It’s no surprise that most coupons are for processed foods. Coupons are, at their heart, an advertising strategy, and you can’t advertise a project with no name brand. Bulk produce isn’t owned by any specific brand, so most supermarkets don’t have coupons for these items. Fortunately, eating a diet of fresh, whole foods doesn’t mean you can’t save money or even use coupons; you just have to be a little bit me creative about where to look for them.
While fresh produce may not have a huge variety of coupon options, prepackaged items like bagged salad mixes and frozen vegetables are often marketed by name-brand companies. Organic is also a growing sector of the food industry, and many organic companies are owned by big-name food producers like Kraft. This means that these organic brands have a lot of advertising power behind them, which leads to plenty of coupon opportunities if you know where to look. Check out a few tips for finding coupons and deals on whole, fresh and organic foods:
1. Check the store for deals
Whole Foods is particularly well-known for offering printable coupons on its website. Its competitor Sprouts offers the same thing. Many other grocery stores offer in-store discounts and coupon specials. The easiest way to find them is to check the website of whatever stores you usually shop at. You may even be able to combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons for some items to get even better discounts.
2. Figure out when sales and mark-downs happen
You can greatly extend the purchasing power of your store coupons if you couple them with sales. Sprouts, for example, has double sales every Wednesday, and most butchers mark down their meats on a certain day of the week.
3. Find your favorite brand names, and approach them directly for coupons
If you search for coupons for specific brands, you’ll find better deals than if you’re looking for general food categories like “frozen berries” or “organic butter.” The company’s website often posts special deals and coupons. Be sure to “like” the Facebook page of your favorite organic brands, and try sending an email to the company to ask for coupons. You might be surprised how often they’ll send you free coupons in the mail.
4. Find fresh food-friendly coupon sites
Some websites cater to healthy eaters more than others. You can also sign up for the website RecycleBank and earn points toward excellent coupons with values of $1, $5 or more for various eco-friendly brands.
5. Find savings at the farmers market
Many small farmers and markets are understanding the value of coupons, and you might be surprised to realize that your favorite farms might run specials from time to time, especially around the holidays or during the late summer harvest. Check the website for the farmers market or the farm itself to see if there are any seasonal special offers to take advantage of. Also, remember to visit the farmers market late in the day to get the best deals from vendors who don’t want to pack up their wares for the drive home.
6. Remember that grocery savings have a cumulative effect
Every cent that you save by using coupons for pasta or shampoo shaves money off of your overall bill, which gives you more money to buy fresh produce with.
Many practice tightwads shy away from fresh produce because it seems so expensive, and many fresh food eaters assume that coupons don’t apply to them. In truth, there’s a middle ground, and taking the time to search for it can help people on all sides save money and live a healthier lifestyle. Do you have any tips for finding coupons and deals on whole, fresh and organic foods? Share your thoughts, please!