Shopping Whole Foods On A Budget

Get the Whole Deal when Buying Organic

I know…not possible, right? Wrong!  I may be Fab & Fru, but I am also passionate about eating organic whenever possible – and if that means spending more for organic groceries, then that is a budgetary sacrifice I am willing to make!  Having said that, of course I would love love LOVE to be saving money on my organic groceries.  Why should eating healthy have to break the bank?  Can’t we healthy eaters have the best of both worlds?!

Many of my friends have banned Whole Foods from their shopping list until the economy recovers, but honestly- I just can’t.  It’s walking distance from me (yes, even in LA!), and you can’t beat the organic selection and service.  So, what’s a Fab & Fru gal to do?

Coupons – at Whole Foods?

For starters, did you know that Whole Foods offers coupons? Most of our friends did not!  These are not the typical insert coupons you normally see in your Sunday paper, but Whole Foods actually has their very own coupon and money saving circular called The Whole Deal! You can pick it up in stores as well as access the it online.  Many Whole Foods shoppers might not be familiar with the couponing world, but they should be…

Thursday Specials

Many big grocery chains run specials starting on Thursday mornings – well guess what – so does Whole Foods!  According to one manager here in Los Angeles, these Thursday sales ARE NOT available online, you need to go into your local store to find out about them.  Depending on what items are on sale, the deals will range anywhere from a few days to a few weeks- with additional ‘managers specials’ thrown in to boot!

Also, I have noticed that at my local Whole Foods (thank you, 3rd and Fairfax!) the store employees are more than happy to help you stick to a budget by recommending products and offering creative ways of preparing foods.  Heck, one of the sandwich makers behind the counter has a culinary degree from the Cordon Bleu, and has given me some really amazing suggestions that I would have never thought of!  The point is: the service is SUCH a notch above the average grocery, I feel this is an additional way I get more for my money when I shop there.

So What’s The Whole Deal?

Aside from coupons, The Whole Deal features budget friendly recipes, specials and money saving tips – something most of our friends do not associate with Whole Foods! The beauty is, they are doing a lot of the work for you.

The Cost of Real Food

Depending on where you live, some organic products may actually be cheaper at Whole Foods than at your local grocery chain.  Kathy, who lives in Las Vegas, swears that certain organic milk and yogurt products are actually cheaper at Whole Foods than the typically less pricey grocery chain nearby.  The key: shop smart & do your homework. Quality food and saving money don’t have to be mutually exclusive concepts!

And while sometimes – even with a coupon – a box of cookies might still be pricier at Whole Foods than at your average grocery store, I don’t look at food ‘bargains’ the same way I look at other bargains.  The truth remains – all food is not created equal! And I prefer to feed my family what Julia Child used to call ‘real food’.  A cheap graham cracker full of high fructose corn syrup is just not going to do it for me – or my kids. It’s not really a bargain for me to fill my pantry with unhealthy snacks, which may have health ramifications down the road.  And although It’s crazy that healthier and more simply processed foods actually cost more money, that is the current reality in our country.

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5 Responses to “Shopping Whole Foods On A Budget”

  1. Jan says:

    I too love Whole Foods. It is so helpful to know about THE WHOLE DEAL and their Thursday specials. I had no idea. This will help! Thanks!

  2. Sara says:

    Thank you for this article. Organic & real food is dear to my heart & I feel so quandried by trying to get my spending into a budget & still giving my family real food. There is some good info in here that I can play with.

  3. JohnL says:

    Hey, when it comes to quality food, price should not necessarily be a determining factor for your palate…

    Where we live, there are two chains, a wholesale house and a fantastic local market. We cherry pick the chains and go to the market for our meats.

    Whole Foods is a great market and if you find one close by, shop it for at least a month and compare the quality, you then won’t have to cherry pick and sacrifice your time and money.

  4. Louie says:

    Wow !!!! I really learned something. Web site coupons and Thursdays. These are really well kept secrets. Makes you wonder why. Thanks for the research and tips.

  5. Morgan Crumm says:

    Such good advice! People walk through Whole Foods and see the price tags on some of their high-end, gourmet, or hard-to-find specialty items and assume everything there is too expensive.

    But on the everyday items, they are so much more affordable than people think!

    I actually like many of their 365 house brand items better than similar items I can get elsewhere. Their 365 thin crust uncured pepperoni pizza is my favorite frozen pizza, and their fig bars are outstanding! They also have great prices on goat cheese and great weekly specials and one-day sales on the expensive stuff.

Any Thoughts?