If you saw the title of this post and thought, “Whole Foods? No way can I shop there,” let me promise you that there are great ways to save big bucks at Whole Foods. How do I know? Because I do it all the time! I’m going to give you my best-kept secrets for how I personally save money shopping at a store that is well known for its high prices. My uncle jokingly calls it “Whole Paycheck”, but it does not have to be that way. You just have to have a plan!
Here are my tips for saving money at whole foods
1. Ask about deliveries: the best time to hit your local produce section of the grocery store is immediately after they get a delivery. This ensures that your produce will stay fresh longer so there’s less waste. On the flip side, if you are planning to use it up quickly, say for a hearty veggie soup, it’s smart to go to Whole Foods produce section the day before they get their new produce delivery. They often put produce that’s past its prime on deep discount so they don’t have to pitch it. So finding out when their produce is delivered each week can ultimately save you 2 different ways.
2. Is it Wednesday yet?: Wednesday is an important day at Whole Foods because it’s when the new ad comes out. But did you also know that their ads run Wednesday through the next Wednesday? That means that if you time it right, you can cash in on this week’s special deals, but also last week’s ad deals! Double bang for your buck! #winning. They also have an app where you can find coupons for Whole Foods! You can download it here.
3. Buy frozen: Of course it’s better to buy fresh produce if possible because of the nutritional value, but if you need veggies or fruit that aren’t in season, you will save a ton of money by getting them frozen instead. We buy frozen organic berries year round because the prices are so great, and frozen berries are delicious!!! Plus when they are on sale, you can stock up!
4. Check your pantry: Before you head out, make a list of things you are really running low on and another column for things that you could use if the price is right. Also note what you have an abundance of. It’s easy to get carried away when you see all types of yumminess they offer in the store, but don’t be swayed by a so-so good price if you already have a heap of the stuff. Avoid the, “I’m not sure if I have this so I’d better get some” trap. Know what you really need before heading out. Also, do not be lured in by the samples. Yes they’re tasty, but are those chips really worth $7 a bag?
5. Don’t buy the everything on your list there: Although you can get good prices on items at Whole Foods when you shop smart, I don’t recommend using it as the grocery store for everything. Some of their prices are just too high for most people’s budget, including mine. For example, they offer excellent meats and produce, so those are always on my list. Also, buy in bulk there because not all health food stores offer that cost-saving option, but avoid buying prepackaged snacks there. You can find those types of healthy snacks elsewhere for much cheaper. HERE is where I buy all of our prepackaged snacks and nonperishables.
6. Buy “generic”: You can get superb quality while saving money by buying their 365 organic brand foods. You will find them all over the store.
7. Take your calculator: Okay, yes, you may look like a geek or a cheapskate, but I think saving cash is worth it. A calculator is your best friend in many stores, including Whole Foods. You will need it to quickly determine which price is better when trying to decide between different sizes of packages. So go ahead and geek out! I do it on the sly, my calculator is on my phone. Pretend you are checking your grocery list on your phone while you do some quick calculations. I won’t tell.
See? I told you that you could brave the aisles of Whole Foods and walk out of there without having to hand over your car keys in payment. You just have to be smart, make a list, and have a plan.
What are YOUR best money saving tips at Whole Foods? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!