I realized I may have gotten a head of myself with starting this blog and launching immediately into a personal challenge, so I’m going to back track a little for the sake of those who are thinking, “Hey, that’s nice that you’re going to only spend $350 this month on your organic groceries, but how the heck do I get started?” My apologies for getting too eager; here are some things I do.
1. Coupon. I do a few things in order to be able to afford organic products:
- Email organic companies asking for coupons.
- “Like” organic companies of Facebook and watch for promotions.
- Stay alert when grocery shopping for the rare organic coupon tear pads.
- Use coupons to save money on OTHER non-organic products such as toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, make-up, medicine, clothing, etc.
- I am part of Facebook’s couponing network and trade non-organic coupons for organic coupons.
Couponing does take a certain amount of time and commitment, but for me the payoff is worth it.
2. Watch and record sales (or just watch this blog for sale alerts!) Checking your flyers weekly is one of the BEST ways to do this. In just a short time and with a bit of networking, I’ve been able to learn sale cycles and record stock up and sale prices. Some stores will price match other stores’ flyers which is a great way to help optimize savings!
3. Reward yourself. This can be such an extensive topic so I’m going to attempt an in-depth post another time. Basically, make sure you’re getting something back for buying your products. Whether it’s 20x the points at Shoppers Drug Mart, PC Plus points, Superbucks, 15% off day, special offers, points on your credit card, etc. make sure you’re optimizing these rewards in order to help you save more later on.
4. Discount stickers. Don’t be afraid to buy items that are clearing out. I feel like I hit the jackpot when I find my grocery list products on clearance, especially when it’s meat and dairy. You can freeze a lot of these items or be creative and figure out how to use them up in your meals that week.
5. Inventory. List. Plan. Shop. Stop. Plan. Record! Before I go shopping, I check to see what I have and what I need (especially when I’m getting close to exhausting the monthly budget). I’ll do a quick inventory, makes a list based on what we have/need and what’s on sale in the flyers, plan my coupons/promotions, shop, then stop. By stop I mean shop only once (MAYBE twice) a week. Based on what I bought I then meal and snack plan for the week. It may be a little backwards, but for us it’s been the best way to save money. This is because we buy sale and discount items. We almost NEVER buy anything at full price or without a ‘reward’. Most of our meat and yogurt have discount stickers on them and our produce will always be whatever is on sale for the week. We do allow some flexibility within our budget for stock up items in case something goes on such a great sale that it’s worth it to buy more than we need (at the moment) but will certainly use up before they expire. Don’t forget to keep track of how much you spent so you don’t over spend!
I learned a lot of these tips while buying non-organic products, but it can be applied to any means of shopping really! Try implementing one or two (or all) of these and you’ll notice a difference in the amount you spend when buying organic!