Organic Shopping on a Budget
Hi everyone! My name is Ashleigh and my blog is Being Cheap is Easy. I love to share recipes and money saving tips. I met Ashley at Bloggy Con last year and I am so honored to be guest posting here. I am still a “going green” newbie and I learn so many tips from Ashley.
In the past few years, our family has tried to buy more organic food. Since we have a tight grocery budget, it’s essential to save whenever we can. I have found when I use coupons, combined with sales, organic products are almost the same price as regular!
Here are some of my favorite sources for organic coupons:
- Mambo Sprouts. They send out a monthly email with coupons included. I find great, high values in this one.
- Stonyfield. I find their yogurt on markdown a lot and make sure to stock up with coupons. Our favorite flavor: Banilla (banana + vanilla)
- Silk Almond milk. “Like” their FB page for $1 off coupons! I’ve found the best deal on Silk at Target! The double packs are super cheap.
- Earthbound Farm Organics. They have weekly coupons available.
- Laura’s Lean Beef
- Whole Foods.
If I find a brand I really love, it never hurts to send an email with some compliments. They tend to send some great coupons your way! Also, as with any product, “like” Facebook pages for coupons.
Of all stores I buy organic foods at, Costco is the top of my list. They have amazing prices on items such as Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese, Wholesome Sweetners organic sugar and Agave, Earthbound Farms spinach and many other foods at rock bottom prices. You can get healthy cooking items like flax seed and coconut oil for a fraction of the price of chain grocery stores.
We don’t have a Trader Joe’s in our area (so, so, sad!), but when we lived by one they also have amazing prices. I love their enchilada sauce and couscous.
While not all of my produce is organic, I try to buy local when I can. Using the great app Fresh Food, you can find a local market by you. I like to go near the end of the day for markdowns…most farmers would prefer to sell their goods, so they might be willing to bargain. I also ask about bruised fruits or veggies. Not so pretty patches on tomatoes, eggplant or soft melons can be cut away. I like to freeze as much as I can.
Final tip: don’t forget about frozen! All frozen foods are a bargain, but especially organic. Wait for sales and stock up! Cascadian Farms is my favorite frozen brand.
What are your favorite ways to save on organic foods?
“Not all yogurt cups are created equal. Stonyfield is obsessively organic when it comes to the way we’ve made our yogurt for the past 30 years.” -Stonyfield Co-Founder & Chairman Gary Hirshberg.
Not All Yogurt Cups Are Created Equal
Stonyfield makes its certified organic and authentically strained Greek yogurt without the use of GMOs, toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones and antibiotics. Yogurts and other products labeled “Natural” are not what you think. There is no legal, definitive requirements for a product to carry the label “natural.” Only the USDA Certified Organic label is a guarantee that the food within is made without all the junk consumers want to avoid.
According to a survey commissioned by Just Label It, 92% of Americans want to label genetically engineered foods (also called GMOs or genetically modified organisms). Currently, GMOs are not required to be labeled in the U.S. Thankfully, individual states and companies are rallying to push for labels! Until labeling is passed, the best ways for American consumers to avoid foods made with GMOs is to eat items that carry the USDA Certified Organic seal or products that are verified through the Non-GMO Project.
The response to Stonyfield’s Yogurt Trade Up was amazing. Although the giveaway is over you can still coupons for Stonyfield yogurt just by signing up on www.stonyfield.com!
Stonyfield, celebrating its 30th year, is the world’s leading organic yogurt company. Its certified organic yogurt, smoothies, milk, cultured soy, frozen yogurt and ice cream are distributed nationally. The company advocates that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet. Its use of organic ingredients helps keep over 200,000 farm acres free of toxic, persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers known to contaminate soil, drinking water and food. To help reduce climate change, Stonyfield offsets all of the CO2 emissions generated from its facility energy use. Stonyfield also donates $2 million of its yearly profits to efforts that help protect and restore the Earth. For more information about Stonyfield, its products and initiatives, visit www.stonyfield.com or follow Stonyfield on Twitter @Stonyfield and on Facebook www.facebook.com/StonyfieldFarm.
Make the switch to Stonyfield’s organic yogurt today, you won’t be disappointed!
**Proud to be a YoGetter and share my love of Stonyfield with you**
I live in an area where allergies are bad. The pollen count is off the charts daily and people walk around in a haze of over the counter medicines that just do not seem to help. When we began living a more green and clean life I wanted to find ways to help relieve common allergy symptoms. This list of natural allergy remedies come from the heart of dealing with family who suffer from seasonal and year-long allergies.
Local Raw Buckwheat Honey
Why local? Your local bees are making honey with the same pollen you are allergic to. Overtime your body will begin to develop an immunity to the pollen, much like mini allergy shots without all the unpleasantness. Just know that this honey is not super sweet like the kind in the teddy bear. It is more molassesy, so I would suggest adding it small amounts to your food until you get use to the taste. Remember: no honey for babies under a year old
Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
We try to use this daily to combat allergy symptoms before they can start. Also, I know others who have pet dander allergies that swear by this drink. It keeps them from having allergic reactions to animals.
- 1 tbsp local honey (doesn’t have to be buckwheat, you get the sweeter kind for this!)
- 1tbsp unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar (acts as an anti-histamine)
- Place the honey and vinegar in the glass of your choice and mix with warm water. Stir until it all dissolves together nicely and enjoy.
What do you do when you are in full blown allergy attack and absolutely miserable? I grab my Aller-Ease, 2 tbsp of this and within a few minutes I am good to go. It tastes like V8 juice so if that’s a little too strong for you, they recommend mixing it into your juice. Aller-Ease reduces nasal congestion, inhibits the release of histamines, and protects sensitive nasal tissues.
