Welcome to Part Two of Keeping Your Money in Your Own Pocket at Earth Fare!
Here are some more general tips on how to spend wisely at this store.
1. Keep a clear list in your head. DO NOT go in blind. Or hungry.
As a cashier, I can't tell you how many people lament at the check out that they only came in to get a few things... and end up spending $100+ on the "extra" things they picked up. Come in with a plan because if you don't, you and your budget are utterly doomed.
Earth Fare is especially designed to have lots of pretty displays of lots of tasty products that will be even more alluring if you're hungry. It used to be impossible for me to walk out without spending over $100. Now I rarely buy anything not specifically on my list and can escape with my budget of $70 for a week's groceries for three people.
2. Have a regularly scheduled day.
I haven't been following this strictly myself, since I work often enough that I have been able to take advantage of deals even on my non-grocery-buying-days. But knowing the schedule for deals can be invaluable.
I'd recommend coming in on a Wednesday, in the afternoon if you can. EF email coupons come out on Wednesday. Produce shipments (at least for the HSV store, not sure about other stores) come in MWF. This will maximize the freshness of your produce and ensure you get the deal in time. EF does not usually offer rainchecks if they are out of the deal product -- this Saturday the store ran out of watermelon (the weekly deal was a giant watermelon for $2) and a lot of folks had to leave disappointed.
3. Buy the Earth Fare store brand.
Store brands can be hit or miss (please do not ever ever buy any of Kroger's Good Value items... blegh), but Earth Fare items have never disappointed me. We regularly buy their tortilla chips and peanut butter (both organic). There is both an EF Organic brand and an EF Natural brand, so be on the lookout for that if you are wanting only organic.
4. If you need a health product, ASK FIRST.
At the Huntsville store, the ladies who work in the Wellness Department are absolutely invaluable when it comes to deciding what kind of health product you need.
Yesterday I went in needing to buy some liquid fish oil -- Earth Fare carries at least 50 different kinds, no joke, so I was a little overwhelmed. I got Susan, a Wellness clerk, to help me out. She steered me towards an item that was already marked down 50% and was exactly what I needed. She even went so far as to recommend that I probably only needed half of the labeled dosage, which will help the product stretch out for twice as long.
I can't recommend these folks enough - they are good at their job and can save you some serious cash.
Stay tuned for more general tips about saving on organic and natural groceries!