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How to Save Money at Whole Foods Market

Guest post from Nora of The Dollar Hollering Homemaker

If you normally shop at traditional grocery stores, you might face sticker shock if you visit Whole Foods Market. In general, prices are much more expensive, but I have discovered some tips for saving money at Whole Foods:

1. Check the Ad.

Locate the closest Whole Foods store on WholeFoods.com and see what your store specials are.

2. Pick up the “Whole Deal” coupon book.

Over the summer, they had a coupon where if you bought a rotisserie chicken, you could get a family size side for free. I also found a coupon for a free box of organic tea.

3. Sign up for the e-mail lists and subscribe to the Facebook page.

You will be notified of one-day-only sales and 3-day-only sales where you can really stock up. I’ve been able to get organic, grass-fed beef for $3.99 per lb and organic berries for $2 per lb. You can also sign up in the store deals section of MoneySavingMom.com to get the best deals at Whole Foods emailed to you each week.

4. Buy in bulk.

Whole Foods offers 10% case discounts when you buy in bulk. Case discounts can be combined with coupons for even better savings.

5. Compare prices.

Organic corn tortillas are $0.99 at Whole Foods and typically $0.20-$1.00 more expensive any place else. However, I tend to get bacon, sea salt, whole wheat, and white flour from other stores as the prices for those at Whole Foods aren’t as great.

6. Shop infrequently.

I shop at Whole Food’s every 4-6 weeks, unless there is an excellent one-day sale.

7. Remember that organic isn’t always better.

I always buy grass-fed beef, and if I’m not buying it directly from the farmer, Whole Foods is the next best choice because their beef is local.

That being said, I rarely buy produce at Whole Foods. They may have organic tomatoes, but they traveled here from Mexico and taste like cardboard. In my area, we have a great grocery store chain that carries local produce that is much more flavorful and tends to be lower on pesticides because it isn’t traveling as far.

If you don’t have a great local chain, try farmers’ markets and CSA’s. In addition to saving money, buying local means that I am supporting local farmers and businesses.

8. Stick with the basics.

Don’t spend all your money on the organic boxed/processed stuff. Generally speaking, it isn’t much healthier for you than the stuff you pick up in the regular store. If you are going to splurge on junk food, get what you really want and save your dough.

9. Save time.

To me, time is money. If I buy bread at Whole Foods, they’ll slice it for you for free. Same goes for meat: you can get it cut to order or ground for you. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of something that saves time and is free?

10. Bring your own bag.

Whole Foods gives you a discount for bringing your own reusable bag. You might as well take advantage of this!

How do you save money at Whole Foods?

Nora Duvigneaud is a twenty-something homemaker and D.C. native, residing in the Midwest. When she is not in her kitchen she loves hiking, old school mystery shows and simple living.  She blogs at The Dollar Hollering Homemaker.

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95 Comments

  • Thanks for the great tips. We don’t have a Whole Foods Market yet in our area, but there is one opening up in the next couple months, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they carry.

    • The closest one to me is about an hour away. I go there very occasionally.

      It is a wonderful store, but many people assume that everything in there is organic and healthy. Not everything is. I’m very concerned about GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) that are in our food supply. For those unfamiliar, seed corporations have genetically modified their seed so that it resists pesticides, thereby enabling them to plant more in a smaller space (= bigger profit for them). If you research GMO’s you’ll find out that they force a gene into a plant by radiation. They then breed it multiple times until they can tell us it presents no danger to human beings. A couple of points about this…. first, the jury is really out on whether or not this presents long term health risks for humans (not enough research has been done except for the research done by the companies producing them). Also, the genetic modifications do not make the food any more nutritious for the consumer—they solely are used to make the plant produce more, to make more profit. Finally, the US government will not make manufacturers disclose that foods contain GMOs. European countries do this…the US does not. So, you must assume all your food has GMOs in them unless they specifically say they do not. If they are listed as organic, then, I believe, they do not by definition.

      I personally would like to know if I’m eating GMO food. Just saying.

