Organic and Green Savings: Is Bigger Always Better? No!

March 7th, 2009

I felt the sisterhood of Moms everywhere as I dashed into Whole Foods, desparately looking for a reasonably priced, healthy snack for more than 30 kiddos. Yes, I was “Snack Mom,” and I had all of 10 minutes to figure out what to serve the after-school crowd waiting for me down the street.

That’s when I spied this display of Apple & Eve organic juice boxes, 27 for $13.99. Of course, I hate juice boxes – they rarely get recycled at kids’ events. But when I looked for paper cups to go with the large glass jugs of juice, I couldn’t find any. So boxes it was. How else are you going to feed a group that large?

Before heading to the register, I looked at the smaller packs of Apple & Eve juice – 8 for $3.69. I whipped out my calculator, just to make sure I was getting the best deal with the 27-pack, and much to my surprise discovered that it was actually less expensive to buy the smaller 8-packs, at 46 cents for each box versus 52 cents each in the large 27-pack.

How annoying. How can that be? Finding the best deal for a large group shouldn’t involve arithmetic problems in the shopping aisle.

But it does. So if you’re shopping, make sure to bring along a calculator – or use the one in your mobile phone – to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Big displays and large signs touting prices don’t always mean you’re getting the best price.

Of course, most green consumers will also consider packaging, which definitely points you to the larger, more efficient package (which is what I ended up buying – it helped that with 35 kids to feed, the numbers worked in my favor). But I’d like to know why producers would price products this way in the first place, especially companies like Whole Foods and Apple & Eve, that are making a play for the “green” consumer.

Other deals that are easier to spot?
Grapefruits – 10 for $10 are a great buy, on sale now at Whole Foods and other grocers. They’re satisfying, refreshing, and packed full of nutrients like Vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene. And no, you don’t need to buy them organic for health reasons. Any pesticides used don’t penetrate the thick skin. But do be sure to wash the skin and knives carefully before eating. Try feeding them to your little tykes. Two-year-old Boo loves them, but my six-year-old Big Boy won’t touch them.

Organic Apples – Organic apples are now cheaper than conventional in many stores. Check them out at Giant, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes, and you may find great deals.

Happy Shopping!

— Lynn

Copyright 2009 OrganicMania

2 Responses to “Organic and Green Savings: Is Bigger Always Better? No!”

  1. saucy salsita on March 10, 2009 12:09 pm

    you know, i’ve often wondered that too. and for the craziest reason, i’ve found that it’s not always true. you’d think it would be cheaper, but in some cases its the same or more! the only thing different, is that if you buy more you save gas on going to buy over and over again.
    Saucy Salsita, AKA The Sexy Hippie – Because sexy comes in GREEN!

    Yes, I’m finding more and more examples now, so I’ll be posting on this again. I think it’s wrong – very wrong – especially in “natural foods” markets. This is a pricing policy that just is offensive to consumers. Thanks for stopping by, Saucy! — Lynn

  2. Organic and Green Mom Blog | Organic & Green Savings: CVS, Whole Foods & Bethesda’s Giant Food at Organic Mania on May 31, 2009 7:25 am

    […] been a while since the last Green and Organic Savings feature. With all this child advocacy, green activism, and taking care of clients , I’ve not had time for […]

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