Guest Post: Greener Than You Think

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Being green isn’t something that I just all-of-a-sudden started doing. (That would be like going cold turkey off chocolate. Not possible.) So we started small at our house, and now we even rinse out gooey jars and cans and add them to our blue recycling bin. Same goes for eating organic food. Being green when it comes to food seemed like an impossibility, especially as a coupon mommy. Yes, I know it’s better for me. Yes, I know supporting local farmers is crucial. But I am first and foremost The Coupon Mommy. I’d be dethroned if I started paying full price for anything. My thought process? You’ve got to be kidding if you think I’d actually pay more for organics.

Man, I am so cool when I walk out of Kroger with $150 worth of stuff for $50, but there’s no way I could pull that off organically. So once again, I geared up the old research brain to see how far an organic coupon mommy could get. Going green and saving some green. Is that like having your cake and eating it too? Mmmmm. Cake. (Gluten-free, organic rice flour cake this time of course.)

First, I hit the internet. I started with www.eatbetteramerica.com, signed up, and downloaded a Muir Glen Organic Products coupon. Printed myself 6 or 7 (ok, 10) for $1.00 off one of anything they make. But, I didn’t go to Whole Foods…I took them to Kroger where they were on sale for $1.39 a can. That’s 10 big cans of organic fire roasted chopped tomatoes for now .39 cents each. Sweet! Also on this website I found a $1.00 off anything Cascadian Farms makes (another Whole Foods organic standard)…and they make granola bars, cereal, frozen bagged vegetables, frozen french fries, and even jelly. And yep, all organic. And $1.00 off can go a long way when that stuff’s on sale.

Then on to www.organicvalley.com, where I signed up and printed out Organic Valley milk, butter, eggs, and cheese coupons. And when I signed up for their Mom’s club and Kid’s Club, they mailed me a whole packet of coupons. And yes, I admit I signed my husband up too, so I got double. Thinking surely that organic meat was an impossibility, www.organicprairie.com was next where I found coupons to print for money off organic meat. At this rate, my coupon mommy reign was secured.

I also, coincidentally, gave some hopefully helpful marketing advice last week to my nice friend Lauren who has cows…and, by golly, she paid me in natural grass-fed beef. And my other nice friend Sheri gives me farm-fresh eggs for designing postcards for her children’s school. Bartering is definitely the way to go in this economy…and look ma, I’m supporting local farmers, er ranchers. And we have frittatas out the ears. Anybody out there making cheese in their garage? Got a backyard vegetable garden with too many tomatoes? Let’s make a deal!

When I did finally make it to Whole Foods (because there is no substitute for Whole Foods 365 Brand Organic Vanilla Rice Milk for $1.69 a box) I inconspicuously snagged a handful of Mambo Sprouts free coupon books at checkout. My toddler distracted the check out guy by hedonistically eating all the Annie’s Organic Chocolate Grahams samples he was offered, while my 10-yr-old played look-out. I discovered that using Mambo Sprouts coupons from Whole Foods was much more lucrative at Kroger. (Because of that cool doubling thing.) I get my Clif Mojo bars dipped in chocolate for .39 cents each this way. Chocolate. Mmmmm. (And yes, organic chocolate!)

And finally, I found the mother lode source for Whole Foods snacks. It’s a little place right here in The Cliff…The Grocery Depot, at Cockrell Hill and Kiest. Unassuming and unadvertised, The Grocery Depot buys overages from Whole Foods and sells them at ridiculous prices. How ridiculous? Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies for .33 cents a box ridiculous. Step aside Goldfish, you’ve been replaced. My now organic kids are happy and well-fed, my local farms well-loved, my organic milk cartons rinsed and in the recycling bin. I am green and I still reign as The Coupon Mommy.