Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Saving Green or Green Savings?

Who doesn't love a good deal? I know I sure do. I have recently become part of a "couponing" community and have the potential to save a ton of money on groceries and other home items. It works like this. I get newspapers. Lots of them. I fish out the coupon inserts and put them in pre-labeled folders and then forget about them. Then, the company cross references those coupons with current sales and store specials and then tells me where to go and how to shop. The result? Mucho savings. For example, on my last drugstore transaction, I spent $7 and saved $29. I literally did a little dance at the cash register.

However.....this particular situation poses a dilemma for me. Though I haven't been with the program for long, I have come across several instances where I could buy green or could buy cheap. And I mean cheap. Example: dish liquid. As of late, I have been using Seventh Generation dish liquid that I love both for it's smell and it's lack of earth hating chemicals. It costs around $3 a bottle, depending on where you get it. I ran out and decided to see if my new coupon site had any deals. There weren't any for Seventh Generation but there were for Dawn. I got three (yes THREE) bottles of Dawn dish soap for .43 cents each by combining coupons with store sales. Three bottles of dish soap for LESS than the what I usually pay for one.
Though my pocket isn't as empty as it usually is, I still felt a little pang of regret putting that Dawn in my basket...and my non-biodegradable dishwasher tabs I got for a $1, and the three sticks of non-natural deodorant I got for .14 cents each. Natural and organic brands are generally more expensive than their generic counterparts and for the most part, I'm willing to pay for it. The organic brands do put out coupons on occasion, but nothing like the super companies like Unilever and P & G, who make 90% of what's in the marketplace. It's a shame, but that's the way of it. I am dedicated to organic fruits and veggies if they are to be found, and to organic dairy products but the rest....well, let's just say it's quite the battle in my heart when choosing between Tom's Natural toothpaste or the Crest that I can for FREE this week at Safeway.
Hopefully, I'll be able to strike a happy balance.  I want to enjoy the money I am saving and not feel guilty when this month's peanut butter isn't organic. How would you handle the situation?


  1. I would guess that you will find the perfect balance for you! Knowing that you save the money will allow you to spend more on the green/organic things that are more important to you. I wish I had the drive to keep up with the coupon thing. I join and never give it 100% and then quit haha.

  2. Do you have to pay for the company that you are part of? Do they have a website? I have been clipping coupons and I found a grocery store that doubles them, so I saved $30.00 on my last trip. I was excited but now I want to find out how to save more. I use the Sunday paper, and Thanks.

    Amber Kuriakose

  3. That's why we don't use many coupons. Most are for junk or stuff we will never use. I'm not going to buy something just to buy and save money. I have been using Melaleauca cleaning and laundry stuff for goingon 4 months now...they are wonderful and safe.

  4. Amber: The website if I think it may be a local AZ thing, but do check it out. If you can do it, make sure to put me down for a referral :)There is a membership fee and I have to pay for my newspaper subscription but on the three shopping trips I've done so far, I've saved $97 and only bought things I needed. Those three trips paid for the membership three times over!

  5. i gave up. i haven't used non-natural in so long that when i break down and buy something because of a coupon or sale it aggravates my allergies/asthma. kudos to you though! i clip coupons for our nights out, you know to Denny's or Subway or some other equally unhealthy binge. i also only order pizza with coupons. can't be healthy all the time! i did find a good natural dish soap at costco and it seems to work awesome as a replacement to my method brand.

  6. As for buying Dawn, they do donate a portion of their funds to saving animals or something like that. As for Melalueca, although it's natural, it almost killed me (literally), so all natural may not be a way to go all the time. . . It all depends on your family, their allergies, and your way of life. Good for you for saving money!!!