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Couponing on a Whole Foods Diet

whole foods diet

Guest post from Ruth

One thing that I typically hear a lot is, “You can’t find coupons for produce.” The ironic thing is, the majority of the coupons that I use are for fresh produce and other perishable items.

My children and I eat a minimally processed, gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian diet (my husband is also vegetarian, but not dairy or gluten free). We also try to use mostly natural or organic type cleaners and body products. As you can imagine, that can require some creativity to keep the costs down!

I started couponing and I quickly narrowed down the sources which produced the best coupons for me. The weekly newspaper coupons, not surprisingly, didn’t help me much in my goal to save money. I knew that if I was going to save money, I had to try other ways.

Now I have a routine for which coupons I use and it’s become a lot of fun to take advantage of all the coupons for healthy foods that I never even knew about or used before!

Mperks Digital Coupons

We are blessed to live in an area with a Meijer store and I chose to sign up with their digital coupon program — Mperks. Each week, I scroll through and select which coupons or rewards I want to do for that week and then print a list and take it to the store. The savings are deducted off my total after I put in my information at check out.

The great thing about Mperks is that every week, there are a lot of great store coupons for produce!

One of the best things is when we have a store produce coupon for an item that is already on sale with one of Meijer’s 10 for 10 and 11th item free sales. This has scored me some tremendously cheap produce, like a 4 pack of baby cucumbers for 50 cents and a bag of onions for 75 cents.

Also, Mperks offers rewards. One of my most recent ones was an $8 off coupon for a future purchase when I purchased $50 of produce. That was a pretty sweet deal and helped to reduce the cost of some of our organic produce!

Driscoll Advisory Panel

I’ve joined Driscoll’s advisory panel and have been filling out surveys for each package of berries I buy. They start by giving you a 50 cent coupon for each survey, then after 5 surveys, they bump that value up to 75 cents.

After 16 surveys you get a $1 off Driscoll’s coupon for each survey. My store has great prices on fresh raspberries fairly often, so with the addition of those coupons, we’ve been able to enjoy lots of fresh berries.

Earthbound Organic Farm

I’ve also been getting Earthbound Organic Farm coupons. If you sign up for their email list, they will send you their promotional offers. I find that on average, I get a new coupon from them around once a week.

In addition, I regularly find coupons for other perishable items that our family uses such as non-dairy butter or organic unsweetened soymilk. I will print these out or clip them digitally ahead of time along with my coupons for fresh produce and plan my shopping trips out to maximize my savings.

Having the type of diet that we have has certainly made couponing more challenging, but I’ve been pleased to find that there are lots of offers for the products that we buy–if we take the time to look for them.

What are your best resources for whole foods coupons?

Ruth is a stay-at-home homeschooling mom to 3 kids. In her spare time, she teaches classes on vegetarian nutrition.

photo source

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  • Thanks for the post because I rarely see coupons for produce. The last 2 I can try to use but for number 1, I don’t live near any Meijer stores.

  • Wendy Klik says:

    Thanks for the tips. Also if you get a Kroger card they start sending you coupons to your home of the products you buy the most so I get a lot of produce coupons from them for their organic line of foods.

  • celia says:

    I actually do fairly well at Whole Foods. As long as you stay away from the insanely costly fancy things, their base prices are some of the lowest I have found for many staples, allowing me extra money for produce. My husband and I also have found their produce to be of exceptional quality and we would rather buy their produce for a bit more than buy cheaper produce that does not taste good or sometimes even does not get eaten.

    • Karen says:

      Same here! I am on a special Autoimmune Diet and I have found Whole Foods is sometimes cheaper or the same price as our regular grocery store and even Trader Joe’s. They also accept coupons and ours has major deals every Friday and most weeks a few times a week that they offer 1 or 2 items at a major discount! Also, if you know you are going to use something a lot, say butter, you can order a case from them and they give you a 10% discount! I do shop at other places as well, but the bulk of our groceries comes from Whole Foods.