      • Karen says:

        I don’t know where you’re getting information about GMOs, but you don’t seem to understand the science very well at all. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
        Genetic modification involves the insertion or deletion of genes. When genes are inserted, they usually come from a different species, which is a form of horizontal gene transfer. In nature this can occur when exogenous DNA penetrates the cell membrane for any reason. To do this artificially may require attaching the genes to a virus or just physically inserting the extra DNA into the nucleus of the intended host with a very small syringe, or with very small particles fired from a gene gun.[1] However, other methods exploit natural forms of gene transfer, such as the ability of Agrobacterium to transfer genetic material to plants,[2] or the ability of lentiviruses to transfer genes to animal cells.[3]
        Seed companies do have a profit motive, as does any company. Some genetic modifications increase yield because they help the plant withstand drought, or high winds, or insects, such as Bt corn. In this latter case, much less fertilizer must be applied to the corn crop, therefore maximizing profits for the farmer and preventing a huge load of agricultural pollution.
        There have been no incidents of allergic reaction or any other problem with GMO products – just a lot of scare tactics and hyped headlines.
        GMO products are the most tested of any products on the market – while it is true the tests are conducted by the companies, they are mandated to do so, then face review. If even the soil that an unapproved GMO plant is grown in accidentally gets into a greenhouse for any other plant at a research facility it must be destroyed
        Oh, and finally, there are GMO crops, such as golden rice, that include a gene to produce Vitamin A in the rice, therefore helping saving the eyesight of children in countries where rice is the primary food crop. I’m not sure at what stage of approval this crop currently is, but it has faced enormous opposition, simply because of unfounded fears about “Frankenfoods.”

        • Jen says:

          I highly suggest the film “The World According to Monsanto”. It is eye opening. There has been some research done on the safety of genetically modified organisms by scientists outside of Monsanto. However, it’s all been squashed and the scientists who performed the research were all harrassed, discredited and fired. The little data that is available from outside sources has convinced me that I have no desire to consume of feed my family GMO’s if it is at all possible to avoid them.

          It’s ironic because in graduate school I trained in plant molecular biology. I performed genetic modification of plants thinking I was doing good things, like making plants drought tolerant.

          In the case of Bt corn: it may require less pesticide use, but do you really want to eat and feed your children corn that expresses the Bt toxin within the plant?! It most definitely has NOT been shown to be safe for human consumption. I think I’ll pass!

        • Monica says:

          I think the reasons many other countries have banned GMOs is that there have been consequences seen in lab animals that have not yet happened to humans. As well as the fact that these GMO plants are breeding with non GMO plants and because of this, we may one day find out GMOs are bad for humans and all seeds have already been contaminated. Yes it is a stretch but sometimes it is better safe than sorry. I’m personally not going to feed my children something that has shown mutations in lab rats.

      • Jenifer says:

        I agree. Monsanto is evil and what they do to small-scale farmers is absolutely repulsive. Buying local produce, and organic when at all possible, is not only more healthful, but sends a message to industrial farming that we want better for our families, not to mention supporting our local farmers.

        We’re all here to learn about saving money and financial wisdom, but in some cases I feel it isn’t always about saving a buck or two. Sometimes, we have to take a stand and do the right thing with our money. And I know that isn’t easy in these trying times.

      • I like to know when I’m eating GMO food, too. While their selection isn’t as expansive, Trader Joe’s doesn’t stock genetically-modified food. I can usually find most of my groceries there, and then I go to Whole Foods to fill in the gaps. Bonus: TJ is much cheaper.

  • Samantha says:

    You also need to mention that Whole Foods will let you stack coupons. Every month when their coupon book comes out, I take it home first and research each company, looking for available coupons online. I’ve been able to get canned tomatoes for less the $0.25 each, soy milk for $0.27 a half gallon and much more by stacking coupons and waiting until their sales hit to buy.

    • Jenna says:

      So how do I get one of these coupon books?

      • Margery says:

        They are in the store. Mine has them near the checkout and in stands in the cafe eating area.

      • Samantha says:

        Yeah, the coupon books are available at the front of the stores. Keep in mind that you can take as many of these coupons books that you like. WFs has alot of sales (example poptarts 2 for $5) they’ll have coupons for $1 off one – make sure and use 2 coupons – making the poptars only $1.50 each, which is cheaper then name brand and usually cheaper then most other stores.

