Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

"Eating Great for Less" Blogger Challenge

By Lindsay Robison, October 26, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Lindsay Robison

One of our missions here at Whole Foods Market® is to not only provide our shoppers with tasty, good-for-you grub (though that’s certainly a big part of it!) — but we also aim to make eating the high quality, healthy foods affordable. To help prove our point, we approached bloggers all around the country with a challenge. They had to come up with a meal plan for their family that included breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week with a budget of $100*.

Eating great for less is actually pretty easy; you just need to know how to do it. So we made sure to arm these bloggers with the resources they needed to succeed. Each was given a “value tour” at their nearest Whole Foods Market, where they learned about buying in bulk, value options throughout each department, using the coupons and savings tips in The Whole Deal value guide and much more! If this sounds like a tour you’d like to take, you can set one up through your local store’s Customer Service desk.

Here are some of our favorite highlights from the first group of bloggers who took on the challenge. Take a look at their posts to learn more about how you can save too!

“Keep a Price Book…You may find the best deals are with the store brands, such as Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Products. I’ve actually found quite a few that were close to conventional prices for the organic versions!”

- Jaycie Tallon, Coupon Geek

“When shopping at any grocery store it’s important to know how they work, and Whole Foods has built-in ways to save you money on foods you can trust. They provide multiple sales flyers and seasonal coupon booklets, as well as meal planning advice and recipes.”

- Shaina Olmanson, Food For My Family

“…In-season produce is always the cheapest. Whole Foods designates its sale items with bright yellow and red tags; in the produce section, those tags almost always adorn the veggies and fruit that are most local and most in-season. This week, there were sales on apples, acorn squash, baby bok choy, and more.”

- Laura Tepper, The Shopping Mama

“You can buy in bulk and buy cases of items, and save 10%. This includes produce! To purchase something buy the case, it is recommended to call your store ahead of time, and speak to the department’s specialist to ensure the product is available when needed.”

- Lisa Douglas, Crazy Adventures in Parenting

You have to be a smart shopper. First thing? Check the sales. Seriously. Shop the sales. Whole Foods even has these cool fliers found in a few different places in the store that give you menu ideas for your family in certain price amounts. They tell you what to buy. Now, if you are like me and hate planning meals — this is for you.”

- Brett Martin, This Mama Loves Her Bargains

What’s your favorite way to eat great for less?

*$100 was given to families of 4-5 people. Those with larger families were given adjusted amounts to work with. Bloggers shopped at single Whole Foods Market stores; not all locations offer the same money-saving fliers and programs.

