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Saving Money on Healthy Eating

Don't get discouraged if you don't have a lot of time! There are fantastic money saving (and time saving ideas for you too!)

Traci Wennerholm shares some ideas on saving money on healthy eating.


Tear Pad Rebates

These are one of the best ways to save money on everyday items like meat, cheese and snack items. Interestingly, these rebates are often put out by beer companies. Living in Utah, no beer purchase is required. You can save $10 off a $10 cheese purchase or $15 off any meat purchase of $15 or more. Simply circle the items on your store receipt and send it into the company. It generally doesn't require you to purchase from a specific store. You can often find these rebates in the beer aisle or at the customer service desk at grocery stores. Sites like Savvy Shopper Deals (www.savvyshopperdeals.com) list the current available beer rebates for our state in their forum, and at what stores these rebates were found.

Coupons

The good old coupon is another great way to save money. It was believed that these types of coupons didn't exist for those shopping at health and natural food stores. Many of the companies are now jumping on board to put out coupons exclusive to stores found at health and natural food stores. Coupons.com (www.coupons.com) is a site that is mostly devoted to name brand products, the site doesn't offer many coupons for shopping at health and natural food stores. However, lately you've been able to find coupons for $2 off 2 pounds of cheese (any brand, no specific product name specified) or $1 off a gallon of milk (any brand). They have also starting carrying coupons for Ronzoni whole wheat pasta, Soymilk, and more.

Other great coupon sites?

OrganicCoupons.org (www.organiccoupons.org) offer many coupons that are applicable to online natural and whole food products. Naturally Savvy (www.naturallysavvy.com) offers printable coupons right off their site much like the site Coupons.com. Also head to your favorite name brand site like Seventh Generation or Organic Valley that offer printable coupons. Sites like Ecobunga (www.ecobunga.com) is a great site that has fantastic giveaways, but also offers fantastic deals on all natural "green" products. They have monthly grocery giveaways and printable coupons from their site. Local grocery stores like Good Earth offer printable coupons from their site as well. Head to the website (www.goodearthnaturalfoods.com) to print available coupons.

Mambo Sprouts (www.mambosprouts.com) is one site that offers manufacturer coupon booklets. These booklets have manufacturer coupons for products found specifically at health and natural food stores. The booklets are published and put out several times per year. You can find these booklets at select Whole Foods Market stores, or you can sign up at the website and have the books sent to you in the mail.

Another great site for coupons is at Hansen's. If you coach a team, you can sign up at Team Hansen's to receive a valuable coupon booklet good for over $100 in savings. The booklet offers $2 off any 10 pack of Hansen's Juice Slams, and buy one six pack of soda, get one six pack of soda free.

Stores like Target allow you to combine their printable store coupons along with manufacturer coupons. You can sign up on their site for coupon booklets to be sent to your home, or print out coupons from their site. Periodically they offer coupons good for organic products. They also periodically send out coupons good for $10 off a $50 grocery purchase. (Perfect for stocking up!)Sites like Savvy Shopper help you combine your coupons with in store specials on these products to get the most value for your money.

Become a Product Tester

This one might sound like a lot of work, but it's actually not! One of my favorite sites is Vocalpoint. (www.vocalpoint.com) Periodically you will receive samples and coupons in the mail in return for filling out a small survey and review on the product. In June they sent out a coupon for a free box of Kashi waffles. I also received 5 additional $1.50 off coupons for a box of waffles. Target had the waffles on sale for $1.99 per box, making each box of waffles only 50 cents a box! I've also received a Bounce dryer bar, Kashi cereal, and Rice Krispy + Immunity boost cereal. The return surveys and reviews generally take me about five minutes to fill out.

Store Deals

Stores are even offering many ways to save money at their stores. Many stores recognize the need for consumers to save money during these difficult times. One of the stores offering some of the best ways to save money is Whole Foods Market (www.wholefoodsmarket.com). Whole Foods offers Super Value Tours by appointment where they teach you how to save money at their store. You can schedule individual tours, or tours for your school, church, or community group. Whole Foods Market also does some other great money saving programs. They offer their "365" product--the generic for namebrand products. These products are of the same quality of namebrand products, but can be offered at a discounted price. They also offer several money saving publications like the Whole Deal newsletter that are filled with coupons, tips and deals for saving money. Many of these items are marked in red or yellow as you shop throughout the store so you can easily identify the items as being sale items. And if you head in Tuesdays? You save 15% off any cosmetic, body, or vitamin products. Even if the products are already on sale, you save an additional 15%! And don't forget to sign up for the Kid's club. If you bring your children in with you to shop, your child will receive a free orange or apple on their visit to the store.