        Also take advantage of the case discount. Different items have different case amounts, but you can ask anyone that works at WFs about how many are in a case for a certain item. If you were to buy a case of the poptarts on sale, it would bring the price down to $1.35ea.

        As for their produce prices – keep an eye on them. I often buy organic apples for $1.69 a lbs and they are huge juicy apples too.

        I love Whole Foods and actaully go about twice a week because their sales aren’t like other stores – sometimes they last a day, sometimes two weeks.

        • Emily says:

          I agree about their produce, although it is only certain items. Their organic baby cut carrots and organic colored peppers, for example, are much cheaper than my regular Kroger sells them for. I’ve gotten organic red peppers at Whole Foods for $3.99 per pound, where Kroger sells them for $4.99 per pepper. Organic berries, on the other hand, are usually much cheaper at Kroger ($2.50 per pound of organic strawberries in the summer verses almost $5 per pound at Whole Foods, except for that one Friday in the summer where Whole Foods sells them for $1.99 per pound!).

      • Jenna, you can find them by the checkout or at the information desk!

      • Emily says:

        The coupons are also all on their website.

      • Dana says:

        You can also print the Whole Deal coupons at home if you need more than one coupon or if your store is out of books. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/coupons/

        I LOVE Whole Foods when I can get good deals, since my local store {Vancouver WA} allows you to stack coupons. I just wish my store were closer than a 45 minute drive!

    • Amy says:

      Great idea! Thanks!

    • Chelsea says:

      I’m new to whole foods so bear with me if this seems like a rookie question. 🙂

      When you stay stack coupons… do you mean they let you use multiple store coupons on one product? Or are there other companies that put out whole foods coupons that can be stacked with the store coupons?

    • Jenifer says:

      Coupon policies are ultimately determined by the store manager, so calling ahead or stopping in to find out your store’s policies will save you time and frustration. My store is great about coupons, but YMMV.

  • A.S. says:

    Great post, thanks! We shop here every week and sometimes, there is definitely some sticker shock. Your point on going less frequently is well-put…it would help us to go less often. I often use the excuse…”Well, it’s healthy” and overbuy items.

    I do find that WF can be competitive, if not a plain good bargain, when they have sales and weekend deals (thanks for the tip on signing up for the email notifications, I hadn’t known that).

    Another good tip is that WF (at least ours) allows us to stack coupons. Recently, there were a lot of 7th Generation coupons to be found, and when stacked with the WF coupons, made for a really great deal. Same with the recent surplus of Stonyfield coupons…

    I tend to center my meals around the produce and fruit that is on sale (we are lacto-ovo vegetarians). For us, it’s the best produce around here (Boston suburbs), but that varies highly from place to place. WF also has excellent bread sales. Their organic sandwich bread is often $1.99 and their bakery tends to have weekly bread deals.

    Lastly, don’t overlook their bulk bins – they are often better deals than the packaged equivalents (dry beans and such).

    Great post, thanks!!

  • Ditto on what Samantha said. Also, get to know your organics sections at WalMart. They carry some of the same items for far less…some as much as half the price. (Organic Pop Tarts for instance). We buy our organic barley and steel cut oats there.

    • Margery says:

      I think “organic pop tarts” is such a funny thing. (I have fed them to my kids, so don’t worry, I’m poking at myself, too.) When it gets down to it, it’s still a pop tart. It’s just a pop tart with ingredients grown without pesticides or herbicides. Still, is it really good for them?

      • Ha! Oh I know! Fooducate gave them a grade of “C” which I suppose is slight improvement to Kelloggs Pop Tarts which got a “D”

      • Diane says:

        It’s a common misconception to think that organic means that no pesticide has ever been sprayed on it. It may have been sprayed but if it was, the pesticide has a different base that breaks down more easily & quickly. This sometimes means that organic has to be sprayed more often that non-organic. I learned this from reading our local farm magazine. I’m not saying you should not buy organic, I’m only clearing up a common misconception about organics.

