If you’ve been following our “Eating Great for Less” blogger challenge, you’ll know that eating and cooking healthy doesn’t have to be pricey and difficult. Whether you’re a foodie shopping for one, feeding a family of nine (check out Lisa Douglas’ post from last week!) or have special dietary needs, Whole Foods Market® offers high quality, natural and organic food for every lifestyle and budget. As a follow-up from last week’s post, we approached bloggers around the country with a challenge to create a weekly meal plan with a budget of $100* that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
To get the bloggers started, we set them up for a “value tour” at their nearest Whole Foods Market, where they learned the scoop on getting the best bang for their buck in every aisle as well as meal planning tips and recipe ideas. Sound cool? You can do it, too — just visit your local store’s Customer Service Desk.
Here are some more of our favorite highlights from our second group of six bloggers who took on the challenge — they’ve got some great tips!
“Buy in bulk when the price is right: I was very surprised to find dried organic black beans in the bulk food section for just $0.99 a pound. That’s an excellent price, so I bought three pounds. I prepared them all at once, used some right away and froze the rest in 1-cup portions.”
- Marybeth Hamilton, Baby Savers
“Look for a Produce Department representative & ask them to trim any vegetables to the size you need. For instance, if you only need 1/4 cup of broccoli, ask them to cut off that portion of the veggies and go home with just as much as you need. The remaining portion will either be donated to a local homeless shelter, put into a Whole Foods veggie mix, or composted.”
- Brooke McLay, Cheeky Kitchen
“Ends of the Aisles: In most stores discounted items are set up on displays at the ends of the aisles. For example, the week I was there cans of pumpkin were stacked at the end of the aisles along with pasta sauce, pumpkin ale, soup stocks, and dried pastas. All healthy staples for solid family meals at rock bottom prices.”
- Kelsey Banfield, The Naptime Chef
“Buy 365 Everyday Value: 365 Everyday Value is Whole Foods’ house brand, and is often super affordable and cheaper than most of the other brands in the store! The quality is great, and it is perfect for saving big.”
- Anjali Shah, The Picky Eater
“Get the case discounts. You automatically get a 10% discount when you buy a case of anything in the store! Case sizes vary – i.e. buying six bottles of any wine is automatically considered a case and gets you a 10% discount. Case sizes are found on the price labels. The nice thing about the case discounts is that you can combine them with coupons and sales!”
- Crystal Collins, The Thrifty Mama
“Whole Foods even offers a booklet of coupons that you can grab when you first walk into the store. And keep on the lookout because they have daily & weekend deals every week.”
- Desirae Young, Extreme Savings with Diva Desirae
Do you have your own tricks for stretching your dollar? Tell us about them!
*$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.