Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

337 Comments

Comments

Sarah says ...
In terms of saving money especially at Whole Foods, I always try and buy their 365 brand - the quality and taste are great and I have never been dissatisfied. I also hate wasted food. I hate throwing things out because we didn't eat them. I try to only buy what we're definitely going to eat - esp in terms of fresh produce and breads. I think a lot of people waste money because they throw a lot of stuff out that hasn't been eaten and has gone bad. I also buy a larger size of something, esp if it's on sale. I don't go out of my way to do so unless something is truly worth it (figure out the unit costs, etc). Sometimes, bigger isn't better.
10/08/2009 8:05:27 AM CDT
Amy says ...
I try to catch things on special and stock the pantry. I also try to buy what I can at the Farmer's Market if possible.
10/08/2009 8:24:08 AM CDT
Mariah says ...
I always try to buy whats in season that way you can get the "good stuff" at such a better price then if you were to buy it off season. By buying whats in season you can purchase more and freeze for a later use.
10/08/2009 8:25:36 AM CDT
Megan Dezendorf says ...
The best way I've found to save money on organic/"good" foods is to do a neighborhood garden. Each family grows large quantities of one or two vegetables in their garden and then all the produce is shared amongst all the participating neighbors. Great way to get good foods, save money & get to know your neighbors.
10/08/2009 8:35:50 AM CDT
Beth says ...
To get the good stuff for less, I use coupons, but I try to combine them with other promotions (when possible). Like a $1.50 coupon off of Kashi cereal with an in-store promotion of buy-one-get-one-free. I also go for quality over quantity. I realized that I was spending money on snack food that wasn't very fulfilling. When I stopped buying as much non-nutritious food, I found I could apply some of the money I saved towards higher quality, more satisfying main ingredients. I also try to work with what's on sale. One thing I love about Whole Foods is that sometimes Organic "store brand" products are cheaper than non-organic. When anything organic is on sale, I pounce!
10/08/2009 8:56:46 AM CDT
Kelsey says ...
I am not complete without a bundle of coupons when i buy my groceries. Match the coupons with sales I research, my savings are out-of-control insane! I also migrate towards seasonal produce + fruits since they are normally priced better than out-of-season items.
10/08/2009 9:04:48 AM 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
Marla Zickefoose says ...
I buy what's on sale and for items other than meat and produce..I try to match coupons. Organic companies are starting to offer more coupons for their products and its a great way to save and also feel good about eating healthy.
10/08/2009 10:07:39 AM CDT
Melissa C. says ...
One word: Soup! On Sundays, I go through my pantry, fridge and freezer and pull out any “leftover” items including pasta, quinoa, veggies, tofu, broth, canned tomatoes, etc. Throw together in a pot, bring to a boil with seasoning and spices (I always like to throw in a pinch of hot pepper flakes) reduce to a simmer for at least an hour so all the flavors come together and serve with a nice piece of crusty artisan bread. Not only do you have a great, healthy and inexpensive dinner for that night, but chances are you'll have leftovers for a healthy work lunch or small dinner throughout the week.
10/08/2009 10:37:40 AM CDT
Claudia says ...
I plan out the week, make a list and keep to that list! Whenever possible, I go for the 365 brand. I've also reduced the amount of meat I eat, which also saves money.
10/08/2009 10:37:48 AM CDT
Amanda Mae says ...
I do a variety of things.. 1) I get a CSA box - $15 for a BIG box of produce 2) Bulk bins - I try not to buy processed food and buy whole ingredients to make things myself, it requires more work, but its fun, it tastes better, its better for you, and its cheaper. 3) Coupons and Sales. I use coupons (mambo sprouts) and I also go to brands websites to look for coupons - I've found pretty good deals! If something is on sale I try to stock up, I might not need it right away, but eventually I will and I will have gotten it for a better price. 4) I also shop at two local coops. One group we get raw dairy, farm fresh eggs, and local honey. Another coop we get Frontier items - both have great prices. It can be time consuming to order and then go pick up your items, but it is very worth it. 5) Grow your own - we don't have much space to grow, but we have chilies, tomatoes, and herbs, which is fun and rewarding to cook with. 6) Don't waste. It takes some planning to use EVERYTHING you have before it goes bad, but its worth it. Use the produce before it welts, eat leftovers for lunch, plan, plan, plan. We always freeze fruit before it goes bad so we can use it in smoothies.
