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People sometimes associate coupons with processed, junky foods. But by using coupons creatively and planning, you can feed your family healthy meals on a frugal budget.

Buying organic means you are buying fresh, preservative-free food, which means the shelf life is minimal. This is okay, though. You can still stock up when you find a great deal and just freeze it! By doing this, I save money on gas and groceries. It also ensures that we make healthy food choices because I always have the products on hand.

Here are a few resources to help you find great deals on healthy products:

  • Newspaper – The Sunday newspaper is your number one resource for coupons. Be selective in the coupons you clip. I choose to clip coupons for staples like breads, hot sauce, mustard, soy sauce, milk, eggs, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, soy milk, frozen vegetables, coffee, whole grain pasta, peanut butter, jelly and bagged salad.
  • Online Coupons – Web based coupon databases seem to have more health-based coupons than do Sunday newspapers. Safe and free databases I like to use are Coupons.com, Couponnetwork.com and Mambosprouts.com. These are great resources for printable coupons on products such as Muir Glen tomatoes, Birds Eye frozen vegetables and Organic Valley Dairy Products.
  • Manufacturers – If you want a coupon for a specific product, the manufacture’s website is the spot to find it. Almost every brand has a website and often has great coupons for their products that can only be printed from their website. Write or call the manufacture and ask for coupons. You will be amazed at what they send you.
  • Online Shopping – Did you know you can buy “healthy” foods from the internet? I like to buy organic non-refrigerated products from Vitacost.com or Amazon.com. Vitacost.com is like a Whole Foods market on the internet. The site gives new members a $10 store credit and guarantees you will save 50 percent. Amazon.com has very competitive prices on bulk items. It offers a free program called Subscribe & Save that allows you to set up regular deliveries of products you want and get additional savings.

To maximize your savings with coupons, you need to use them at the right time. If you are not in need at the moment, wait for a sale price and then stock up!

Most stores have store coupons in their sale ads that can be stacked with a printable manufacture’s coupon. This allows you to use two coupons on a single product. Also, some stores have double or triple coupon days which can make your savings huge!

Focus on couponing for toiletry items. Toiletries are among the most expensive things we buy, yet with coupons we are always getting them free or even making money! This saves money I can use to buy healthy foods for my family.

Eating healthy comes with a price. By getting toiletry and paper products free, making my own cleaning supplies and making my menu plan a priority, I save a fortune that balances out the cost of organic healthy foods!

About the Author: Jessica Hacker, 26, is a frugal lifestyle expert and mother of four who cut monthly shopping bills for her family of six from as much as $2,000 to $160 using coupons and penny-pinching prowess. Featured on TLC’s Extreme Couponing and in other media, Jessica has inspired a following of people seeking practical ways to live on a tight budget. Her website www.livingonacoupon.com shares free information and resources to help people save money, plan menus and feed their families healthy meals, as well as webinars on how to live frugally available to anyone, anytime for $25. An avid hunter and angler, Jessica loves planning birthday parties, wearing high heels and cross country running. She and her family live in her hometown of Caldwell, Idaho. Contact her at jessica@livingonacoupon.com.

Earnest Parenting: help for parent who want to save money with coupons.