Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cheap Snacks (and Other Stuff!)

I'm cheap. That's partly because journalism isn't the most lucrative career, but you don't go into the field for money. I'm okay knowing I'll never be rich so long as I'm doing something I love. But that does mean I have to cut corners to make ends meet. I can trim a budget like nobody's business ... except when it comes to food.

I have a food hoarding problem. Mostly a snack hoarding problem. I like good food. Organic stuff. Special vegan snacks. Weirdo hippie shit. And that stuff's not cheap. But I've found a new online source for cheap snacks (and all kinds of other stuff!) — Vitacost!

Vitacost contacted me asking if I would review their Whole Food Women's Daily Multi-Vitamin. Of course I said yes. So they sent me these:

Unfortunately, the pills contain milk, which I didn't realize until I read the fine print at the bottom of the bottle. Bummer. I'll have to re-gift these. But that's not the cool part.

Vitacost also sent me a $25 gift certificate to spend on whatever I wanted in their online store. They have everything from healthy snacks to dog food to animal-free bath products to vitamins and supplements. And everything is offered at a discount price. For example, a bottle of Earth Friendly Products Eco Ultra Laundry Detergent (what I use) is $11.12 on Vitacost, versus $15.29 retail. Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust mix is $2.59 instead of $4.29 retail.

After at least an hour perusing their offerings, I finally settled on this stuff:

There's Crisproot Thai Ginger Cassava Root Chips ($3.79 as opposed to $3.19 retail), Kaia Foods Barbecue Kale Chips ($4.79 as opposed to $5.99 retail), Snack Factory Supreme Pretzel Crisps ($3.39 as opposed to $3.59 retail), Seeds of Change Jalfrezi Curry Sauce ($4.49 as opposed to $4.99 retail), Artisana Raw Walnut Butter with Cashews ($9.89 as opposed to $10.89), and two packages of $1.09 healthy Koyo Ramen Noodles (y'all know I HAD to get some ramen!).

All of that was only $27.93! (One commenter pointed out that the math doesn't come out exactly, but that's because the two packs of ramen were slightly different in price. One was $1.09 and the other was a tad less, but I just listed the one price above because I was tired while blogging last night and too lazy to look up the few cents difference). And shipping was only $5. If you only order a few things, the shipping may actually balance out the retail cost of the item. But if you buy a lot, it's definitely worth it. Especially for hard-to-find items (like the walnut butter for me) that you have to order anyway. I actually didn't go for the super discounted items, but rather things I cannot find in Memphis.  But if you're seriously looking to save, there are some deeply discounted things on Vitacost.

Just stay away from the milk vitamins! Thankfully, the site does list ingredients for every product they sell, so you can easily determine a product's vegan-ness before buying.

Oh, and bonus: The Vitacost shipping box has a recipe for hummus!


Anonymous said...

methinks you got some of your prices mixed up or you have to explain the difference in your blog post :)

Bianca said...

Hi Anonymous. True...when you add up all the stuff, it comes to $28-something. But that's because the two packs of ramen were slightly different in price. One was 1.09 and the other was, like, $1 or something. Each flavor was slightly different ... anyway, my invoice shows the $27.93. Only a few cents difference.

urban vegan said...

I'm cheap, too--er....frugal. I was brought up this way. Nothing to apologize about--it's smart. I have definitely got to check out this site. Never heard of it before.

And I also have a food stash problem. But it's my vocation and avocation, and there are worse things, right? ;) (You might want to check out my new meme party on my blog-- "Use It Up Tuesday!!" to help put a dent in your stash!)

Rebekah loves broccoli said...

I think what anonymous is trying to say is that you mixed up some of the prices, like the pizza crust. You wrote that it is $4.29 instead of $2.90 retail, when I think you meant the reverse!