Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

The Value Guru Gets the Good Stuff for Less

By Susannah Simone, October 7, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Susannah Simone

Share your Ideas and You Could Get Some Good Stuff Free!

BetterBag In a recent Harris Interactive survey, 76% said they don't want to compromise on the quality of the food they buy and 65% say they would like to find ways to be able to buy natural and/or organic foods on a budget. I was thrilled to read these stats because not only have I known in my heart that the former was true, I also knew that the latter happens all the time, so it's clearly possible…and maybe this Value Guru actually provides some help. Honestly, though, while I never seem to run out of ideas-and certainly not words-I don't have all the answers for how to get the most value out of great-quality natural and organic products. That's where you come in. Share your best tip for how to get the good stuff for less and you could win a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card along with a Better Bag loaded with our pantry favorites. We'll choose a winner at random, but get on it...the entry deadline is October 12th! And, if you haven't already, be sure to sign up for The Whole Deal e-newsletter. You'll hear from us a few times each month about in-store specials and money-saving tips...and future contests, too. Tune in to our Whole Story blog each Wednesday in October for a special value-focused weekly contest!
Category: Value - Whole Deal




Sarah Jelmeland says ...
I love buying organic and local. Since farmer's markets started in May I have been buying local produce from them. I then take the produce and either eat it right away or I can or freeze it depending on the produce. When I am cutting up veggies I take the ends that we don't want to eat freeze them and then make my own vegetable stock out of it once I have amassed enough veggies or when I need it to make soup. In the stores for meat products I like to buy a roast and then eat that for a dinner then use the left overs for making sandwiches or another meal. Ground meat is great for this. Make a southern style meatloaf for dinner one night then crumble the remains the following night for burritos or tacos.
10/09/2009 11:01:33 AM CDT
David says ...
Make money go farther by using cheaper items and bake home made treats. A package of flour, yeast and salt will last for many meals. Then splurge on high quality, organic pairings such as pears, tomatoes, or fine cheeses. Generally I would say at Whole Foods it isn't about saving money. Enjoy the quality and don't worry about the cost. If you can bake a tasty pie with the freshest ingredients, you can just marry rich!
10/08/2009 1:24:18 AM CDT
Jennifer says ...
As a dietitian, I consider nutrition a top priority. To save money, I check out the store ads for sales each week. I try to combine the savings with coupons, drastically reducing the costs. When items that I use regularly such as coffee and salad dressing are buy one get one free, I stock up. Also, the 365 brand is awesome, much cheaper than brand name items.
10/07/2009 7:35:53 PM CDT
Elizabeth says ...
I make a list of every meal for the week and try to plan for meals that have similar ingredients so it cuts down on cost. Buying good foods is the most important but spending my whole paycheck while doing so is at the bottom. I check online specials before heading to the grocery store. Also, when something is on sale that I use alot, like peanut butter, I buy extra when its on sale.
10/07/2009 7:43:28 PM CDT
liz erker says ...
My best advice on how to get the good stuff for less is to shop for seasonal produce & whole foods. You also remember that American's eat too much, so cut down on how much you purchase. I guarantee that you will save cash & calories!
10/08/2009 9:47:55 AM CDT
Heidi says ...
I use the Whole Foods e-newsletter to see what is on sale for the week. I shop when I can on Wednesdays to take advantage of two weeks worth of sales. I also use the coupon books at whole foods and other organic manufacture coupons to plan the grocery shopping.
10/08/2009 9:51:47 AM CDT
Lisa Miller says ...
I buy in bulk, and cook large quanties. Make a big pot of veggi soup, eat it a few days and then freeze the rest in individual containers. That way I have ready made meals on hand.
10/08/2009 7:31:39 PM CDT
SM says ...
I cook lentil stews with fresh dark greens and vegetables which generates a large quantity of nutritious food for a family of four for under $20 a week. I purchase directly from an organic farmer at my farmer's market and from Whole Foods. http://www.nicholsfarm.com/. I find buying meat, package foods and in bulk is costly. I use to buy in bulk and ended up throwing away things that spoiled.
10/08/2009 9:28:39 PM CDT
Kathy says ...
Stock up when the good stuff is on sale. No, you don't need 10 boxes of whole wheat, but when is it ever only $1 a box?!?
10/08/2009 10:08:38 PM CDT
Kathy says ...
Oops, I meant whole wheat PASTA.
10/08/2009 10:09:22 PM CDT
susan freeman says ...
I get the good stuff by taking advantage of Whole Food Sale information and buying bulk items in the quantities that I need instead of buying a larger pre-packaged amount that ends up being thrown away. When I find pre-portioned products that are on sale, I call my friends to see if we can split the item. It usually works out wonderfully and we end up making a dinner party out of it!
10/08/2009 10:16:16 PM CDT
Sans says ...
I look at wholefoods.com first, then I make my shopping list according to the sale items. Some great values every week, 365, madness, truckload, weekly buys, they ALWAYS have the goods you need on sale!
10/08/2009 10:21:50 PM CDT
Maria says ...
I buy a variety of dried beans from the bulk section like black, pinto,garbanzo,lentils,split peas etc. I love bean soup and make my own from garden grown peppers, onions,garlic, parsley,etc. very inexpensive and very nourishing.
10/08/2009 10:38:22 PM CDT
Madeline says ...
