Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

The Value Guru Gets the Good Stuff for Less

By Susannah Simone, October 7, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Susannah Simone

Share your Ideas and You Could Get Some Good Stuff Free!

BetterBag In a recent Harris Interactive survey, 76% said they don't want to compromise on the quality of the food they buy and 65% say they would like to find ways to be able to buy natural and/or organic foods on a budget. I was thrilled to read these stats because not only have I known in my heart that the former was true, I also knew that the latter happens all the time, so it's clearly possible…and maybe this Value Guru actually provides some help. Honestly, though, while I never seem to run out of ideas-and certainly not words-I don't have all the answers for how to get the most value out of great-quality natural and organic products. That's where you come in. Share your best tip for how to get the good stuff for less and you could win a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card along with a Better Bag loaded with our pantry favorites. We'll choose a winner at random, but get on it...the entry deadline is October 12th! And, if you haven't already, be sure to sign up for The Whole Deal e-newsletter. You'll hear from us a few times each month about in-store specials and money-saving tips...and future contests, too. Tune in to our Whole Story blog each Wednesday in October for a special value-focused weekly contest!
Category: Value - Whole Deal




Madeline says ...
I get the good stuff for less by buying the good stuff in bulk--big jars of natural peanut butter and the 32-ounce container of organic soymilk may seem expensive intially, but in the long run you save a lot of money (and help the environment) by choosing a larger size of something that you know you'll eat. In addition, I always remember the long-term savings of eating natural and organic food: I may be spending more money now, but I'll be spending less on health costs later in life, and I'm helping local communities and the planet as well!
10/07/2009 11:04:12 AM CDT
Bree says ...
Buy organic carrots bulk (the larger cello bags), peel, chop & save yourself a "bundle" over the small convience sized.
10/07/2009 11:57:38 AM CDT
Lindsey says ...
I love the bulk section! I get rice, flour, salt, pepper and snacks for my 2 year old daughter for way less than I would anywhere else! A lot of my family members think we are rich for shopping at Whole Paycheck! But I have to show them that I am able to shop for 2 adults and 1 (growing) toddler for less than $100 a week! I do not want to compromise my families health just to save a few bucks, but we are struggling, so I'm very strict about what we buy. I think that also helps too! Your 365 brand and bulk save me lots of money, as is going vegetarian a few days a week. I could go on and on, but won't!
10/07/2009 11:57:42 AM CDT
Lauren says ...
I try to get the good stuff by basing my weekly meal plan on what is on sale in the circular. This is not only a great way to feel like you're splurging at a good price, but also a great way to try new varieties of things (ex. a new kind of apple or lettuce or even a grain or rice). Like Madeline, I try to buy in bulk or stock up on things when they're on sale (soups and frozen or freezable things).
10/07/2009 11:58:05 AM CDT
Ben says ...
Buy seasonal produce, buy in bulk, and buy the store brand. Your health is worth the investment.
10/07/2009 11:58:17 AM CDT
Liana says ...
I shop sales, buy store brands (Helllllloooo 365 Everyday Value products!), buy in bulk when possible, buy dried instead of canned (ex: dry beans are usually less expensive than canned beans), and in general shop at Whole Foods! Oh, and make a meal plan for the week & stick to it -- that really helps, too!
10/07/2009 11:58:50 AM CDT
Ashley says ...
I get the good stuff for less by pre-planning my weekly meals and shopping with a list. This way I can avoid the "impulse buys" that tend to rack up the total bill and I can make sure that less food will go to waste! Sounds simple but it works!
10/07/2009 11:59:19 AM CDT
Pamela says ...
I agree. I buy a lot of bulk - rice, flour, nuts, and beans. At this time of the year, beans become a staple at my house as I cook up a big pot for use in veggie chili, beans and greens, and other soups and stews. I can cook a big pot of beans, freeze some and use some immediately. Good stuff!
