Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

14 Things To Always Buy at Whole Foods Market

By Value Guru, January 18, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Value Guru

Choices count towards your physical and fiscal health, so we're here to help you navigate our aisles so you can find the best quality for the best price.

Ever wonder which items are always worth buying at a Whole Foods Market® store? We think everything is of course, but here’s our short list, including tips on how to save:

Beef. We require Global Animal Partnership 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Ratings, prohibit added hormones and demand no antibiotics, ever! Our butchers know the best deals and will wrap just the amount you need for recipes and sensible, affordable portions.

Look for value packs and lesser-known cuts.

Salmon. All of our wild-caught salmon is from certified sustainable fisheries or ranks high on third-party assessment rankings. Our farm-raised salmon has been third-party verified as Responsibly Farmed. We cut to order and offer great prices on frozen salmon year-round.

Eggs. Every whole egg we sell is cage-free, and you don't have to scramble all over town to find a good deal on eggs of this caliber. Our 365 Everyday Value® eggs are always competitively priced!

Shampoo & Conditioner. We’ve got high standards for all of those we offer and we’ve got even higher standards for our Premium Body Care® products. Our 365 Everyday Value® hair care products proudly wear the Premium seal so you get great prices on the highest quality every day.

Greens. We source as much organic and local produce as possible. Bunched greens and lettuces are a good bet for your budget and your health. We offer a wide variety; try what’s on sale!

Crackers. Our selection of crackers is the best in town if you’re looking for whole grain, organic, gluten free or gourmet. They’re often on sale and/or have coupons (clip or print them from The Whole Deal value guide). Ask about case discounts and check out our 30+ varieties of 365 Everyday Value® crackers, too.

Coffee & Chocolate. High quality and responsible choices are what set us apart for these. We don’t allow any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives; and you’ll see organic, Whole Trade® Guarantee and other environmental and social benefits on more beans and bars in our stores than at any other grocer. A few are always on sale and look for 365 Everyday Value®.

Yogurt & Cheese. All of our 365 Everyday Value® yogurts and cheeses, organic or not, are made from the milk of cows never given artificial growth hormones (rBGH/rBST). This is true for many of the other brands we offer, too. None contain artificial colors, flavors or preservatives; and sales and coupons abound!

Bulk grains. Buying from bulk bins lets you get just the amount you need without paying for excess packaging (and its shipping). We sell a lot of bulk foods, so you can trust they’ve not been sitting and going stale, and where else can you find so many whole-grain and organic choices?

Dinner & Dessert. It’s not easy to find a meal without wondering what went into it. From indulgent to healthy, our prepared foods and bakery goods follow the same strict Quality Standards as the rest of the foods in our store, including no artificial ingredients and no hydrogenated fats. Make wise selections in smart portions and compare the whole package to eating out at a restaurant.

Gift Cards. Giving gift cards gives them just what they want — practical groceries or something special — no waste!

Wine. We’ve got some real steals! Have you discovered our chuck-bucking Three Wishes in light-weight glass bottles yet? And check out the Sure Deals in The Whole Deal.

Cleaners. Our Eco-Scale™ Rating System lets you choose how “green” you wanna go, balancing value with values.

Flowers. We’ve got more choices for Whole Trade® flowers than you can shake a long-stem rose at. Keep your eyes open; flowers go on sale, too.

Don't forget, no artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners or hydrogenated fats are allowed in our stores, so you can always shop with peace of mind no matter what’s in your basket. Plus, with the current issue of The Whole Deal value guide in hand, you'll have $46+ in coupons, more than a dozen Sure Deals, 9 new budget recipes and a dinner planner making it easier to buy what you want and save.

Your turn! What's on your list of must-buys at our stores and why?




