Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Eating Well on the Cheap - Vitacost

I live in a pricey place.

The housing is moderately expensive, but that's not why it's pricey. It's the shopping.

Food, goods, clothing, etc. costs quite a bit more because we are very, VERY remote. Three hours from the nearest (semi) major city, and 5 hours from a real city. We have one major grocery store, one drugstore, one health food store. Kmart is 45 miles away, and don't even ask about a Target or Costco. This means that everything is subject to a higher price because of the fuel involved to get it here. I try to shop for locally produced products, but the other issue is that we have a pretty extreme climate, so local produce is only available 4-5 months out of the year.

So, I do what I can. I pick and preserve the little amounts of edible plants I can find in the area, I purchase and preserve fruit from the farm 50 miles away, and I joined a CSA to support a local farmer while getting organic greens.

The other thing I do is shop online. As much as I want to support local businesses, I find that they either don't carry what I'm looking for or it's prohibitively expensive. I know a lot of people who swear by Amazon Prime, which is awesome, but they usually don't have what I'm looking for either. My first choice for online shopping is Vitacost!

No, I'm not going to lie to you - that is a referral link. But it's an awesome referral link because it gives you $10 off a $30 purchase! I get one too. You may not have noticed, but I'm not making any money off this blog. I want my blog to be about whatever I want, not be tainted by making money. But at the same time, I think Vitacost is awesome, and would share it anyway, so why not get some Vitacost credits on the side? I'm giving you a discount too, so it's not completely self serving ;)

So what kinds of things do I buy on Vitacost that I can't find locally?

Pomonas Pectin: This is an all natural pectin (no dextrose!) that will also work in low sugar recipes. I was using conventional pectin and was no too excited about that 4-8 CUPS or sugar they needed me to add. My jams were coming out a little runny because I was sweetening with honey and only enough for the flavor I wanted. One batch with Pomonas and they were perfect, even without a bunch of added sugar. I'm a convert for sure! Besides, that Kraft Sure-Jell crap is probably loaded full of GMO's too.

Great Lakes Gelatin: Gelatin is considered to be a very healing food, but grass fed gelatin in impossible to find here in this small town. I refuse to eat or feed my family Jello, and yet, my husband is a fan. I bought this to try and make a healthier option, as well as attempt a real food marshmallow at some point this winter.

Organic Coconut Palm Sugar: Not really on my list of OK foods, but it's got to be better as I head into baking season, right? And believe it or not, I could not find it here in town. The closest I got was organic turbinado sugar. Lame! This was a good price too.

Diva Cup: I've been wanting to try a Diva Cup for a while. Saving money, saving the environment, and eliminating the toxins I probably soak up through my hoo ha? Win-Win!

I also find really good deals on things I might be able to find locally and save some money in the process:

Artisana Raw Coconut Butter - YUM!

Bragg Raw Apple Cider Vinegar - A real food staple

A huge vat of Organic Coconut Oil - for baking. Christmas is coming, yo!

Vitacost also offers free shipping to orders over $49, and it comes pretty fast too. I hope I didn't put you off by actually attempting to get some discounts for my food and grooming purchases :) I would love to hear your favorite products if you already shop at Vitacost, or if you think you might give it a try!

2 comments:

  1. Thankfully I don't live far away from a Co-op and a large enough city to get groceries since the government shut down had closed my commissary. But with that said, I have bookmarked the above link.

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  2. I have used Vitacost and love it, I find some things on there cheaper than my local health food store.

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