This morning, I attended a free event at the local Whole Foods in my area. When I saw the advertisement for the event on one of their fliers, I was determined to go when I saw that this free event was going to be tour of the store and how to save money while shopping at Whole Foods. Whole Foods, also known as “Whole Paycheck” for being notoriously expensive hasn’t been more expensive than other grocery stores in my area.
I purchase the Meowmixers’ cat food from Whole Foods because their private label Whole Paws is grain free and fairly inexpensive compared to other brands. Plus, they offer a 10% discount whenever I purchase an entire case of the 24 cans. Because I am already at Whole Foods every week buying the Meowmixers’ cat food, I do almost all of my grocery shopping at Whole Foods.
I decided to go on the tour because I wanted to blog about it, even if I already knew about many of the saving tips our lovely tour guide shared with us. So, here is what I learned and would like to pass onto you:
1. If something is priced by the pound, ounce or whatever, you can ask a staff member in that department if they can cut it if you want to buy less. For example, if you see that a watermelon is 4.99, but you only want half, you might be able to get a staff member to cut it in half.
2. Many times, the bulk section is a great place to save money and to buy staples such as grains, flour and nuts. There is also a little booklet you can get for free that provides helpful hints.
3. You can “stack” the Whole Food store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon. Stacking is using two or more different kinds of coupons to purchase one or one kind of an item. The trick to stacking successfully is to organize your coupons and plan ahead when you go shopping.
4. There are “one day” or what I call “flash” sales where the price of a particular item is slashed significantly. I’m lucky because I live very close to a Whole Foods and go there frequently to buy cat food, so I have been able to benefit from their flash sales.
5. Only buy seasonally and purchase items that are on sale. Sometimes that can be a little bit difficult when I am tempted to buy something extra, like bottles of Kombucha. But, delaying gratification has helped me save money a long the way and enjoy the benefits from shopping at Whole Foods.
6. The more labor and packaging involved in preparing the food, the more expensive it is. It is nice to have pre cut vegetables and fruit at your disposal as well as pre seasoned meat, but it is nicer on your wallet if you commit to taking the time out to do the grunt work of washing and chopping your produce. If you eat meat, there are many tutorials online on how to handle whole chickens and how to marinate and season steak.
7. I have learned how to delay menu planning until after I finish my grocery shopping for the week. That way, I buy items at their cheapest prices and then when I come home and put away my groceries, I sit down with my cookbooks or at the computer and find recipes for the week.
Combined with my Melaleuca shopping for hygiene, supplements and cleaning supplies, I think that living a lifestyle with safe, non-toxic products and fresh natural and organic food is feasible on a tight budget. I definitely owe part of saving money on cleaning products to Melaleuca. Because their cleaning products are concentrated and used for many different purposes, I can get a lot more mileage out of them. I eat out infrequently and I avoid the Goodwill to curb impulse recreational shopping in order to make sure that I can still afford to shop at Melaleuca and Whole Foods.
Have a great weekend!