When I was living in New York City on a show-string student budget, Whole Foods was my neighborhood grocery store. My options were either to schlep bags home from the cheaper grocery store 10 blocks away or figure out how to make shopping at Whole Foods affordable. I opted for the latter most of the time and did actually find a way to make it possible. I shopped the sales, ate more plant-based, and was just generally a lot more mindful of what I was tossing in my cart. These days it’s even easier to be a smart Whole Foods shopper and I’ve taken full advantage of this fact, despite no longer living in an extra-expensive city with next to no income. Here are three smart tips I’ve learned that save me money every time I shop:
1. Download the app.
While I don’t think you need to go and download the app for every grocery store you frequent, I do think the Whole Foods app is worth it — in fact, it’s the only one I have on my phone even though I go to a handful of different grocery stores. Every week you’ll find a well-curated list of what’s on sale that I honestly look forward to opening and browsing before I head to the store. If I am lucky, they’ll be something on there that I already had on my list. Or if it’s something I don’t need right away but know we’ll cook and eat, like say chicken breasts, I’ll add them to my list and toss them in the freezer. I find this especially helpful when it comes to fish. I typically cook fish once a week and usually base what type of fish to make on which one is on sale at Whole Foods because there always at least one type — often salmon, cod, or swordfish — on sale.
Oh, and even if you don’t see something you’re hoping to be on sale on the app, keep your eye peeled at the store for yellow tags: There’s a whole host of additional in-store sale items, too.
2. Consider becoming a Prime member.
While Amazon Prime does cost a little over $100 a year for membership, it comes with a useful benefits — one being that you’ll get double the amount of weekly sales at Whole Foods. There’s a whole host of sales that are exclusive to Prime members (see below) and even for the ones that are available to everyone, Prime members get an additional 10% off the sale price. So if you do shop at Whole Foods frequently, the membership cost could easily pay for itself and then some, especially since it comes with plenty of Amazon perks, too, of course. You can also share your Prime membership with one other adult, so consider going in on it with a family member or close friend and split the cost (I share mine with my dad).
3. If you are a Prime member…visit on Saturdays.
You may already been going to Whole Foods on Saturday but did you know that if you are a Prime member their rotisserie chickens are $2 off every Saturday? So perhaps make a detour there if you don’t usually stop in that day of the week. Even if a rotisserie chicken is not usually on your grocery list, I suggest you grab one. This ongoing sale is perfect for making easy lunches and dinners throughout the week. Grab a chicken, shred the meat, and use it for tacos, grain bowls, salads, and even soups all through the week.
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