Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Shameless Begging and Cool Results

A few weeks ago I decided to actually make an effort to save money with my biggest expense outside of rent: food.  In looking at my spending habits I ran into the (American?) issue of my biggest food expenses being fresh food, namely produce.  Not only do I consume a lot of it, but it's something that doesn't necessarily go very far (though of course, this varies, a pound of potatoes goes much further than a pound of spinach). 

Anyway, I decided to try to take note of the companies that produced the fruits/vegetables I bought and see if I could get coupons and samples from them.  This is rather difficult as coupons for any kind of fresh, non-processed food seem to be nearly impossible to find.  The most recent ones I saw (from Walmart, I think?) was to save some cents off of fruit when you bought a certain amount of cereal, which is...not so great. 

Of course I haven't been able to find all the producers who supplied to the stores I regularly shop at, but with the few famous ones I did (Dole and Chiquita) I had no luck.  They either didn't offer coupons at all or refused me any when I did write to them.  I did find their feedback to be pretty lacking; begging for coupons/free shit aside, I do like it when you can get a friendly little note back from a company, even if they refuse you anything (I got this with Carmex; no savings, but a nice thank you note for the comment I did leave). 

I should also say that I did (and do) feel a bit of residual guilt in asking certain produce companies (or farmers, at farmer's markets) for reduced prices; after all, it's a hard business to be in, and as we all know, the government doesn't subsidize the healthiest of produce, unfortunately.

Anyway, I did hit gold with Earthbound Farm Organics.  In signing up for their site I got a $.75 cent coupon for organic carrots (always great :3) and in requesting information/coupons I received a wonderful little letter, information/recipe pamphlet and several (six) excellent coupons. 

I have always wanted to eat more organic produce (and animal products) but it's one of those things that I only "indulged" in when I had extra money or if I found anything for sale (rare for produce).  That, combined with the fact that organic produce can be relatively difficult to find in many stores resulted in me rarely eating any (though more organic goods are popping up now, due to recent trends).

I have admired Earthbound Organics for some while, actually.  I have always been a regular buyer of their packaged salads, for example, because if I'm going to go organic with anything it will definitely be leafy greens (that I am not washing, because I hate washing salads and I only buy the packaged ones).  Not only were these very high quality and always fresh, but they are readily available at most big chains AND very reasonably priced for both packaged salad and an organic product (same can't be said for other big names that will not be mentioned, ahem).

Anyway, the coupons are excellent (free stuff, basically) the little pamphlet is great too.  It has some nice background information on the company itself (Including a great mission statement) and on organic farm practices, which is obviously better for health and the environment (they brought up enriching the soil as one that I wasn't aware of, which is great since we had studied food availability and practiced in regarding to soil depletion in one of the last biology classes I took).

I also think it's great that their cartons are from recycled materials :3

Information aside it also had several recipes (twelve total) for some excellent looking food.

And no, I wasn't paid for this. 

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