Whole Foods offers a great selection of high-quality, fresh produce, sustainably caught fish and sustainably raised meats. But these foods come at a cost, especially since Whole Foods is supposedly overcharging all of us… So here are a few tricks that will help you save some serious cash on your next WFM run.
1. Shop on Wednesday
Shopping on Wednesday can save you a lot of cash since a lot is on sale – the previous week’s and the coming week’s sales overlap, so there are a lot of discounts storewide. Hump day!
2. Buy in Bulk
The bulk area is the best place to get the perfect amount of dried goods. Plus, the prices here a usually a lot less than the prepackaged stuff.
3. Buy Spices in Bulk, Too
The bulk spices are not usually located with the rest of the bulk items, but actually with the other packaged spices. The prices aren’t incredible, but it saves you buying an entire jar when you really only need a few tablespoons.
4. Bring Your Own Containers
When you buy in bulk, you pay for the weight. Of course, the weight of plastic bags won’t make that much of a difference. But if you are buying an item that requires a plastic container, such as nut butters, you can bring you own container from home – just ask customer service to weight your containers before you make your way to the bulk section. Though it’s not an incredible saving, it’s still a lil’ something.
5. Avoid the Salad Bar
Everything is overpriced here, especially if you are making your salads with heavy ingredients, such as eggs. Just don’t do it.
6. Check Whole Foods Coupons Online or at the Coupon Center
Some stores will even let you stack your coupons, so if you have more than one coupon for one product, you can use all of the coupons. Awesome.
7. Always Check Manufacturer Coupons, Too
Whole Foods accepts manufacturer coupons, in addition to its own coupons. If you know the brands that Whole Foods carries, then searching for manufacturers’ coupons will be significantly easier and cheaper.
8. Sign Up For the Newsletter
Subscribe to WFM’s email newsletters to receive the latest specials and coupons. You will also have access to a ton of easy, tested recipes.
9. Don’t Buy Precut Vegetables or Fruit
Precut fruits and vegetables are so much more expensive than the uncut produce. Just buy a whole melon and cut it at home to save money.
10. Avoid Prepackaged Frozen Meals
Frozen and prepackaged meals are awesome for all the lazy folks out there, but if you have time to cook yourself, then do. It will save you money. But if you have to buy frozen meals, look out for sales and coupons.
11. Stick with the 365 Brand
The 365 Brand offers a great selection of products, ranging from beans to spaghetti. When possible, buy this brand. You will not be compromising on quality, plus you’ll be saving money.
12. Ask the Butcher About Bulk Meat Deals
Many Whole Foods locations offer discounts on meat purchases weighing more than three pounds. Ask your butcher if your store participates in this meat deal, in addition to other potential ways to save money on meat purchases. If you have to buy extra, just freeze it when you get home and eat it later.
13. Only Buy the Cheese that You Need
The cheese selection at Whole Foods is out of this world, and just because cheese wedges are pre-wrapped doesn’t mean you have to buy the entire thing. Anyone at the cheese counter will split apart a wedge to your liking and rewrap it for you. Literally, who knew?
14. Buy Six Bottles of Wine at a Time
If you are lucky enough to live in a state where Whole Foods sells wine, buy six bottles in one shopping trip to get 10% off.
15. Buy Seasonal Produce
The seasonal produce at Whole Foods isn’t actually that expensive when compared to organic produce at other grocery stores. Off-season produce, on the other hand, is expensive no matter where you buy it.
16. Buy Out of Season Produce Frozen
In season fruits and vegetables are usually cheaper than their out-of-season counterparts. So if you’re craving out of season vegetables, buy them frozen to save money.
17. Bring Your Own Bags
Now, this won’t save you a bunch of money, but you will be doing some good for the planet. For every bag you bring, Whole Foods will knock 10¢ off your total.
18. Follow Your Local Store on Social Media
This way you can stay up to date on sales, discounts and events at your local Whole Foods.
19. Find Out About Unadvertised Sales
Many stores frequently have unadvertised “one day” sales. Of course, these will vary by location and products, but these sales are a great way to save money. Visit the customer service center to find out about the daily sales.
So next time you’re shopping at Whole Foods, keep these tips in mind so you can save big. Happy Whole Foods-ing, people.