Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Dinner without a Side of Stress


Lime Roasted Paiche with Sweet Potatoes

Fall is often linked with a return to routine. This can mean adopting time-and money-saving strategies or embracing healthier eating habits. In both cases, the Whole Story blog is here to help. Through mid-September we’re sharing our favorite pointers for mealtimes (including snacks!) from how to shop to how to prep, so you can get back on track with ease.

If your weeknight dinnertime dash includes a dash of anxiety and a pinch of repetitiveness or has you beelining for carry out, you’re not alone. But you can beat the 6 pm scramble, avoid overspending and keep on eye on nutrition with a few easy strategies.

Time and Money-Saving Tips

  • Hit the bar. Shop our salad bar when you need small amounts of veggies. Ingredients are pre-washed, pre-chopped and often organic.
  • Bang for your buck. Whole foods like grains, beans and lentils give you more nutrients for less cash. Shop the bulk bins and save.
  • Cut waste. Use only what you need with bags of frozen fruits, veggies, chicken, shrimp and scallops. No prep needed too!
  • Maximum meat for the moolah. Look for budget-friendly pricing on lesser-known cuts such as boneless sirloin, flat iron steak or skirt steak.
  • Rice, rice, baby. Stock up on frozen 365 Everyday Value® cooked organic rice or quinoa for a meal in just minutes.
  • Meatball mania. Divide seasoned lean ground meat into small patties or balls and cook. Cool and freeze in an airtight container. Defrost for sauces, tacos, salads, stir-fries, pizzas, sandwiches or stuffed peppers.

Leftover Love

Having leftovers for dinner doesn’t have to mean having the same dish for several nights in a row. Instead, make something new!

Here’s some inspiration:

  • Broth + leftover ingredients (like rotisserie chicken, steamed broccoli and brown rice) = soup! Add chopped fresh parsley or a squeeze of lemon.
  • Transform meatloaf to sandwiches or stuffed peppers.
  • Yesterday’s crudités can be today’s roast veggies.
  • Fish dinner one night means fish tacos the next!
  • Shredding leftover cooked meat makes it go a long way. Think pasta additions, sandwiches or toppings for tacos, salads or baked sweet potatoes.
  • Add leftover cooked black beans, butternut squash or beets to homemade hummus and get more veggies in your day.
  • Make savory pancake batter without sugar and add in frozen or leftover cooked veggies, meat and cheese. Try: broccoli and cheese; turkey and peas; cauliflower and diced ham; or spinach and parmesan. Freeze for fast suppers.

We have weeks of dinner ideas for you online in our recipe database. Use the advanced search option and choose “Budget Friendly” or “Make Ahead” or “Quick and Easy” recipes.

What time- or money-saving strategies have you adopted for weeknight meal success? Or do you have any favorite meals made from leftovers? Share in the comments below.