points to use on other in-store organic groceries!

We await our next box this coming Friday and so far we’ve enjoyed the delicious carrots and celery in soup, celery ‘ants on a log’, BLT sandwiches with the red lettuce, avacado (still have some for chocolate avocado pudding!) tomatoes, cucumber snacks and in salads, pepper and tomatoes in chili, kale chips, squash and a carrot in muffins, broccoli with free-from steaks, and we still have some left!  I’m excited to share with you what I get this week in my box.