Friday, February 10, 2012

Saving money on Groceries

OK, that blog title sounded like a spam email! Oops!

Justin and I both have Amazon Visa Rewards credit cards, which offer cash rewards that are useable at Amazon. I use my card for pretty much everything I buy. (We never carry a balance on a card - we pay it off every month.) So our cash rewards build up at a pleasing rate! I use the reward points to "purchase" a lot of things that we use around the house, and I wanted to share how we accomplish it, as well as some of my favorite Amazon grocery items.

Disclaimer: I also believe it's very important to shop locally as much as I can. And we still purchase the bulk of our foods from local grocers, especially meat and produce and dairy. But some things can be hard to find, and because eating real food can be expensive, we have to save money when we can. I like to think our savings from shopping on Amazon helps fund our local and organic meats and veggies!

First of all, here are some of the things I purchase regularly (usually with points, but not always). Each photo and link (affiliate links) will take you to that listing on Amazon.

Organic coconut oil - two 54 ouce tubs. This lasts me a while! Sometimes they'll go on sale, and I'll stock up even more. I've never seen the large tubs at a local store, just the small ones. So this is quite a bit cheaper than buying it locally, especially when you use a lot of it. Here's a blog I wrote about the reasons I love coconut oil.


Canned tuna. I don't use many canned foods, but these cans are BPA-free. Wild Planet also uses the species of tuna that has the least mercury in it, and that tuna is sustainably harvested. So my three concerns with canned tuna are taken care of with this particular brand.

Organic cocoa powder. This comes in a set of two bags, and we go through it faster than you might imagine. The price isn't much different than grocery store cocoa, but it's organic, and hey, if it's free with our points, I'll take it.

Organic gelatin - a set of two canisters. This is great healthy nutrition! I use it to make jello, and I also sprinkle it into broth based soups for added nutrition. It's only from pastured animals, so you know it's the good stuff. I don't buy cheap gelatin from anyplace else, so I can't say how the price compares exactly.


Vitamin D gelcaps. You can get them at the store in pill form for a little less money, but the gelcals are a lot easier to swallow. However, I'm not getting this anymore because we're taking fermented cod liver oil capsules. So that's where we're getting our Vitamin D (and a whole lot of other great stuff too). But I purchased these capsules a couple of times. We took 2 each day, for 4000 IU.

Organic maple syrup. This goes on sale sometimes, and usually I wait until it does. You can also get 15% off by doing Subscribe and Save, which you have to use points differently (I'll explain that later). We use syrup to sweeten most things (ice cream especially) so we go through a lot of it.

Organic coconut milk. I love this stuff and use it in soups, stir fries, smoothies, and even in coffee (YUM!). I believe this is also a BPA-free can - which is another reason why I buy it on Amazon. I haven't found coconut milk in BPA-free cans locally. There's also coconut oil in the top of each can, so I use that for sauteeing (if I'm going to open the can anyways).


Coconut flour. A great price since this is a package of 4 bags. A little goes a long way in baking, so you won't go through it as quickly as you think.

We've also purchased fair trade coffee on Amazon (we LOVED Ethical Bean Coffee - we got it on a great sale though), although we're finding fair trade coffee locally now. You can find some good deals on raw/organic honey too, as well as other flours and baking goods. Other things you could shop for: tea, herbs and spices, cookbooksnuts, BPA-free canned foods, probiotics, sugardried fruit...pretty much any nonperishables can be purchased for a great price at Amazon.

Some tips to help maximize your Amazon grocery shopping:
  • Sign up for an Amazon Rewards card, and use it for everything. Easy peasy!
  • Use your Amazon card on anything you pay for on Amazon. Triple points!
  • Use Subscribe and Save to save 15% on most grocery items. You can cancel your subscriptions anytime and still keep the savings.
  • I'm not a Mom so I haven't signed up, but Amazon Mom gives moms and child care givers great deals on baby and kid stuff!
  • If you're using Subscribe & Save (most grocery items have this!), use paper gift certificates, instead of using "Shop with Points". "Shop with Points" isn't valid if you're doing Subscribe & Save. So have a little patience, and use the points to order actual paper gift certificates, so then you can use both at the same time.
  • Wait until things go on sale, then use your points AND Subscribe & Save. It's like double couponing! I usually rely on my favorite blogs to alert me to such sales, but you can also set up email alerts for deals on grocery items or other types of things.
I hope this has been helpful to you! I love getting boxloads of free groceries and I hope you'll look into it yourself.

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