Hi guys! This week is seriously flying by for me – I can’t believe it’s already Thursday! It’s supposed to be super nice outside in DC, getting up to 65º today and 69º tomorrow. I’m really going to try to enjoy it while it lasts… maybe lunch outside today? Also, random, but last night I watched The Social Network because I got in on Netflix. I LOVED the movie. I loved Zuckerberg’s character even though we were supposed to think he was a jerk because his sarcasm had me laughing out loud several times. I also thought Jesse Eisenberg did an amazing job playing Zuckerberg. Have you seen it? What did you think?
So, as you may know, I am a total bargain shopper. I’m that way with clothes, electronics, body products, household items and food alike. A lot of people refer to Whole Foods as Whole Paycheck, but if you play your cards right, you can actually get some great deals there. It can certainly be very expensive if you don’t pay attention to what you’re putting in your cart and go without a plan, however, I shop at Whole Foods a few times a month and a lot of times walk out with a lot of loot for not a lot of money. As with anything else, you just have to have a plan of attack. I thought it would be fun to write a post with some tips and tricks for navigating your way around Whole Foods without breaking the bank, and open up the comments section for additional tips from readers. Here goes.
- 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 not your Sunday Paper coupons, but store specific coupons 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.
- 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.
- 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, almonds, walnuts, steel cut oats, rolled oats, brown rice, lentils, black beans and kidney beans.
- Some products are actually cheaper at whole foods than they are at other places. Some examples I’ve found:
- 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!
- BabyBel Cheese – These are only $2.99 for a bag at my WF, which is much cheaper than other places.
- Canned Goods – Organic beans, canned tomatoes, and hearts of palm.
- Corn Tortillas – 79 cents for a bag – can’t beat that.
- Organic Bananas – They are the same price as regular bananas there – usually 69 cents a pound.
- OrganicDeals.com. 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 (who I learned about this site from!) got almond milk for 50 cents this week by using a coupon from the site on top of the sale price at the store!
- Buy Generic – the 365 Brand – You can find a lot of good deals on lots of store-brand products. 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.
- Go With a List – My plan of attack always includes walking in with a few 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).
- Free Appetizer – Sample things around the store and it costs you nada! 🙂
Do you shop at Whole Foods? What are some of your strategies for shopping there without going broke? Are any of these tips new to you?