5 sites to find green coupons
Cut the cost of organic and other eco-friendly items.
Does going green have to equal spending more?
Americans seem to think so. Last year, largely because of recession belt-tightening, about a third of Americans regularly bought green products -- the same level as 2008, and a reversal of the double-digit growth that characterized the green market between 2007 and 2008, according to market researcher Mintel.
While the majority of shoppers aren’t willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly goods, the committed green shopper is -- and calculates that savings can accrue over the life of a product, says Brian Howard, founder of TheDailyGreen.com, an eco-living site. He cites compact fluorescent bulbs as one example. Other items, like organic produce, offer perceived value in health and environmental benefits.
To broaden the number of eco-friendly customers, manufacturers and retailers are taking some steps to drive down prices. “Manufacturers have become very aggressive with couponing,” says Mark Kastel, co-director and senior farm policy analyst for the Cornucopia Institute, a research group that promotes sustainable and organic farming. A growing number of sites where consumers can find coupons for green goods range from CouponSherpa.com, which offers print-at-home organic and natural grocery coupons, to retailers like Kroger and Safeway.
Here are five places to look:
Mambo Sprouts. Mambo Sprouts offers several options for consumers to get manufacturers’ coupons for organic, natural and other foods, Kastel says. For registered users, the site will send free mailed booklets; alternatively, it will direct shoppers to a nearby supermarket where the booklets can be picked up in person. There is also a section on the site to print out coupons, though not all stores accept home-printed coupons.
- Sample deal: Save $2 on four containers of So Delicious coconut-milk yogurt. Coupon expires May 19.
- Bing: Is organic better?
Manufacturer sites. Browse the sites of your favorite organic and eco-friendly brands -- odds are good there will be some kind of print-out coupon, online code or loyalty program for savings and even free products, says Teri Gault, the founder of shopping site The Grocery Game. Earth’s Best, Organic Valley and Seventh Generation all have pages of print-at-home coupons. Stoneyfield also has a reward program, offering points when you enter codes found on its products. (One 6-ounce cup of organic yogurt yields one point.) Rewards include two free 6-ounce cups of yogurt for 15 points and a Seventh Generation disinfectant combo pack for 70 points.
- Sample deal: At Brown Cow’s site, print out coupons good for 50 cents off any three cream-top yogurts. Coupon expires April 29.
CouponSherpa.com. This site offers a free smart-phone app that pulls up coupons for nearby businesses, Howard says. (Offerings include local stores as well as big chains including Barnes & Noble and Zale.) Shoppers need to click to pull up the coupon on their phone, and then show it to the cashier for the discount. CouponSherpa.com regularly has a section of print-at-home organic and natural grocery coupons, and for Earth Day they also have a special page of eco-friendly deals.
- Sample deal: Scan the electronic coupon on your phone at Aeropostale for $10 off every $50 you spend. Deal expires April 28.
RetailMeNot.com. One of the experts’ go-to sites, RetailMeNot.com tags coupons and codes into categories including “green,” “organic,” “eco,” “natural” and “environment,” depending on what items you’ll find at that retailer or the nature of the coupon. Current deals include a code for 15% off at green living site Gaiam.com and $2 off any Kashi product.
- Sample deal: Save 15% off your next purchase at organic and vegetarian cosmetics retailer Lush.com with the code GIFTFORYOU10 at checkout. Deal expires April 30.
Supermarket sites. Many big-name supermarkets are joining the online coupon trend, offering manufacturers' coupons as well as exclusive deals on their own labels, including store-brand organics. Those deals are held to the same organic standards as brand-name products but cost 30% to 50% less, Gault says. Giant Eagle, Whole Foods, Kroger and Safeway all have pages. Many stores also offer the green option of letting shoppers attach coupons to a store-loyalty account instead of printing them. Shoppers swipe their cards at checkout and eligible coupons are automatically credited to their account.
- Sample deal: At Whole Foods, save $5 on any Vitamin Code Raw multivitamins (excluding targeted nutrient formulas). Coupon expires May 31.
Related reading at SmartMoney:
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Homeowners associations ban them and environmentalists love them. All that aside, though, a clothesline saves you money.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'