Archive of ‘Saving Money’ category

How to Save Money at Earth Fare

How to save money at earth fareI had no idea (until I looked at the date of my last post) that it’s been a month since I posted! We’ve been busy-a trip to Houston (clear scans for David–so thankful), an trip to a friend’s villa in Hilton Head-my parents kept Wells (the first trip we’ve taken without Wells–what a blessing), a weekend at the Todd lake house, starting school, on and on. I took these Earth Fare pictures about three weeks ago with the intention of posting them much sooner…sorry about that. This morning David took Wells to Edventure and I am home because we are having our house pressure washed. I didn’t want them to be around the fumes from the bleach…so they are enjoying some time together this morning. I stayed back to make sure non of the bleach enters our house through some of our ‘vintage’ windows. Anyway…I decided this would be a great time to write a post about Earth Fare. Earth Fare has very strict standards for the food they sell. I love that because it means less stress while I am shopping–I know the food I’m buying won’t have artificial sweeteners, preservatives, etc…You can read about their standards here. One thing I LOVE about Earth Fare is that there are a TON of ways to save money while you are shopping there! I will definitely need a follow-up post to share more about how to save money at Earth Fare, but today I’m going to stick with 6. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed.how to save money at earth fare#1 Sign up for texts and emails and get their app!

Earth Fare does a fantastic job of communicating with shoppers to let you know what is on sale. If you haven’t already you need to sign up to receive their emails and texts NOW! You also need to get their app. Here’s why–you can save a ton of money by knowing what’s on sale. The best part is that you NEVER have to print out a coupon. You can just show the cashier the coupon on your phone…and if you don’t have a smartphone, you can just write down the coupon # on a sheet of paper! You can combine as many coupons as you’d like. It’s awesome. They are very coupon friendly. Okay, so here’s how to get signed up:

1. Text EAT to 71700. That gets you signed up for their text message coupons. They aren’t junk coupons. They are great coupons! Here are a few of the deals I have received from Earth Fare texts this week: $3.29/lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (these are safe and healthy), $9.99/lb Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, $5.99 take and bake cheese pizza (these are REALLY delicious), and 5 avocados for $5.00.

2. Sign up for Tomato Bank. This is their money saving program. You can earn points for lots of different things. The points can be redeemed for money off of your grocery bill.Sign up here…it’s quick and easy! When you sign up for Tomato Bank, you will begin receiving emails from Earth Fare. These emails include GREAT deals too! (Deals that are different from the text coupons. You can use these deals along with the text coupons).

3. Get the Earth Fare app. Just type in “Earth Fare” in the app store to search for it. The app is crucial because it’s a quick and easy way to see what’s on sale. It DOES NOT always include all of the deals from text and email. It DOES sometimes include ‘app exclusive’ deals. I always check it as soon as I walk in the store.

Here’s an email I received yesterday–LOVE the grass fed beef deal!

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I shop the Earth Fare deals ALL of the time. I save a TON of money using these deals. I buy almost all of my meat at Earth Fare when it is on sale and freeze it until I need it. I’m a HUGE fan of the coupons/deals Earth Fare offers.

 

how to save money at earth fare

#2 Shop the Daily Deals

Earth Fare has a ‘deal’ (sometimes more than one) for each day of the week. This is a great way to save money, know you are eating healthy food, and stay out of the kitchen (if you don’t have time to cook). Wednesday is my favorite day of the Earth Fare Deals. The protein/side deal from the deli is AWESOME.

 

Here are some pictures from the last time I took advantage of this deal. Wells and I had plenty left over and ate the rest for dinner! You get to pick a protein (they do have vegan protein options) and two sides. Delicious. Cheap. Easy.

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Wednesdays are also $5 sushi days. Earth Fare’s sushi is made fresh daily and we LOVE it. There is a brown rice option. Wednesdays all sushi rolls marked “Sushi Wednesday” are $5.00. If you don’t see one you like in the case, you can ask in the deli and they will make one for you. There are 7 different varieties that Earth Fare offers for $5.00.

 

how to save money at earth fare#3 Shop the “Real Low” Deals 

Earth Fare has a huge list of ‘real low’ deals. These deals aren’t specials for a specific period of time. They are ongoing…and a lot of these ‘real low’ deals are things that you purchase all of the time…I promise! Throughout the store the real low deals are marked with a tag (like the picture above). You don’t need a coupon for these deals…it’s automatic when you get to the register. They add items to this list all of the time. Sometimes they even send a survey to customers to get opinions on what items should be added to the list! Check out the list here.

 

how to save money at whole foods#4 Buy in Bulk-spices even!

