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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

We Aced the $20 Challenge

Oh yeah, our team members know how to shop our store! While we weren’t eligible for the Living Social deal that burned up the internet Tuesday, a few of us got a sweet offer of our own. (In case you weren’t aware, it took only ten hours for a million lucky people to get in on a Living Social deal selling a $20 Whole Foods Market gift card for only $10. Wow! The deal sold out, so you can’t get it now, sorry!) So, with all the online chatter about what you can get for $20 at Whole Foods Market (yes, we laughed at the jokes too), we decided to put it to the test. We sent real live team members from our headquarter offices to our store with $20 bucks to spend. Armed with The Whole Deal value guide, our online coupons, and a sharp eye for specials and our 365 Everyday Value® lines, these team members wowed us with their creativity and general awesome ability to shop. I bet these whet your appetite as well as your desire to find your own great deals! Elizabeth shopped for a “Taste of Thailand” meal for $19.13:
  • Annie Chun’s Brown Rice Pad Thai Noodles, 8oz. box
  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Peanuts, Roasted & Salted, 12 oz. bag
  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Tofu, Extra Firm, 14 oz. package
  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Coconut Milk, 13.5 oz. can
  • Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste, 4 oz. jar
  • Fresh organic cilantro, 1 bunch
  • 1 organic Italian eggplant
  • 1 lime
  • 2 serrano peppers
  • 1 white onion
Vadan shopped for his pregnant wife’s smoothie ingredients and cravings for $19.45:  
  • Organic Yobaby Blueberry Yogurt, 4-4oz containers
  • 1 bunch organic kale
  • 6-oz package of blueberries
  • 2 organic carrots
  • 3 EARTH University bananas (Whole Trade™)
  • 2 red lunchbox apples
  • 365 Everyday Value® Large Olives, 6-oz can
  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Baby Dill Pickles, 16-oz jar
  • Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus Frozen Waffles, 1 box
  • Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze, half gallon
Natanya put together fixings for a spicy tailgate party for $20.50:
  • Frontier Blue Corn Chips, 10-oz bag
  • 365 Everyday Value® Salsa, Tequila Lime, 16-oz jar
  • 8-count buttermilk slider buns
  • 1 head organic green leaf lettuce
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 small locally grown tomatoes
  • 1.5 oz goat cheese
  • ½ lb lean ground pork
  • ½ lb pork chorizo
Michael shopped to make his veggie tacos with homemade salsa and guacamole dip for $19.40:
  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 organic zucchini
  • 1 organic yellow onion
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 organic hass avocado
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch of fresh organic cilantro
  • 365 Everyday Value® Whole Peeled Tomatoes, 28-oz can
  • 365 Everyday Value ® Organic Flour Tortillas, 6-count
  • Organic Oikos Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt, 5.3 oz
Kate grabbed natural and organic lunch box and snack favorites for her son for $20.20:
  • 1 bag of organic red seedless grapes
  • 1 bag of cut & peeled ready-to eat organic carrots
  • 3 lunchbox apples
  • 1 bunch of EARTH University Whole Trade™ bananas
  • 1 bulk container of organic honey roasted peanut butter
  • 1  jar of 365 Everyday Value® Raspberry Fruit Spread
  • 1 loaf of fresh-baked sandwich bread
  • 1 box of six organic Clif Kid Z Bars
  • 1 package of six Organic Valley Colby Jack Cheese Stringles
  • ½ lb organic Thompson seedless raisins
Rebecca bought all these “runner’s remedy” items for $20.25:
  • 1 4-pack of Organic Valley Organic Chocolate Milk
  • 2 8-oz bottles of Zico Coconut Water
  • 1 2.75g pack of Tasty Orange fruit snacks, sport
  • 4 Cliff Builder bars
  • 2 1.3-oz Honey Stinger honey packs
  • 1 2.1-oz Think Thin bar
We’ve got lots of ideas! We put together $20 bags for healthy snacking, Saturday cleaning, pantry stocking, ultimate breakfast, grilling, wine tasting night, Italian dinner, movie night, and tons more. Let us know if you want to see some of the other shopping bags we put together for $20 bucks. What would you put in your bag?

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Nancy Geraci says …

Loved the ideas. Also these ideas would make a great calendar or phamphlet. Ingredients & pictures included.

says …

@Frugal2 I'm terribly sorry for your frustrating experience. Unmarked produce certainly does make it difficult to comparison shop and ensure that you're receiving the value you want from each product. I've send your concern to the Quality Assurance/Customer Questions team and have asked them to follow up with this issue on your behalf. If you'd like to reach out to your store directly and voice this frustration, a Team Member from P Street will be glad to speak with you. I've copied the link to their contact information below. Thanks so much for reaching out to us and giving us the opportunity to make the shopping experience better for everyone. http://wholefoodsmarket.com/company/contact_direct.php?tlc=PST

Amy @ A Little Nosh says …

As one of those million people, I'm thrilled you put together this blog post. I'm excited to go shop for food for my son to eat. We can't always afford organic, but I'll sure take advantage of it when we can! (By the way, my husband and I loooove the hot breakfast bar at the Fairfax, VA location. It's the best!) <a href="http://www.alittlenosh.net" rel="nofollow">Amy @ A Little Nosh</a>

Celia says …

We got a little merguez sausage, coconut milk, lacinato kale, local apples, and bulk coffee. I don't mind that we splurged on the sausage--it was awesome.

Diana says …

It is amazing that an entire organic meal like the veggie tacos, Thailand and tailgating bag is under $20.00. Generally people think organic means expensive. I don't have a Whole Foods close by, but visit when I am around one. I can't wait to move to the DC area and have quite a few stores around. LOVE the pizzas!

Anjie Henley says …

http://flbyu.blogspot.com/2011/09/whole-foods-living-social-20-deal.html A different way to look at how to spend that $20 living social deal wisely! :)

stephanie says …

would love to see a gluten free under 20$ bag

Briana says …

Do you have the other bag ideas photographed? Would love to see them!

Audrey says …

I plan on purchasing Vanilla Coconut Milk Kefir, some Chicago Diner vegan cookies, So Delicious Coconut milk ice cream and may make room for some grass feed flank steak. I already have the vegs and tortillas to make fajitas at home.

Tracy says …

This is something you should do every week!

saver says …

as one of those million people, i'm incredibly grateful you ran this promo. we're an all-organic household and dedicated WF shoppers for many years. But we're also currently among the millions of unemployed households, who have run out of unemployment compensation. so for us, eating (healthy) is a real challenge right now. i refuse to give up my commitment to healthy, clean, organic food for my family. that means the $20 has to pack as many meals as possible. would love to see bag ideas that do that - $20 for multiple meals, rather than one meal, or one party.

Frugal2 says …

It's especially a challenge since the Whole Foods where I shop (P Street) leaves the price unmarked on about 25 to 30% of their items (especially produce.) Often, the staff can't even determine the price. Does anyone else experience this frustration? Trying to comparison shop to economize is futile, unless you have an extra half hour to keep asking employees to do price checks over and over again. I have complained about it to management before, but it's never improved.

Michele says …

I was able to be part of this amazing deal and picked up dinner after work. I picked up a large cheese pizza with whole-wheat crust(that you make fresh there),365 bagged salad, a vipe ripened tomato,a cucumber and some grapes for dessert. This was a real treat for my family and I. I'm looking forward to this great deal again.