Extreme Couponing: Healthy Food

January 17, 2012
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extreme couponing

Two cases of Cuties Clementines, bought using coupons!

Last year I’d written about one of my extreme couponing moments involving breakfast cereal–Lucky Charms, to be exact, which my daughters had had a renewed interest in after Brittany on the show “Glee” wished for a box with marshmallows only in it. After that post went live, one of my faithful readers emailed me to congratulate me on my great buy but also to ask if I could tackle the topic of extreme couponing for healthy food. In fact, I’ve had other readers ask me about this as well, and I figured, why not?

For the past few months I’ve been trying to focus at least some of my couponing efforts on saving as much money as possible on healthy food. While I still haven’t mastered an extreme couponing coup of getting healthy food for free, I have re-educated myself on how to find coupons for healthy food and how to use them to save the most on healthy food. Here are some of the ways I’ve been able to extreme coupon for healthy food.

DAIRY
Just this week my supermarket was having a deal whereby if you bought five boxes of a certain kind of cereal, you would get a coupon for a gallon of free milk, up to $4.50. What a great way to get a free gallon of healthy fat-free milk! I had coupons that would have me saving about $8 upfront on the cereal already so I would be saving in all aspects of this transaction. Because I’d read the supermarket circular closely, I knew that the coupon for free milk would print out at the end of my transaction and would have to be applied to a “future” shopping trip. But I wasn’t about to go back to the store for my free milk. So in order to get my free milk that day, I broke my shopping order into two transactions. I bought the cereal first, got the coupon for the free milk, and then applied it to the gallon of skim milk in that second transaction. Of course, it was free!

You can save on other healthy food in the dairy aisle as well. Coupon inserts lately have been littered with offers for Greek yogurt–a healthy option–though I don’t like Greek yogurt. It’s something about the consistency. You can find coupons for other kinds of yogurt, too. Today I saved money on low-fat yogurt, which was marked down to $.60 per cup. Then I applied a coupon I had to save $.40 on six, which doubled to $.80. So for six cups of yogurt, I paid $2.80 or about $.46 per cup. I get my best yogurt coupons, when they’re available, by the way, via Coupons.com.

My extreme couponing in the dairy aisle doesn’t end there. I’ve been able to save money on Silk almond milk, thanks to coupons, too. As far as eggs go, both Eggland’s Best and Land O’Lakes offer coupons that you can use to save money on organic, cage-free eggs.

ORGANICS
Speaking of organics there are coupons for products within the organic niche. Newman’s Own has coupons all the time for its salad dressings and salsas–both organic–and recently I printed out coupons from SmartSource.com for Muir organic tomato sauce. The coupons were for $.75 and $.85 off. The cans of organic tomato sauce cost $1.99 each. My supermarket doubled each of the coupons I presented–$.75 became $1.50 and $.85 became $1.70–meaning that my final cost for each can of sauce was $.49 and $.14.

FROZEN
Good coupons and sales for healthy frozen food don’t happen all that often. But when they do, you can get some great extreme couponing done in the frozen foods aisle. Just recently I was able to get Boca Burgers on sale and with a $1 off coupon, and whenever Green Giant frozen vegetables go on sale, I dig out my coupons. Last week a nearby supermarket had the boxes on sale five for $6 or about $1.20 per box. I had a coupon for $.60 off five, which would double to $1.20 off five. That meant that my final cost for five boxes of frozen vegetables was $4.80 or $.98 per box. In the off-season, when fresh vegetables from my garden isn’t an option, this is a great way of being able to continue to offer vegetables at dinner and at a savings.

PRODUCE
I’ll admit that finding coupons for fresh produce is probably the biggest challenge when it comes to couponing. That’s why most extreme couponers use Catalina coupons–the ones that print out at the end of your shopping order–to offset the cost of fresh produce. That is, if they have earned $4 off their next shopping trip, in their budget they’ll “apply” it to the cost of fresh produce. However, coupons for fresh produce do exist.

A few times last year I was able to get a $.75 off coupon for Dole fresh pineapple, and just before the holidays, there were tons of coupons for Cuties Clementines. In case you’re not familiar with them, this brand of California clementines launched in late 2011 with a huge PR push along with coupons in the paper. My kids love clementines, so I got extra copies of the Sunday paper on those weeks when the Cuties Clementines coupons were in there. Then, when Cuties Clementines were marked down at my supermarket–from $7.99 to $4.99–I used those coupons that I’d been stockpiling. The most valuable one was for $.75, which my supermarket doubled to $1.50, and allowed me to buy five pounds of clementines for $3.49 or about $.69 a pound.

FYI, I’ve been in touch with the Cuties Clementines’ PR people on Twitter (@cutiescitrus), and they tell me that there will be more coupons for Cuties Clementines in Sunday newspapers starting in February 2012. You’ll want to stock up on those coupons so you can do some extreme couponing for healthy food–or at least for Cuties Clementines.

So now that I’ve shared some of the ways that I’m able to extreme coupon for healthy food, how do you do it?

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7 Responses to Extreme Couponing: Healthy Food

  1. 2 Coupons for Organic Food | Suddenly Frugal Blog on February 1, 2012 at 11:00 am

    [...] IngramI recently did an extreme couponing post, explaining how it is possible to extreme coupon and save money on healthy food. Within that post I shared with you how I’ve been able to use coupons to save on organic [...]

  2. Emily on January 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Thank you so much for the ideas on saving money on healthy food – and for heads up on the Cuties coupons! I’ve had to recently shift to a much healthier diet, and it’s resulted in feeling a bit like a novice when it comes to saving money at the grocery store. I might know where to get great coupons for foods high in salt, fat and sugar, but I can’t eat most of that anymore. I read a book recently that made me realize how important it was for me to change the way that I eat: “The Wisdom of Heart Health” by Ramin Manshadi (http://www.drmanshadi.com). The sudden change, while necessary, hasn’t been easy on our wallets, so I appreciate these tips!

  3. Suzanne with Laughing Wallet on January 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    My “find” in terms of healthy food coupons has been Cascadian Farms granola cereal. I got a coupon a while back good toward one box of any Cascadian Farms cereal (I think they’re all organic). I tried the granola, with some trepidation, because I’ve tried a few of the Kashi cereals, and they tasted like cardboard to me. With my first bite, I was *hooked*! I swear it’s the best granola cereal I’ve ever had!

    I’ve since gotten several coupons, either as an insert to a box I’ve bought or from online coupon sources (I usually go through Swagbucks, so I can get bucks when I redeem), that have been good on purchases of two boxes. That has been just fine, because I’m more than happy to go through two boxes of it! I’ve tried the regular granola and the fruit & nut versions – both delicious. I’ve also been lucky a couple of times to be able to combine the coupon with a sale price, easily making it as affordable as the less-healthy and cheaper varieties.

  4. Extreme Couponing: Healthy Food on the Cheap on January 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    [...] would want to know about my blog posts over on Suddenly Frugal today. They’re all about extreme couponing for healthy food. Not only do I offer tips on getting organic and other healthy food on the cheap but also [...]

  5. [...] Frugal Coupons ← Extreme Couponing: Healthy Food [...]

  6. Kacie on January 17, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Another thing to consider when couponing, if you try to eat really healthy all the time: Work the deals for toiletries. Get toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper…whatever you can get for cheap in those categories.

    • Leah Ingram on January 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      Kacie:

      Absolutely!

      Leah

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