Places to Shop Organic on a Budget
Costco is a known favorite for affordable organic food. However, membership fees are slated to rise, and you may not have easy access to a warehouse store, especially if you live in a city (like me).
Fortunately, there is a growing market for super affordable organic products at both online and brick-and-mortar shops you can find almost anywhere – with no membership fees!
Watching the changes at CVS on my Philadelphia corner is like watching a microcosm of the changing market. Ten years ago you could only get Coke, Fritos, Huggies and a pack of cigarettes. Now the drugstore empire has a growing commitment to health, demonstrated by its bold step to stop selling tobacco. And on a recent trip I used my frequent customer 30% off coupon to do a major stock-up on their in-house brand Gold Emblem’s organic selection, Annie's Organic Mac and Cheese, Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Broth, Wolfgang Puck Organic soups, Goddess Garden sunscreen and even Burts Bees organic cotton baby clothes! Now the only problem is that never-ending streaming receipt. (Important tip: If you have an Extra Care account, you can ask a cashier to change your receipt preference to digital only. And, yes, YOU have to ask.)
LuckyVitamin.com is a family-owned leading online retailer in the health and wellness space, offering more than 35,000 products at competitive prices. No membership fees are required to shop the best of health and wellness at a fraction of retail costs. They also offer a private label brand of affordable vitamins, supplements, protein shakes, snack foods, coconut oil and more. Plus, 1 percent of proceeds from LuckyVitamin brand products go to their LuckyKids effort to serve the needs of childhood health and wellness. I stock up on natural beauty products, pantry staples, snacks, supplements and much more. With frequent sales and promotions and “Lucky Rewards,” my big green box is delivered weekly with no shipping fees.*
I have to admit I have yet to visit an Aldi, but it sounds better every time my friends rave about it. This low-cost supermarket chain operates about 1,400 locations in the U.S., including several around Philly that are calling my name. Aldi keeps its prices low by being no-frills and having you bag your own groceries (big deal!). But I hear they have a growing selection of fresh organic produce on top of the organic frozen and shelf-stable goods!
Target’s Simply Balanced brand includes organic meats, frozen foods and pantry staples. Plus their Made to Matter collection offers deals on organic brands like Annie’s Organic, Bitsy’s Brainfood and Plum Organics. They have frequent sales, and using the Cartwheel App makes organic and natural foods even cheaper.
Trader Joes has been a retailer on the forefront of going GMO-free. Though not everything in store is organic or even non-GMO certified, you have a good chance of finding a very clean selection at good prices. I’m told you can find organic apples year-round (though I prefer to buy in season) and a great selection of organic frozen and pantry goods. And don’t forget your coupons from manufacturers and TJ brands alike!
Walmart is now resplendent with organic brands, like Cascadian Farms, Muir Glen, Nature’s Path and Horizon. While it is phasing out its Wild Oats organic brand, it is adding more organic food to its existing store brand, Great Value, which currently includes organic milk and a wide variety of pantry items. You can also save extra at Walmart by making the most of their price-match policy, using their app and “Savings Catcher,” using coupons and even buying day-old bread for $1!
I recently downloaded an app called SavingStar, which sends coupons for the organic brands I select directly to my brand loyalty cards for most of these stores. You can also use the BerryCart app for rebates exclusively on natural and organic brands.
What amazing organic deals have you found at unexpected places?
Paige Wolf is a Philadelphia mom, green-living expert and author of Spit That Out! The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt. This post is adapted from her blog Spit That Out! Connect with her at www.paigewolf.com, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.
*Visit Spitthatouthebook.com for a discount code for LuckyVitamin.com, good until 12/31/2016.