The word “organic” is typically synonymous with “expensive.” Organic cleaning products are no exception, often costing more than twice their traditional counterparts.
But I have allergies, and after reading about the upper respiratory problems that can come from breathing in bleach and formaldehyde in regular household cleaning products, I didn’t want to subject myself to unhealthy chemicals anymore. Plus, I like knowing that green cleaning won’t poison fish, pollute water sources, or put my household pets in danger.
So, what’s a frugal girl to do? Find ways to get organic cleaning products for cheap. Turns out it’s easy, if you know where to look.
Drugstore.com’s Green & Natural section has a pretty impressive range of organic cleaning products including some of the harder to find natural laundry detergents. Each major brand has its own page and you can search through product types. The site typically offers lower prices and they even run sales on occasion. As of 2011, new customers get free shipping on any order over $25. Best of all, you earn points on every dollar you spend which you can use for discounts the following month.
2. Sam’s Club
You’ll need a membership to shop at the wholesale store, but Sam’s Club sells the Earth Choice green cleaning line. The line includes floor, shower, and all-purpose cleaner as well as dishwashing detergent and laundry soap. Earth Choice comes from organic sources, uses biodegradable surfactants and packages their products in biodegradable plastics. Since you’re buying in bulk, you’ll get a cheaper per ounce price. As of 2011, you can get a basic annual membership for $40.
Walmart has expanded their organic cleaning products selection to include popular brands like Mrs. Meyers and Seventh Generation. My local Walmart store has kitchen, bathroom, all-purpose, and laundry cleaning products in three different scents from Mrs. Meyers. They have less of a selection on Seventh Generation products, but they’re selling the earth-friendly trash bags, paper towels, and toilet paper. The prices range from $2 to $6 dollars on most products, cheaper than what I could find elsewhere.
4. Grocery Stores
Grocery stores have been expanding their green cleaning sections to compete with earth-friendly stores like Whole Foods and Central Market. Recently, I’ve seen Mrs. Meyers, Seventh Generation, and Green Forest at my local store. Some of the stores even have their own line of organic cleaners. Winn Dixie sells the Winn Dixie Organics line, which includes everything from packaged foods to fabric softener. Typically, the chain stores sell these products at a lower price point. They also run regular sales and accept coupons. Check the weekly ads and stock up when they put your brand on sale. If the store has a double or triple coupon day you can combine the weekly sales with your coupons to get the best deal (i.e. extreme couponing).
Walgreens has a selection of organic cleaning products from popular brands like Seventh Generation. While you won’t get the best selection, (my local Walgreens only had one kind of all-purpose cleaner and a handful of laundry detergents), Walgreens has a lower price point than the holistic stores do and they tend to run better sales.
Like Walgreens, CVS carries most of the popular green cleaning brands and their prices usually meet or beat Walgreens by a few cents. However, the ExtraCare Card may make buying your organic cleaning products at CVS a better deal. In addition to getting the weekly sale prices, the ExtraCare card comes with Extra Bucks. With Extra Bucks, you get a percent back on every purchase you make at a store or on their website. Every three months, CVS converts your earned Extra Bucks into gift certificates. They print your available total on your receipt, which you can use on your next shopping trip.
Organic doesn’t have to mean expensive if you do a little research and know where to get deals on environmentally friendly products. The result? You’re healthy, your wallet is happy, and everybody wins.