In our area, I have yet to find a grocery store with the same quality of freshness and selection that Whole Foods Market offers. With that said, it can be expensive to support our dietary needs and follow our budget. Bar none, food is our biggest bill every month after housing, which makes grocery shopping a little challenging. Over the years, I have learned a few tricks to shopping Whole Foods to hack the premium prices while still eating really well.
SHOP ON SALE
As soon as we enter the produce section, I look for the yellow sale signs. Depending on what is priced lowest, we stock up on that item and change our weekly meal plan accordingly. One week, it was kale and chard, so we ate extra leafy greens, and the next week it was more starchy veggies like zucchini and broccoli. There are also regular sales on fish, meat, and pantry items, so make sure to keep an eye out for those too!
LOOK FOR 365 BRAND
Whole Foods' in-store brand is 365, and it is usually the most economical choice. Our monthly staples include the orange oil counter cleaner, almond butter, sushi rice, green tea, and coconut oil. They also make 365 brand hair care, supplements, and much more. I've found the great price does not sacrifice quality, either.
SHOP THE BULK SECTION
For nuts, spices, salt, and other dry goods, the bulk section is the place to go. Sometimes consumers forget that the price of the packaging adds to the cost of the good. I learned this lesson best after purchasing a spice jar of turmeric, for $3.99 about 2 months ago. When it was empty, I filled the exact same jar with turmeric from the bulk spice section for $0.80. Yes, 80 cents. So, keep your glass jars from condiments and snacks for future dry goods, honey, or nut butters. You can see how I organize my pantry with them here.
DOWNLOAD THE APP
Whole Foods has a relatively new app that rings up a personal coupon code at the end of the sale for maximum savings. The coupon code is attached to your local store, and will track new sales and discounts every week. One week, I saved $5 off a $20 purchase of vegetables after using the app at checkout, which had me doing a happy dance when I glanced over the receipt at home.
BRING YOUR BAGS
I save an average of 15 to 20 cents per week when I bring my bags, since Whole Foods will reimburse 5 cents per bag (check your local store to find out what you can save).
RETURN GLASS BOTTLES
If you buy milk in glass jugs, chances are you have to pay a bottle deposit. When your jug is empty, return it to Whole Foods customer service to get cash back from your deposit cost, which is usually around $2.
Know any other shopping hacks for Whole Foods that I missed? Share with me in the comments below!
This post is not sponsored in any way, just my opinion for getting the most out of a Whole Foods shopping experience.