When we first started changing the way we eat, one of the most overwhelming projects was my spice cabinet. If you’ve ever looked at organic spices you know that they are REALLY expensive. If you cook a lot you need a lot of spices, so replacing all of your spices would be very expensive. Conventional spices have additives, preservatives, gmos, etc… I don’t want those items entering the food that I cook, so I believe it’s really important to have ‘safe spices’…Confession: I am still working on my spice cabinet. A few months ago I had an idea. I think it’s a great one (you’ll have to let me know if you agree!) I began purchasing small amounts of spices from the bulk section at Earth Fare. They have so many organic options! When you purchase a small amount you are only spending $1-$3. Very affordable. I decided to take the plastic baggies of spices I purchased and put them in my ‘conventional’ spice bottles. I washed and dried the bottles and labeled them with the date that I replaced the spice. I also wrote organic on the label. Replacing my cinnamon cost me less than a dollar. Replacing my garlic cost me less than $2.00. This is a very affordable way to replace your spices and reuse containers that you already have.

how to save money at earth fareHere’s my garlic powder. Now it’s organic. Not fancy, but very functional!

 

how to save money at earth fare#5 Shop the Sales 

Earth Fare allows you to use coupons on sale items. If they email you a $6 off of $45 or $11 off of $70, you can use that coupon along with other coupons or in store specials. Like I said before, I purchase almost all of my meat from Earth Fare. Buying grass-fed beef is more expensive, but the quality far outweighs the price difference. We save money each month by rarely eating out…we eat at home…and we eat really good food. I love knowing what is in the food we are eating and where the food came from. You do NOT have that luxury when you are eating out. Earth Fare offers so many quick meal options that can really help you when you are pushed for time.

how to save money at earth fare

Last year we made Friday night ‘pizza’ night. David stopped by Earth Fare on his way home from work and picked up one of the take and bake pizzas. Earth Fare puts take and bake cheese pizzas on sale very often for under $6.00.  They regularly have cheese, pepperoni, and veggie. We usually get veggie and ask the deli to add a few pepperonis (under $10.00)! These pizzas are delicious and the crust is organic. They are all made in house. There are healthier dinner options that pizza–I know that…but by Friday I’m exhausted and I know Earth Fare pizza is a lot healthier and cheaper than ordering delivery pizza. It’s something we look forward to–our weekly pizza night!

 

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#6 Shop Discontinued Items

Next time you go to Earth Fare, look closely at the green tags. Some green tags are simply sale tags…others say ‘discontinued’ and reflect a major drop in the price. These items are only available until the product runs out…but you can get a great deal while it lasts! I bought some Kiss My Face sunscreen this Spring that Earth Fare was discontinuing. It ended up becoming my favorite (and it was half price)…I used it all summer on Wells! They also have a metal rack back by the bread section that has a bunch of ‘final sale’ products on it. Those products are being discontinued as well…great deals if it is something you can use!

I hope this post will encourage you to sign up for Earth Fare coupons/texts/etc. I hope you’ve learned some great tips about how to save money at Earth Fare! I know Earth Fare has helped me save a ton of money–while also feeding my family food that I feel great about! All of these ideas and opinions are my own. This post is not sponsored by Earth Fare. Please comment with any questions/feedback. I love to receive comments! (The comment link for this post is at the top of the post). Thanks for reading my blog…my next post will be MUCH sooner than a month from now!

 

 

 

 

 

How to Save Money at Whole Foods

How to save money at whole foodsI can’t tell you how often people ask me, “How do you afford to shop at Whole Foods?” If you read about me here, you will quickly realize that prior to my husband’s diagnosis of brain cancer, I was an AVID coupon shopper! We started shopping at Whole Foods when David was a patient at MD Anderson and we were living in Texas during the summer of 2012. Shortly after we arrived back home, a Whole Foods opened a few miles from our house! You can call it fate…destiny…whatever. I call it a blessing. I immediately realized that I was not in the ‘Publix coupon world.’ As much as I love that Publix doubles coupons and as much money as I saved shopping at Publix, I now REFUSE to buy products with artificial ingredients/colors/preservatives. I didn’t know better before. I LOVE what Whole Foods stands for. You can read about their quality standards here. The other night David was brave enough to watch Food Inc. (on Netflix) with me. Previously he hasn’t been willing to watch it because he is afraid that it will turn me into a vegetarian…and I do all of the cooking. He’s not interested in becoming a vegetarian-by default. (Shhh! don’t tell him our diet is mostly plant based) Anyway… after watching the documentary, he definitely wants to continue eating meat, but did say that he’s completely done with fast food (which is a HUGE change from 2 years ago). What we don’t know about the food we eat is terrifying and is hurting our nation and our health.

Okay-sorry for that little aside…back to saving money at Whole Foods. Bottom line: YOU CAN SAVE MONEY AT WHOLE FOODS. YOU CAN SAVE MONEY AND BUY QUALITY PRODUCE/PRODUCTS! Don’t be intimidated! This is my first in a series of posts about how to save money at Whole Foods and other healthy grocery stores in town. In case you’re curious, Whole Foods did not sponsor this post. These are my own ideas and opinions and I’m writing this because I am passionate about helping people eat healthier on a budget! Here are a few tips to get you started…more to come!

how to save money at whole foods

#1 Shop In-Season Produce-  It’s corn season right now. Obviously, when produce is in season the prices will be lower because there will be more supply. It’s difficult, if not impossible to find fresh organic corn…but non-gmo is the next best thing. You DO NOT want to purchase GMO corn. Here’s why- Look for non GMO signs..corn is one of the top GMO crops. Another example: I buy a ton of fresh organic blueberries in the summer…and buy frozen organic ones in the winter when the fresh ones aren’t in season. Fresh organic blueberries are much more expensive in the winter (if they are even available at all). I love cooking with produce that is in season…it’s fresher, it tastes better, and it’s a fun way to enjoy the harvest of each season!

