Bargain Shopping at Whole Foods

Hi N Her Shoes readers! My name is Beth and you can find me blogging over at Beth’s Journey, where I write about my life as a foodie in DC, maintaining an 80 pound weight loss and trying to take off the last few. When I saw Bobbi writing about her “100 Days of Real Food Challenge” I was immediately intrigued because eating real food is something I try to do as much as possible as I’ve transitioned into healthy living (slowly) over the last two years.

I am a total bargain shopper – with clothes, electronics, body products, household items, and food alike. Today I’m going to share some tips for bargain shopping at Whole Foods. I know what you’re thinking. Bargain shopping at Whole Foods, aka Whole Paycheck? Are you kidding me? But I promise, it can be done! Whole Foods is an awesome store to shop for real food and can actually be done on a budget if you go in with one thing – a plan! Here are my top tips for navigating the store without breaking the bank.

  1. Whole Deal Coupons – I only recently learned that Whole Foods has coupons you can print directly from their site for products they carry. You can find them here. These are store specific coupons for products that you can’t find anywhere else. Click on that link and you’ll see deals for Siggi’s Yogurt, Protein Powder, Soymilk, Larabars, and SO Delicious products, among others.
  2. Every Wednesday, Whole Foods put up the specials in your area on their website. Check the flyer before you go to add things to your list that are on sale and do some meal planning based on those items. There are usually items in every section – including fish, meat, and poultry – so you can pick your protein and go from there.
  3. Bulk Bins – Don’t skip these when you go! There are tons of organic products you can buy for under $2 or $3 per pound. Some of the best deals I’ve found include quinoa, wheat berries, raisins, nuts, and beans.
  4. Some products are actually cheaper at whole foods than they are at other places. Some examples I’ve found:
    1. Bagged Salad – It’s always 1.99 at my store for baby arugula, baby spinach, mixed greens – any kind. That is much cheaper than the prices at regular grocery stores and they are organic!
    2. Canned Goods – Organic beans, canned tomatoes, and hearts of palm.
    3. Corn Tortillas – 79 cents for a bag – can’t beat that.
    4. Organic Bananas – They are the same price as regular bananas there – usually 69 cents a pound.
    5. Unsalted Butter – It’s usually around $1 a pound.
  5. This site is AWESOME. Basically, this is a coupon site with lots of deals on organic products that you would find at health food stores. There is a specific part of the site that has deals by store, so in the Whole Foods Section of the site, they update it weekly with things that are on sale and then link to manufacturer’s coupons for the same products so you get super cheap deals. Stacy, the blogger I originally heard of this site from, got almond milk for 50 cents last week by using a coupon from the site on top of the sale price at the store! (There’s also a section for Trader Joe’s and some other grocery stores on here –check it out!)
  6. Buy Generic – the 365 Brand – You can find a lot of good deals on lots of store-brand products, a lot of which are even cheaper than other national chains like Safeway and Giant. Many of these products are organic, though some are not. A few of my personal favorites are the water crackers, organic cider vinegar, different types of flour, olive and canola oil, agave nectar, and frozen fruit.
  7. Go With a List – My plan of attack always includes walking in with a the key things jotted down so that I don’t go completely crazy. Consult the online flyer, do a little meal planning, and then write a list. Always. Even if I just have “fruit” or “stuff for salad” on my list, that opens it up to shopping the produce section by what’s on sale. My strategy is usually to mostly stick to the list, and then allow an additional 3-4 things that catch my eye (but usually only things on sale because it hurts me to pay full price for things unless it’s a great bargain).
  8. Free Appetizers – Sample things around the store and it costs you nada!

How about you – do you shop at Whole Foods? Do you have any tips or tricks for saving money there beyond what’s on this list?


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