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The Frugal Vegan: Scoring a Grocery-Store Hat Trick

Posted by at 5:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)


The Frugal Vegan: Scoring a Grocery-Store Hat Trick by Rick ThompsonThis is the first in a new series, ?The Frugal Vegan,? which will be offering tips and tidbits on how to spend less, save more, invest better, and give wisely based on the real-life adventures of the thrifty author, who never met a penny he didn’t pinch.

I love to save money. Seriously-I really love to save money. And the more I save, the more I can contribute to animal advocacy causes, like PETA.

First up: grocery shopping. I turn every grocery trip into a quest to see how much I can save. There are sales, special offers, and coupons. Each one is a great way to save in and of itself, but the real trick to serious savings comes from combining them-especially all three into the much-coveted grocery-store hat trick. The compounded results can be astounding.

For example, recently, one of the grocery stores where I regularly shop had Green Giant frozen vegetables on sale-including several varieties without butter sauce that were vegan. (I know, how pathetic that we have to check the ingredients of vegetables to make sure that they’re vegan!) Regularly $1.79, they were on sale for $1-a 44 percent savings. Pretty good deal, right? Sure, but it gets better.

For every eight boxes of frozen vegetables purchased in one shopping trip, you instantly got $5 off your grocery bill; that’s eight boxes for only $3, or 37 1/2 cents per box-a 79 percent savings. Now we’re talking serious savings. But wait-it gets even better.

I had a coupon for $1 off with the purchase of three of its frozen vegetables. Now it’s a hat trick! If your grocery store allows you to use more than one coupon-and most do-you could go for the gold medal in frugal shopping. Buy nine boxes at $1 each, get the $5 off, and use three $1 off coupons, for a final incredible purchase price of nine boxes for only $1, or 11 cents each-for a 94 percent savings over the regular purchase price of $16.11!

There was no limit on the frozen-vegetable deal. The only real limitation is finding enough coupons (although it was still a great deal even without the coupons).

Here’s a suggestion: Form an informal coupon exchange with friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Several of us do this where I work by simply circulating the coupon inserts among ourselves. Some libraries have coupon exchanges as well.

Even better, share your online coupons for vegan products with our Prime community on Facebook!

If I had managed to find eight coupons, I could have maximized this offer by purchasing 24 boxes (at $1 each), getting $15 off ($5 off for each eight), and redeeming eight $1 coupons (one for each three), bringing the final price for 24 boxes to just $1, or only 4 cents each-for a nearly 98 percent savings over the regular purchase price of $42.96!

Please share your grocery-store saving tips!

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5 Comments

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    meagan says...

    February 13th, 2010, 3:18 am

    Sound great,but I’m living in another country now. This one doesn’t offer coupons,and very rarely sales. It’s also one of the most expensive cities. I would love to know how to save money here,since I make less (thought more than if I were working the same job in the US). The best I can do is buy what I can at one of the cheaper stores,but they don’t have much there,but then I have to buy the rest,generally the expensive things anyway,at the expensive stores. The most they have,once in awhile,are sales on beans and sometimes soy milk.
    So,any suggestions on how to be frugal in a non-frugal country? Of,and in a country which is not very vegan-friendly.

    glennlee says...

    February 13th, 2010, 9:21 am

    my father learned from his mother the value of clipping coupons and buying in bulk when things were on sale. I am sure he has saved thousands of dollars over the years. and he always has plenty of food to donate for the local food bank food drives.

    Rick Thompson says...

    February 16th, 2010, 4:23 pm

    Meagan, in response to your request for suggestions on how to be frugal in a non-frugal country, it sounds like you are already doing the best that you can do. Keep watching for sales, stock up when things you use are on sale, buy in bulk when possible, and buy larger vs. smaller sizes. Any suggestions from other frugal vegans in non-frugal lands?

    jessica says...

    February 18th, 2010, 1:18 pm

    this is great for the majority of people i guess -but remember we also vote with our dollars and if we are spending money at stores that sell meat in their large deli/butcher sections it is as though we are advocating this practice of animal slaughter…

    vinsue says...

    February 18th, 2010, 6:13 pm

    I don’t mean to be nosey Megan but what country are you in? It might help us to give advice if we knew what part of the world you’re in. Is it warm where fresh produce is available year round? Are there farmer’s markets? If they have long winters have you thought about investing in a dehydrator? You can dry an amazing number of fruits and veggies in season,put them away and have fresh soups or stews in winter.Let us know what part of the world you’re in,maybe someone can suggest regional recipes etc.

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