Julie says ...
Must haves from Whole Foods when I travel to finally get to one, is BREAD!!!!! The Cleveland Whole Foods has the BEST Whole Foods bakery I have ever found. I have been to Chicago; Indianapolis; Ann Arbor, MI; Jacksonville FL; and Cleveland, OH Whole Foods. The Cleveland Whole Foods coffee & bakery departments are THE BEST I've found. Absolutely love the BREAD!!
02/07/2012 9:00:46 AM CST
Virginia is for Vegans says ...
Easy meal starters like 365 canned refried beans and 365 pasta sauce are absolute musts in my pantry! I love that they are good right out of the jar. It's the little things that make such a difference in your stores. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
01/18/2012 11:15:27 PM CST
Ed says ...
The term Fisheries isnt used in the same context as farming. Commercial fisheries process the "catch", like an intermediary between the fisherman and the market. You can find all the information on fisheries and how they handle the different types of wild seafood out on google.
01/18/2012 11:15:36 PM CST
PH says ...
Wow, people are going to boycott something because they don't know what a term means... A "fishery" is not a synonym for "fish farm" - check out wikipedia if you're confused about the meaning. It *can* be a fish farm, but it can also be a wild-caught operation.
01/19/2012 8:04:35 AM CST
Hilda says ...
Folks, after reading the definitions of wild vs. fresh salmon, I feel much better. I am sorry that some of you missed that salmon sale. I bought some anyway and it was some of the best salmon I ever ate. I might have been skeptical, too, but I believe that the people at Whole Foods would not intentionally try to pass something off as other than it really is. I am sure if they knew that the "oxymoron" (as someone called it) would create problems, they probably would have only printed that it was fresh and not farmed. People make mistakes, right.
01/26/2012 10:53:42 AM CST
Beverly Miller says ...
The list of 14 is fine with me. However, I am mystified by the sentence that has both the words wild-caught and fisheries in it. Seems like an oxymoron to me. How does one catch wild salmon from a fish farm? I will ask staff at the store in my area sometime. In the meantime, I will skip the big salmon sale coming up.
01/18/2012 5:53:49 PM CST
Scott Mitchell says ...
You salmon commenter's have it all wrong. The fishery is a generic term that covers all commercially caught 'wild' fish. In Alaska we have halibut fisheries, salmon fisheries, herring fisheries, etc. There are either wild-caught fish or farmed fish...they can't be both. Wild is the only way to go in my opinion.
01/18/2012 11:48:26 PM CST
Micki says ...
Call me crazy, but, I thought they were talking about 2 different types of Salmon they sell...wild-caught, and farmed-raised. hmmm. :o)
01/19/2012 8:02:15 AM CST
p says ...
For those with questions about fisheries vs farm-raised, i looked it up... it is confusing but it is a common term. Fishery does not necessarily been farm-raised. So you can have wild-caught and fishery in the same sentence and it is correct usage, and indeed wild-caught fish. How you ask? Fishery can refer to a group of fisherman fishing for the same type of fish. So, for example, all the Alaska salmon fisherman in a certain area off the coast of Alaska could count as the "alaska salmon fishery". Here is the fishery page from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishery In addtion, since the Whole Foods Salmon Sale Page says it is Wild-Caught Alaska Sockeye Salmon, certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, here is the MSC page on the Alaska Sockeye Salmon fishery (a group of about 200 fishermen): http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/pacific/alaska-salmon/meet-the-fishers Hope that helps those looking to make a decision. And no, I don't work for Whole Foods. But like all of you, I am a concerned consumer, who likes knowing where my food is coming from and what went into it before it got to me. Now the question - is this FRESH wild-caught alaska sockeye salmon or FROZEN? i'll post this on the salmon page also, in case some of you go there.
01/19/2012 12:16:05 AM CST
MomOfhealth says ...
My son loves your peanut butter!
01/18/2012 6:54:34 PM CST
stoferj says ...
Hey Beverly and Rose Anne- The Guru was saying 1 of her 14 is Salmon- She is actually talking about both wild caught, from sustainable fisheries (yes, fisheries are products caught in the wild) and Farm raised- two totally different products. It's okay if you are avoiding farm raised for whatever reason, but you will miss on on a great deal on the Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon if you avoid that! Plus, if you're avoiding farm raised you should check out the WFM Farm Raised Seafood standards- Over the past 25 years they have worked with many farms in getting them to change the way fish is raised. Here's the page- http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/pdfs/WholeFoodsMarket_FarmedSalmonStandards.pdf And go ahead and enjoy the 1 day Salmon sale!
