The Whole Deal™ and Quality


I had a conversation with a girl about my age (mid-twenties) recently who, seemingly oblivious to the current economic conditions, was fawning over the window displays of haute couture shops in San Francisco. She commented that she spent most of her income on clothing. When I asked her 'what about food?', she replied 'well, if I don't eat, I can afford more clothes and look better in them!'I think (or maybe just hope) she was at least half kidding, but it did bring to mind the question of where people put their money, especially in times of economic hardship. Do we sacrifice food quality for the sake of affording other 'necessities'?A recent survey we commissioned, conducted by Harris Interactive®, found that despite rising food prices, nearly 80 percent of U.S. adults say they do not want to compromise on the quality of the food they buy and the majority (70 percent) are continuing to buy the same amount of natural and/or organic foods as they always have. Surprisingly, the survey results were similar across geographic locations, despite the varying regional impact of the housing slump and economic downturn.The survey also found many adults are now preparing more meals at home (43 percent), using more coupons (40 percent), or going out of their way to look for lower-cost items (37 percent) as a result of higher food costs.Check out the full press release opens in a new tab, complete with more survey findings and some comparison shopping in Nevada, Maryland, Colorado and California that showed we had lower prices than our competitors on popular weekly grocery items including milk, eggs, lettuce, peanut butter, tuna, shells and cheddar, and frozen fruit.So, perhaps the trick to surviving this economic downturn isn't sacrificing food quality, but rather changing your approach to food. Prepare meals at home, have dinner parties instead of going out to fancy restaurants, use coupons, buy seasonally and locally, look for lower-cost items, eat less packaged and processed foods. And keep those Whole Deal™ tips comin'. Here's this week's winner, Katherine who shops in Evanston, IL...

If you are a take-out-aholic like me and often order delivery after a hectic day at work, here’s a tip to save money, your health, and stress after a long day:Make a list of your favorite take-out meals, or meals you crave often and look up recipes at the Whole Foods web site that are similar (or buy the WF cookbook!). I cook a week’s worth of one of my favorite dishes every Sunday and then warm up a serving each night. Or, I buy ingredients for a meal that is easy to throw together quickly (like a hearty salad or baked fish and veggies).This saves me hundreds of dollars per year if I do this instead of ordering from a restaurant, and I’ve lost weight!

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