Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

337 Comments

Comments

Rachel says ...
I look for things that are on sale and buy extra even if I won't need it right away. Building up a food storage this way will save you money in the the long run. I also buy in bulk which saves money even though I am only cooking for two people. My solution is to make good use of my freezer. There are lots of things that can be frozen that we don't usually think of putting in the freezer - cheeses, nuts, seeds, leftover sauces, ripe bananas, shredded coconut, beans, a casserole, cookies, muffins, brownies, bread, or cooked rice, for example. I divide out smaller portions into plastic freezer bags or reusable containers. I write on the bag what it contains, the date, and the portion (2 cups, 12 oz, etc.) Then there is no wasted food and I can save costs while controlling portions. When I buy meat, I divide it into smaller portions before I freeze it so it will last several meals. Then when I cook something like chicken, I often shred it because I can make less go a lot further. Also, cooking from scratch is much cheaper and healthier. Once you start cooking from scratch, you'll discover that you can cook a large variety of meals with basic ingredients. Try using dry beans instead of canned. Make your own pizza dough. Use powdered milk for baking. Make your own sweet and sour sauce. There are so many possibilities.
10/07/2009 9:43:14 PM CDT
Hilary Hutson says ...
I save by planning my meals ahead of time to make the most of my ingredients! Instead of buying a variety of produce that I may or may not go through before they go bad, I pick a few fresh produce products that I know I will work well together and try to incorporate them into all my meals for the week. This means I actually go through all the produce I buy before it expires, and I learn new ways to combine ingredients. Sometimes I just play, or other times I'll search for recipes on the internet. Bottom line... I'm not as wasteful and I improve my cooking skills!
10/07/2009 9:49:49 PM CDT
Amanda says ...
Three suggestions: Eat vegetarian. Go to the store flexible - see what's fresh and on sale. Make it yourself - frozen and prepared foods on the natural/organic side are way out of my price range. It's healthier and easier on the pocketbook to bake up a package of $1.50 tofu (which will feed my husband and me twice) than to buy a packaged, processed food. The same is true for almost everything!
10/07/2009 10:21:52 PM CDT
Alicia A says ...
I get the good stuff by doing the usual shopping sales, buying in season, buying in bulk and buying store brand. But I go further by making a weekly menu plan so I don't impulsive buy and I try to buy and stock up on what I can get the most uses out of. For example, if whole chicken is on sale, I can get four meals out of a chicken so I stock up. *Roast the chicken *Shred leftovers and make sandwiches and a chicken curry or chicken salad *Make stock for a nutritious soup base When produce goes on sale I also stock up and prep for freezing and canning so when I need it I have it. Also ask the people behind the counters! I get great deals for making bone broths when I ask about soup bones that are not usually put out.
10/07/2009 10:28:36 PM CDT
Sandy says ...
I buy a CSA subscription each summer, then freeze, dehydrate &/or can the excess for use the rest of the year. By doing that & using coupons for as many of the rest of the products(on sale) as I can, I save a great deal of money
10/07/2009 10:30:45 PM CDT
Jackie S. says ...
I save money by making my 6 month's old sons baby food purees myself. I buy the fruit or veggies for example apples, peel core and boil them. Then I toss them in the food processor with some of the cooking liquid. Once the mixture has cooled a bit I pour it into ice cude trays and freeze them. I then pop them out into freezer bags and thaw when needed. It's a great way to avoid spending a fortune on the jars! And I make huge batches that last a long time!
10/07/2009 11:06:31 PM CDT
Julie R says ...
I was laid off from my job in the end of July, and trying to help my boyfriend build his business so we can someday work together (he is a photographer). Although it's been bad, it's also been good... but the one thing I just can't compromise on is my health. And my health is helped most importantly by my food. One thing I've done to save myself (and now my boyfriend) money is to buy things I can make in larger amounts, so I can freeze leftovers or eat them all through the week. Things like meatloaf with beef, pork, and turkey from the meat counter... or the Irish dish Colcannon (potatoes, ham, cabbage)... they all save SO much money compared to eating out. I've not only saved myself good money on lunches, but am saving my boyfriend an estimated $40 to $50 on his lunches. We do the same with dinners... making big dinners that have leftovers for other meals. It really can save significant money.
10/08/2009 2:33:40 AM CDT
Kevin Vaughan says ...
I usually don't buy all organic products in the store to help save money. I also buy from local growers who grow and harvest in an ecological way and the cost is not that high.
10/08/2009 2:40:40 AM CDT
Juanita says ...
Invest in a great quality cookbook, or visit your local library for a free one and /or Whole foods website recipe section. Plan your meals for the week off of recipes that you already have the majority of ingredients in the house. Make things for yourself from scratch. Pack a lunch of your own save money and calories and cut down on fast food waste. Plan for left overs, print and use coupon and whole food flyers only for the things you actually need and will eat. It is not a bargain if you don't use it. Make a grocery list and stick to your list and budget plan. Visit your local farmer's market while there is still time buy fresh local produce in season and take the time to freeze it or cook it into recipes for future use. Plan ahead, buy items in bulk you would be surprised what you can refill there. Co-op with friends and have a traveling Sunday (or any other night) potuck dinner and make anough that everyone takes home a left over. When shopping in bulk split the cost of the largest package economically possibly so 2 or 3 of you can split the goods and reduce waste of buying smaller sizes. When you are able to sidetrack yourself from eating fast food take the money you would have spent on that unhealthy splurge and put it in a can and save it for "investing" in teh good things to make healthier alternative meals. You can even use it to "splurge" at the whole foods deli on ONE item once a month or so
10/08/2009 2:47:29 AM CDT
Katie says ...
In order to get good stuff for less I visit my local farmer's market. There you can buy great organic product that is in season for incredibly low prices and it never hurts to help your local farmers! For items I can not find at the market I stop by whole foods. I usually stick with store brand products because they are great products for reasonable prices. If I feel like venturing out and trying something new I compare the price per unit instead of the total price to get an accurate comparison. Happy Shopping!
10/08/2009 7:50:54 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
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
Amber Bayer says ...
I believe a little planning goes hand in hand with saving money and ensuring what you get is going to be organic and wholesome. Eating in season is another winner for budget and health.
10/11/2009 8:20:18 PM CDT
Julie says ...
Our children suffer from food allergies and sensitivities and must take lunch and snacks to school and out anytime we leave the house. I portion out any purchased snacks myself rather than paying for preportioned packages. I can prep snacks for the week using waxed bags and stickers in under thirty minutes and save almost forty percent. I also buy 100% juice in the larger size, and fill reusable drink containers (or reused water bottles) 2/3 of the way full and freeze them for school lunches. The kids have cold juice at lunch for less than juice boxes, and we haven't added quite as much to the landfill.
10/11/2009 8:24:41 PM CDT

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