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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

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saving on healthy foods

Over the last 6 years I have met so many people trying to save money and a good majority of those folks are also trying to eat healthier.  Many end up frustrated that they can’t save on organic products the way they can on traditional items and give up on coupons and deals all together.  I’m left scratching my head trying to figure out why they are buying organic in the first place if money is super tight.

Can you eat healthier and save money? YES.  To eat healthier do you need to switch to only organic items?  NO.  I would encourage you to do a little homework on organics and hear from both sides.  You’ll find that organic doesn’t mean that pesticides weren’t used, and in fact odds are more were used because they are less effective versions.  You’ll also find other things (like eggs for instance – that’s a whole bunch of interesting advertising).  Everything in life is driving by marketing, and the organic industry isn’t any different.  Most of the organic marketing campaigns are built on fear and they work really well.

If you are a Mama trying to feed your kids you are given massive guilt from the world that you aren’t doing things right unless you shop exclusively in health food stores and buy 100% organic everything.  You’ll even have kind and caring friends help add to this guilt with posts and comments they share on social media.  You could buy all the organic produce in the world, it’s still not going to stop your two year old from licking their shoes and eating dirt.

PLEASE don’t buy into all of the hype.  If you want to eat healthier foods and save money you can.  Buy more fruit and vegetables, do more cooking at home from scratch, even go hunting and catch your own meat (can you get more organic).  It’s not the organic fruit that will save your kids,  it’s cutting down on the oreo cookies and soda.  Even eating to many organic oreo cookies is still bad for you… Reduce the extra items you grab on the snack aisles.  For us cutting out snacks and juices meant saving over $50 a month!  Want to save even more and get healthier… also try cutting the cable.

I’m not saying that organic produce isn’t good or that caring about better farming techniques isn’t good for the environment.  I just want people to feel free to open their own eyes and make decisions for themselves on their purchases.   When you see things on facebook like this:

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 3.47.47 PM

Don’t beat yourself up and decide to throw all the food out and start fresh.  Instead spend a second googling “cause of death in 1900″ you’ll find that 115 years ago you would have been good to live to the ripe old age of 47 and odds are you would die from the flu, pneumonia and tuberculosis.  You can go even further and realize that X-rays were just being invented in 1895 and even Thomas Edison gave up his work on them in 1903 because they were killing the scientists.  We can detect so much more now than we ever could have then.

Does that mean that we don’t have issues now? No.
Are there things you should avoid for health?  Yes.

What should you avoid?  That’s your call.  You have to do your own education, not let advertisements and very vocal friends steer your decisions.  For now, go eat an apple (wash it first at least) and realize that if you eat a non-organic apple you would need to have over 400 of them a day to reach toxic levels of pesticides!  You’re probably good…

Just eat the apple folks.  And buy the way, if my soap box greatly upsets you that’s okay.  We are allowed to have our own opinions on everything, I just urge you to not make a sweet mama trying her best to stay in budget and make healthy choices feel bad.  Encourage her to make the best choices she can inside the budget she has!

    • Carman M

      Well said! Thank you!

    • Lindsey

      This has to be my favorite post ever posted on Southernsavers! As Jenny said….just do your research. You will be glad you did. Also, another good way to save on produce is buying locally from farmers markets. I save a ton on what’s in season.

    • Heather

      Thank-you for the encouragement!

    • mommalana

      Excellent post!

    • Jen

      Well said Jenny!! Thanks for the post : )

    • http://www.budgetmaxer.com/ Darrius

      There are some in the organic community who do walk around with an attitude of superiority toward those who choose not to shop exclusively at Whole Foods or similar stores.

      Like Jenny said, switching to organic chips, cookies, cereals, breads, etc. isn’t going to make you healthy. In my opinion, shopping the perimeter of your regular supermarket or even Walmart buying conventional fresh meat, produce, nuts, coffee, etc. (i.e. “real food”) is tremendously more effective.

      Look up what qualifies eggs to be labeled “free-range.” Your household pets probably have more freedom than that if all you do is let them run around in a small backyard.

    • Eileen

      Well said! Also, organic doesn’t help much if it’s coming from the other side of the world. Then you have to consider the carbon footprint that comes along with it. A lot of times, eating local produce and meat is healthier than eating something that has an organic label. Most small local farms are already organic – they just don’t have the money to pay for the official “organic” certification. And you’re supporting your community, as well!

    • Lori T

      Thank you for this posting which encourages people to open their eyes and their minds, think for themselves, and not buy into the hype. Well said!

    • Melissa

      THANK YOU JENNY!! I couldn’t agree with you more. It is so frustrating to know that people are struggling to keep their children fed and being judged based on what they feed them. Let’s be thankful for whatever food we have available and remember that there are millions of people on this planet who would love to have ANY food they could give to their children. Maybe we should consider saving the money spent on “organic” everything and share it with those less fortunate.

    • Amy

      Thank you so much! I am in total agreement. This was a really encouraging post for me!

