Looking and feeling great comes with a price: breaking a sweat occasionally and eating healthy food. However, in today’s convenience-based culture, doing both is certainly not easy. It’s a given that healthy food usually comes with a rather costly price tag. This explains why we’re more inclined towards microwave dinners.
Frugal lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive.
When it comes to coupons, what comes to mind is cleaning supplies or packaged and preservative-laden foods like cereals that you could get for pennies. Many people assume that there are no coupons for healthy foods, especially foods that are unprocessed but this isn’t always the case.
If you’re trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle without breaking the bank, couponing is a valid choice.
While there isn’t a formula for getting healthy food for free, there are many ways to find coupons for healthy foods.
Where to Find Coupons for Healthy Foods
As mentioned earlier, most people share a common false belief that it’s impossible to coupon for healthy foods since the only coupons available are those for pre-packaged junk foods.
On the contrary, there are lots of ways to find discounts and coupons for healthy foods. Here are some of the best places to find coupons for healthy foods. Let’s get to it, shall we?
1. Subscribe to the Most Relevant Health Blogs
Numerous health bloggers have partnered with companies and grocery stores to offer weekly coupons and discounts on healthy foods. They also provide budget-friendly recipes and tips for a healthy lifestyle.
Little-known and renowned blogs such as MindBodyGreen or Greatist offer these and more deals, depending on how urgent your need for healthy living is. With blogs like these, it is crucially essential for you to check in from time to time to ensure that you don’t miss a deal of a lifetime.
There are several ways of getting the best deals. The best one, however, is subscribing to their mailing list. Doing this will ensure that you’ll be among the first to be notified about the latest deals. Additionally, you can follow them on all their social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
2. Dare to Be Foodstuff-Savvy
Various grocery stores give you unbelievable value for your money, depending on what you’re purchasing. For instance, a recent survey of grocery store pricing revealed that Aldi is the most preferred grocery store by customers, with 34% in total monthly savings.
Amazingly, Wal-Mart and Publix were better preferences to Trader Joe’s, which was the least preferred grocery store.
Many grocery stores have put in place policies that involve price-comparisons and the option of using competitor’s coupons for multiple items. For instance, most Publix stores accept coupons for items at Target, Whole Foods, Kroger, etc.
Different stores will have different regulations, so seek counsel from the customer helpdesk for a list of viable coupons.
Stores like Publix allow you to collect manufacturer and store coupons for a single item. If you happen to develop a liking for a particular brand of product, search for that brand’s coupons and then buy it in bulk.
You can then safely store the produce and have more than enough to last you a week or so. This will save you not only money, but also the time and energy you could spend going to and fro the grocery store.
3. Consult Your Manufacturer’s Website
If you have an affinity for a particular brand of food, visit the manufacturer’s website for coupons. Most companies offer an optional email list for receiving daily/weekly coupons.
You will be notified whenever they are having a sale once you’re subscribed to the email list. If you have a preferred product brand and you wish to find its coupon option, simply search Google with ‘brand name, coupons.’ You’re likely to find an email sign up page of printable coupons.
4. Have More Than One Printable Coupon Site
Although you can easily find coupons for healthy produce on a single mainstream coupon site, it becomes even better if you depend on more than one mainstream coupon site. Try out sites such as MamboSprouts.com and Recyclebank.com that offer high-value coupons for healthy foods once you’ve cashed in your points.
How to Coupon for Healthy Foods
5. Coupon For The Foods You Want
If you can get several versions of a single coupon, your chances of stocking up fresh produce when there’s a good deal insight are very high. If you happen to be a native of Massachusetts, for example, you can get a free set of coupons every week from the Boston Globe by simply signing up for Savings Central.
6. Keep a Collection of Your Coupon Inserts
Products often go on sale at stores a couple of weeks after its coupon has been run in newspaper inserts such as P&G, Red Plum, and Smart Source. Try to save your coupon inserts every month until the coupons expire.
Only cut out the coupons that you’re sure won’t gather dust on the shelf or wherever else you keep your coupons. If you see a coupon that you won’t use but you’re sure will come in handy, just leave it in the insert until you see that it’s up on sale somewhere, and then cut it out.
7. Keep Your Coupons in One Place
It is essential for you to organize your coupons in case a good deal comes along. For example, if you’re a baseball fanatic, you could keep them in a baseball card holder in a three-ring binder.
The binder will help you to smoothly flip through the binder to see what you have and don’t have. Go further and organize the coupons in various categories and flip through the binder periodically to purge out the expired coupons.
8. Have your Stores’ Coupon Policies at Your Fingertips
If you go to different stores now and then, you should know by now that every store has its own unique policy. Take time to inquire how you can use coupons at the store(s) you shop.
