I’m Getting Addicted to Home Delivery Service!

Let’s talk about home delivery service.  I’m addicted.  It’s become so appealing after reading about no groceries for a year, and I’ve been wondering how I could achieve this in my life.  While I love shopping, I hate taking my kids with me especially in the winter.  From the time I tell the kids to start getting ready to go shopping, it can take up to 4 hours to get a simple grocery trip done.  There’s the putting on the many layers of winters clothing, starting the car and letting it warm up for 10 minutes, making sure those who are potty trained have peed and those who are in diapers are not poopy.

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Ugh, and that car seat!

There’s the loading and buckling kids, making sure I have a coin for the cart, mentally preparing for the screaming fits if they don’t get a bakery cookie, the sibling fights because “his leg is in the same leg hole as mine and we’re TOUCHING!”.  It’s the germ infected carts where I swear we caught all our flu bugs last year.  The minimum half hour of walking around the store, baby crying, people commenting about how close my kids are in age and how busy I must be, blah blah blah.  It’s the grocery tetris game, paying for grocery bags because I ALWAYS forget mine at home (seriously, if I buy 10 bags every time I go to the store, and if I go weekly, that’s $26 in grocery bags in a year). Loading the groceries back into the cart, then into the car, then loading the kids, returning the cart, driving home, unloading the groceries, unloading the kids and putting away the groceries.  Yes, when all is said and done, it is often 4 hours later and my day is shot.

Home grocery delivery service ROCKS MY WORLD!  Lately, I’ve been trying Spud.ca and I’m super pleased so far.  I’ve had milk and produce delivered to my house these last two weeks and it’s been AMAZING!  Here’s the home delivery process: I sit down at my computer and log in to my Spud account.  I look through all the produce sale items and pick what I want (I meal plan based on sale items); shopping the sales maximizes the amount of food I get.  If I’m low on milk, eggs or butter, then I order enough to last a week.  How much time does this take?  About 30 minutes from start to finish.  How much does this cost?  Well, for my family needs, it’s between $50-$70/week. That is a fantastic price for organic food delivered to my door!  I like Spud because they have reward points and promotions.  I will also use my best rewards Mastercards so that I am still earning points for buying organic products.

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I’ll still go into the grocery store for a few things (frozen organic food, meat – but I may soon be buying a dozen chickens and a 1/4 of a cow for my freezer!), but my trips are way more efficient, peaceful and usually happen when my husband is home.

Recently I decided to try The Honest Company diapers and wipes.  I’ve heard about them for a long time and really wanted to try their products, but wasn’t sure I could justify spending the money for the diapers when I could get them way cheaper at Superstore.  Well, I found an early Black Friday promo code in my email and decided to go for it!  I got 204 diapers, 288 wipes and two hand sanitizers for only $65.91! These diapers and wipes are “natural, organic, sustainably harvested, renewable, pure raw materials” and with this price is CHEAPER than what I could buy Pampers or Huggies for.  AND it’s delivered to my door!

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With home delivery service, the only thing I’m hauling are my boxes inside.  If you’re interested in trying either of these two home delivery services, please use my referral link!

Referral link for Spud.ca.

Referral link for The Honest Company.

Annie’s Homegrown Products

 

Annie's homegrown logo

Well.ca has Annie’s Homegrown products on sale for at least 25% off.  I like these products because they use a lot of natural, organic and gluten-free products.  Their bunny crackers and fruit gummies are great alternatives to the conventional products that often contain ingredients I don’t recognize, along with high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavours/colours.

After reading Our Year Without Groceries, I’ve been really thinking how I could do something similar and avoid the grocery stores and this is a good way.  With FREE shipping with the purchase of $25 or more, I can easily stop up on good snacks that my kids love, without even leaving my house!

Sale ends August 3.

5 Ways to Save Money When Buying Organic Foods

1. Search the flyers and make a list.  Look at your weekly flyers and what you have left at home in order to come up with a grocery list of what you need.

2. Buy sale or clearance items.  Nothing wrong with buying clearance organic produce and freezing them or baking them right away.  I do the same with yogurt, milk and meat.  Clearance items are where I get my best deals and honestly, when organic meats are on clearance YOU STOCK UP!  Knowing the regular and sale prices will help you make informed frugal purchases.

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3. Meal plan.  I meal plan based on what organic products are on sale for the week.  For example, if organic apples, organic chicken, organic milk and organic berries are on sale this coming week, I will figure meal plan incorporating those ingredients.  There are TONS of things I can do with these ingredients to stretch them out into fun, delicious meals and snacks.  I’ve been able to stretch my chickens into three meals, which I thought was pretty good.  Here’s a great post on making one whole chicken last SIX meals!

4. Use rewards and reward days.   I generally buy my organic products at Superstore or Costco.  Occasionally when there is a great sale or a specific product I need (that isn’t sold at Superstore or Costco), I’ll head over to Safeway or Save on Foods.  I use my PC Mastercard, Superbucks and PC points to help me collect rewards.  I buy my gasoline at Superstore because I get rewarded the Superbucks for it.  Save on Foods has a great points system too.  Costco is great for bulk purchases especially when they have their organic and natural foods sales.

5. Use coupons.  Because we are now buying more whole/organic foods and less processed stuff, I have a lot less food coupons.  Instead now, I’m really trying – and it’s tough! – to buy other things like toilet paper, cleaning products, etc using coupons.  Any other items we buy, we try to get them on clearance.

What are some ways you save when buying whole or organic foods?

Could You Live Without Your Grocery Store?

I’m truly inspired by the post Our Year Without Groceries.  While I realize that they do live in the US and are farmers (possibly making it a little bit simpler), their determination to go an entire year without stepping into a grocery store blows me away and makes me wish I could do the same.  Is it even possible in Alberta, Canada?  Why not?!

