Organic Food Savings Friday: Look Up, Look Down & Strawberries All Around!

June 20th, 2008


Funny headline? Well, think about this: finding the signs that display pricing in an organic market can require as much flexibility as a yoga routine. You have to look up high above the veggies bins, then you have to squat to look at knee-height to read prices, then you have to bend over a veggie counter to read tiny price stickers. Yikes. But you know what? It can really be worth the extra effort.

Take just one example: organic romaine lettuce. This is a staple item for many. Most often, people just push the cart up, reach in and grab whatever it is they’ve been grabbing for years. I had been doing that too, picking up my 9 oz. box of EarthBound Farms pre-washed romaine lettuce, while trying to ignore the $4.99 price tag. But this week, I happened to overhear a woman asking the Whole Foods produce manager where to find the local organic romaine lettuce on sale for $1.49. That sounded good to me, so I followed her over to the other side of the produce aisle and craned my neck up to see the sign announcing the sale – $1.00 off the regular price. Then I put the romaine on the scale and saw that each bag contained 21 ounces, so this romaine was just 7 cents per ounce, as compared to 55 cents per ounce for the EarthBound Farms box!

And even more exciting this week was the most fantastic deal on organic strawberries! Less than conventional! Can you believe it? DC’s Tenleytown Whole Foods has 2 pound packages of Driscoll’s organic strawberries on sale for $5.99 each, as compared to conventional 1 pound boxes of Driscoll’s for $3.49 each. That means that each 2 pounds of organic strawberries are $1.50 cheaper than the conventional equivalent. Amazing! And really, really delicious. Baby Boo was digging his fingers into the air holes in the container to try to get into the strawberries. I had to run upstairs and wash a few off before we left the store!

Last week, we discussed the great deals available at Target on organic milk. Well, as if $3.44 per gallon wasn’t good enough, Target slashed the price even further and through Saturday, you can buy Archer Farms organic milk at $3 per half gallon (actually, 2 1/2s for $6).

And still more good deals on organic milk at Target! Those handy little Horizon organic milk packages, perfect for summer camp lunch? On sale at $5.48 from $5.98 for two packages of three 8 ounce containers. This sale is on through July 21st.

Did you see any great deals this week? Leave a comment and share! Happy shopping!

— Lynn

Copyright 2008 OrganicMania

Organic Savings on the Fly: Organic Milk & Organic Berries

June 8th, 2008

OrganicMania normally labors over these posts…sorry to be late, but with three new clients this week and a kindergartner out of school – I’m just way behind. Plus, gotta confess, I’m a Twitter addict now. Have you checked out Twitter? You can follow me here. And then there’s another microblogging platform where I really need more friends: Plurk. Anyway, the cool thing is I can Tweet or Plurk from my cell – sending out organic and green savings updates – and more green thoughts – while on the go. Come join in on the fun here and here!

Back to organic savings basics: I think I’ve found the Holy Grail for cheap organic milk by the half gallon. Target. Yes, Target. Their house brand, Archer Farms, is $3.44 for a half gallon of organic milk. That’s a huge savings compared to the $4.19 a half gallon some supermarkets command, as we discussed here. (When you consider that post was written back in January, the price now is surely above $4.19 in that grocery store!)

Why is this organic milk so cheap? Well, although the source of Archer Farms milk is not visible on the carton, press reports such as this one indicate that the private dairy Aurora Farms supplies Target with its Archer Farms organic milk. The organic industry watchdog group The Cornucopia Institute rates organic dairies and gives Aurora a low ranking, claiming that the milk is from factory farmed cows. However, despite some controversy, the USDA kept Aurora’s USDA Organic certification in place. The Institute’s concerns had to do with the cows’ access to pasture. So if you are concerned about cow grazing issues, you may prefer to choose milk from another source. If your primary concerns are lack of growth hormones, pesticides and antibiotics, you should be fine with Archer Farms.

Again, this is one of those touchy areas where some have very strong feelings about the “green-ness” of “Big Organic,” and a few may even claim to be “Greener than Thou” by buying raw organic milk or organic milk for a local dairy. OrganicMania views this blog as a forum to throw out all the crazy issues in organics and green living and to discuss them – without an agenda.

And while I normally never think of Target for groceries, they have expanded their organics selection, so check it out. It’s still not a place where you could do all your organic shopping, but the convenience of being able to pick up some organic milk at Target may save you from having to make a special trip somewhere else just for organic milk. Most important to me, I saved time, money, and gas (carbon footprint) by combining my purchases at Target.

But if you’re looking to pick up a gallon of organic milk – or like many families – several gallons – you still can’t beat Whole Foods for organic milk at $5.69 per gallon. I suspect Whole Foods keeps the milk prices low to entice people to shop there for other items. But as I’ve posted before, you can find many great deals on organics at Whole Foods. It makes sense – as the largest organic grocer, they’ve got enormous purchasing power, and they can pass their savings on to their consumers.

Just last week, we talked here about organic strawberries at $4.99 per pound. Well, that was nothing! At mid-week, they were down to $3.49 per pound at Whole Foods stores in DC. Strawberries are a very important organic purchase, because they carry a high pesticide load and rank in the Environmental Working Group’s list of “The Dirty Dozen” most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables – the ones you should always buy organic. You can download a wallet card of the Dirty Dozen here, and carry it with you to the market.

And there is a definite taste difference as compared to conventional strawberries. As my toddler would say, Yum-may!

Happy shopping!

Did you find any good organic or green deals this week? Leave a comment and share!

— Lynn

Copyright 2008 OrganicMania