01/18/2012 7:30:03 PM CST
Paula mullavey says ...
Must buys: grass fed, locally raised ground beef and any other beef or pork I may buy. Fish. While grains-quinoa, green and especially red lentils. Most fruits and veggies-apples, berries, peppers, and all greens.gourmet cheeses, breads. Pane bread is closest I can find to real Italian bread. Oh, also, candles! (will try hair products next!)
01/19/2012 6:40:27 AM CST
Gwen White says ...
In my shopping at Whole Foods, I know of other items not on your list that are very competitively priced organic or not, i.e., wine, pizza, bananas, romaine salad bags, packaged deli meat slices, bulk popcorn--to name a few right off the top of my head. The best part for me is that these items are organic & still reasonably priced. I absolutely love Whole Foods, and really appreciate the multi-faceted & diverse ideal. You set a high standard that should be industry-wide. Hopefully, others will begin to imitate your ambitious model.
01/19/2012 9:21:05 AM CST
Kevin says ...
I think what they were trying to get at is that there are they have two sources of salmon: sustainably wild-caught and responsibly farm-raised. The wild-caught is the one that's on sale Friday. I won't be missing it! :)
01/19/2012 9:34:27 AM CST
mary vils says ...
I heard you sell the t shirt "Plant Powered" the Rip Esselystn wears in his Engine 2 video on his website. where can i order one? Thanks, Mary
01/26/2012 11:26:17 AM CST
grace says ...
I agree that the beef that whole foods sells is 'tops.' My children can taste the difference and I 'know' the difference, so it feels like a win/win.
01/18/2012 7:37:58 PM CST
Charles D. Tarlton says ...
I love Whole Foods!
01/18/2012 7:48:26 PM CST
Rose Anne Kushner says ...
I am also thinking the same thing, how can you get wild caught from fisheries!! I will also be skipping the sale!
01/18/2012 6:11:40 PM CST
Kristin says ...
Those 14 things compromise everything! Not so helpful really....
01/18/2012 8:16:04 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Mary Since each store does things a little differently the best way to get the most accurate information regarding the availability of the "Plant Powered" tshirts is to reach out to your community Whole Foods Market directly. You can identify the contact information for your store below and a Team Member there will be happy to chat with you about the tshirts. Also, I've included a link taking you directly to the Engine 2 Contact info. Perhaps you can order the tshirts directly from them. www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores http://store.engine2diet.com/contact/
01/26/2012 11:59:51 AM CST
Carlie says ...
A fishery is not a fish farm. It is an area where fisherman catch the salmon. Sustainable fisheries work within conservation regulations to ensure escapement to sustain the fish population ( not fishing to deplete an area). I am not associated with Whole Foods in any way except that I sometimes shop there for my family. My husband is a set-net sockeye salmon fisherman from Alaska and he explained what the term "fisheries" means in this context. I must know dozens of ways to cook salmon...it is soooo yummy and good for you!
01/18/2012 8:37:09 PM CST
Todd says ...
@Beverly Miller A fishery and a fish-farm are two different things!
01/18/2012 7:50:15 PM CST
Linda Bullock says ...
I always head over to the deli and get my "fix" of Smoked Mozzerella Salad and Sonoma Chicken Salad. Then I mosey over to the bakery to get the Cherry Crisp, Mixed Berry Scones and Pecan Pie Cookies. Freshly ground peanut butter is another choice.
01/23/2012 11:44:21 AM CST
Paige says ...
Does buying local mean you purchase from local growers in city where the stores are located.. We have in Jacksonville, Florida area some of the best ORGANIC Produce and Fruit growers.. I purchase directly from them.. Would love to see these "local" products in my local Whole Foods were I go to purchase my meats, seafood some veggies and fruits.. Thanks for refusing to back Monsanto and their use of poisons and refusing to go along with the GE altered foods.
01/21/2012 11:43:27 AM CST
Kim says ...
I work at a restaurant that serves "wild-caught" salmon from a fishery. The fishery catches wild young fish into a pen and then later harvests them. They're raised partially on fishfeed at that point. They aren't treated with antibiotics, but they are treated for parasites and I think their food does have pink dye in it. ( The fish farm can still label their product 'green, all natural, and wild-caught'. They are the highest rated salmon in Europe [Scotland]) I can't speak for WF, but I'd guess maybe that's what they meant? Maybe an employee can clear this question up for us...
01/21/2012 8:32:34 PM CST