Sunflower Market also offers incredible deals each Wednesday. Every Wednesday their sale ads overlap, giving you double the savings each Wednesday. Savvy Shopper Deals posts what they think are the best deals each Wednesday and combines them with store and manufacturer coupons to save you the most money on your trip. In the future, Savvy Shopper hopes to add more health and natural food stores to make shopping trips easy and convienent and save you the most amount of money.

Social Marketing

Social marketing has become a popular form of posting deals and specials for many companies. Head to your favorite store or company and see if they offer special Twitter or Facebook discounts if you become a fan. Several weeks ago, The Healthy Pantry (www.thehealthypantry.com) sent out a Facebook blast that stated they had discounted all of their meals by 20% and were also offering free shipping. Combined with a 15% discount code from another site, shoppers received a total of 35% off each kit and were able to stock up on some great meals and never lost any of that discount to shipping costs!

Other Discounts

If you've been reading this thinking, 'it's too much work', or 'I'm too busy,' than there are still some great discounts to be had that will significantly reduce the amount of money you pay out each month on food, but still fit into your busy lifestyle! One mother of four recently talked about her struggle to reduce their $795 a month food bill for their family of four. Working full time and shuttling kids from one activity to another left their family little to no time to cook. They often opted to eat out or ate prepared meals every night.

One program that is great for busy families is Dream Dinners. (www.dreamdinners.com) You can go into their store, and prepare meals ahead of time than freeze them for a later date. No messy kitchen, no cleanup! While the cost of these meals is slightly more expensive than making them yourself, you can save yourself more time and money by not eating out and having meals available at home. The store caters to making their meals healthier for families by substituting lower fat ingredients and has recently started a Dinners for Life program. (www.dinnersforlife.com. This program offers diabetic friendly meals that you can make at any Dream Dinners store. (Call your local Dream Dinners store to see if they offer this menu).

Another great easy to prepare meal program that was mentioned earlier is The Healthy Pantry. They offer meals kits for as low as $2-3 per serving. They also offer select vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, breakfast and dinner kits. These kits can be stored for up to one year making them perfect for food storage. Most of the kits just require that you add meat. If you cook and freeze your meat ahead of time, whipping up one of these meal kits can take you 15 minutes--much less time than going to the store and coming back or even waiting for your food at a restaurant! And they are much less expensive than eating at a restaurant.

Many times in our busy lives and with our busy families we often find it hard to get our daily vitamin, mineral and fruits and veggies needs. One company, Activz, found that if you were to eat the recommended 9 servings of fruits and vegetables that the American Heart Association recommends, it would cost $18 per day per person if you bought all organic fruits and vegetables. Many of us don't get that, and getting our kids to eat that? Good luck! The company has worked hard to develop an easy to take whole food formula that provides all of your vitamins, minerals, fruits and vegetables, antioxidants, omega 3's, probiotics and all the other good stuff we need in one good tasting easy daily dose. And they've done it for as little as $5 per day per person for adults, and as low as $1 per person per day for up to two children. It can be taken in water, milk, or whipped up in a blender with a banana or other fruit as a meal. Our family drinks it as our breakfast in the morning, my husband drinks it on his way into work, and packs it when he heads out on business trips. This has saved our family significant money on uneaten, wasted fruits and vegetables and costly monthly vitamins.


Saving money doesn't always have to be the traditional coupon. There are so many great ways to save money!

Traci is the owner of HealthyDealsNSteals.com and DiabeticParents.org. She is the mother of two children and will appear in Women in Business Magazine in December. Being married to a Type 1 diabetic, Traci grew passionate about living a healthier lifestyle. Being married and having children, she found ways to eat healthy on a budget and now shares these ideas with others. You can contact her by sending her an email at healthydeals@live.com or by heading to the website at www.healthydealsnsteals.com.

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