Extreme Couponing for Organic and Natural Food

by Dagmar Bleasdale on December 14, 2012

coupons for organic food

A few days ago I saved $76 on my trip to the grocery store. I bought mostly organic, natural food and still saved that much. How did I do that?

You have to get pretty creative.

DagmarBleasdale.com: Extreme Couponing for Organic Food

Many people still don’t realize that 80% of the food in grocery stores is gene-manipulated (GMO) food.

After I learned the shocking truth about what GMO food can do to our body (it’s full of pesticides, for once) and what it will do to farming and our environment, I decided to only buy organic food for my family, or food that is labeled as non-GMO.

I was really into extreme couponing for a while and even went to a Coupon Mania class to learn more, but this new resolve to only buy non-GMO food makes using coupons pretty challenging since most are for junk food with hardly any nutritional value.

DagmarBleasdale.com: Extreme Couponing for Organic Food

This is how I saved $76 on organic food:

  • I recycled bottles and received about $2 in credit
  • I brought my own bags and received 40 cents credit
  • I used coupons I received at a recent Health Child Healthy World event (Plum Organics, Stonyfield)
  • I used the store’s rewards card
  • I used Mambo Sprouts coupons for organic and natural food

I get the Mambo Sprouts coupons in a little booklet at our local Mrs. Green’s Natural Food store, but anyone can access those coupons here online.

Instead of using them at the expensive health food store, I use those coupons at Stop & Shop. They have a whole section for organic food and drinks, and that’s where I mostly shop. Plus they double coupons.

I know too much to venture into the other aisles, and honestly it disturbs me to see what other people have in their cart, not realizing that they are buying gene-manipulated, pesticide-laced food full of food dyes, sodium, hydrogenated oils, and empty carbs.

DagmarBleasdale.com: Extreme Couponing for Organic Food

Let’s take a look at just one unhealthy food: Oreos

It becomes pretty easy to resist Oreos when you know what’s in them: 6 cookies with 370 empty calories have 12 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, and 40 carbs — more than 50% of your daily carbohydrate allowance.

The “natural flavors” in Oreos — and most other food in our grocery stores — are manufactured, caroinogenic chemicals to make Oreos taste like chocolate cookies. Chocolate is actually the last ingredient in Oreos. And all that sugar depletes our immune system, creating inflammation and free radicals in our body.

There is no way I’ll feed those to my family.

I can’t control what Landon eats when he’s at school — I’m sure he eats his fair share of dyed cookies other parents are bringing in to celebrate one of his classmate’s birthdays — but I’m in charge of the food I bring home.

If you can’t live without the occasional Oreos, I suggest to buy the organic ones.

DagmarBleasdale.com: Extreme Couponing for Organic Food

At the checkout, I received more coupons. And I actually used them right away because I was only 15 points away from getting 30 cents off every gallon of gas. At Shop & Stop they give you a point for every dollar you spend toward a credit on gas. So in I went in again after unloading the groceries to get a few more things to reach 300 points.

That night, Don filled up his diesel truck and saved an additional $9 by using my Shop & Stop card rewards points.

As you can see, it takes some dedication to save on organic and natural food with coupons, but it can be done, and savings do add up.

The two hours it took me to cut coupons and shop really smart, taking into consideration what is on sale in the store plus a combination of recycling, reusing and couponing, saved me $76.

Find additional resources for coupons for organic and natural food on my Frugal Living page.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellie October 22, 2013 at 11:21 PM

I hate to tell you this, but GMOs are almost always organic foods. Why? Because they need to increase the yield of the plant in order to combat the fact that they cant use pesticides. And, the majority of genetic modification is NOT anything that will harm you or the environment, it’s removing an unwanted gene from the genome of a plant without the trial and error that traditional farming endures. Because it’s done at the genetic level, rather than the flower level, companies are able to produce seeds that cannot produce the unwanted trait. And, organic soy is the biggest offender in the organic GMO category because they’re naturally highly susceptible to pests and disease while also naturally producing too small of a yield for what is required by them thanks to western adoption of soybeans in everyday foods.