10/07/2009 11:59:53 AM CDT
Jill says ...
Shop the edges of the store and compare prices and the ingredients (store brand vs. name brand). Plus, bring your own bags to Whole Foods and get credit for every bag used.
10/07/2009 11:59:59 AM CDT
Rachel Patneaude says ...
I am very budget conscious because I make very little money. I go to the store with a few meals in mind and I buy a small amount of organic produce along with some organic rice and sometimes a package of chicken and then I figure out 3 meals with the items I bought. It could be a spinach, red pepper, onion chicken salad one day...Chicken onion and spinach sauted over rice the next and the last day taking last nights leftovers and adding red pepper cracking an egg in it, adding some soy and making it into fried rice. I think that if you plan your meals before you buy the food for them then you can stretch your dollar and spend less overall on better food.
10/07/2009 12:00:01 PM CDT
Leigh Ann says ...
I have found that buying frozen (instead of fresh) organic chicken ($4 or less per pound) saves a lot of money. Also, getting my organic veggies frozen (especially asparagus) doesn't take away from the quality, but saves a bundle and it doesn't rot! Eggs (in the shell) are much cheaper than already separated egg whites, so I do the work myself so I can afford organic. Lastly, I puree and refrigerate frozen organic fruits to add to yogurt and oatmeal- the latter two items I buy in giant containers to lower the price point. Happy shopping!
10/07/2009 12:00:07 PM CDT
Paisley Hillegeist says ...
I stretch my grocery money by not buying processed foods. I make my own sauces, soups, breads, yogurt, cheeses, etc. By doing more of the cooking, I save lots of money and can spend that savings on high quality meats, raw milk, and organic locally grown fruits and vegetables. Sally Fallon's cookbook/manifesto "Nourishing Traditions" is a huge resource for being able to make your own. . . anything! I get my kids in the act, too. We home school, and as part of school we learn about nutrition, math and science by shopping, cooking and eating together.
10/07/2009 12:00:32 PM CDT
Latoya Ayala says ...
One thing that I like to do is contact the manufacturer's directly to see if they offer coupons. Or, if there is a way I can sign up for a newsletter to receive notice about sales or coupons. I also try to scan the aisles for store coupons and make meals with those items on sale. It's all about being creative and eating healthy at the same time.
10/07/2009 12:00:39 PM CDT
Leah says ...
Lindsey, could you provide a sample shopping list? as for how I save money, ditto with the others. And we are eating meat hardly at all, so that helps. Making soups at this time of year good stuff=less needed in soup)and adding potatoes (good stuff=a bag of potatoes goes a long way) to the menu helps tremendously.
10/07/2009 12:01:31 PM CDT
maggie dillard says ...
instead of buying prepackaged food, which is usually more expensive, (soup, pasta, sauce, waffles, etc.) we pre make everything ourselves. So I will make a big batch of soup and then freeze it into serving portions. this really saves time and money. buying a whole organic chicken, baking it, then eating it and using the left overs to make stock for soup is incredibly cheap and healthy! Same goes for lasagnas, making your own pasta. Then dry the noodles or preassemble pasta dishes and freeze them. Have a waffle party and make enough waffles for a month. Then freeze them and you have a fast healthy breakfast for cheaper and healthier than premade waffles or pancakes.
10/07/2009 12:01:43 PM CDT
Alicia says ...
> Meal-planning after the current sales are published > Making a list and sticking to it > Doing my shopping for longer periods of time (1-2 weeks) (if I shopped every day, with an average of $25-35 per visit, I'd spend about $50 more per week than I do lump-sum on a single shopping trip - and I purchase more impulse items when I shop more frequently) > Because I eat gluten-free and soy-free, it's really tempting to get pre-prepared convenience foods that cater to my diet rather than cooking from scratch. But it is so much cheaper to make a big pot of soup and freeze some for later than it is to buy frozen dinners. > I buy produce from the local farmer's market rather than grocery stores or Whole Foods.