I get the good stuff for less by buying the good stuff in bulk--big jars of natural peanut butter and the 32-ounce container of organic soymilk may seem expensive intially, but in the long run you save a lot of money (and help the environment) by choosing a larger size of something that you know you'll eat. In addition, I always remember the long-term savings of eating natural and organic food: I may be spending more money now, but I'll be spending less on health costs later in life, and I'm helping local communities and the planet as well!
10/07/2009 11:04:12 AM CDT
Bree says ...
Buy organic carrots bulk (the larger cello bags), peel, chop & save yourself a "bundle" over the small convience sized.
10/07/2009 11:57:38 AM CDT
Lindsey says ...
I love the bulk section! I get rice, flour, salt, pepper and snacks for my 2 year old daughter for way less than I would anywhere else! A lot of my family members think we are rich for shopping at Whole Paycheck! But I have to show them that I am able to shop for 2 adults and 1 (growing) toddler for less than $100 a week! I do not want to compromise my families health just to save a few bucks, but we are struggling, so I'm very strict about what we buy. I think that also helps too! Your 365 brand and bulk save me lots of money, as is going vegetarian a few days a week. I could go on and on, but won't!
10/07/2009 11:57:42 AM CDT
Sarah says ...
I stock up on my favorite products when they're on sale....like Ineeka tea is $3 off right now!
10/07/2009 12:28:55 PM CDT
Alice says ...
It's so easy to eat healthy on a limited budget! Skip packaged, processed foods as they are usually the most expensive AND the worst for you! Stick the stuff in the perimeter of the store and buy what's in season because there is an abundance of it so it is usually cheaper. Also, buying frozen veggies won't hurt your wallet either..and they are also a time saver. One last thing, buy the store brand. Most of the time other brands are pricier just because they are name brand stuff, but about 90% of the time is a similar, if not identical, product. Oh and one last tip! If you are want a healthy organic dessert, try to use frozen or fresh seasonal fruit as a sweet or bake everything from scracth. It is much cheaper than buying baked goods at the store!
10/07/2009 12:51:44 PM CDT
Regi says ...
Lots of ways to save! 1) I make a meal plan every Sunday, and try to work things we already have and things I know are on sale into the meal plan. 2) Buy ingredients instead of items. We've saved a lot since I started cooking breads, baked goodies and pasta sauce from scratch. 3) The case discount is a big help on staple items! 4) The bulk section is fantastic - not just for grains, but also the herbs when you just need a little bit for a special recipe.
10/07/2009 1:16:27 PM CDT
Annmarie says ...
I try not only to buy in bulk and organic but to cook in bulk. On Sunday I cook with my daughter and make a big pot/pan or bowl of a main dish. We use some for dinner that night and freeze the rest so that we can warm it up during the week in a hurry. Instead of using a prepackaged meal we have our own organic, low sodium, home cooked meal. We both appreciate the meal more because of the chopping, slicing and dicing that we did to get to our delicious end product.
10/07/2009 1:18:55 PM CDT
Marisa M. says ...
Be flexible with your meal planning and buy produce that is in season in your local community. This will encourage you to try new foods and learn new recipes, while simultaneously lowering your grocery bill. Best of all it is good for the environment!
10/07/2009 2:34:13 PM CDT
Mary-Ann Johnson says ...
In addition to buying in bulk, shopping the sales, and buying the generic brand, I keep an eye out for coupons on the net, in magazines and newspapers, and I go to the store with a plan and a budget. Ideally, I would love all the food I eat to be Organic and Natural, but I aim to have at least 70% of my foods Organic or Natural, to fit my budget. (On conventional foods, I read labels, and I am cautious to avoid harmful or mysterious ingredients like corn syrup or aluminum in my food.) I also buy more whole foods (pardon the pun) and make my own sweet snacks and frozen meals at home. I really save (both money and my health) by not purchasing giant packages of cookies, microwave entrees and other snack-type foods, and I eat less of them to boot, because I don't always have time to bake and my meals are more filling and contain no fillers or preservatives. I usually compare the per ounce price on the shelf tag to be sure it's the best deal, even if it is on sale. This is what I do for great value. :)
10/07/2009 2:34:55 PM CDT
Danielle says ...
I double-up on coupons! I scour the internet and various printed papers for coupons, and then I pair them with items already on sale. I also try to buy most produce that is in-season to reduce costs.
10/07/2009 2:57:56 PM CDT
teresa says ...
Good quality food, natural, healthy, on a budget? Do not go out to eat! Eat at home, make your own meals from scratch. Buy seasonal produce, it is fresh, healthier, and will always make your meals taste great. By the store brand. Buy the larger bags, more quantity usually means cheaper unit price. But we are not crazy about buying in bulk unless it offers a big savings. Buy items on sale, but only the ones you use frequently and you really like, otherwise it is wasted money and wasted space in your kitchen. I prefer frozen or fresh vegetables over canned ones. I don't plan our meals. I always have certain basic food items including brown and white rice and frozen or fresh vegetables. You can make a quick healthy meal on a budget if you have the basic food groups on hand. Make your own seasonings and sauces and dressings using herbs, lemon, olive oil, sea salt, nuts, balsamic, juices, fruit.
10/07/2009 3:47:14 PM CDT
Melissa says ...
Great tips! I'll try to add one I didn't see. --Don't buy prepackaged seasoning mixes such as taco and chili seasonings...there are many great recipes online and you can make these in bulk (store in airtight container) saving packaging waste and money.
10/07/2009 4:35:43 PM CDT