July 15, 2011

5 Ways To Save At Whole Foods

by

Whole Foods Paradise Valley photo

A few weeks ago I was invited to my local Whole Foods Market for a Value Tour. Each store was inviting customers to attend an informational session to learn how to shop at Whole Foods on a budget. We’ve all heard the store jokingly referred to as ‘Whole Paycheck’, and we’ve probably gone in and dropped $80 on one bag of groceries.

I was very excited to meet the local marketing representative to learn how Whole Foods is actively working to help budget minded people incorporate whole, natural and organic foods into their shopping lists. She took us on a tour of the store and shared with us not only about how they keep the bulk food fresh but also about their programs for maintaining seafood and fresh meat standards as well as incorporating new guidelines for household cleaners.

I wanted to share with you how you can shop at Whole Foods and still stick to your budget. I’ve been doing it for a few years now and have been surprised at how I’ve been able to upgrade the quality of food my family eats without having to upgrade my food budget.

5 Ways To Save At Whole Foods

1. Subscribe to the Whole Foods newsletter The Whole Deal – Not only will you get recipes and information about their sustainability programs, you’ll get links to store coupons and the weekly promotions that will be going on. You’ll also get a heads up on those special One Day Only sales you see me mention. Sure, I’ll tell you about them. But sometime just seeing it in your in-box on your phone is a great reminder.

2. Buy in bulk – Whole Foods guarantees the freshness of all their bulk items. At my store, they turn over so quickly that nothing is ever in the bins longer than 24-hours. Talk about fresh! The prices are much lower than the packaged products you’ll find on the shelf and you can get exactly what you need. Even better, try new foods! Red lentils? Black rice? Chia sees? Why buy a giant package if you’re not sure? No waste and better for the budget!

3. Buy Fresh & On Sale – The reason Whole Foods puts produce on sale is because they got a great deal and are passing along the savings. When these products go on sale, buy and freeze if you can. You’ll be able to have high quality produce even when it’s not in season.

4. Use Coupons – Whole Foods accepts manufacturer coupons. When items you like go on sale, use a manufacturer coupon to bring the cost down. Also, use the store coupons from the Whole Deal. Many stores will make them available to you right at the front of the store or even at the shelf. And if you’re lucky enough that your store will stack both manufacturer and store coupons, you’ve got some freebies coming your way!

5. Shop the Salad Bar – Ever need just a few tablespoons of onion? Maybe just a little celery and carrots? How about artichokes for a special dish? Why buy a giant package when all you really need is a little bit? While it may be $7.99 a pound, a few ounces will be a budget friendly option. Also, there will be little waste. Sure you can buy an onion and chop it. But if you’re not going to use it, it’s just wasting money. This is a great option for single people, empty nester, or when you want to make a meal for one!

I hope these give you inspiration to head to your local Whole Foods and see how you can eat in a ‘Whole New Way’. Do you have any other tips? I have a few more, but I’d love for you to share how you can shop at a store that has a reputation for being pricey.

Disclosure: I was not required to write this post. The Value Tour was available to all Whole Foods customers who signed up. As a Thank You for my time to hang out at Whole Foods for an hour or so, I was provided a reusable grocery bag and a gift card to put all the new tips into action.

Sara

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