        • Heather says:

          So true. I suppose one could even grow organic tobacco. Doesn’t mean it’s good for your lungs, though!

        • Excellent point Diane. Our own gardens are the only way to truly ensure that nothing has been sprayed. I prefer to garden and buy local, although not always possible for everything. I personally try to avoid commercial produce as much as possible, but I always use my veggie wash…even on organic items.

      • Andrea says:

        Yes, my husband shakes his head at organic pop tarts. I bought them for a while to help gently transition a foster child off of regular pop tarts.

  • Great advice! I shop at Whole Foods, and #8 is the heart of my shopping strategy there. I just stick to the basics and avoid the organic convenience foods!

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  • tara says:

    We LOVE their $3 wine (the merlot, by three wishes). On top of that you get a discount (10%?) when you buy multiple bottles, and sweeten the deal with a reusable bag, and you’re getting a pretty great deal on “happy juice” for mommy!

  • Liz says:

    I tend to stick to their own label products (365). I’ve found their products to be slightly higher than my local grocery store/ Walmart – but it is worth it for the difference in quality.

    I also go about once a month and stock up on my basics. I keep telling my husband that when we are empty nesters I will go often…but right now that is not in the budget. Wish it was – I love that store!

  • Our family used to shop exclusively at Whole Foods until a couple months ago- the prices just kept going up and we couldn’t afford it. Now, we mostly shop at Costco, and get a few things at Kroger. We still buy bulk items at Whole Foods(steel cut oats, dry beans) and milk, chips (we just like their’s best) and a few other things like vitamins. I think the key to shopping frugally at any store, not just Whole Foods is to have a list, stick to it and not buy a lot of processed foods. The coupon books don’t even really make a difference for us, since we mostly buy produce, sometimes meat and bulk items there. A lot of the coupons are for boxed stuff, or drinks that are for on-the-go. I prefer just to buy larger quantities of juice and put them in water bottles, or just drink water from a reusable bottle, to cut down on spending as well as waste.

    • Kristi says:

      COSTCO is a great place to find organic items at alot cheaper price!!!

    • Jenifer says:

      I’ve been very pleased to find many organic items available at Costco now and for prices even below bulk at health stores. If you’re moving towards a whole food/organic diet, a membership at Costco will pay for itself very quickly! Love it!

  • Deborah says:

    I agree with A.S. – don’t forget the bulk bins! I buy quinoa, lentils, nuts and more. you can also process your own peanut butter.

    I take empty canning jars/lids with me for the bulk bin purchases. Take them to customer service so they can be weighed before you fill them and they will adjust the weight at the register so that you’re only paying for what’s inside the jar.

    I only go every 3-4 months, but I love Whole Foods.

  • Heather says:

    My Whole Foods does not allow coupon stacking.

    Like you – I check out their ad and I go to their website and print any coupons that look like they will match with the sales or are for items that I need.

    Like you – I only go there about once every six weeks.

    I also have found that they often have pretty good prices and sales on their 365 brand and when they do – I will pick up some good staples. Recently, they had a great deal on their 365 canned black beans so I was able to get enough to last me for a few weeks.

    I think that if you are a smart shopper – which most of us here are – you start to get a feel for the store and how to make it work. And once in a while – an item in there is worth a little splurge! 😉

    • Andrea says:

      I buy canned black beans from Amazon’s grocery section. Using Subscribe & Save, the Eden organic beans in BPA-free cans are about $1.50 per can (they come in a 12 pack). The price fluctuates and sometimes goes as low as $1.20 per can. They are $2.50 per can at my local grocery stores.

      Just curious if the Whole Foods price is cheaper? (And yes, I know that dried beans are much cheaper, but I have room in my budget for canned.)

      • Andrea, I buy black beans via Amazon as well. Amazon is cheaper for the BPA free cans! But if buying dry, wholefoods has a better price point!

      • Emily says:

        Andrea and Nora, can I ask more about the BPA-free cans? Do you know if they have canned tomato products, say tomato puree? I’m not familiar with this brand Eden.

