$10 For You To Spend At My New Favorite Online Grocery Store

by Frugal Babe on March 12, 2012

I have no idea how I’m just now discovering Vitacost, but I’m pretty darn excited about it.  Keep reading and I’ll tell you all about it – including how you can get $10 to spend there on your own groceries!  I’ve been focusing on our grocery bill this year, working to reduce the amount we spend on food, while not compromising on quality.  I’ve stocked up on some bulk items (there’s a gallon of coconut oil in our pantry right now, and a gallon of green Tabasco sauce on its way – no more little jars of either of those for a while!) and eliminated some of the more expensive items from the shopping list all together (bye bye gogi berries).  But mostly I’m focusing our grocery dollars on sale items and forcing myself to shop at more than one store.  With very few exceptions, everything we buy is organic and I’m not changing that.  But I’m finding that even within the parameters of only buying high-quality, organic food, I can still spend less than I used to on groceries.

I sat down at the computer a couple days ago to see if I could find canned coconut milk online.  My local store sells organic canned coconut milk for between $2.30 and $2.80 a can, depending on whether it’s on sale.  I thought if I could find a place selling it by the case online, it might be less expensive.  We go through a lot of it, and it seemed like a candidate for stocking up.  My internet searching led me to Vitacost, and I ended up buying almost all of the non-perishables that were on my grocery list for today’s scheduled shopping trip.  Their organic section has 2230 items in it – it’s a very well-stocked store.  I got organic coconut milk for $1.69 a can!  I got our boys’ toothpaste for about 40% less than it costs me at the store where I normally shop.  I got soap (including Dr. Woods liquid soap, which I’m very excited about.  Tons of great reviews comparing it favorably to Dr. Bronners – which we love – but for a lot less money), dishwashing soap, tea, mustard, hemp oil, evening primrose oil, red raspberry leaf in bulk, several bulk spices, and even a bag of mocha Teeccino as a treat for myself.  I still have to go shopping today for fresh produce and cold items, but my trip should be much faster and easier.  The stuff I bought from Vitacost has already shipped – for free!  They don’t charge shipping if you spend at least $49 (as long as you’re within the 48 contiguous United States).  And it was all much less expensive than what I normally pay.

Anyway, to say that I’m excited about this is an understatement.  It will definitely change the way I shop.  I’ll still “go” shopping for perishables, but I can do the rest of my shopping from my living room at 11pm after my boys are asleep.  So much easier, and a lot less expensive.  Unlike a standard grocery store, my “shopping cart” on Vitacost updated my total each time I put an item in it, so I was able to see exactly how much I was spending as I went along.  Before checking out, I removed a few items in order to bring my total down to my target amount.  I liked the running total – definitely helps to prevent impulse buys if you’re trying to shop within a budget.

So now for the exciting part!  Vitacost has an affiliate program, which I thought about doing.  But they also have a referral program where I can refer new customers and we each get $10 to spend on our groceries at their store.  I like that idea better.  Affiliate programs only financially reward the referrer – I love that this program rewards you and me equally, with ten dollars apiece.  You have to sign up for their referral rewards program though this link in order to get the ten dollars.  Once you sign up, as long as you make a purchase within 60 days, you will be able to spend the $10 towards your purchase.  You also have to be a new Vitacost shopper in order to get the rewards bonus.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

 

 

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Chessa March 12, 2012 at 3:54 pm

For some reason the referral link isn’t working for me…it wants the referrer’s email, which I’m guessing you don’t like to give out, for good reasons.  Not sure what happened, maybe don’t try doing it from an iPad for the referral link (on my laptop now, but since I tried from my iPad now I have an account created and it’s all a mess ;) 

But thanks for the link to Vitacost!  I used to use AmazonFresh when they had some seriously awesome deals, but they’ve done away with most of them, so between this and Azure Standard and our produce CSA, I might never have to set foot in a grocery store!  Which is a great thing, with two little boys…

BatterLicker March 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Thanks for recommending – I just re-stocked my pantry!

Julie @ Freedom 48 March 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm

 Sounds like a steal.  I’ve never tried online grocery shopping – I’ve just assumed  more expensive.  I’ll have to chek it out…

Frugal Babe March 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Sorry the link didn’t work for you.  It looks fine here, and I had my mom test it on her laptop this evening (both PCs), and it worked for her too.  It just asked for her name and email address, but didn’t ask for my email.  Not sure why it did that for you, but I’m glad you liked the site anyway!  During the summer when we have produce from our garden, I might be able to get away with very little in the way of actual shopping trips too.

Frugal Babe March 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm

You’re welcome!  I hope you found lots of great deals!

Frugal Babe March 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I used to assume that too, but then I found that I could order stuff in bulk from places like Amazon and it was cheaper than the grocery stores.  Vitacost surprised me with the deals I found, because I didn’t have to buy in bulk to get them.  It’s not cheaper on everything, but the more I shop around the more I’m figuring out how to get bargains on everything I buy. 