There are grocery stores such as Shaw’s and Stop & Shop that will go the extra mile as to double coupons up to 99 cents. This is sure to make for some great deals. Other stores will give you the option on ‘stacking’ a store coupon on a manufacturer’s coupon for the same item, which can go a long way in doubling your savings.
There are local chains such as Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS where you can get cheap and friendly grocery and household goods, but their coupon policies all vary.
9. A Good Deal Should Not be Reason Enough to Go for Junk.
This may probably go without saying, but it can indeed be tempting to purchase something just because of the good deal that comes along with it.
In most cases, you don’t even use these items. If you seek to focus solely on a healthy diet, there are countless high-value bargains in various stores that you may want to avoid.
Simply stay focused on the important fact that you want to save your money on high-quality and healthy items. This will help you a great deal by guiding you through the nerve-wracking shopping decisions you’re faced with every day.
Individuals focused on consuming a minimally processed healthy diet more often than not pay a hefty price at the store’s checkout counter.
A couple of the basic ingredients for a real food diet are not so pocket-friendly as compared to their heavily-processed counterparts. Point in place, a full cart at Earth Fare or Whole Foods can easily cost over 200 bucks.
While the majority of coupons are mainly reserved for highly processed food, the tips above will significantly cut your average grocery bills by more than 50 percent. They will also give you a kick-start in all-things coupons.
Special Apps You Can Use for Healthy Food Couponing
Shopkick is a free-for-life smartphone app that rewards loyal users with points each time they shop in stores or online. Though it began operations in 2009, it became more popular in 2013.
This app is famous for handing users gift cards just for walking into a store and scanning barcodes. The points earned by a user are referred to as kicks, and you can cash them in for gift cards.
When it comes to gift card selection, there is a wide array of brands to choose from. Examples include Target, Sephora, Toys R Us and loads of other huge retailers. The points you earn are available for use on household items like healthy foods and toiletries.
Thus, earning points is made fairly easy. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to spend a single dime in the app. It has been considered a pretty fun app to use, mainly because of its straightforward and modern user-interface.
The downside of using Shopkick is that it requires a ton of unnecessary permissions. The app itself does not need a bulk of the features it requires. However, this won’t bother you in any way if you don’t mind granting the app permission. In any case, many other free rewards apps require permissions such as these.
Also, if you’re not naturally patient, you may take issue with the amount of time it takes for you to earn points. It may take quite a while for you to earn a specific amount of points that can, later on, be redeemed for gift cards. The more the points, the higher your gift card’s worth.
If you sincerely do not have time to coupon, this app is for you. Ibotta is a free app that allows you to get free cash rebates on any store brand. You generally need this app if you’re one to buy the cheapest brand. The Ibotta app is considered to be a less-complex way of saving money each week on groceries.
You are awarded small cash rebates, approximately 20 cents, on items such as pasta, bread, eggs, bananas, tomatoes, veggies, shredded cheese, apples or even milk. Once you purchase online at any of their partner stores, you get a discount of approximately 2% to 5%.
If you have a loyalty card, you can link it from any Ibotta partner store of your choice directly to your account. It will then track all eligible purchases for you.
Unfortunately, Ibotta is not so open about their full list of partner stores. Generally, if there is no prompt by your loyalty card when it is close to the retailer on the app, then it’s not a preferred partner.
With that said, there is a ton of info as well as email support offered by the official Ibotta blog page in case of any question or complaint that you may have.
If you feel particularly motivated and feel like earning extra bonuses, you should check out things like ‘friend referrals’ and ‘teamwork’. The best part is, there are no extra costs such as membership fees or additional costs involved. The only thing you need to do is to utilize its offers to the fullest is to download the Ibotta app.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be asked to select your preferences from a wide list of supported retailers, both online and brick and mortar. If, for instance, you hit $10 in earnings, you will be offered a $10 money back bonus.
12. Fetch Rewards
With Fetch Rewards, you can earn points every time you scan your grocery sales slip and turn them in for cash prizes. Like the rest of the apps mentioned, Fetch Rewards is a free mobile app that gives you back your cash for simply taking photos of your grocery receipts.
The major difference between other receipt scanning apps and Fetch Rewards is that they don’t put into close consideration where you purchased your product(s). While Ibotta strictly requires you to buy products specific partner stores, Fetch Rewards only needs proof of purchase.
With only this, you’re sure of earning your cash back for it.
How exactly are they able to pay you back? Simply put, the receipt photos you send to Fetch Rewards are sold to certain companies specifically for market research. This information will go a long way in improving the products and services that they offer you, the customer.
No need to worry, as all the information is tightly sealed, thereby leaving any chances of tracing the receipt back to you.
