4.11.2011

Buying Green and Organic on a Budget

I posted this originally a little over a year ago, and realized it was time to re-post and update my tips! Here are a few of the ways that I save money on buying green, eco-friendly, and organic products.

1. Printable Coupons
I frequently see organic coupons online at some of the main printable coupon sites as well as in the Sunday newspaper coupon inserts:
- Coupons.com
- Redplum.com
- Smartsource.com
- Mambo Sprouts
- Target coupons
- Whole Foods coupons

2. Other ways to get coupons
 Recyclebank.com is a website that rewards you for recycling and green actions, in the form of points that can be cashed in for various coupons, many of which are for organic and eco-friendly products.

Is there a product you really like? Or maybe something you think could be improved? Write an email or letter to the company and let them know. I contacted Avalon Organics to tell them I like a couple of their baby products and I've received several $3 coupons in the mail!

Vocalpoint is a word-of-mouth marketing program that sends out samples and coupons to members. In the past I've received Kashi cereal samples and coupons.

3. Become a follower or fan
Many companies, including organic and eco-friendly ones offer coupons, samples, discount codes, and giveaways to people that "follow" them on Twitter or "Like" them on Facebook. I've received coupons for free Nature's Path products from Facebook and I frequently see coupon codes for many companies on both sites if you plan to order products online.


4. Daily Deal and Member-Only Shopping Websites
Group discount and daily deal websites are a great way to save on eco-friendly items! This past summer I purchased a Groupon for steaks from Gourmet Pasture Beef, my local grass-fed beef farm. Eversave is another daily deal website that frequently offers discount vouchers to companies that carry eco-friendly products.


These are a few daily deal websites I recommend:
Groupon
Eversave
Mamapedia
DealPulp
Moolala
BuyWithMe
Gaggle of Chicks
Living Social
EcoBabyBuys


You can also find eco-friendly toys, clothing, beauty products, and household goods from member-only shopping sites such as:
Totsy
Zulily
RueLaLa
One King's Lane
Gilt Group
Beyond the Rack



5. Amazon and Alice.com
Shop on Amazon.com! Amazon has a very good selection of eco-friendly and organic products, including groceries, household items, personal care products, toys, diapers, and baby clothing. You name it and Amazon probably has it.

Here are a couple Amazon tips: 1) Use gift cards that you earn using sites like Swagbucks or from surveys . 2) See if the product you want has a "Subscribe & Save" option. If you elect to subscribe for automatic delivery you will instantly save 15%, and the best part is that right after your order processes, you can go into your Amazon account and cancel the subscription. Don't forget to join the Amazon Mom program in order to save 30% off on baby items, you will also receive free prime shipping!

Alice.com is another website I use to stock up on grocery and household items. They offer instant coupons on a variety of products and free shipping with a minimum number of items. Plus once you spend $50, you will receive $10 off your order.

5. Shop the Stores
Shop around and watch sales! Kroger frequently has great deals on organic produce and grocery items.
Check the clearance section at stores like Target, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Kroger, etc. I've bought a bunch of organic products on clearance at these stores.

6. Buy Locally
You can find out about a local farmer's market, organic meat supplier, or other community supported agriculture (CSA) using a website called LocalHarvest.org. Buying locally reduces your environmental impact because less oil is needed to transport the product. You can even purchase organic seeds on LocalHarvest.org, which leads me to the next tip...


7. Make it Yourself or Buy From Someone Who Does
Test out your green thumb by planting an organic garden and use eco-friendly products such as EcoSmart to control pests if necessary. Not ready to commit to a full garden? Try a couple small plants in containers. If you want to have awesome soil, then compost the scraps from your produce.

Do you have a creative side? Try sewing some organic items, a couple websites that offer organic fabric are NearSeaNaturals.com, OrganicCottonPlus.com, and BambooFabricStore.com.
If making it yourself is not your thing, there are plenty of other people out there that are more that willing to sell their homemade organic goods to you! Check on Etsy.com, where many work at home moms are selling eco-friendly products. Supporting a WAHM business is a great thing to do! One of my favorites is CrunchyClean.com, which offers all-natural detergents for cloth diapers and everyday laundering.

Any other tips?



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