        • Emily,

          I’m not sure what brands are BPA free. Last I heard Muir glen was transitioning to BPA free cans; however, I’m not sure when all their products with be BPA free. I typically make my own or buy products in glass jars to get around the BPA thing….

        • Katie says:

          Eden Organics is the only brand with BPA free cans (the lining inside normal cans has BPA). Only thing is it’s only their beans that come in BPA free cans – not the tomatoes. You can read more here at their website.

          http://www.edenfoods.com/articles/view.php?articles_id=178

        • I don’t know where my last comment went…

          Muir Glen is transitioning to BPA free cans for tomato products. Not sure when all their products will be BPA free. I like to make my own or buy tomato products in glass jars….:)

          • Emily says:

            Thanks Nora. Just this past time I made my spaghetti sauce I used tomato products in glass jars, but finding them was really hard. I did end up finding tomato puree (which is the base for my sauce) and tomato paste (also in my sauce) imported from Italy in glass jars at Whole Foods. However, I couldn’t find tomato sauce in glass jars, so I used Muir Glen. It’s good to know they are transitioning to BPA-free cans; that’s the brand I’ve typically used in the past.

        • Jen says:

          I buy Bionaturae strained tomatoes (it’s a puree), and tomato paste in glass jars. It’s pricier than cans, but no BPA worries! I usually buy them from Tropical Traditions when they have a free shipping day. However, Azure Standard just started coming to our area, and I noticed they carry Bionaturae tomatoes too.

          • Emily says:

            Haha. I just posted below that I was going to go check out this brand. Turns out it is the brand I used 2 weekends ago when making my sauce. I found it at Whole Foods. It was quite pricey, so I’ll have to look into your 2 suggestions to see if I can find it any cheaper. Thanks!!

        • Andrea says:

          The last I had read, the FDA hadn’t approved BPA-free cans for acidic foods like tomatoes, but maybe that has changed??? I buy jarred sauce (usually Trader Joe’s) and freeze as many local tomatoes as I can. When I run out of frozen tomatoes, I end up using the canned ones.

        • Emily says:

          Thanks everyone. I’ve never heard of Bionature, but I”ll check them out. I did look into Eden organics, and unfortunately they don’t make a tomato puree. I”m also going to check with Muir Glen to see about the BPA-free cans.

  • Darlene says:

    Whole Foods has most (if not all) of the monthly coupons available on their website, and you can print out multiples. They also hand out Mambo Sprouts coupon books occasionally (coupons are also available online).

    I buy my organic grains and most spices from the bulk department. They’re almost always cheaper than packaged items.

    I agree that their tortillas are cheaper than other grocery stores and they’re healthier and taste better too!

    • Debbie says:

      I am loving the bulk bins! At Thanksgiving, I purchased a few spices in general amounts I needed for my recipes (tired of buying jars that are spendy and never get used up). A couple of the spice bags were so light, their scale could not register them. The cashier called over a manager and she couldn’t figure it out either so in the end I got 5 different spices for .23 cents!

  • arianna says:

    My Whole Foods always has a lot of produce that is from local growers, at list a third if not half, maybe because I am in California, so I don’t have to worry about my veggies coming from far away. They have big sign that let you know which produce are locally grown.

  • Katie says:

    Awesome suggestions! I posted an article about this not too long ago. Basically the same tips, but the best is when you buy an item on sale, you buy a case, and use a coupon for each item in the case. Major savings! http://www.livingcrunchy.com/2011/11/how-to-save-money-at-whole-foods/

  • Kim says:

    I haven’t seen anyone mention the treats that they offer for kids. While defineltly not a huge money saver, it is a special great for the kids. They offer a free piece of fruit, organic apple juice box, fruit leather, or other healthy treat. They give them to the children at the front desk.

    • thanks for mentioning the kids club- I only had room for so many tips:)

    • Jenifer says:

      Yes! The Kids Club has been a great with my 16 month-old. I go to WF weekly for his organic milk, frozen veggies, apple sauce and tortillas. He gets an organic fruit leather (for free from the club) to enjoy while I get his organic items for an average of less than $2.00 more than the non-organic items. Definitely worth it in my book!

