How to Shop at Whole Foods w/o Putting a Hole in your Wallet

This past weekend I ventured out of my Harlem hide-a-way and trekked down to UWS to visit the nearest Whole Foods Market.  I’m not a grocery food snob, but I really wanted to buy some fresh produce that actually looked appetizing.  My local grocery store, C-Town, is your typical New York hole-in-the-way type spot. That being said  I don’t feel 100% comfortable buying produce there since it looks old, worn, and withered.

I will admit that while I was at Whole Foods the prices irked my nerves. $4.99 for a small container of chopped baby carrots and $11.99 for a mix vegetable medley. Come on  now that ridiculous.  But having been to many Whole Food Markets I do know that their  actual “Whole Food” options are reasonable priced.

I managed to buy a head of cabbage, 2 lbs of strings beans, 2 lemons, a cartoon of baby spinach, 2 Vita Coco waters, and vegan Thai dumplings for $13.96 ( Booyah!!!)  . If I can score all this on my minimal budget so can you.  Just follow this tips and you’ll never leave Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s , or any other organic supermarket feeling like you spent a fortune.

Prep B4 U Shop

The key to sticking to your grocery store budget is preparing a list. Making a list ensure that you don’t get items that you don’t need. It’s so easy to get distracted by the pretty packaged dinner, but if it’s not on your list you’ll be more likely to avoid the urge to put it in your shopping cart.

Buy Whole Foods

Organic store know that their key demographic is upper-middle class. People in this category often time buy pre-package meals because 1. they can afford it and 2. its fast and easy. Produce on the other hand usually stays at market pice, even in organic store.  Yes produce is more expensive in an organic store than in your local grocery store, but it isn’t overwhelmingly expensive.

Shop the Sales

Perhaps the most obvious tip is shop the sales. Organic stores aren’t above weekly deals, and you should be either. Check the weekly circulator before going to the store. Find the deals and see what items you want to add you your list.

Snag the store brand

Don’t automatically think that store brand items aren’t as good as larger brands. Store brand items are just as good as large brand, they usually are more fresh since they are packaged in the store, and they are the cheapest option. Its a win-win-win situation, so don’t be a brand snob and buy the store brand.

Compare and Contrast

Grocery stores are loaded with products and brands. If your in a hurry its easy to just grab and go. But the best way to really get more bang for your buck is to compare and contrast cost, size, and quality.  Just because an item is lower priced doesn’t mean its the best deal. Check the serving size, expiration date, and unit price.