Right after scanning your first receipt, you can register at Fetch for Rewards using the code HH3MN. Instantly, your account is credited with a bonus of $1.50. Every time you scan your grocery receipt, you earn a certain number of points. The points you receive will depend on the offers on your receipt.
A thousand points are equal to $1. This means that you can earn, per offer, anywhere around $25 cents – $2 per offer.
If you happen to have more than one offer per receipt, you will be eligible to receive more than $2. Your collective points can be converted to cash prizes like gift cards to retailers such as Target, CVS and Amazon.
If you’re a philanthropist by heart, you can opt to donate your total earnings to the Red Cross. In this case, you need a minimum of $3 (3,000 points) to cash out.
This is an app developed specifically for Millennial grocery shoppers who are wary of printing off online offers, coupon cutting and scrabbling around with their phones at the checkout searching for online coupons to scan.
Research shows that today’s grocery shoppers opt to earn cash they can spend whenever they like. Makeena users can collect offers from their preferred brands – from Goddess Garden and Wild Zora to Zevia and Beanitos – on the app, and later on purchase the products at bricks and mortar stores or even online.
Following their shopping spree, Makeena users scan their receipts and barcodes of products they have purchased. Their accounts are immediately credited with cash. Once their account balance hits $10, they can cash out using Paypal or Venmo – a digital wallet app.
You can alternatively earn points by following and sharing various brands on Twitter, referrals, watching video clips and other actions designed to assist associate brands to engage with their followers online and reach new consumers. The points can then be converted into cash and an assortment of various rewards.
Among all the grocery shopping apps, Makeena is the only app that is keen on eco-friendly, healthy products. It has a signed agreement with the Non-GMO Project as well as other players in the organic and natural products community.
The main reason for this is to make pet care, beauty products, supplements, and most importantly healthy foods available more accessible to consumers. It also offers retailers and brands a bulk of proprietary data, including shopper data profiles and business analytics that are not available on different mobile platforms.
Pros and Cons of Couponing for Healthy Food
Now that you know where and how to find coupons for healthy food, let’s take a look at the good and the bad of couponing.
- You get to save extra money on healthy food. Sure, even the savviest of shoppers may be in need of an urgent item every now and then. If you have a collection of coupon inserts stored up somewhere, you can save a lot on regular-priced items.
- You can purchase items in bulk – at a discount. There is nothing better than having a month’s stock of healthy foods. It will, of course, be rather costly to buy items in bulk and at full price. Instead, await a coupon or sale then go ahead and buy as many as you can. Be sure to check your bill to know the total savings on your last purchase. From here, you will be able to plan on what to do with the money you have left.
- No more membership fees. When you have coupons, you no longer need to pay a yearly fee to keep your place in a discount shopping club. Who needs megastores when there are endless benefits of couponing? Many warehouses charge an annual membership fee, which means you have to waste money to save money. There is no point in this when you can do it for free.
- Discount, discount, discount. Among the significant benefits of couponing is that items do not need to be bought at a regular price for the coupon to be used. If you, therefore, shop at stores such as Target or Wal-Mart where their rates are incredibly lower compared to other stores, you can still put the discount into good use. In cases like this, you will be paying close to nothing for your healthy food items – and who doesn’t like free goods?
- It can be highly addictive. An innocent action that starts as a cost-effective mode of shopping can turn into a dangerous obsession in a flash if the shopper is not as careful as they ought to be. Especially when one has numerous coupons, one is not able to distinguish between hoarding and couponing. On that note, proper planning is required when using coupons to avoid a stressful shopping experience.
- Overspending. One of the problems that come with couponing is the unnecessary purchasing of excessive items that you may not even use later on. Without a doubt, it can be strenuous to avoid the problem of convincing oneself that those bulky items will come in handy one day when you know they won’t.
- You will save money but waste time. Most individuals have the misguided idea that shoppers who rely on couponing have it easy and all their grocery problems are taken care of. In reality, there is a lot of time needed to plan before stepping out and utilizing the coupon. Though it may be stressful for most people, they are still able to cut their costs by more than half. This endeavor, therefore, should not be put into practice by the faint of heart.
Couponing, simply put, is getting free money back into your pocket after shopping. All it takes is a few minutes to scan or print coupons and careful planning. That should be a splendid deal if you ever came across one.
It’s more than possible to save money with coupons, whether it’s for healthy food or basic household essentials, but it comes with a lot of effort. Having read through this oh-so-informative couponing article, you should be ready to eat healthy at an incredibly low cost.
Just be sure not to get carried away with all the goodies that come along with couponing! We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on how to get healthy food on a budget. If you see something that’s not on this list and should be, let us know in the comments below.