Tired of Paying Too Much for Healthy Food? Try These 9 Tips

Missy Crystal

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“Where can I find free samples of healthy snacks?”

“Are there any websites that have coupons for organic food?”

“Where can you buy cheap organic food?”

As a couponer, I often hear questions like these when people explain that they want to buy healthy food but can’t figure out how to afford it. There are tons of coupons for healthy food, but I’ll admit that sometimes it’s hard to find them. It’s also difficult to find grocery deals for organic food if you don’t know when and where to shop.

Before we continue, I should clarify that "healthy” is a subjective term, so this article might feature some products you think are junk. I’m not here to police what others ingest, though. My goal is just to hook everyone up with grocery deals that I feel are healthier (even if they’re not 100% good for you) than the traditional Betty Crocker coupons and Kellogg's promotions that I often see online.

Whether you're feeding yourself or a family, here are 9 easy ways to eat healthy on a budget.

Download Grocery Cash Reward Apps

Your phone isn’t just for Facebook and Pet Rescue Saga. Before you spend another hour or 10 browsing social media, take a few minutes to download the following grocery rewards apps:

  • Ibotta
  • Checkout 51
  • SavingStar
  • Merryfield
  • Fetch

Some apps let you combine rebates with coupons and other apps which lets you get stuff for super cheap. I’ve got a ton of free razors in my stockpile thanks to Ibotta, and my family ate free broccoli all summer because another app had awesome rebates for fresh produce.

Earn Free Produce With Double Up Food Bucks

I constantly see people on social media whining about food stamp recipients. They seem to think people with EBT cards blow all their money on soda, potato chips, and candy bars. Oh, and lobster. Let’s not forget lobster.

For the record, I don’t care what you buy with your EBT card. However, you may want to take advantage of Double Up Food Bucks so you can get plenty of fresh produce in your diet. The program is active in approximately 30 states as of January 2021, and you can use it to earn free produce every time you buy local fruits and veggies with your EBT card.

You can rack up Double Up Food Bucks at participating grocery stores, farmers markets, and CSAs. You don’t have to sign up or anything; if you’ve got an EBT card, you’re already enrolled. Well, assuming you’re in a state that has the program.

Search the Clearance Aisle

I’ve recently discovered the refrigerated clearance aisle at my local grocery store, and it’s amazing. I’ve been loading up on 4-packs of bell peppers for $1, multipacks of organic yogurt for $.79 or $0.99, bags of organic greens for $1, and tons of other healthy food. The grocery store marks it down super cheap when it’s about to expire, but I pop it in the freezer and eat it when I’m ready.

Target and Walmart also have awesome clearance deals. I’ve seen (and bought!) tons of organic food marked 70% off at Target, and I once got a 4-pack of coconut milk for less than $1 at Walmart. You can use coupons on clearance items, at least at all of the stores by me, so I end up with a lot of free stuff that way.

Follow Brands on Social Media

Did you know that brands often post contests, promo codes, and printable coupons on social media sites? I see the best coupons and contests on Facebook, but Twitter and Instagram are great places to find promo codes. Sometimes you can find deals on Pinterest too.

Canyon Bakehouse runs promotions on Facebook all the time. Seriously, I feel like they have a new contest every time I log in! I love the brand, and I won a giant box of gluten-free bread and bagels from them a few years ago. Perfect Bar also has giveaways once in a while.

Contact the Companies You Love

Sometimes companies send coupons in the mail even when their websites say “We do not have coupons available.” It doesn’t hurt to ask.

When you contact a company, be polite. Praise their vegan desserts or gluten-free crackers, and let the company know how much your entire family loves them. Explain that you’d like to try some new flavors, and ask if the brand has any coupons or samples they can send your way. Many companies decline sample requests but happily mail coupons for healthy food.

You can find contact info on a company’s website or a container of food. Some brands also respond to Facebook messages and Twitter DMs, but I think it’s better to go through the website.

Become an Amazon Prime Member

You may have heard that Amazon.com owns Whole Foods. Amazon promised to lower prices on organic food at Whole Foods, and reports show the company is keeping its promise.

You don’t have to head to Whole Foods to get grocery deals, though. Amazon sells tons of organic food, including gluten-free, vegan, dairy free, soy free, and nut free options. Buy in bulk for the best deals. Several products also have the Subscribe and Save option, which is when you get a reduced rate in exchange for purchasing the same product on a set schedule.

Take Advantage of Meal Delivery Discounts

Meal subscriptions are the latest trend – and one that I happily embrace. Many meal delivery companies offer discounts and even free meals for new members, and you can also score free meals by referring friends.

Here are a few meal delivery programs that often run promotions on healthy food:

  • Green Chef
  • Blue Apron
  • Hello Fresh
  • Hungryroot

There are dozens of others out there, so keep looking if these meal delivery services don't meet your nutritional needs or budget.

Create Your Own Blog

Hosting your own blog is one of the best ways to get free food. I’ve had generous brands hook me up with all kinds of tasty food in exchange for my honest opinion (translation: a detailed review on my blog or a quick shoutout on social media), and I’m so thankful. It’s hard raising 3 kids on 1 income, so I’m insanely excited whenever a brand wants to work with me.

Before you create your own blog, I need to tell you something important: Please don’t become a blogger just to get free stuff. Blog because you love it. Blog because you want to enlighten and entertain people around the world. Blog because you need an outlet for your thoughts.

Don’t blog to get freebies. I’ve seen people do that, and it never ends well. Brands can usually tell when you aren’t passionate about their products, and you can’t build an ongoing business relationship if you’re just looking out for yourself.

Visit Coupon Sites

The same companies that provide coupon inserts for newspapers, such as Red Plum and SmartSource, have online coupon sites. If you’re patient enough to weed through the processed food, you can find some gems on there.

A while back, I printed some high-value coupons for organic coconut oil. Annie’s regularly offers printable coupons on the site, and I’ve also seen plenty of coupons for nondairy milk.

There’s a limit to how many coupons you can print, and I don’t recommend breaking the rules. And do not – DO NOT – make photocopies of your printed coupons. That’s illegal, and you can get arrested for coupon fraud. I worked in retail for years, so I’m not just trying to scare you. It happens more often than you might think.

Living a healthy lifestyle can get expensive, but there are ways to save money on nutritious meals. Try the simple suggestions above and watch as your grocery expenses decrease.

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Full-time mom, student, and writer. I cover everything from parenting and personal finance to relationships and health.

O Fallon, MO
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