10/07/2009 12:02:04 PM CDT
John Steen says ...
I eat lunch at Whole Foods most everyday and do most of my shopping there because I "choose" to be healthy and eat quality, healthy foods. I haven't had a cold in almost 2 years because I eat power foods that "feed" my body NOT my hunger pains. I eat at the salad bar most everyday. What I do is fill the entire carton, it usually costs me about $12-$13. I always eat spinach with lots of other veggies and quinoa or brown rice. I only eat half of it and will save it for either dinner or lunch the next day. So it only costs me between $6-7 a day for lunch/dinner, which is really inexpensive, when you think about what you might pay in a restaurant. I live alone and have tried to buy all the salad stuff, but it's too much for one person and it usually goes bad, so eating out is a better choice for me, financially and health-wise. Again, by getting 2 meals out of the salad only costs me about $6-7 a meal and all the health benefits. Now that IS the best healthcare money can buy! Thanks~
10/07/2009 12:02:50 PM CDT
Monica says ...
I get the good stuff for less by using the coupons that are available. I don't shop in bulk anymore, it may be shortsighted but I tend to spend less monthly when I shop for the week instead of figuring I'm shopping for the month... Also, at the end of summer when the fresh fruits are on sale, I buy a bunch, bring them home and puree them to freeze for later.
10/07/2009 12:03:05 PM CDT
Hadda says ...
I love Whole Foods but some of the brands are a bit pricey. So what I do is buy the same items I love from Whole Foods in their 365 Everyday brand which is cheaper. There's usually not muc a difference in products and sometimes the 365 Everyday has a better quality.
10/07/2009 12:03:32 PM CDT
Robin says ...
I 3rd buying in bulk. It saves so much money! I also have found that planning meals ahead and only purchasing enough of the fresh fruit/veges for two or three days saves a lot of money as you don't throw it out if it goes bad . Whole Foods has plenty of items to choose from that are low priced and healthy. Just keep me away from the hot foods section and I can get out of there without spending my "Whole Paycheck" ;).
10/07/2009 12:03:33 PM CDT
Dana Marie says ...
I try to plan my shopping around the Whole Deals flyer, weekly deals and weekend steals. Forecasting meals before going to the store helps prevent impulse shopping, and gives a sense of accomplishment. Utilizing the sampling opts that WHole FOods generously offers helps me sample different brands before committing to an expensive purchase. It also gives me the opportunity to look into the company more for ethical history, and potential direct manufacture saving offerings. AS with any endeavor, knowledge is power and grocery shopping is no exception. Whole foods can help!
10/07/2009 12:03:37 PM CDT
Sabrina says ...
My partner and I love the bulk peanut butter but we have found we save a lot of we plan our meals ahead of time and then shop for what we might need for those meals. We try and use a lot of ingredients we already have in our kitchen and mix those with fresh produce, meats other items from our local Whole Foods. I also have to say that I'm a huge fan of the 365 line of products, if you compare them to products in other stores, they are usually better in value and in price.
10/07/2009 12:03:42 PM CDT
Jessica says ...
I get the good stuff for less by doing several things. I look for coupons on through the flyers at Whole Foods and on the internet on things I know I need and am going to get. I also like to buy in bulk when I can...it might be more dollars initially but in the long run you have a lot of product at a great price when you break it down. And I buy the 365 brand as much as a can - great products and value! These are the ways I get the good stuff for less!
10/07/2009 12:05:27 PM CDT
Tammi says ...
I try to plan all of my meals a couple weeks in advance. I check the ads for all the stores to see what is on sale and plan around that. Plus I look for coupons online and in the newspaper.
10/07/2009 12:06:05 PM CDT
Claudia says ...
I get the good prices and same quality buying organic whole food brand products, like soy milk, brown rice, olive oil, crackers,etc.
10/07/2009 12:06:20 PM CDT