    • Maria says:

      I agree. I did a price comparison between 5 local stores, including TJ’s on staples and WF’s came out the lowest in many cases for everyday pricing. However, in many cases the quality of the food could not be compared to other stores as it was better or organic. Also, WF’s does have their own coupons, case price discounts, bulk foods, and weekly Friday specials that really bring them inline with other stores or sometimes, as I said, cheaper. Just shop the perimeter for real food like in any store. Plus, they have a kids club and will give kids a healthy snack when they come in.

      (We don’t have Meijer stores here.)

  • Cris says:

    Don’t forget all the mobile coupons target has been sending oftenly for $1 off fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes there’s even a cartwheel discount to stack, mostly 5% after the target coupon is applied but to me any savings is savings. People that think using coupons at all is a waste of time will say “I don’t think it’s worth going thru all this trouble just to save $1”. So I say back “so if someone was handing out dollar bills when you came into the grocery store would you refuse getting one because it’s ONLY a dollar?”. I’m not saying use a coupon just because you have it or as it’s been discussed here a deal is not a deal if you don’t need it out can’t afford.

    • Raquel Evans says:

      I agree that saving a dollar is worth the trouble of printing and using a coupon, but also remember the hassle of going to separate stores to use specific coupons. If someone’s handing out dollar bills at the grocery store you’re already at, wonderful! If they’re handing out dollar bills at the store across town, it might not be worth your time and cost of gas to go get one.

      • Cris says:

        That’s a great point but for the most part I can go to almost any store I need to on my way home from work, in fact if I have to get something over my weekend (which I hate) I restrict myself to the neighborhood stores. Milk is more expensive than aldi but not worth driving there if thats all I need. And I actually enjoy shopping so again if I don’t even have to go far at all from the highway to get to each store on my leave work early day I just rather do it all that day. Also, during my commute I drive by any kind of store one might need so driving far is never needed 🙂

    • Susan says:

      I’d argue that using coupons to save a dollar vs. someone simply handing you a dollar is not a reasonable argument. Collecting and organizing coupons DOES take time, and time is worth something. Ink does cost money. The extent of how much the time and effort involved is worth the savings will vary greatly from one person to the next. On the other hand, to be simply handed a dollar bill takes no time and effort at all. A coupon savings of $1 costs something, whereas a gift of $1 does not.

  • Roberta says:

    One thing I do is try to save on health and beauty and cleaning supplies using coupons. the more I save on those the more money I have in my budget for food

  • Susan I says:

    I, too, had subscribed to the Earthbound farm emails and a lot of their coupons were for $1 off, but unfortunately I could never get them to print so I was never able to use them. I am sure that it was an issue on my end, but I just finally unsubscribedc.

  • Joy says:

    Thanks for sharing your ideas! I also must stick with gluten and dairy free foods which can be expensive with convenience type items. While I use Swagbucks coupons and ShopRite store coupons, I never thought of checking out the websites of the foods I usually buy each week!! I printed out the Earthbound coupons, and now I’m off to look for Bob’s Mill and Enjoy Life coupons 🙂

    • Ruth says:

      I just found Bob’s Red Mill coupons recently! There was a BOGO coupon and a few others. I’m not sure if they’re still available, but it wouldn’t hurt to check.

  • Julie says:

    we have Safeway where I live and its smartphones app is great and frequently features produce, especially tailored to what you buy.

    • Maria says:

      I use their online coupons and Just for You ones, but rarely are the produce ones much of a deal (often WF is better). They always exclude organic and some things are cheaper everyday at other stores (bananas at TJ’s for example). However, I’ve got one now for avocados $1 ea and given they aren’t on the dirty dozen am ok to buy non-organic.

      I wonder if the Driscoll ones exclude organic? I berries unless they are organic because they absorb so much of the pesticides – I live in strawberry country, they spray clouds and clouds of it on them.I could not imagine giving that to kids. Also, strawberries are super easy to grow – I have some in a pot next to my front door right now.