Kaytee March 13, 2012 at 8:59 am

We just made the switch to Dr. Woods this month after our daughter was born. We bought 96 oz for about $25 including shipping – we use the baby mild one. It has a bit of a different scent than the Dr. Bronners, but other than that appears to be the same. Previously, we had been using a few drops of essential oil in the Dr. Bronners baby mild to customize it. However, the scent of the Dr. Woods is too strong to overpower with the essential oils that we prefer (pine and other balsamy types) frugally.

Frugal Babe March 13, 2012 at 9:21 am

Congratulations on your new daughter!  :-)  We’ve been using peppermint Dr. Bronners for years, so I ordered a peppermint Dr. Woods to see how it compares.  I also ordered a bottle of the Shea Butter variety, as it got really great reviews.  I hope we like them, because I really like the price!

Kay March 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I love vitacost as well. :) Glad you found  it.. They have great deals all the time.

Cathy March 14, 2012 at 7:35 am

We also like Vitacost, as well as Lucky Vitamin.  I use a lot of the NOW brand products which are more available through Lucky Vitamin, but Vitacost has good deals on many items as well.

Frugal Babe March 14, 2012 at 8:41 am

We’ve always liked the NOW brand too – I’ll have to check out Lucky Vitamin.  Thanks for the tip!

Penniless Parenting March 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Never bought Dr Bronners, but we do use Dr Woods here (which I bought on amazon with my swagbucks). I like vitacost as well- I’ve made 3 orders so far. I thought I’d throw another one out there- iherb.com- never bought from them, but my friend swears by them.

Amy March 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm

 Vitacost is great! So glad you found it. They carry my favorite Yogi tea varieties, which has been difficult to find in stores…for much less.

And if I make Vitacost purchases via eBates.com, I get a 4 percent rebate. Love it!

Frugal Babe March 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Thanks for the tip – I’ll check out that site too.  My Vitacost purchases arrived today, and I love the Dr. Woods soap!  Bathed both of the boys with it tonight, and used it for my own shower too – smells great and got everyone nice and clean.

Frugal Babe March 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm

My husband likes Yogi tea’s chai, so I’ll probably end up buying some of that from Vitacost too.  I got several boxes at our local store when they had a great sale back in December, but we’re almost out of them now.

Heather March 16, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I’m totally going to use your referral – I just found VitaCost also, through both a pin on Pinterest and also an ad in Living Without (magazine for those with food allergies). I get tired of none of the specialty items I have to buy for my family ever being on sale at the market.

Frugal Babe March 16, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I hope you find lots of good deals!  

Kay March 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I love vitacost as well. I used to shop there often when I lived in the US,but have recently gone back to shopping from them even though we live in Canada.

They have really good deals often. $10 off $75 or more.. etc and deals on a particular type products often. They keep changing it so it covers many categories…

The only thing I don’t like is that they send too many emails. Twice a week is too much for me. :) but a quick glance lets me know if I need to check the website that week or not.

Kay March 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm

 FB, there are a lot of great wholefood based vitamins like New Chapter available through vitacost (goes on sale often).. you might want to check it out.

Kaytee March 21, 2012 at 6:12 am

 Thanks, FB! Our daughter was born at home last month, she’s our first. How do you like the shea butter variety? Was the shea butter refined or unrefined?

Side note to another comment. I love the New Chapter vitamins. They are on the pricier side when you by them in a store or undiscounted, but they are locally made (based on our location) and reasonable when on sale.

frugalbabe March 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

I like the shea butter soap, but I’m not sure if the shea butter is refined or not.  I had never really used shea butter before now, so I didn’t know anything about it.  Your comment just sparked a 15 minute google shearch :-)  The Dr. Woods soap bottle just says it’s organic shea butter, but doesn’t say anything about whether it’s refined or not.  I’m inspired now to buy some unrefined plain shea butter and try it out as a face lotion.  Thanks for the heads up!
I also love New Chapter vitamins.  I rotate back and forth between that and Vitamin Code for my multis, depending on which one is on sale or has a coupon.

Kaytee March 25, 2012 at 10:17 am

 I prefer unrefined shea butter (less processing) but it’d fairly chunky, so you can mix it with other oils to make it a little smoother to use.

Also, I just found out that Proctor and Gamble recently purchased New Chapter. Erk.

Maggie March 29, 2012 at 7:57 am

Thanks for posting this, FB! I think I was on the site for at least an hour yesterday deciding what to order. I live in a town with several health food stores, but the Vitacost prices are too good to pass up on some things.  

Frugal Babe March 29, 2012 at 8:31 am

That’s how I felt too!  The more I’ve shopped around on there, the more I’ve found that the prices vary quite a bit though, compared with our local health food store.  On some things, I can actually get them for less at the local store (which isn’t really local – it’s 15 miles away, so Vitacost has an advantage there too, since I can shop in my PJs), but on other things Vitacost is a lot less expensive.  As long as I pay attention and remember what things cost at the local store, I can get lots of good deals.  I just got my second order this week, and I definitely love just having groceries show up at my doorstep!

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