I just came across this article about saving money at Whole Foods and it got me thinking about my own tips.
Have you had a Whole Foods container at work and someone says “You were
shopping at Whole Paycheck” and then you feel as though you’re flaunting wealth (if you are on a budget)? I have had that happen many times, but I don’t really spend that much at Whole Foods. When I do spend a little more it’s because I’m buying some specialty item I can’t find anywhere else.
In this article they mention getting free samples. This is totally true. It is a company policy to let customers try items. The idea is that if you like it you’ll keep buying it. I have only had this happen once, when a manager saw me looking at Harmless Harvest Coconut Water and offered a free bottle so I could try it out. And guess what? I still buy it every now and then because it’s the best coconut water I’ve ever had, though it’s pretty expensive so I can’t get it too often.
However, I guess I’m a little to shy to outright ask for a sample, so let’s focus on other ways to get of Whole Foods without breaking the bank.
The Salad Bar: The salad bar is an easy lunch or dinner option. The main reason I go to Whole Foods is the salad bar. It’s probably the best SCD friendly salad bar around and I know I can eat their roast chicken, so that’s a huge bonus. The salad bar is not that cheap, but since I’m mainly getting vegetables and a little chicken I can keep it light.
LARA Bars – Whole Foods has always been one the cheapest places to buy LARA Bars and they always have a huge selection.
Only buy what’s on sale price – It’s a pain, but I don’t do all my shopping at Whole Foods. I get what I want there and then go to my regular store for everything else. However, their produce department has a wide selection of organic fruits and vegetables that aren’t always in other stores. So I look and see what’s on sale or a good price that week and I buy that. Same goes for grass-fed meat. Sometimes they have great sales on those items.
The rest of my shopping is selective. Whole Foods is the only place I can find Dry Curd Cottage Cheese so I pick that up there. They also are sometimes the only place I can get pasture eggs, cheese, and milk . So I make a point of getting a few things like that a couple times a month.
Bulk Foods: Last, but not least, I like getting nuts from their bulk section. This is another place I look for sales.
Basically when I shop at Whole Foods I put a limit on much I want to spend and keep my purchases within that amount. If that means I can’t get every single thing I wanted that time, I just get the priorities and save the special items for later.
I hope that helps. I have talked to a lot of people who don’t feel they can shop at Whole Foods because of the expense, but you totally can. I’m on a pretty tight budget and I manage to shop there one or two times a month.