Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find vegan coupons?
You can find vegan coupons, vegetarian coupons, organic coupons and more in your local Sunday paper, on company websites, on store websites and on coupons sites, such as Coupons.com. For a comprehensive list of where to find coupons, click here.
Why are you vegan?
I'm vegan for several reasons, including animal rights, health, the environment, human rights and social justice. You can read about my turning point here: Why I'm Vegan: The Day that Started My Vegan Journey.
How do I know if my grocery store accepts coupons?
Most grocery stores accept manufacturer coupons, but coupon policies vary by store and sometimes differ for the same store in different locations. Check out this list of store coupon policies to see if your local store is included. If not, visit your store's website or the customer service desk to obtain a copy of their coupon acceptance policy.
Why can't I get free groceries like the people on TV?
First off, you can. It's entirely possible to leave the store with vegan goodies that are free after using your coupons. This is particularly true if you live in a part of the country where stores double manufacturer coupons. However, I know what you really want to know is why you can't leave the store with 12 carts of groceries without paying a penny. Well, that one is a little more difficult for folks who shop for vegan or organic products, and you have to remember that the TV show you are referring to (Extreme Couponing) has "extreme" in the title for a reason.
For starters, have you noticed what is in those carts and in their home stockpiles? If you take a look at what they are purchasing, I think you will find that the majority of it is highly processed foods and non-vegan items. Rarely will you see produce, organic products or vegan groceries. It does happen sometimes, which is great, but if you have used coupons at all, you know that most of the coupons available are for products that health-conscious, vegan, vegetarian or eco-minded folks would not usually purchase.
Secondly, you may have already noticed that most of the folks on the show are purchasing mass quantities of the same product.
Doing a bit of reasonable stocking up is not a bad thing, since having a stockpile is a great idea -- and I do have one -- but these folks are filling carts with a single product, which means that they somehow acquired dozens (or hundreds) of the same coupon. This is often accomplished by purchasing coupons through coupon clipping services or on auction sites. While I'm not here to police how folks get their coupons, I do think it is important for you to know that purchasing coupons in this manner is technically illegal. However, no one is shutting these sites down, so I suppose we can call this a couponing gray area for now. However, even if we call that one a gray area, there has also been some downright coupon fraud on that show (I think here is where I legally have to add the word allegedly -- so make that alleged coupon fraud). Stocking up when you can get a great price is a smart move, but it's much smarter -- and far more ethical -- to only buy in amounts that your family will use. It's also not cool to clear shelves and a bit silly to buy things you don't really like just because you have some coupons for the product.
To learn more about the shadier side of coupons and coupon fraud, check out the FAQ page of the Coupon Information Corporation.
While it is also technically a no-no to trade coupons (such as on forums or at local coupon trading groups), this practice is still generally accepted and does not seem to be a major concern of the Coupon Information Corporation.
Again, you can get free groceries and really, really cheap groceries -- even if you only buy vegan or organic products. By learning how to stack coupons, save your coupons until the items are on sale, combine multiple promotions (such as store coupons, manufacturer's coupons, sale prices, and money-back register rewards) and shop at multiple stores, you can start to immediately see significant savings.
The goal of this site is to help you learn how to ethically save money on all sorts of products you use every day. This is achieved through a variety of money-saving strategies, which (for many people) includes couponing but also includes making your own products, buying in bulk, budgeting and the array of other tips we chat about on this site. Extreme couponing at a level that requires an entire room in your house and a time commitment that rivals a full-time job is not a sustainable money-saving practice for most people.
The Cheap Vegan Chick blog is all about making sustainable changes and saving money in an ethical manner, so start saving now by following me on Twitter, connecting on Facebook, reading the blog and checking out the info on this site.
Why do you include deals for products made by companies owned by parent companies that test on animals?
Let's broaden this one to include any company that has a parent company that engages in some sort of questionable or controversial practices.
Tom's of Maine is a perfect example of this. While Tom's of Maine does not test on animals, it is now owned by Colgate-Palmolive. Some vegans stopped using Tom's of Maine products after the company was purchased by this non-vegan corporation, but most of the vegans I know still use Tom's of Maine products. The reasons for doing so vary; for example, some vegans buy green or vegan products from companies owned by non-green or non-vegan corporations to show that there is a market for socially responsible goods. The hope is that companies will see the value in this customer base and move towards more acceptable practices. Other vegans, of course, find this unacceptable.
I'm not here to judge where people draw their personal vegan line (and not everyone who visits CVC identifies as vegan), and I want this site to be accessible to a wide range of folks working towards adopting a healthier, more compassionate, eco-friendlier, more socially responsible, plant-strong lifestyle. People are vegan (or vegetarian, plant strong or organic, etc.) for different reasons, and it isn't helpful for this blog to exclude folks who fall at different spots along the plant-based living spectrum.
I try to always remember to make a note in the blog post if the company is now owned by a controversial entity, but if you ever see something questionable on this site or blog, please let me know. It means I either forgot to include a note or that I might not be aware of the evil parent company.
What is your header image?
That is a shot of a parking spot at a vegan restaurant in Seattle. It's not the best picture, but I couldn't pass up using a picture of a parking space reserved for vegans.