10/08/2009 10:58:00 AM CDT
Debbie Hirshson says ...
My strategy for finding value while purchasing groceries is multi-pronged. ~ First, I keep in mind that the money and time I spend acquiring nutritious, whole, organic food keeps us healthier in the short- and long-term, and out of the doctor's waiting room, and that's value and peace of mind that money just can't buy. Second, I'd say that I shop with menus in mind, and always with my basic go-to meals in mind, so that I can plan around sales and stock up (even on things that are not necessarily needed at the moment but that I keep in my pantry or freezer as one of our staples). Third is definitely to note that store brands are worth trying. (In fact, I'm now a big fan of the 365 brand you can find throughout Whole Foods.) You'll no doubt come across a product that just doesn't excite you or the family, but – after some trial and error – your efforts are sure to result in products that are just as good as, if not better than, the big-name brands. And while the family's enjoying the meal, you'll be enjoying it just a teensy bit more because you know in how many ways your efforts are truly paying off! Fourth is for coupons. I recommend signing up for Whole Foods' The Whole Deal e-newsletter (which brings tips, recipes, and coupons right to your inbox), finding a good coupon Web site, and scanning the coupons in your local Sunday newspaper. Most of the products promoted with coupons are for stuff I just won't buy, but coupon hunts can pay off huge rewards. When you come across an item that meets your standards and that you have a manufacturer's coupon for, and perhaps you even have a store coupon for it (you can use both, you know), and it's on sale (dare I even hope for buy-one-get-one?!)…well, let's just say that those moments for me are simply magical and frequently elicit a quick happy dance in the aisle. (Silly, I know, and maybe even a sad commentary on my life, but true joy is true joy wherever you find it!) And fifth, but not necessarily finally – because efforts are ongoing and I'm always learning and incorporating something new – is to buy in bulk as much as you are able. Whole Foods has a great bulk-shopping section where you can find grains, tasty treats, and difficult-to-find items like raw nuts. Bulk shopping also includes using co-op groups. Co-ops are just another way, usually spearheaded by other nutrition- and bottom-line-conscious moms and dads, that I stretch our dollars and work toward better health. ~ Yes, it all takes time and effort. But to sum it up I say to you -- Fresh, organic fruit and veggies: x-dollars; bulk shopping, no matter how long it takes to re-pack and use up the items: x-dollars; being a consumer dedicated to healthy and environmentally-responsible manufacturing processes: x-dollars; and health and well being for you and your loved ones: priceless.
10/08/2009 11:44:27 AM CDT
Anne House says ...
I use a menu and great budget recipes like the great ones on this site. Taking several recipes that use the same basic ingredients makes purchasing in bulk really work. I make my own chicken stock after piecing and deboning chickens, using the celery, onion and carrot scraps from other recipes. I make beef stock from the bones of a 7-bone steak and use the meat to make a stroganoff, stir fry or a stew. I cut up organic celery and carrots for my kids to snack on and use the scraps for my stocks. Buying spices and herbs in bulk allows you to save money and get fresher taste for your buck. A large ham may seem a big investment, but when you've eater the hame in 5 different recipes and used the ham bone in a pot of white beans purchased in the bulk section of Whole Foods, you are really saving money. The more you can use all of something (a whole chicken turned into chicken stock plus boneless chicken breast plus stewing pieces) the more you help the environment and your budget. Then you can afford that rare piece of Fair Trade dark chocolate to grate over fresh whipped cream dolloped on your coffee - what a treat!
10/08/2009 11:50:21 AM CDT
LeeAnn D says ...
I have a few tricks. When serving my family meat or chicken, I try to incorporate it into a main dish that also has grains, beans and veggies. It is a cost savings (and healthier) because my meat and poultry go a lot further. Instead of buying "lunch" items we bring dinner leftovers for lunch. Thye are healthier than a sandwich and save money too. I love the bulk bins and use them to get lots of the foods we go through a lot of at a good savings: brown rice, nuts, dried beans. By not using processed foods, I feel I have money to spend on higher quality ingredients.
