Grocery Shopping: Embrace the Internet
I buy nearly 50 percent of my pantry items from online stores because the products/ brands are either not available where I live or are less expensive online. If you spend time searching, and know where to look, you can find a lot of great gluten-free and vegan goodies that are not carried in grocery stores near you. My three go-to sites are the Gluten-Free Mall, Vitacost, and of course, Amazon. Buying things online can also be less expensive than purchasing them in a store, especially from retailers like Whole Foods or smaller health stores that tend to have a large mark-up. To make ordering online less expensive, I almost always buy in bulk to meet the free delivery minimums that most of the sites offer. I also subscribe to any email lists that they offer because many times that means earning coupons or codes for discounts on the site. For example, the Gluten-Free Mall usually sends 10 percent off your next purchase after you place an order and Vitacost has frequent deals they email to you for percentages off certain products. Another aspect I appreciate from these online retailers is that they all have very generous return policies, so if you don’t like something, or it arrives and is not what you thought it would be, you can return it with ease. And customer service seems always to be improving.
Moreover, there are several products that I buy straight from the brand itself. This saves me from having to go through an outside vender and is therefore cheaper. A few products I buy straight from the retailer are Zema’s Madhouse Foods, Myrna’s Skinny Crisps and Spicely Organics teas and spices.