Lowering your grocery budget: Use daily deal sites and half-price vouchers

by Melody on September 21, 2011

When I hear people who don’t use daily deal sites like Groupon, Living Social or Mamasource say “They never have deals for things I want”, I have to restrain myself from giving them an itemized detail of all the fabulous things I have been able to get.

The common misconception is that these sites only offer things to do, like massages, manicures or hotel stays.  While they do offer these things, one of my favorite ways to use these sites is to pick up vouchers for all-natural and organic grocery items.  This has made a HUGE impact on our grocery budget.

I recently went through the vouchers I have purchased and picked up some great things.  I bought a half-price voucher for Peeled Snacks from Savemore and also used a half-price voucher to Lucky Vitamin to pick up the Seventh Generation diapers, organic cumin and Bob’s Red Mill organic flaxseed.

I redeemed my second voucher to Grounds for Change and picked up four pouches of organic, Fair Trade-certified, shade grown coffee for half price.

I do my best to highlight these great deals for you and let you know what is available from the different sites.  There are a few things I always check out before buying these vouchers.

Prices: I make sure the prices are actually comparable to what I might pay in store.  It’s not worth it if an item is twice as much online, you might as well save yourself the hassle and just buy it in the store.

Shipping: I always check out shipping before buying my vouchers.  I do not want to be surprised by a hefty shipping charge that basically negates the savings I get by using my voucher.  You can usually find shipping information on most sites, but if not I just create a sample order and check out what they want to charge me to ship.

My favorite sites:

Mamasource – Great option for all-natural/organic products, kid’s toys, magazine subscriptions and much more

Groupon – Great source for activities and restaurants, but I have also purchased vouchers to online sites like Soap.com (bought paper towels, toilet paper, dishwashing detergent and more)

Seize the Deal or Spotted Fox (Tri-Cities) – These do offer vouchers to restaurants and local activities, but I have also purchased half-price vouchers to children’s consignment shops in the area

Living Social – Has fabulous deals on half-price vouchers for retail stores (Gap, Old Navy, Land’s End and more)

If you have a lot of vouchers and are having trouble keeping track of them, try using City Pockets.  It will pull all your vouchers from most of the better known daily deal sites and keep them in one place for you.  You can view them by expiration date or have the site send you a reminder email when vouchers are about to expire.  It doesn’t track all the sites, but it does track quite a few.  It’s been really helpful for me to see what I have!

What are your favorite sites and what are your favorite ways to use them?  It’s possible I love online shopping more than most, so maybe it’s just me who uses these sites like this.  I’m hopelessly addicted to receiving packages in the mail.

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