10/08/2009 11:51:24 AM CDT
AK says ...
• shop the sales • buy seasonal produce, bulk foods, and store brands • go vegetarian/vegan!
10/08/2009 11:55:12 AM CDT
Joy says ...
Coupons are great, definitely--but I get the MOST value by volunteering at my local organic produce co-op. A couple hrs every other Saturday morning=a huge bin of fresh, organic, local fruits and veggies for FREE. Puts a HUGE dent in my grocery bill! Can't beat that! (search for local co-ops in your area and ask them about volunteering ;-)
10/08/2009 12:35:41 PM CDT
Josh says ...
My wife and I go to local grocery salvage stores. Didn't even know they existed until recently. They carry loads of organic brands and dirt cheap prices, especially dry goods. We save a ton!
10/08/2009 12:39:53 PM CDT
sara loud says ...
I plan our week based on what's on sale and stick to it!
10/08/2009 2:12:04 PM CDT
Stefanie Schmidt says ...
I get the best value by buying my favorite organic fruits on sale and freezing them. They last a long time when frozen and I can enjoy fresh fruit all year long with savings. I also shop store ads and buy my favorite natural products in bulk when they go on sale. My biggest way to save without compromising brand names is I will buy one box of my favorite brand natural cereal, and one box of generic cereal and mix them both together. This way I save on cereal, and still get the great taste I love at a great price.
10/08/2009 2:28:44 PM CDT
Katie says ...
I make sure to plan my meals and make a list before I go to the store to try to limit my splurges on unnecessary items. I also like playing a budget game with myself each week to see if I can get more for my money than I did the week before. Although I know how important it is to try to stick to all foods that are organic/natural, I have found that some weeks I just can't afford that option. So I started researching which foods are most beneficial in the natural/organic form and that way I can try to get the most bang for my buck.
10/08/2009 3:02:36 PM CDT
Keri says ...
There are so many ways to save on natural and organic, GOOD QUALITY food! I think one of the greatest ways I have found to save is what I call, "meager-mailing." This is where you go to company websites that you know you would like a product from, and request some free samples or coupons! I have found that it never hurts to ask, and surprisingly I have been fortunate enough to receive a lot of response! Yay for coupons! Yay for saving $$!
10/08/2009 3:15:49 PM CDT
Gina says ...
I get the good stuff for less by planning ahead and being conscious of what I already have in my pantry. I start by looking at the sales flyer and Whole Deal newsletter to see what is on sale and/or has coupons. Then, I plan meals for the week to incorporate ways of cross-utilizing products. Leftover grilled snapper from last night might become tomorrow's fish tacos. Likewise, I cook extra grains, so extra quinoa from dinner works great for a rice/veggie salad that I can take for lunch (one of my favs is a SW salad, with quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, spices....yummy!) I love the bulk aisle, because I can purchase small quantities (what we can use for the week) and not have a lot of extras cluttering my shelves. Having an organized refrigerator also helps me know what I have available and what needs to be used first. I freeze foods that I feel I won't use, such as beans, veggie broth, and canned tomatoes, and go to Wholefoods.com when I need a good recipe idea for an item that needs to be used fast. The extra time involved in planning ahead is worth the reward of nutritious foods (and not having to read every label!)
10/08/2009 4:27:26 PM CDT
B.A. Rosenblum says ...
I save money by watching for specials on my local Whole Foods Twitter feed. Evanston South in that house, yo!
10/08/2009 5:02:43 PM CDT
Niki says ...
Well, we are newlyweds on a tight budget - but we have learned better than to sacrifice the quality of our health by eating conventional meat and other cheap food. Because the people who work at Whole Foods actually know what they're doing, we are able to get organic, grass-fed meat, dairy and eggs - and make it stretch! We buy organic when it makes the most difference - the animal products, thin-skinned produce, and grains - and work to stretch those items with less expensive whole foods. I love cooking and my husband says that I'm the best! We would be so blessed to have a $50 gift card. It would feed us so well! Thanks for this great opportunity. With a recession, you have to decide where your priorities lie - seeing the local Whole Foods just as crowded as always inspires me that we're not giving up the quality of our health for the sake of money or convenience.
10/08/2009 6:37:20 PM CDT

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