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How to save $11 in 10 minutes

7 Jul

Awesome clearance deals aside, if you want to save serious money on your grocery bill, I really recommend clipping coupons. Now, most of us know about the coupon inserts that come in the Sunday paper. And a lot of us are familiar with printable coupons. But did you know that you can also get some really great coupons in the mail?

One way to get your postal carrier to deliver something other than bills is to send an email to the customer service department of your favorite company. Tell them how much you love their product and appreciate their good work. That’s it. 9 out of 10 times, you’ll get a lovely thank you letter in the mail not a week later, along with some high value coupons.

Every few months, I take 10 or 15 minutes to send off a couple of quick emails to my favorite organic, kosher food companies. I typically mention how much I appreciate them carrying a hechsher on their brand, since I know it’s an added cost. I might add how much my kids enjoy a particular product.

It really is that simple. Last week, I wrote 5 emails. This week, I have 14 coupons, worth over $11 in savings on healthy, tasty, kosher products that I cook with regularly in my kitchen!

Here’s the breakdown on what I received:

  • Clif Bars – They sent me a witty thank you letter, along with 2 $.50 coupons and 2 FREE PRODUCT coupons (worth $1.89 each – love it!) These will be great treats for long car rides, or to stock the diaper bag for those inopportune “Mom, I’m hungry!” moments. Or maybe I’ll just keep them for myself … mmm, carrot cake!
  • Mrs. Meyers – So far, no coupons. But I did get a very nice thank you email for my note, in which I waxed poetic about their amazing lemon verbena all purpose spray. (Usually I make my own cleaners for just pennies a bottle, but I picked up a super concentrated bottle for less than $3 at TJMaxx last winter and am in love with that smell!)
  • Arrowhead Mills – They sent me 6 $.55 coupons, which will be great when paired with a sale at Whole Foods. I love their great gluten-free mixes and organic quinoa!
  • Earth’s Best – They sent me 2 $.55 coupons, perfect for some teething biscuits or ABC cookies for my one year old. I usually buy Earth’s Best when it’s on sale at Whole Foods, but I’ve also seen good deals at Babies R Us.
  • Kashi — Oh, Kashi, how do I love thee? They emailed me two $1 off coupons, good for any Kashi product. Every few months, Target has ah-mazing Kashi deals, and I can stock up on cereal, crackers and cookies for less than $1/box. Guilt-free indulgence!

So, what do you think? Are you ready to try your  hand at getting free coupons in the mail? Check out this super duper comprehensive list of organic and natural food companies that mail free coupons. Not all of these brands carry a hechsher, but many of them do!

Have you ever written to a company to praise their product (or to complain about a less-than-ideal experience) and received an envelope full of coupons in return? If not, try it today. Let me know how it goes for you!


Stonyfield yogurts for $.28

6 Jul

In addition to keeping kosher, which can add about 30+% to the average food budget, I also do my best to buy organic when I can fit it into the budget. But since organics can add another 30-50% to the budget, it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. I focus on buying organic for the produce on the Dirty Dozen list, plus dairy and eggs if I can swing it.

This week, I was super excited to score a great deal on Stonyfield organic yogurts from Whole Foods. I was there picking up Earth Balance margarine (THE best pareve margarine in the world, but *not* budget friendly… still looking for a great coupon source on that one) and noticed that Stonyfield’s 6-oz. cups were on sale 2/$1. Did you know that Whole Foods offers a 10% discount if you buy a case of any item? On most products, a case = 12.

Now one key principle in saving money on your food budget is to combine sales with other offers with coupons. So, the cup of yogurt, which was normally priced at $1, was on sale for $.50. And then by buying 12 of them, I got it for $.45/cup. But it gets better! Because I had two coupons for $1 off 5 cups (which Stonyfield had sent me earlier in the week — stay tuned for details on how to get coupons in the mail for your favorite products), I ended up paying just over $.28 per cup. This is less than half what you’d pay at Costco and about a quarter of the regular Whole Foods price!

Want to do the same deal? You can! Head on over to Whole Foods, pick up a case of your favorite 6-oz cups and be sure to hand over four of the $.50/3 coupons you can print today from the Stonyfield website. You will need two computers to get all four coupons, as the site has a two-print maximum. The coupons expire 10 days after printing, so don’t wait too long to do this deal!