      • Ruth says:

        The Driscoll coupons are good for any Driscoll’s product–organic or otherwise. I have bought organic berries with mine. 🙂

  • Betsy Durand says:

    I love the Earthbound coupons that come via email. Sometimes their products are difficult for me to find in my rural setting, but I save them for when I go to Kroger. They’ve helped me score spinach or organic carrots for less than $1.50 many times. Also, Food Lion (in NC) often has coupons for $2 off $5 worth of produce and this week I scored a $1 off $2 of bananas. The coupons are out there, but you just have to look a little harder and sometimes improvise in the mean time.

  • Jessica says:

    Sometimes, Kroger has blinkie coupon machines in the natural/organic area. I’ve used them for almond milk coupons. Almond milk agrees with my belly better than cow’s milk.

    • Rena says:

      Whole Foods for us has better overall quality than Trader Joes. The whole experience is just so much friendly and inviting not to mention all of the samples they put out! I love going to Whole Foods for the samples! 🙂

  • Cathy says:

    I usually find coupons from target for $1 off produce, or meat. You have to sign up for their electronic coupons via text. I get these 1-2 times a month. Sprouts also has coupons in their ad.

  • Suzanne says:

    I am so grateful for this post. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been supercouponing for three years now and have a large family of six children and a husband to feed. Just this summer we switched to a plant based diet, free of sugar, gluten, dairy and meat. Barely need my eight delivered newspapers anymore. Your post has so encouraged me that there are still options out there! Thanks again and thank you Crystal for having this post. Your site has always been a mainstay for me but lately I’ve been mentally formulating a question to throw your way about this very thing and now it’s a moot point. Yea!

    • sona says:

      I would love to know how vegetarians get an adequate protein source. I have never eaten a lot of meat so am often anemic. I love cows milk…and almond milk. but cows milk has 8 gm of protein and almond has 1!. I’ve tried to use protein powders, but science cant make up its mind as to what is best isolates or non-isolates. Love nuts…..but so high in calories. Ah! frustration.

      • I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years and it is so easy to get protein. It’s found in nearly everything we eat. Beans and soy products are especially high. Also, whole grains are a good source.
        If you are having problems with anemia, it is more likely due to low iron. You may want to have your iron levels checked by your doctor and possibly take an iron supplement. I’ve never had this issue, so I can’t tell you what foods are high in iron (but I”m sure google could).

      • Ruth says:

        Beans, beans, and more beans! 🙂

        We eat some form of beans nearly every day. Chickpeas are great in soups or mashed in a sandwich spread. Lentil soups and lentil roasts, pinto beans and rice, etc. etc.

      • Crissy says:

        Try hemp seeds. They are quick & easy. Throw them on a salad.

    • Ruth says:

      I’m glad that my post could encourage you! Your diet sounds very similar to ours! I’m actually currently sugar free and my kids are low sugar.

      Be encouraged, there are lots of options for our type of diets!

      If you have a bulk buying coop or a Costco store nearby, those are also helpful tools. I didn’t mention those in my post, since my post was specifically about coupons, but many of our dry goods (quinoa, rice, chia seed, etc.) and other staples such as olive oil, coconut oil, nut butters, canned organic tomatoes, etc. are purchased in bulk.

  • Mrs. W says:

    Mambo Sprouts has organic/natural foods coupons.

    We also price match Aldi’s produce prices at Walmart and save a fortune on produce. Aldis has amazing deals on produce!

  • Nichole says:

    If you sign up for Oragnic Girl emails or look on the website you can also get coupons.

  • Alisha says:

    Don’t forget about co-ops! Mine offers a weekly deal where they fill up a grocery bag full of organic produce for $20. You have no say as to what goes in the bag, but it has forced me to branch out and learn to cook new things.

  • Dovey says:

    Thanks for discussing the Mperks problem. We shop at Meijer all the time, and this will be very helpful. I hadn’t taken the time to research it.

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