  • Great tips! I follow most of them myself. I try to save my trips to Whole Foods for the times they have the one day sales (typically on a Friday). The rest of the time I shop at my local Meijer (they have a decent organics line) and Costco (quite a bit of organic there). For produce, like others I try to buy local if I can.

  • Megan says:

    1. Kids Club! Check your store because they are all different, but essentially your kid will get a free snack. Some stores only have specific items — like only a cookie from the bakery, or there is a chest at the cust. svc. counter with cliff bars or raisins for the kids. But my store has the BEST deal, because you can pick ANY single serve item in the store (something from the bakery, a single yogurt, a granola bar, an orange, etc.) and they will deduct the price of that item from your total. My store also has a nice eat in section that has free water with cups and play grocery store for the kids. This makes it a GREAT stop in the middle of our errand days because the kids get a free snack, water in a cup, and can play. That is worth a small fortune to me.

    2. Stacking coupons — as others mentioned, you can stack coupons to get fantastic deals. I have noticed that the items in the whole deal coupon booklet almost always go on sale at least once during the coupon. And half the time you can find a manufacturer’s coupon to go with it. A few months ago, I got 2 pound bags of organic cornmeal and whole wheat flour for 19 cents apiece by stacking manufacturers and whole foods coupons with a sale. I have gotten bags of chocolate chips there for 69 cents, and bars of baking chocolate for 79 cents, muir glen diced tomatoes for free, and coconut milk for free (it is excellent in smoothies, and a replacement for milk in baking). Also, you can print the coupons from their website and there is no limit for printing. Finally, my store has a magazine called delicious living that is free and always by the whole deals, and I have found that they have manufacturer’s coupons in it too. That is how I got the cheap flour and chocolate.

    3. Price compare. You really might be surprised that I actually find many things cheaper at whole foods. My son is allergic to milk, so I find that all of the substitute products, while still not cheap, are always cheaper at whole foods.

    4. One day sales — I found natural, nitrate free spiral sliced hams after thanksgiving for 99 cents a pound — cheaper than I had ever seen it anywhere. The one day sales really are fantastic.

    Finally, I have to second the vote for Three Wishes wine. It is amazing, and we drink it almost exclusively, although I guess I am lucky because it is actually only 1.99 at our store.

    • Emily says:

      Is the Three Wishes wine organic?

      • Megan says:

        No, but your comment made me laugh because if I could have three wishes in wine it would be that it was 1. cheap, 2. good, and 3. organic. I guess three wishes only meets two of my wishes because it sure is good and it sure is cheap but is not organic. Honestly, my husband loves wine and we used to regularly pay $10-$12 a bottle and frequently bought $30 bottles for special occasions, and I have even bought a few $80-100+ bottles in my life. I like this one better than almost all of those other wines and considering the price savings, it is an absolute no brainer!

        The wine is a California product, and comes in three varieties: merlot, cabernet sauvingon, and chardonnay.

        If you have to have organic, they do sell an organic wine that is in the $8 price point — which is very reasonable for an organic. I have never tried it though.

        • Emily says:

          Thanks. I’m going to try a bottle next time I go. I’ve seen it, but was hesitant because it is so inexpensive. I don’t have to have organic wines, but it is nice when I can find a good one that is on the cheaper side. I’ve tried a couple of Trader Joe’s organic wines, and they are really good. I also want to try Frey’s organic, no-sulfite wines soon. I tend to get a headache the morning after drinking wine (especially red), and a friend of mine said she has tried some of the Frey no sulfites and they are pretty good.

  • I have yet to find a farmer in my area to buy meat from (I’m in the city and don’t have much time to travel outside since I work 40 hrs a week), so I buy my grass-fed beef and chicken at WF when it’s on sale. I have gotten some really good deals!

  • Thank you so much for all of this valuable information. I tend to stay away from WF because the mark up is so high. I prefer using Publix (using my whole foods , Kroger and Fresh market), Kroger and the local farmers markets to find my organic food. I will definitely relook at how I can save at Whole Foods when I am in the neighborhood 🙂

  • Diana says:

    Love our Whole Foods in Austin 🙂 Produce is expensive and you always need to watch prices as well. Also it can be misleading because they also sell “conventional” produce..so not everything is always organic. We shop for gluten-free and the basics several times a week. Locals told us when we moved here, they call it Whole Paycheck 😉

    • Diana good point about the conventional produce! In my city we are surrounded by great organic farms so I know I can get a lot of things cheaper at the local market!

