Some things I buy on Amazon,using their Subscribe and Save option which gets me 15% off. I get most of our supplements that way, as well as computer paper and ink, office supplies (pens, clips, etc...), batteries, dog treats and toys, shampoo, coconut milk, and a few specialty organic foods that aren't available locally (chestnuts, pistachios and espelette).
Other things I get through our Frontier Co-op Wholesale account. You only need 3 members to create an account, and orders over $250 ship free. Many items sold in Whole Foods are the Frontier brand and you can get them here at wholesale prices. I get our our dish and laundry soap here, kitchen towels and sponges, toothpaste and toothbrushes, flavor extracts, and many of our spices (dried herbs I get from our CSA farm). They sell a few Bob's Red Mill products, too. Every month, they put products on sale where you can save even more.
I also use Vitacost, LuckyVtamin, and iHerb, all of which have great pricing and a low free shipping threshold. I use them for Eden canned goods,
Yellow Barn tomatoes, and some
If you buy a lot of packaged goods, you might benefit from a membership with Thrive Market. They charge a monthly fee but the prices are 25-50% below retail. Be forewarned, if you want to cancel your membership, it will take MONTHS, so use a gift card with a small remaining balance until you're sure you want to stay with them.
Another option is to purchase items by the case from Whole Foods. Case purchases get a 5% discount. For instance, if you buy a whole wheel of cheese you get 5% off and it won't come wrapped in plastic! At home, slice off wedges as you need them, wrap the rest in parchment, and store in your fridge. We've never had one go bad before we could finish it. Whole foods sells several biodynamic products. I buy our rice from them in 25-pound bags and then split it with my friends.
When you shop in a grocery store don't buy anything except food! All other items have a huge markup and can be purchased elsewhere for much less. You'll have to research the best places based on where you live. I suspect Costco, Target, Home Depot and Ace Hardware would be a good place to start.
Grocery Budget Bootcamp offers several free videos on how to save money while buying healthy products. It's an excellent program if you're just starting on this journey. For instance, most grocery 'sales' are not a good value unless the product is 50% off. Don't be duped into stocking up for anything less than 50% off.
determine which products are indeed what they claim to be.
- Horizon Organic is one of the worst scofflaws. They're cheaper for a reason. If you check the dairy scorecard, they get a ZERO COW RATING!
- Aurora Dairy, which supplies Costco, Walmart, and Target is another scofflaw.
- Most 'free range' chickens and their eggs are NOT free range - the birds have one tiny door in their overcrowded barn and they NEVER go outside! Organic Valley (you thought they were one of the good ones, didn't you?) rates TWO EGGS out of five which is LOWER than the USDA STANDARD! Buy from a local farm where you can SEE how the chickens are raised!
Several years ago, the butcher at Whole Foods had the audacity to tell me there was little difference between their 100% grass fed beef and their conventional beef. While it's true that conventional beef spends the first 12-18 months of it's life on pasture it's the last few months in a feed lot that alters the omega 3:6 ratio from healthy to unhealthy. This conversion happens in as little as 30 days!
(Yes, I have tested this, and it's true.)
Here is the LUNAR CALENDAR I USE.
- Obviously, don't buy/take more than you can use before it goes bad.
- If 'stuff happens' and you realize you won't get to it, freeze it.
- you can freeze cream and yogurt
- raw whole cow's milk does not freeze well, pasteurized might be OK
- clean vegetables and herbs can be frozen whole without blanching
- cook without defrosting
- if they need to be sliced, defrost slightly first or you'll ruin your knife
- use in pasta, omelets, etc...
- clean fruit, even tomatoes, can be frozen whole
- use frozen fruit in smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, etc...
- use frozen tomatoes in sauce
- Take smaller portions - you can always have seconds
- this kind of waste - plate waste - is a HUGE pet peeve of mine!
- When transferring from one container to another, use the best spatula ever
- our food is expensive so I don't waste one drop!