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I was honestly shocked that society has lasted so long without the convinience of grocery stores.  For a while, I’ve been thinking about this article and meme have concluded that it is entirely possible to shop outside of grocery stores.  For those of us non-farmers, we can buy our meats, eggs, grains, dairy and produce through farmer’s markets, things like Heritage Chickens, The Organic Box, and Locavoria, and buying co-ops! And if we we are able to, some of us can even grow our own produce and some people are lucky enough to own chickens, goats, etc in their backyard (not in Alberta unfortunately)!

Is it the most frugal way?  Maybe not, but then again, maybe it is.  Consider the amount of impulse shopping that many of us do while roaming the aisles.  I’m guilty of it, especially in the toys and clothing department.  And perhaps, in the long run it will save us money in health care.  It also keeps us buying whole foods and supports the local economy.  Growing your own food also saves you money!

Perhaps it’s an idealistic way to look at things and I believe that there are some things that “must” be bought at a grocery store to accommodate budgets and convenience.  (Like it says in the blog post, even Laura Ingalls’ family went to the “grocery” store 1-2 times/year, but that was it).  Once I get a handle on buying mostly whole and organic foods, I’d really like to see if I could implement something similar to “Our Year without Groceries”, but maybe start with something shorter like one month.

 

Get 10% off TODAY for Customer Appreciation at Planet Organic

photo(11)Planet Organic doesn’t have a monthly set day when they do their customer appreciation, but today is the day.  As a member you can get 10% off anything in the store!

Activate a membership rewards card and get $5 in free produce!

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Speaking of produce, they have some excellent sales that are better or equal to what non-organic produce usually is.  Sales run until June 19.

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With 10% off it’s $2.24!

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With 10% off that $0.90.each!

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With 10% off that 2/$2.70!

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Dairy promo!

Check out their flyer for a complete list of sale offers.

STOP! Do NOT Buy This Product!

Well, at least don’t buy it until Tuesday June 3rd!  That’s when Save-on-Foods has their customer appreciation day and you can get 15% off your entire purchase when you spend $50* or more.

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The product I’m telling you to wait on is Adams Peanut Butter.  This 100% natural and sugar-free peanut butter is excellent and I wait until it goes on sale during the week of 15% off Tuesday before I stock up: can’t get much better than $2.97 per 500g jar.  Unless you have a coupon too!

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*Coupons are considered a form of payment here so just make sure you buy $50 worth before coupons.

5 Reasons Why Spending my Budget at the Beginning of the Month was a Mistake.

Lesson learned.

We hadn’t spent our entire grocery budget right at the beginning of the month since before we had kids.  After experimenting this month, I’m reminded as to WHY we stopped doing that and that our decision to shop weekly is a better idea.  Here’s why:

1. Spending all at once, limits my savings.  By shopping weekly, I can search out the BEST prices for products that week.  I can find clearance meats, sales on organic produce, shop based on PC Plus points or Shoppers Optimum bonus points or redemption days.  That maximizes my savings.

2. Spending all at once, limits our meal creativity. When I shop bulk, we’re limited to a month’s worth of the same thing, which none of my family really likes.

3. Freezing my milk doesn’t save me anything.  I go to the grocery store weekly to pick up a few produce items that I don’t get in my Organic Box, so freezing my milk is a bit more of a hassle then it’s worth.  It’s not something I will do again.

4. I like getting out of the house.  And shopping.  And my blog is better.  My weekly grocery trips are a way to get me out of the house and the kids like it too.  PLUS I seem to have a ‘need’ to shop so doing it weekly helps to ‘fill’ that need.  Also, my blog is really boring when I have nothing to post weekly!

5. I spent more by shopping only once a month.  Our needs may differ from week to week and by spending everything all at once, I have nothing left for the “just in case” moments.

So next month I’ll be back to my weekly shopping!  Stay posted for my breakdown of April’s grocery budget!

We Froze Our Milk This Month

We froze our milk this month for two reasons:

1. I wanted to see how much milk we go through and if freezing it is a good way to help save money 2. If this is a ‘success’ it may be a huge life saver after the baby is born!

Cost of milk this month (3x 4L): $19.92
(After 15% and 3x $1 coupons.  There was also some overage from the FPCs.  Clearly this is more than me spent on milk in February with no PC points.  We shall see if this is the right way to go.)

Here’s how I did it:

1. Collect your supplies.  You’ll need:

  • Very well sealed zipper freezer bags.
  • Sharpie or pen
  • Cookie tray
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We only froze 2x 4L jugs because we already broke into the 3rd one.

2. Write down important information on the bags:

  • Date you froze the milk
  • Date the milk expires
  • How much you put in the bag (I did approximately 2L so that there was room to lay the bag flat-ish)
  • Days you have after thawing before the milk goes bad (in my case, 10 days)

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3. Pouring the milk.  I found this way to be the best.  Put the bag over top of the jug as tightly as possible and slowly pour the milk into the bag.

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4. Lie each bag flat on a cookie sheet (they don’t stack well before they are frozen, so I staggered them a bit).

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5. Lie flat in the freezer.

6. Thawing. When you thaw the milk, let it thaw in slightly in the fridge, then dump the contents into a jug that can be sealed.  There will be slightly ‘more’ milk due to thawed ice.  Thawing can take up to 24 hours so make sure to take it out in time so that you can use it when you run out of milk.

7. Milk jar.  I bought a milk jar from Home Sense for $5.99 and am going to go back to buy a second one so all the thawed milk has a place to go.  Totally optional, but oh so cute!

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