    • Anna says:

      Yes Diana, I was surprised no one mentioned the “Whole Paycheck” nickname! My parents went to UT-Austin at the same time Whole Foods was starting up. My dad’s been calling it Whole Paycheck as long as I can remember 🙂

  • Kendra says:

    Just a tip about the reusable bags. Sometimes we need that extra 30-50 cents in our pockets, but they also offer you the opportunity to donate that money to one of a few pre-chosen charities. This is an easy way to give every 4-6 weeks without you even feeling the hurt on your pocketbook. I know it’s not a grand gift, but I’m sure it adds up, as large as Whole Foods has become.

  • We LOVE Whole Foods here in CA too – I always thought they were too expensive – but then I got a Living Social coupon and then discovered that you could coupon stack – I found some great deals when I couponed – it can be pricey but it is all about how you shop!

  • Daria says:

    Crystal,

    Her blog name is the dollar hollering homemaker not dollar hollering housewife, you might want to fix that!

    Daria

  • I agree with much of what has already been said. I try to keep my WF’s shopping to once a month or longer. It’s just way to tempting to overspend. The things that I always pick up there are:

    Vitamins: They have a vitamin card where you get your 11th bottle free, up to $10.99. When I got my free bottle, I didn’t even have one that cost that much, but they gave me the entire amount off. I also like that their vitamins don’t contain any unnecessary ingredients.

    Bulk Bins: You have to compare prices. I buy brown rice and millet there to grind my own gluten-free flour. They also seem to have the best price on steel cut oats, although Aldi is currently carrying them for a little less.

    Random Freebies/Great Customer Service: I follow my local WF on Facebook where they will often have there own sales that are not corporate. I have also gotten free things when they were out of what I needed. A couple of months ago, my daughter won an $18 steak (that was fantastic) for jumping in on a game of “hot potato”.

    If you’re very cautious with your food budget, you just have to be smart about your shopping, whether at WF or anywhere.

  • Charity says:

    We love the products at Whole Foods, but find the employees at the lcation in our area so very rude and unwilling to help you, that we no longer shop there.

  • Allison says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I will be giving a coupon class in a few weeks to a couple of friends and hoped to cover all of the stores they typically shop at. You’ve just done my research for me!

  • Jen says:

    In our area, Northern VA, Whole Foods offers a good price on organic milk. It is 5.69 regular price, but if you buy 4 , it qualifies for a case discount, and brings the price down to 5.12 per gallon. Now our family will use 4 gallons in a week, but if you don’t why not split that with a friend and have one person pay each week so you get the case discount:)

    • Debbie says:

      Thanks for that tip! My husband is a serious milk drinker so he won’t have any issue drinking that much before it expires. I already buy his milk @ Whole Foods as it’s actually cheaper there than at Safeway, and buying a case will make it even cheaper for me.

  • Anna says:

    Good idea mentioning the case discount!! I found out about it when I was loading up on probiotics while nursing.

    The frequent purchase discount cards aren’t available everywhere, but there are a lot for the Dallas area Whole Paychecks.

    I like buying fresh sushi here, too. Better stuff and quality than at a lot of the restaurants for the price. I feel that my money & time is better spent on letting the sushi pros do their magic than on me buying the supplies, ingredients, taking the time to slice things as thin as they do, learning the whole process, etc…

    I also found $3 organic wine at a Trader Joes in Atlanta!
    The majority of my organic purchases come from Costco and Big Lots, but Whole Paycheck has the best produce, hands down, for my area!

  • Betsy says:

    I find the produce to be a better quality and price than a lot of other area grocery stores. Also, I compared milk prices not too long ago (we’re in NC), and Whole Foods had cheaper milk than Walmart, Target, Harris Teeter, and Trader Joe’s.

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