Whole Foods: How to Shop There and Still Save Money!

Whole Foods: How to Shop There and Still Save Money!featured

If you’ve heard of Whole Foods Market, you might have also heard it’s mock name, “Whole Paycheck”.  So, being that I am a very money conscious person, why would I shop somewhere with such a reputation for being overpriced?!  The easy answer is this… If you go in with a plan, it can actually be the same or cheaper than any other store.  No, really, I’m serious!!  (and the incredible quality of the food will make you a grocery store snob, it’s that good.)

(By the way, this is NOT a sponsored post)

whole foods

Up until a few weeks ago, I did the mass majority of my grocery shopping at Costco and Super Target.  They both have great prices and lots of organic and healthy choices.  I still do monthly trips to Costco for staples, I’m sure I’ll never give up Costco, but I’ve been having some issues with Super Target for groceries lately.  Some issues I blame them for, some are my own personal issues.

My TARGET Gripes In a Nutshell:

  • They are ALWAYS out of things I need.
  • Very limited organic produce
  • Poor quality organic produce
  • Expensive organic produce (It seems to never go on sale)
  • I always end up buying something non-grocery related that I probably don’t need (my issue, I know, but the temptations are EVERYWHERE)

Now, some day, I plan to have a huge veggie garden and or now in the summer and fall, we get most of our fresh organic produce from a local farm’s CSA share.  (Learn about that HERE!) But the rest of the year I rely on grocery stores for produce.

So, about a month ago, I decided to head over to Whole Foods for a change of pace since Target has been on my nerves.  The one nearest us is roughly a 25-minute drive from home.  10 minutes further than Target.  I used to complain that it was SO FAR, but really, what’s 10 more minutes?! Also,  Trader Joe’s shares their parking lot and I have some things that I also like from there so it’s a two for one trip.

That trip seriously changed my opinion instantly!  The organic produce is AMAZING, and the variety to buy bulk style (by the pound) out does target’s tiny pathetic sub-par, everything is individually wrapped, expensive organic fruits & veggies a million times over.

So, how can the quality and selection be that incredible without costing a fortune?! Well, my friends, the answer is STRATEGY.


It’s not complicated, I promise!  Follow these tips and you’ll have the highest quality food without spending a bundle.

  • Meal Plan!  If you read my meal planning post (Learn your planning personality and become a meal planning pro. check it out HERE!) then you know to plan your meals around what’s on sale to help save money.  WHOLE FOODS HAS GREAT SALES AND COUPONS!!
  • Download the Whole Foods APP for sales & couponsBefore you head to Whole Foods, you will need their mobile app. Download it onto your phone and you will have instant access to their mobile coupons, sales, & recipes. (Bonus: They even have a spot for you to create a mobile shopping list.) When you are making your meal plan and preparing your list everything you need is right there on the app. Here is a screen shot of the app.wholefoods

*This week, among other things, they had $5 off a $25 produce purchase AND $5 of a $20 organic chicken purchase! SCORE!

  • Stay away from prepared foods, specialty foods and “healthy” convenience foods.  Of course, if you go crazy buying these things you WILL spend your whole paycheck, but since this girl likes to make as much as possible from scratch there is no need for most of that high priced food.

*Disclosure: I’m no saint, I do by some convenience food, but I keep it as minimally processed as possible and typically only if it’s on sale.

  • Only buy meat on sale and stock up. Generally speaking, I am pretty particular with meat.  I prefer local, and organic.  We get our beef 1/4 of a cow at a time from a local grass-fed source that keeps our freezer stocked, so I’m usually only buying poultry or pork from the store.  If anything that meets my standards goes on sale I will stock up.  This way I’m never paying full price.

*Today I bought a non-GMO fed, antibiotic free bone-in pork roast for $2.99 a lb – regularly $4.99/lb

  • Only buy what you need.  Just because it’s on sale, doesn’t always mean you should buy it.  Stick to your list!
  • Limit Shopping Trips.  Try to avoid grocery shopping more than once a week.  The more times you go to the store, the more “impulse” purchases you’ll make which will end up costing you more in the long run.

That wasn’t so bad, right?  All you have to do is remember these tips and you will have a fridge filled with incredible food and still have money in the bank!  Just to prove to you even more why shopping at Whole Foods is amazing, I’m going to share some of my awesome deals.

Here are some more of the great sale and coupon items I bought today:

  • 3 Organic Kale Bunches- 3 for $5  Plus $1 off coupon (regularly $2.49 each) final price $4.00 ($3.47 savings!)
  • 12 Pack Lacroix Carbonated Water- $3.99 (Target sells their 8 packs for over $4!)
  • Organic Tomatoes on the vine- $2.99/lb (regularly $4.99/lb)
  • Alexia Organic Frozen Potatoes- 2 for $5 (regularly $3.99 each)
  • Organic Pink Lady Apples- $1.99/lb (Regularly $2.99/lb)
  • R.W. Knudsen 32 0z Organic Juice- $1 off coupon (regular price $4.19) final price $3.19
  • Lundberg Brown Rice Cakes- $3.00 a piece (regularly $3.99.  Target’s regular price is also $3.99)
  • Non-GMO, antibiotic free bone-in pork roast- $2.99 a lb  (regularly $4.99/lb)

Here are some BONUS reasons to shop at Whole Foods: Learn more details at WholeFoodsMarket.com

  • NOTHING FAKE-  They do not carry products with artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, or hydrogenated fats.  They also have a list of 80 chemical and artificial ingredients that they will not allow in the food they sell.
  • DITCHING BPA- They are in the process of eliminating all BPA (Nasty and harmful chemical in plastic) from their store. They already use BPA-free register tape (did you know receipt paper has BPA on it?!?! It can easily absorb into your skin from contact with these receipts!)
  • HIGH-QUALITY STANDARDS-  Regarding organics, sustainability, GMOs and antibiotic use.

If you don’t have a Whole Foods in your neck of the woods, try researching other health food stores and food co-ops.  This strategy for saving money is actually universal to any high-quality grocery shopping.  They may or may not have the mobile coupon options at other stores, but some quick research and you will be in the know.

Eat well, eat healthily and eat CLEAN!

Wondering where to start?  I have a FREE clean eating guide available to download now.  Includes an 11-page guide, printable recipes, and printable meal planner.  Learn more HERE!



About the author


Hello! My name is Elizabeth and I love simple and healthy living. Even when things are super complicated, there is always some peace in the simple things in life. My goal is to explore and share all the ways of incorporating a back to basics and natural approach to this crazy thing called life.

Add comment

Questions or comments? Let's talk!