Yep, we're back with more awesome customer tips for saving while shopping at Whole Foods Market. You keep sending them, and we'll keep picking best of the best tips to feature in our Whole Story blog. Customers with featured tips each receive a $25 gift card. Here are our three faves for this week. Don't pass up your chance to see your tip here next week! Post it on The Whole Deal
Since I have a low income, I follow these tips:
1) Use the generic 365 brand. This saves me a lot of money. I made a great vegetarian chili using the Fantastic Foods kit along with canned beans, blue corn chips, and cheese.
2) Do price-checking.
3) Fruits and vegetables are, contrary to the myth, MORE AFFORDABLE. I've been using a lot of vegetarian recipes lately.
4) In cold weather, I use soup mixes to add flavor.
5) Don't spare the expense on herbs & spices. They last a while, and what's the use of affordable food if it's bland?
Buy from the bulk bins!!! This can save so much money, especially if you are on a weekly grocery budget. You buy only what you can use for that week. Works beautifully for things such as dried fruit (which can quickly go stale) and for spices (which rapidly lose their flavor if you don't use them right away). It's amazing how inexpensive fresh spices are when you just buy a little at a time. Tastes a lot better too!
Shopping with my two teen-aged daughters can rapidly go from a "just a few key things" shopping trip, to a $250 bill at the checkout - all fun great goods - but destroying my monthly grocery budget. So...school's out and I enlisted my youngest (14 yrs) to take all of the grocery receipts from the past year ( all were stuffed in a bag) and enter them on an Excel table and tell me what we spending on average per month and week, let me know if it was going up (yes!!!) and to brainstorm on some ideas to help cut the costs and still shop for quality and variety. Amazing revelations from both of them when they saw the aggregate money spent - twice what they predicted before they started the adding process. Their first suggestion: buy some large packages of angus flank and stew meat. Marinate in plastic bags in a couple of different marinades (teriyaki, soy/ginger/lemon and thyme, etc.) label and date and toss into freezer. We are now into our fourth bag and it's great - quick tender kabobs mixed with veggies on the grill over rice // another night with flatbreads, feta, romaine and kalamata olives for quick and inexpensive delicious wraps, etc. Next we are doing the same with chicken, fish cubes and pork. And best spin-off: we now have a collective family buy-in on reducing our overall food costs but still have great meals!