    • dawg4

      Thanks for sharing this message of “eat more fresh produce”! I think if we eat more tasty healthy foods then we wont crave the junk! That’s the reason I try to have one fruit/green smoothie a day. I’m not perfect but “the all or nothing ” mentality will cause more people to give-up and feel like failures! Don’t let it!

    • Nina

      Thank you so much for this post. I totally agree with you and I am encouraged by your common sense.

    • Guest

      I love this post…it’s one of my favorites so far. I love how you point out the cancer thing. It’s all over the internet about not eating organic food.

      To be healthier just cut out the sugar, processed food and limit your going out to eat. Make your our whole wheat bread or pita chips??

      I however, do buy organic (95% or more) but I have been buying organic for almost twenty years. We do buy from our farmers market and our local ( non pop) organic store. I did cut out the processed foods and we feel a lot better/ healthier.

      Jenny, thank you for this post.

    • pk

      The Bible says we will all die, the important thing is that you know where you are going when you die. 13 years ago, I realized I was a sinner , and called on the Lord to save me. He changed my life completely. If we really love our kids lets lead them to Christ.

      • NaturallyJ

        Amen!

    • Anna

      Thank you Jenny! I completely agree! Just get back to the basics with ingredients to be healthier

    • Jennifer

      Thank you Jenny! That is all.

    • Jenna

      Excellent post!

    • NaturallyJ

      This was a great post! I personally try to eat living foods and lean meats. I do indulge in my share of junk food but I am trying to cut that down in half! It’s hard but not impossible. I’ve never been on the organic bandwagon and probably never will. My family genetics are a better and more accurate way to determine what my health risks are and I obey my doctors orders which doesn’t include eating organic just eating living foods!

    • Bb

      Well said Jenny! Enjoyed this post! Learn to garden :)

      • Jo

        I agree! We also have chickens that forage through the garden. They are quiet, doesn’t require any work really and we get tons of eggs every day.

    • RH

      Thanks, Jenny. We just went through this with the healthy snacks in schools programs.

    • DRG

      Amen!!! I really believe if I just had the courage to follow your advice my weight would settle right where I should be. Now I just need to take that step. Thanks for the encouragement!!

    • Kristin Schoolfield

      Thanks so much for this post, Jenny! After reading so many blogposts about eating organic, I usually feel guilty for just trying to buy & eat regular produce. Also, GO NOLES!!!!!!! Noticed you are an FSU fan :)

    • Connie Bigham Palmer McCoy

      “You could buy all the organic produce in the world, it’s still not going to stop your two year old from licking their shoes and eating dirt.” LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS~!!! Thanks for the common sense!

    • Jo

      We didn’t want to eat non organic, but couldn’t afford the organic either. SO, I started growing a garden and raise chickens. Free and healthy food for a little bit of work!!!

    • Bethany

      Love the common sense article Jenny! I’ve made the switch to more fruits and veggies and less processed foods. I do buy packaged meat products without nitrates & nitrites but I’m not worried about organic. And my husband hunts, which I LOVE! We also just started 2 months of absolutely NO extra spending (only exceptions are if something breaks on the car or the house) yesterday (his idea) so I’m super excited about how much we’ll be saving and still eating healthier!

    • Heather

      Thank you, Jenny! I would love to buy organic local produce, grass feed meats, etc (lots of options for this in our area but they are expensive!) but money is tight for us right now. I have struggled with such guilt over this. Your thoughts and a post written by the Humbled Homemaker are helping me to change my perspective and extend grace to myself. Thank you for encouaging this weary mama!!

    • amie

      Amen! I am very aware of how advertising uses statistics to mislead the public by making correlations sound like causality. I can’t believe how many educated people I know believe those Facebook ads. It really irks me. We unapologetically eat non-organic. I have a tight budget for groceries and most of it goes for dairy, produce, and meat. I do buy some snacks…especially since I have a toddler who loves crackers, but I also make popcorn, whole wheat muffins, etc.

    • Mickie

      I can’t thank you enough for this post. I feel like it’s always ‘all or nothing’ with healthy eating, but you are right. Just eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and take it from there. More produce instead of junk food is an improvement, regardless of whether it is organic or not. Thanks again!

    • Kim Jones Bowen

      I do try and buy organic whenever possible. There are some fruits and veggies that being organic doesn’t matter a whole lot – plus, organic fruit/veggies is EXPENSIVE. This year I’m hoping our garden does better so I don’t have to buy much of any kind of produce. :)

    • mary

      Love you last paragraph the most! Thanks for all you do.

    • belljoy

      i really appreciate you! You have such a kind heart for all the folks out there struggling to make ends meet in this wild and crazy society we live in today! thank you for all you do!

    • Trish

      I think it’s also good to look at the stats. Because we are living longer, we are diagnosing more cancer. Under age 45-180,000. Over age 45-2.6 million. 1900 had they been able to outlive age 47 I believe the cancer rates would have been much higher.