25 Ways to Save at Whole Foods Market

25 Ways to Save at Whole Foods Market

 

How to Save Money at Whole Foods Market

I recently had the chance to conduct a Values Tour through the Roosevelt, Whole Foods Market store (Seattle). During my tour, I shared all kinds of ways you can save money at Whole Foods Market! The truth is I believe you can save money at ANY store you choose. You just need to know how!

There are honestly SO MANY things to share, I thought I’d just list them out for you! Ready? Let’s do it.

  1. Grab the Whole Deal booklet when you first walk into the store. It’s full of store coupons and tips for eating well for less.
  2. You can also get the same coupons online at Whole Foods Market.
  3. Look for the yellow flyer when you first walk in – those highlight some of the best sales in the store.
  4. Stop by Guest Services and your little ones can pick out a healthy snack! On Friday I found apples, bananas, fruit leather and granola bars.
  5. The yellow tags throughout the store indicate a discounted price. You’ll find them in every department.
  6. Look for the punch card in the supplement section of the store. When it’s full, you can save $10 on your next supplement purchase!
  7. Watch for one-day sales to stock up on food such as sustainably farmed fish or organic chicken. The one-day sales are shared on Whole Foods Facebook page or by signing up for their emails. These usually happen on Fridays.
  8. While there are no rainchecks on the one-day sales, you can phone the store ahead of time to have them set aside for you.
  9. See something you want to try, but aren’t sure you want to spend the money? Look for any team member in the store. Whole Foods has a “try-me-free” program where you can sample something you’re interested to try and in some cases, they may even send it home with you!
  10. Whole Foods Markets offers free tours for school children! I learned that some stores may be open to taking even smaller groups – such as a homeschool co-op or if a few families call and express an interest.
  11. Just need a small quantity of a certain type of produce? Don’t forget the salad bar! It may be cheaper to just buy a small quantity there versus bigger sizes out of the produce department.
  12. If you would like to buy a large quantity of an item – say produce – just ask a team member. You can place special orders with Whole Foods Market and if you buy a case of an item, you’ll score an added 10% off – even on top of sale prices!
  13. Keep your eyes peeled throughout the store. Whole Foods is committed to empowering and educating their customers about good health. I found several FREE recipe cards towards the back of the store. I’ve also found free booklets and charts in the stores before, too.
  14. Each store may differ in their product selection, pricing, and coupon acceptance policies. Get to know the store you frequent most. The Roosevelt store, for instance, allows you to stack a Whole Foods coupon (such as from the Whole Deal booklet) with a manufacturer’s coupon (such as from the Sunday paper).
  15. Don’t forget those bulk bins! I was most impressed with Whole Foods’ bulk spices section. They had things that may be more difficult to find in bulk elsewhere such as organic orange peel, whole coriander seeds, freeze dried chives, and garam masala.
  16. Choose the least prepped version for the biggest savings. Whole Foods has a number of items that are wonderful for convenience purposes, but not so wonderful for your budget. Case in point, whole organic pineapples are $3.50 right now. Or, you could buy the pre-cut pineapple in the container for $7.60.
  17. For some nice wine for less, try Whole Foods own label called Three Wishes. It’s just $2.99 and they offer both red and white varieties. It was displayed on an endcap not in the wine section, so just ask if you can’t find it.
  18. Want a nice wedge of cheese, but not a $9 wedge? Just ask a team member at the cheese counter and they can slice up a smaller piece for you! And don’t forget – you can always try before you buy!
  19. Bring your reusable bags for an additional $0.10 discount per bag you bring.
  20. The staff in the seafood and meat sections can fillet and cut your meat to your desired specifications. Also ask for free marinades that they can send home with you!
  21. Don’t forget the 365 brand – which is their store brand. I found 365 Organic Macaroni and Cheese for $1 a box last week. Please note that not all 365 items are organic, so you’ll want to read the labels if that matters to you.
  22. Buy produce that’s in season, and build your meals around it. One of the things I’ve insisted for awhile here is this: “plan your meals around produce, not meat!” Not only will you get out of cooking ruts, you’ll save money, too!
  23. Contact companies for coupons. See some new products you’d like to try? Take a moment to contact them and ask if they have any coupons they could send you!
  24. Monday – Friday there are deals in the prepared food section. My favorite? Every Wednesday you can get a Family Value Meal for $15.99. These are generously portioned complete meals – main dish, two sides, and a huge salad – for four. You’ll spend less than you would on pizza or a fast food restaurant, and enjoy a healthier meal, too!
  25. Get to know the Whole Foods Market website. Have you ever spent some time there? If not – I recommend it. It’s just full of fantastic recipes, articles, tips, and more. There’s even a section for healthy, budget-friendly recipes!

I want to make a final remark about Whole Foods Market. Let’s not kid ourselves. Across the board, it IS more expensive than your average grocery store. If your number one concern is saving money, you probably should shop somewhere else. But I know a growing number of you are more concerned about getting quality, healthful food. You care about the treatment of animals, if the food is locally sourced, or if it has HFCS. For that reason, you might want to shop at a store like Whole Foods Market. And if that’s the case – all the more reason to make sure you’re getting the complete value you can from your trip there!

As for me, Whole Foods is a special treat. It’s a store I like to shop at maybe once a month, and it’s a place I’m not overly concerned about saving money at. I see it as a “treat” store – so if I save at other places, I can afford those specialty items or make a splurge without blowing my budget.

