Last month, Apartment Therapy weighed in on Extreme Couponing. Like many of the reader comments, the practice strikes me as both strangely fascinating and completely over-the-top, but it got me thinking - can couponing be green?
Frugality is often associated with more mindful living, but in my experience most coupons are geared towards processed foods and chemical-based household products. While larger grocery chains continue to expand their organic and less-processed selections, finding coupons for these types of food items might be getting easier, but is it still worth the effort?
Here in Seattle, resources like the Chinook Book offer coupons for everything from groceries and restaurants to yoga classes and home improvement stores. (Chinook Book is now offered in 4 other metropolitan areas, including the Bay Area, Denver/Boulder, Portland and the Twin Cities.) It's a great way to save money and invest in the local community, but the food coupons are limited and probably not a long-term solution to saving money at the grocery store.
Making smart decisions at the grocery store can be a financially daunting process (you've heard the "Whole Food, Whole Paycheck" joke), but aside from coupons, there are other proven ways to save money without sacrificing quality. It's a subject that's been discussed on Re-Nest before and includes everything from buying from the bulk bins to growing your own veggies and raising chickens.
So what are your tips for saving money on groceries? Any green coupon clipping strategies or favorite tricks for getting a deal on healthy, sustainable food? Has anyone explored options outside the standard grocery store, like participating in a co-op or food sharing program with neighbors?