How to save money at whole foods#2 Buy in Bulk- So I’ll be the first one to admit that the bulk section can be a little intimidating. Imagine a bunch of clear bins filled with a lot of items I haven’t heard of and/or don’t know how to use! If you learn how to shop them they can be very useful! Whether you need a little or a lot of an item, bulk bins can be a great way to save money! Example: I use dates to make these delicious peanut butter cookie larabars. Pitted dates would save me a lot of time, so I asked one of the friendly produce men where I could find some organic pitted dates. The dates I used to buy are found in the refrigerated section, are around $8.00 per pound, and aren’t pitted. The dates from the bulk section are already pitted (easier and you’re not paying for the pit) and are $5.69 per pound! One of my favorite parts of shopping the bulk bins is that you can buy as little or as much as you like. If you want…you can just buy a few items to try-no strings attached! Just remember to write the PLU # on the bag so they will know how to charge you at the register. (One of my first trips to Whole Foods in Houston I didn’t know that trick and it took forever for the cashier to figure out what items I had in the bags)…Lesson learned-label your bulk items.

how to save money at whole foods#3 Use Coupons/Buy Cases- Every two months, Whole Foods puts out their “Whole Deal” coupon booklet. The same coupons are also available on their website. The most awesome thing about the Whole Foods coupons is that they can be used an unlimited number of times! Yes–you read that correctly! This means that if you like a particular item enough to buy a case…for bars a case is 12 (or how many come in a box)…for other items it may be different. Soft drinks are four 6-packs to a case. Ask to find out the specific quantity to make a case. If you purchase any item by the case you will automatically receive 10% off your total for that case. You are allowed to mix/match flavors. If the item has a Whole Foods coupon available, you may use the Whole Foods coupon on EACH item. Right now there are 50 cent coupons available for CLIF Mojos and Kit’s Organic bars. You can use this deal to get a great price on a case of bars! This is a great example of how to save money at Whole Foods! Note: Manufacturer coupons may only be used once. Whole Foods issued coupons are the only ones that allow multiple uses!

How to save money at whole foods#4 Shop for Produce in the Freezer Section- Don’t you hate it when you buy some fresh produce, stash it in the fridge when you get home, and a few days/weeks later you throw out something that doesn’t even resemble the fresh produce you ‘recently’ bought? One tip for keeping produce fresh longer AND saving money is shopping for produce in the freezer section. Organic peppers are expensive. They are also hard to find when not in season. Alas, Whole Food’s store brand (365) has a large bag of already chopped red, yellow, and green organic peppers for just shy of $3.00. This bag usually lasts 3-4 recipes in my house. Frozen produce is packed with nutrients because it’s harvested and quickly frozen at it’s peak. From organic corn, to organic berries, to organic quinoa. The frozen section is the way to go for saving money and convenience!

IMG_7161#5 Shop the Sales I spy BOGO. Do you see it? Whole Foods might not advertise their BOGO deals quite as well as some other stores in our area…but they have them! Pay attention to the advertised specials and sign up for their newsletter. Sometimes I find the best deals when I’m doing my regular shopping and see a sale tag. One thing I really love is that their deals go on for longer periods…2 weeks up to a month. That gives you ample time to get back to purchase more of an item before it goes off sale. For more information you can check our their money saving site here.

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#6 Learn the Store- This tip is for the prepared food section. Whole Foods has a label “Health Starts Here” that means items are the epitome of health. Foods with this label are whole foods, plant strong, and don’t contain any added extras (like extracted oils or sweeteners). More info here if you’re interested. Anyway…if you need a quick lunch or dinner…you can grab $4/4. In the prepared food section (foods behind the case) you can choose anything with the Health Starts Here label. You can choose 4 different items or double one. You may not double two items. Each day the selection varies a little. If you do this you’ll be getting a ton of really healthy food for $4.00. You can’t beat that! Here’s a picture of one I purchased this week. You can’t see how deep the container is, but let me just say you’ll definitely be pleasantly surprised by the amount of food. I chose the three items pictured below and doubled the Caribbean Chicken Salad.

I hope this posts leaves you excited about your next trip to Whole Foods. I will say that we frequent Whole Foods so much that when Wells is ‘pretend driving’ anywhere..and I ask him where he’s going he says “Whole Foods.” Cracks me up. If I drive by and we don’t go in he has been known to cry. He loves the store…and REALLY loves the snack wagon for kids. A free treat per visit. In Wells’ opinion…you can’t beat that.

how to save money at whole foods

Do you have any other tips? If so, please leave a comment below!