Organic Milk and Organic Beef for $0.94!

Milk and beef were on our small grocery list this week.  I was THRILLED when I found Avalon Organic Milk 2L for 50% off at Superstore.  My pleasure escalated when I found that Superstore now carries organic ground beef!

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$0.94 after Superbucks

I went in hoping not to spend any money at all, but to simply use my Superbucks, but I was $0.94 short, so I forked over a dollar, BUT I earned back 1000 PC Plus points with my beef purchase so in reality, it was like I got these organic items free!  If you don’t count the PC Points I earned, my savings today were just about 90%!  

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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!

13 Days, $5.62 Left to in the Budget

Today I spent $7.43 picking up a few grocery items we needed for the week.  There are 13 days left in February to stick within my $350 grocery budget and I now have $5.62 that I can spend out of pocket!

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$7.43 OOP (out of pocket)

Here’s the breakdown:

– I used my rain cheque from Sobeys to FINALLY get my organic potatoes (1.36kg) for $2.49.  Regular price: $3.99.

– The Advil and eggs I got for $1.58 by using a coupon and redeeming $10 in points at Shoppers Drug Mart.  Regular or sale price: Advil $10.99, eggs $1.99.

– After price matching the milk for $7.99 (from this week’s Sobeys flyer) using my $1 coupon and $5.31 in Superbucks, I got the milk and bananas at Superstore for only $3.37.  Regular price: milk $8.99, bananas $0.89/lb.

5 Tips to Start Frugal Organic Shopping

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. 

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Just some organic coupons I’ve been able to collect. I’ve used many others that are not seen here.

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.

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Reward yourself!

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.

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Don’t be afraid of the pink sticker!

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!

Frugal Friday Finds! Vol. 1

On Fridays I will be posting all the organic food sales for the week. I’ll point out specific tips and tricks to get optimal savings!  Here’s what I found so far this week:

Sobeys:
If you’re shopping at this store, don’t forget to bring your rewards card!

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Dairyland organic milk (4L) is cheaper this week at Sobeys than Superstore, BUT take your flyer in to Superstore to price match, use the $1 off coupon and I’ll be using my $5.31 Superbucks to get it for only $1.68!  If you choose to do this, don’t forget to scan your PC Plus points card so that they know you buy this product and can rewarded for it another time!
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The Silver Hills gluten free bread goes on sale at Save on Foods 2/$7 and sometimes on 15% off Tuesday.  That’s the best time to stock up, but if you need the bread now, this is a decent price.

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 Save on Foods:
If you’re shopping at this store, don’t forget to bring your rewards card!

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For me it’s the mushrooms that really stick out for me (only the mushrooms and salad are organic here).  We use A LOT of mushrooms here and not only is the price VERY decent for the quantityand quality (organic), but you get 10X the points for buying them too!

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Certainly not the best price I’ve ever seen for the strawberries or blueberries, but if you need them, these are the sale prices for the week.

Superstore:
If you’re shopping at this store, don’t forget to bring your rewards card and Superbucks!

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None of these products really interest me, but I always check out the PC organic salads because they are usually $2.50-$3.50 for 5oz.  Check out the apples too because you can find them 3lbs for $3.98-$4.98 and they are DELICIOUS!  If you have PC Point awards for fruits/veggies this week, make sure you get the organic kind: you will be rewarded for that!

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

How I Got Free Organic Milk!

…and a few other organic/whole food items too!

I like to shop strategically and make a plan before I go.  My plan doesn’t only consist of a grocery list, but almost always the price and any coupons/promotions/bonuses I will use too.

This week I was running low on organic milk and knew I’d have to head in at some point to get some.  Milk is one of those grocery items that doesn’t generally go on sale or have coupons (more on this later), but lucky for me right now there are $1 off coupons for organic milk, which was a great place to start!

At Superstore, Dairyland Organic Milk is $8.99 plus a $0.50 recycling fee so $1 coupon savings doesn’t seem like much, and with my goal to keep groceries at $350 this month, there is no way I’d be paying full or even HALF price for that.  I also didn’t want to compromise on quality.  So here’s what I did:

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Initially I thought my Superbucks and $1 coupon would be enough to cover the full cost of the milk,, but I was off a little.  So I decided it was a good time to use my $25 gift card that I received last week (my reward for spending $250 at Superstore – nope, didn’t spend the full amount on groceries).  I searched through my fridge to see what else I might need for the week to use up the whole $25 gift card and also bought these items:

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PC Plus also rewarded me for buying the organic milk!

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I was pretty pleased that with some strategic planning, coupons, Superbucks, PC Plus and PC Mastercard, not only did I get FREE organic yogurt, organic bananas, organic milk, organic apples, I also got a couple other ‘whole food’ items as well!  OOP?  NOTHING!  It was all free!

My goal for the next few weeks is to use my Superbucks to see what organic products I can get for free or close to free.  What do you use yours for?  Anything specific?