I would love to hear from you today. Do you enjoy shopping at Whole Foods Market? Do you think there is room for it in the couponer’s budget? Is it a special treat place, or a store you shop at regularly? Would you like to see more posts here at the blog about Whole Foods deals or shopping tips?

For more Whole Foods love, please see the deals I posted earlier along with my post from last summer when I shopped Whole Foods the first time!


Comments

  1. Elizabeth says

    I do a location request for my Renton zip code practically daily :) Thank you for the tips! I’m making it a point to seek out printable coupons for WF – organic is important to us, and I have food allergies so it’ s a huge asset to our household to be able to shop at WF for deals.

  2. Kelly says

    Ditto on a South Sound location! I love this store but rarely ever shop there due to distance. I was very struck by your comment about creating meals around produce rather than meat. I really struggle getting my family to eat veggies. I think this would make for an intriguing post or series…hint…hint…

    • arussell says

      Well…I did one on produce last year – did you miss it? My thought about making meals around produce vs meat was the conclusion I had after exploring 31 different fruits and veggies. VERY eye opening experience. Since I’ve not eaten meat since January, even more so about building meals around produce! 😉

      http://thecouponproject.com/adventures-in-produce-the-series

      If you’re on Pinterest, you might also be interested to follow my vegan pin board for some ideas. Even by eating one meatless meal per week, I think you can get inspired again in the kitchen, cut out some food cost, and do something healthful for your family!

      http://pinterest.com/angelajrussell/going-vegan/

      • Kelly says

        Cool, I’m going to check out that post. I’ve only been following you since last summer so that might have been before my time. I did read all the vegan posts though and though a lot of the recipes looked yummy. I only wish I could convince the rest of my family. I must admit that one of the biggest things I regret now is catering to my kids too much in the food department. Sadly, it’s a hard habit to break.

        • arussell says

          Yes – that series was Jan 2011!! I hope you take the time to go back and read some of them. And I HEAR YOU on the kids thing. Please don’t think my kids eat perfect – they have their share of treats and getting more produce in them is an ongoing goal of ours over here 😉

  3. Kristine says

    We love Whole Foods for the same reasons you do and also consider it more of a “treat” store as well- although if we had one down by us (Puyallup/Sumner/Bonney Lake) it would be more of a regular shopping experience for sure… as it actually is often cheaper than Fred Meyer for the things I buy like organic…especially generic organic…and meats!

    I go to the Bellevue store (they’ve always allowed me to stack coupons) once a month or so to stock up on baking supplies (natural food dyes and sugars, specialty flours, etc.) , healthier treats for the kids (like graham crackers with out hydrogenated oils, etc), GMO free grains and grass fed and organic meats that I can’t get down here at the prices I can at Whole Foods (Marlene’s is OK in a pinch but somewhat outrageous). We just love to hit the bakery at Whole Foods for a treat for the car ride back. Their Morning Rolls are amazing (like a cinnamon roll but made with croissant dough and drenched entirely in a thick crust of cinnamon sugar…they go fast and we can only seem to find them at the Bellevue Whole Foods- so much better than the Starbucks version and they’ve been making them for years…super popular and absolutely addicting…they are the one request I get from my girlfriends down here to bring back for them for a treat). They also carry an amazing selection of yogurt and other dairy (their generic 365 butter is almost always cheaper here than Fred Meyer and is RBST free- unlike Fred Meyer) I love the Liberty yogurt brand that I can’t find anywhere else- the lemon is beyond amazing with little added sugar. There is a huge selection of Greek yogurt as well. Their cheese section is also where they keep the bulk-style high quality chocolates (I use them mostly for baking) which are really hard to find anywhere elsed but online.

    The only negative I would have to say about Whole Foods is the fact that their produce section is largely conventional as opposed to organic. They do carry organic but it is not nearly what I would expect. I usually end up buying the heirloom tomatoes, harder to find varieties of organic apples and rainbow radishes. I usually end up having better luck with my organic produce at Fred Meyer and the weekly specials at Marlene’s. That said, the salad bar is always amazingly fresh and full of organic options (like an amazing raw Kale and garlic salad) and the choices are plentiful- we usually have that as our meal when we are up there for a day of shopping at Bellevue Square/ Whole Foods. They have several tables in the front of the store and coolers for cups of water…..I also really love that they have the “Real Salt” Ancient Sea Salt packets to season your food with (a little thing but an appreciated touch). Oh- and I can’t forget the coffee bar (also a must for the long ride home)….. fun, slightly different choices for drinks than you’ll find elsewhere… like a few different types of chocolate for mochas and hot chocolates. I could go on and on (their cosmetics/beauty section is great if you are concerned about parabens, etc.. they regularly have great sales although I have to say that I am now able to find many of those same great items at Super Supplements).

    All in all I feel Whole Foods can be comparable to other stores (except maybe Trader Joes) if not better if you are primarily concerned with buying food without GMOs, hormones in dairy, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Even when factoring in the gas to get up there if you live in the south Sound like I do…. my complete shopping trip would be significantly less at Whole Foods than it would be at Marlene’s, Tacoma Boys or Fred Meyer for the same or similar items. Now if they’d finally open one up down here we’d be set- I had no idea they took legitimate location requests on the site- I’m on it!

  4. kathy m says

    I drive by the Roosevelt store frequently, but have never been inside! I’d love to win a gift card so as to try the store out! One of my regular customers, John, shops there pretty much on a daily basis – he goes to both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. John is 89 and eats so healthfully – he’s always trying to convert me!

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