Sunday, November 1, 2009

$20 of FREE Organic Groceries

I have to admit when I saw the Good Morning America feature on the mom who scored $267 of groceries for $.01, I was skeptical and a little bitter. Does she not buy produce or fresh meat? This could not have been a “typical shopping trip”! You have to pay SOMETHING! Nothing in life is truly free!

That’s before I heard about the new Earthfare pantry makeover deal. You can bring in practically empty containers of items containing high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils and they will give you a healthier and often organic alternative for FREE. The items in their promotion include cereal, salad dressing, peanut butter, jelly, and soft drinks. Sad to say I had items in all those categories in my fridge or pantry; so I couldn’t resist my chance to taste the alternatives. Tip: If you choose to bring unopened items, they will be donated to Second Harvest.

Thanks to tips from Knoxmoms and Coupon Katie, I learned Earthfare was not only having a special Halloween event for the kids; they were giving away 3 pound bags of organic apples through October 31. Armed with my coupons, I brought my oldest son Bobby for a fun outing and chance to save some serious bucks.

We first grabbed the apples (worth $6). I’m going to turn those into baby food; so check back in for details in a future blog. Bobby then decorated one of the cloth bags I use for grocery shopping and gathered a few goodies through a scavenger hunt around the store. We then went on another “scavenger hunt” for the free pantry makeover items (cereal: $2.49, peanut butter: $3.79, jelly: $4.99, salad dressing: $2.19, and vitamin water: $1.25). The total for all these goods would have been $20.70 before tax. Total cost to me: $ZIPPO. And the fact that most items are organic is a huge plus in my book.

While there, I also picked up two six packs of Annie’s organic mac n’ cheese--a staple in our house. On sale, it worked out to $1 / box—a price you can’t find cheaper anywhere. I also used two in store coupons on items already on sale and saved a total of $7. The holiday savings books have over $42 in coupons, can be found on most aisles, and have coupons that are usually good through January. Tip: make sure the coupons scan ok; some registers are having trouble reading them.

All told, I spent $18.81 for goods that retail for nearly $50. Once again, this proves you can Go Green and Save Green.

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