True, companies do use genetic modification to increase the plant’s resistance to pesticides (which, by the way, aren’t actually ingested by you because they’re water soluble or they burn away in the sunlight, so they’re gone well before the reach your table), but that doesnt make genetically modified foods bad for you. However, lobbyists and extremist people will spout that nonsense because it makes them money. And it’s true that GMOs are banned in certain areas. However, it’s important to note that in almost all cases of banned GMOs, it’s not a case of “being bad for your body” as the lobbyists and extremists will tell you, it’s a matter of legality. Right now we’re entering an unprecedented area where we can patent genomes. There are thousands of arguments on either side of the issue of whether that should be allowed or not, but the fact is that it’s a standing law right now. And since the genomes are patented, they’re considered intellectual property. And, under the law, if a plant breeds with a GMO without expressed permission from the company that created the GMO, the person who owns the breeding plant could be sued for copyright infringement. Since it’s impossible to guarantee that your plant doesnt cross pollinate with a nearby genetically modified plant, many areas (particularly areas where certain types of foods have existed for generations, like the vineyards in Italy or the maize farms in Central America) are banning GMOs as an attempt to save the native industry.

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Robin Gagnon {Mom Foodie} June 14, 2013 at 10:42 AM

I’ll tell you just omitting 95% of the MSG, HFCS & Hydrogenated fats in my household made a huge difference in overall health over the past few years.

I don’t prohibit my daughter from eating crap like Oreos at school or friend’s houses, and I do buy junk food on occasion… but as just that “junk food” (we all have our particular weaknesses). The sad thing is so many times people are feeding what they think is a nutritious meal to their family, and it is just empty calories and nasty chemicals.

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Dagmar Bleasdale June 14, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Couldn’t have said it better, Robin! I also can’t control what L eats at school birthday parties or at friend’s houses, but I can control what he eats at home.

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Tundraleigh March 20, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Nice article. I have had fantasies of saving huge amounts of money on my grocery bills, but I can’t seem to work it. I live in Vermont, it is very rural and the closest supermarket is about 35 minutes away. Here is how we shop and how I prioritize food:

1. From our garden – we always start here, both for cost-effectiveness and general healthiness of the food.
2. Friends – We get our eggs, honey and once a year, organic chickens from friends, coworkers and neighbors
3. Farms – there are lots of local organic farms that provide fresh-picked fruits and veggies. They have usually been harvested that morning or at least within the last 48 hours. This is my third choice.
4. Farmer’s Markets – despite what people write about how inexpensive farmer’s markets are, ours all tend to be pretty expensive (but they do provide an incredible array of artisanal products). Much more expensive than buying conventional foods at a grocery store, but still less than the co-op. Humanely-raised local organic meats are the worst offender – I can easily drop $40 – $50 for three or four pieces of meat for my husband/daughter. I don’t eat meat and we stretch it by only making meat one or two nights a week, but still…huge cost there.
5. Co-op – Usually becomes my go-to store during the long winters when local food is tougher to come by, but is it ever expensive. I’ve come out with 1 bag of groceries and dropped $100. Here I can occasionally find a coupon, but even with organics coupons tend toward large agribusiness organic companies, rather than small artisanal local producers.
5. Supermarkets – reserved for trash bags, cat litter, etc.

I wish I could achieve big savings on groceries. I search for coupons on the internet once I make up my shopping list, but my little rule is always to buy from small farms or local companies first, and I just don’t see coupons for a lot of the tiny community businesses like I see for large organic agribusiness companies. I would love to hear from others who shop the same way, and have figured out how to achieve significant savings. Thanks!

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Dagmar Bleasdale March 20, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Thanks for you wonderful comment! I hope you will come by again soon!

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Nadja (athenabee) January 5, 2013 at 9:47 PM

This was wonderful! Thank you!

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Gina B December 17, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Good for you Dagmar! It is a bit of work, but it can be done. It’s NOT easy, and you need to know the tricks…hm, sounds like a great future blog for me!

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Becky December 16, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Good haul! I signed up for the Mambo Sprouts alerts. They are based a couple of towns over from us. I may have to stop in to see where they have their flyers locally.

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Nancy Johnson Horn (@NancyjHorn) December 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

That’s awesome — and thank for that coupon link. I spend a fortune on organic food for my family.

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