Category: Value - Whole Deal




Rose says ...
The more I shop at Whole Foods, the more I learn about quality, and the more I learn about how to shop great buys. If you only occasionally run through the store, you are missing out on so much! I like to go not when I need to buy a lot, but also go when I have no agenda except learning & adventuring. It is truly an adventure to take an aisle at a time and investigate new products and produce I've never tried before. Then try out new things every week and plan new dinners around them! It is really exciting and fun, and the biggest plus is, that if you compare prices and quality, Whole Foods is outstanding value, and many products are a better bargain than online shopping, etc. I'm soooo glad Whole Foods came to my 'hood!!
10/26/2012 10:47:16 AM CDT
noelle says ...
I love the idea of this challenge!!! Too bad it's only offered to bloggers! We are a family of 8, raising 6 young boys and we are always looking to decrease our spending on groceries without sacrificing the quality and healthfulness of the food we eat. We'd love to take part in a challenge like this! If your ever looking to showcase how a large family who cooks from scratch and chooses organic can eat from whole foods and not spend a ton, let us know! Or maybe, we should start a blog about a year of healthful eating that does not need to break the bank :) Anyway, thanks for challenges like this, I love reading about them.
10/28/2012 11:15:34 PM CDT
Dana N Potgieter says ...
I am also a blogger in the South Florida area, and would love to participate in your next challenge! Please contact me if interested.
10/29/2012 8:43:44 PM CDT
mod*mom says ...
Whole Foods nutrition saves me so much money by keeping me healthy + strengthening my immune system. Im so grateful to have access to Whole Foods stores, especially during breast cancer treatment the comfort of prepared foods & nutrition helped me tolerate & heal from destructive chemo, surgery & radiation "savings tips in The Whole Deal value guide "
10/30/2012 12:13:30 PM CDT
Kalae says ...
Like other WF shoppers, I am continuously checking the WFM site for deals & coupons. Located conveniently in the Whole Deal, I get weekly/daily recipes that encourages myself to be more creative when it comes to planning out meals at home. As a college student with one part-time job, I try my best to stay on a "college" budget. I'm glad to say that Whole Foods has helped me reach and surpass my nutrition goals by simply learning how to grocery shop.
10/31/2012 6:35:09 PM CDT
Latasha says ...
I plan my meals around what's on sale.
11/01/2012 12:42:47 PM CDT
Helena says ...
This all sounds really nice unless you have food allergies, or you're trying to avoid BPA in their canned goods or canola oil in their prepared foods or chlorine in their baby carrots. I don't know how that can be accomplished on $100/week.
11/01/2012 2:30:51 PM CDT
Clarice Simon says ...
My husband and I will be alone this thanksgiving and we would love to enjoy organic meal. Whole is one of the best places that I can get all type of organic products and love when you have the samples to taste.
11/01/2012 4:01:48 PM CDT
helenlam says ...
Shop the sales and pair it with the coupons. Even better, pair a Whole Foods coupon with a manufacturer's coupon for extra savings! I definitely agree with shopping what is in season and I plan my meals around what I find in the stores, instead of wanting out-of-season produce that's low quality and super expensive.
11/01/2012 5:09:32 PM CDT
Ericuhrmann says ...
How in Hell can a loyal customer ENTER the $250 contest? I wasted 10+ minutes
11/01/2012 6:09:17 PM CDT
Ericuhrmann says ...
How in Hell can a loyal customer ENTER the $250 contest? I wasted 10+ minutes
11/01/2012 6:09:21 PM CDT
jamie allen says ...
Due to my hours at work being considerably reduced i have been forced to be a frugal shopper and could use some guidance on that
11/01/2012 8:20:30 PM CDT
Dorothy Di Santo says ...
Good Morning, I'm a regular customer and my purchases of your produce have been very satisfactory, but last Friday 10/26 I made my usual purchase of Arugula, 6 large containers along with others and by Monday had to throw out every one since they were all so water-logged and not edible. What a disappointment! My orders add up to quite a lot each visit I make to your store and I'd like to be reimbursed,. I have my receipts. I'd appreciate some response. Thank you, Dorothy Di Santo
11/02/2012 5:43:10 AM CDT
davisshirlette says ...
Love to know how to save to feed a family of 7, 4 are children, one is 4 years old. I know how to buy in bulk, I can take a whole chicken and get 2 meals out of it, like making soup out of it the next day, love to have some other ideas, Thanks
11/02/2012 7:10:28 AM CDT
davisshirlette says ...
I have a family of 7, 4 are children which one is only 4 years old but alwats hungry, love to be able to kept him happy but stay on a budget. I know a little about buing in bulk . Sometimes I can take a whole chicken and get two meals out it
11/02/2012 7:19:10 AM CDT
Megan says ...
@DOROTHY I'm sorry you had a bad experience. Please visit your store's Customer Service desk. They will be able to help you out.
11/02/2012 10:25:36 AM CDT
Joyce says ...
I have been shopping at Whole Foods, almost exclusively, since it opened here about a year ago in Oklahoma City. I am glad you are proving that with a little planning and strategy, people can buy the best quality products and still follow their budgetary needs. I recently calculated all of my food spending, since the beginning of 2012, and found that I spend, on average, $58 per week. This included making dishes to take to gatherings, having company over for a meal, and my Godson spending eight weeks with me over the summer. I love Whole Foods and I am proud to say that they help me meet my responsibilities and stay healthy doing so.
11/03/2012 11:33:04 AM CDT
kathlyn says ...
When visiting the market I take a shopping list and any coupons related to what I need for the weekly menu. In addition to a sale price on a given item, the coupons can help compound the savings. It helps make the monthly dept in your budget a little smaller.The savings adds up over several months! In season produce is usually the easiest to incorporate into your recipies. Read all nutrition labels. If you don't know what the chemical/preservative is, go check it out at a reliable source.
11/03/2012 11:54:28 AM CDT
Laura says ...
Me! Me! Pick me! How about a family of two? (One is a teenager, so that actually equals 3 hahaha!). If you do it again with a family of a smaller size, I'd LOVE to be up for the challenge!
11/03/2012 4:13:52 PM CDT
Kate H says ...
we did this earlier this year on San Diego Deals and Steals! We had $600 for our family of five - every meal had to be from our Whole Foods Budget - no eating out and no using stuff from the cupboards before - we did it for $575 and actually had some food left over! It was not difficult at all and we ate SO healthy! We even had fresh caught fish and grass fed beef some nights! YUM!
11/08/2012 2:10:37 PM CST
Kate H says ...
we did this earlier this year on San Diego Deals and Steals! We had $600 for our family of five - every meal had to be from our Whole Foods Budget - no eating out and no using stuff from the cupboards before - we did it for $575 and actually had some food left over! It was not difficult at all and we ate SO healthy! We even had fresh caught fish and grass fed beef some nights! YUM!
11/08/2012 2:10:40 PM CST