The often forgotten allergy remedy. Saline Spray cleans out the sinuses, getting out any trapped allergens. My husbands ENT doctor told him to stop taking allergy medicine and just use a simple saline spray (the doctor admitted the medicines are useless). I can tell you he breathes better and no longer snores at night!
You have probably heard of essential oils, they are gaining ground lately and with good reason. Oils are all around health remedies but these are specific to allergies.
- Peppermint, lavender, and lemon can be used in a diffuser. They will help reduce pollen and allergens.
- Peppermint, lavender, and lemon will also work as decongestants when ingested. Place 1 drop in your mouth (mix with water if too strong), swish for 15 seconds then swallow.
- Lavender and chamomile when applied to the affected area will provide relief of rash symptoms. (Also raw honey will work too)
My hope is that these remedies will provide you some relief during those days when the pollen count is code stay inside and lock your doors! Leave me a comment and let me know how these have helped you or any natural tricks you have up your sleeves.
Please note: I am not a doctor, I am just someone who occasionally suffers from allergy attacks and who has family and friends who suffer from severe allergies. I can only tell you what has worked from them and for myself. If you suffer from food allergies you might want to consult a doctor or do extra research into if any of these remedies (especially the oils) might trigger an allergic response.
It is almost summer. Pools are opening, schools are closing, beaches are calling, and the smell of sunscreen seems to float on the breeze…
I am a pale skinned, freckled face redhead. Which basically means the sun and I are not on good terms. Even going outside for 10 minutes will equal big burns for me, which makes me well versed in the art of sunscreen. In the past I have used the brand names, the ones you and I grew up with. Last year, in an effort to start being more natural and organic not only in food but life I searched for a natural sunscreen. I came across the Environmental Working Group’s posts about sunscreen and I was shocked. Like most people, I wear sunblock to prevent burns and skin cancer. But certain common sunscreen ingredients actually contribute to skin cancer. Seriously? After picking my jaw up off the floor, I immediately threw away the old sunscreen and haven’t looked back.
How do you stay safe while enjoying all that summer has to offer? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) and most health officials agree the best sun protection is to stay in the shade and cover up. But that is hard to do in a lot of outdoor activities so sunscreen is a must. Here are my tips to keep in mind when shopping for sunscreen.
What you should avoid:
1. Oxybenzone - linked to hormone disruption, allergic reactions, and potential cell damage that could lead to skin cancer.
2. Vitamin A (look for “retinyl palmitate” or “retinol” on the label)- Studies have found that, while used on sun exposed skin, this particular type of Vitamin A can increase your risk of developing melanoma.
3. Sprays- Knowing how unsafe sunscreen can be on your skin, imagine what it can do to your lungs. If you see someone spraying down at the beach this summer, turn away and cover your nose. (Organic sprays are the exception)
• Ultraviolet blocking chemicals absorb and disperse UV rays in the body
• Chemical ingredients have been linked to hormone disruption, allergies, and cell damage
• Chemicals may break down over time into free radicals (carcinogens)
• Absorbs into the skin and disperses throughout the body
• Takes 20-30 minutes before it becomes affective
I encourage you to read The Environmental Working Group’s 2013 Guide to Safe Sunscreens features ratings for 1,800 sunscreens, lip balms, moisturizers and also cosmetics. You can see where your favorite brands lie (pun intended) and also get recommendations for safe brands. I recently reviewed one brand Goddess Garden’s Adult and Child organic sunscreen that met EWG criteria for a safe product.
What brand do you use? Are you planning to change if it doesn’t meet up to EWG standards?
Learning what is in your food can be scary. Knowing what to avoid and healthier alternatives can be down right mind boggling. If you are like me you want to know what to eat, what to avoid, and the best way to do so. And unless you have an excess of free time you want a tool, an app, or something to help keep all that info straight and easy to access when you go to the store.
Allow me to introduce you to an amazing book that will help you navigate those grocery aisles with ease. Written by the couple who brought you Naked Calories, Rich Food Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System (GPS) is an easy to follow guide on how to shop smart and healthy while saving time and money! This book is both Paleo friendly and wheat free. The Calton’s breakdown what you need to know about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), labels, and chemical additives, and other harmful ingredients. With the GPS you will learn how to find foods with the highest micronutrient values in nine different categories! Added bonus: recipes for homemade yogurts, soups, condiments, and more!
What I absolutely love about this book are the Steer Here vs Steer Clear, aisle by aisle break downs, and Checkout Checklist. In the Steer Here section included within each Aisle Breakdown you know what brands to keep an eye out for and which ones to steer clear of. One of my favorite breakfast foods, Stonyfield Greek Yogurt, made the list of yogurts to buy. Not that I needed a book to tell me that, we love Stonyfield! Check out the Calton’s website Calton Nutrition to find online coupons, free pocket downloads, and other nutritional information to help you in your journey to real rich food.
This book takes a complex and confusing issue and makes it fun! You’ll eat healthier, save money, and gain a sense of empowerment everytime you set foot in the market. – Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint
…the Caltons show you, step by step, inch by inch, and micronutrient by micronutrient, how to best accomplish a healthy diet and lifestyle rich with the healthy benefits of plentiful micronutrients. – William Davis, MD, author, #1 New York Times Bestseller, Wheat Belly
Enter to WIN a FREE copy of Rich Food Poor Food and Coupons for FREE Stonyfield Greek Yogurt!
If you don’t win or you just can’t wait a week, the book is available for purchase on Amazon.
* I received this book free as a Stonyfield Yo-Getter. No monetary compensation was received and the opinions expressed are my own. This post also contains an affiliate link for the book*