If you love the quality of food and other items you can pick up at your local Whole Foods, but aren’t a fan of the expense of shopping there, you aren’t alone. That said, wouldn’t you like to know that you could actually save money by grocery shopping at Whole Foods? Here are six tips on how you can do exactly that.
1. Get Digital
“First and easiest way to find coupons is to download the app which has all digital coupons in one place and lists weekly sales,” Kate Neu, the global sales and supplier marketing manager for Whole Foods Market, said. Neu also pointed out that “notices of sales and specials change weekly on the app,“ and that the “newsletter will tell you of sales coming up in the next three to five days so you can plan your shopping accordingly.”
McKinzey Crossland, a spokesperson for Whole Foods Market, also suggested following Whole Foods on social media. “Some sales are only advertised on our social accounts,” she said. You can follow the brand as a whole, or even consider following your local shop. You can see if the one near you has their own accounts by searching the Find a Store section on the Whole Foods website.
2. Pick up the Coupon Sheet On Your Way Into the Store
In addition to the coupons and deals you know about from the app, you can get daily deals and coupons from the fliers located at the front of most stores. Neu pointed out that, if you use the store’s digital coupons, there is only one barcode to scan for these coupons, so “everything in your basket with an applicable coupon gets appropriately discounted.”
3. Bring Your Reusable Bags & Jars
Saving $0.10 may not sound like much, but if you bring your own sacks and containers for bulk foods, Whole Foods will take this amount off your bill for each container used to pack up your groceries. If you shop weekly, and use five bags or jars each time, that’s a $26 savings for the year.
4. Only Buy What You Need
Americans typically throw out $900 in wasted food or leftovers annually, according to a 2015 TNS Global survey. Buying something at a good price can make you feel victorious, but that feeling can be negated by the fact that you’re just tossing out a product purchased cheaply. Whole Foods lets you buy portions of their packaged fresh or prepared items. Think you only need one of those steaks in the pre-wrapped steak packet? You can ask the meat department to separate a single piece out of the package. The cheese department operates in the same way.
“Whole Foods will custom cut cheese for anyone – if you only want a quarter cut of cheese in the cellophane-wrapped package, we’ll cut it up for you,” Neu said. She also says the produce market will honor custom quantities. “You can get half a head of cabbage if you want.”
Neu also says that in the prepared foods section, like meals or soups, customers can request a portion that more closely meets their immediate needs. “If you’re just doing a dinner for two and don’t want to freeze the rest or eat it more than once, smaller quantities can really save you money.”
5. Buy By the Case
If you buy any packaged item by the case, you will receive a 10% discount. Should you have questions about the case purchase discount, the grocery team can answer your questions about the number of items in a case, Neu said. If a case isn’t on the shelf, a team member can go get one for you from the back, she added.
6. Consider the Salad Bar
Whole Foods has a very extensive salad bar with a wide variety of chopped and sliced vegetables. If your recipe only calls for a small amount of veggies, you can get them at the salad bar, saving you time and money. A trip to the salad bar can be expensive if you load up on the heavier items like beans and bulky vegetables, but it can offer great convenience and savings if used correctly.
Keeping an Eye on Your Spending
While doing your best to save money, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your credit as bad credit can cost you a lot of money. You can access free copies of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — every 12 months by going to AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also see two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.