How to Not Blow Your Bank Account at Whole Foods

February 17, 2010 at 2:35 pm 18 comments

First, lunch. Then my advice 🙂


Lean Cuisine Parmesan Fish. Sometimes it’s easier just to go for the frozen option for fish.

But that wouldn’t fill me up so on the side I had a combo of northern beans, edamame, and corn, tossed in red pepper pesto. Yum!!


And now, about not-blowing your budget at Whole Foods (or other specialty store..or anywhere…):

1. Make yourself rules. Stick to them. I only buy things I either

a) can’t get somewhere else (alternative flours & certain veggies)

b) are fresher or in better condition (fruits/veggies)


c) are cheaper! (see #4)

2. Use a basket, not a cart. If you can’t carry it, you can’t buy it. Plus you get a good arm workout when your basket gets heavy. Trust me, it’ll get heavy.

3. Check out the store circular. Not only does it tell you what’s on sale, it has lots of coupons.

3b. Only use coupons if it’s something you were going to buy anyways.


4. Know what it costs somewhere else. It might be cheaper at WF, it might not. For example, I know these things are significantly cheaper at WF for me: spinach, red peppers, goat cheese, Almond Breeze & other milk substitutes. I stock up 🙂

Comparison shopping pays off: I checked out the grocery store the other day for things I knew I was going to be buying next week and made a note of the price. Coconut milk & spelt flour ended up being cheaper at WF.

Then I checked some specialty items on iHerb. Coconut oil, agave nectar, and garbanzo flour ended up being half the Whole Foods’ price. I didn’t realize how much iHerb had as far as baking ingredients goes. I also saw Luna and Larabars for a discount. (First time users can enter code GIR461 for $5 off. Shipping’s usually about $4, or free if your order’s over $40. Nice!)

5. Don’t go hungry. Unless you’re positive they’ll have samples out 😉

Or just buy everything in sight if you can afford such luxury.  But hey, I’m trying to save for some bike gear here!!

I managed to get some pretty good loot without spending a lot. Check it out:


Oooh yeaaaaah.


Entry filed under: Other.

Breakfast to Go Just a Quick One

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amanda  |  February 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    good tips! I can’t be trusted in that place. I go insane. So now I only allow myself to shop at WF twice a month. Luckily I live 30 miles away from the nearest one.

  • 2. Kelly  |  February 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    I TOTALLY agree! I always get a basket not a cart and the circulars are awesome! I am not above coupons…ever!! Your stash looks awesome!

  • 3. Danielle  |  February 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Although I’m horrible at spending $ on groceries, I do the same things! Especially the trick about using a basket instead of a cart

  • 4. Julie @ Pickley Pear  |  February 17, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Love WF! I typically just buy veggies and fruits, yogurt, and whole grains there. It’s still fun to look at all the neat, healthy stuff!

  • 5. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self  |  February 17, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    This is so great! My favorite is 3b – I always pick up the circular, but then end up spending money on something I don’t need just because “it’s on sale!!!!” Ha!

  • 6. theprocessofhealing  |  February 17, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Wow girl! Congrats on coming out of WF without blowing your entire bank account. Haha I love that place but I can hardly control myself..everything looks SO good!!

  • 7. Light Delight with Tou Tou  |  February 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Gooooood tip!! i just went to WF yesterday and for no reason I spend 22 . originally I was just planning to get some wheat bran. checking out their circular is a great idea. I should tear from coupons before i walk into the store 😀

  • 8. BostonRunner  |  February 17, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    I love Whole Foods! Great tips, I think one of the best (even for food shopping in general) is to not go hungry!

  • 9. Kara (@ Kara's Marathon)  |  February 17, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    That looks really good for a Lean Cuisine! 😉

    Great tips on WF shopping – thanks! I need to do way more comparison shopping than I currently do, since we’re on a bit of a budget.

    Also, living in NYC means the basket, not cart thing is always an issue…I can only buy what I can carry home in my two hands!

  • 10. Heather  |  February 17, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    I can spend my Whole Paycheck at Whole foods – great tips though!

    I usually get sucked into buying way more produce than any human can eat in a reasonable amount of time…I also get sucked into “interesting” things. My husband can not be left alone in Whole Foods.

  • 11. marathonmaiden  |  February 17, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    haha great tips but still too expensive for me! still good tips for any grocery store. i tend to overspend regardless on groceries

  • 12. Teri [a foodie stays fit]  |  February 17, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    awesome post with great tips!

  • 13. onelittlejill  |  February 18, 2010 at 6:49 am

    I love iherb (Lacey at Objects and Events had recently reviewed it); I bought a few things plus a box of Lara Bars and even with S&H my total was under $20 because of the discount! They have everything it seems!!!

  • 14. Anna  |  February 18, 2010 at 8:03 am

    No Whole Foods near me, but this works well for our little natural food store too. Things are SO expensive there, but I like to support them. But, I HAVE to go in with a list (and only carry a basket) or things get way out of control!

  • 15. Abby  |  February 18, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for the tips! Thankfully, Whole Foods is abotu 25 mins away, so I don’t go too often. But when I do, it’s dangerous. I try to hold back–but it’s so hard!

  • 16. Sophie  |  February 18, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Great tips! I didn’t know almond milk was cheaper there, I’ll have to check it out!

  • 17. Lily @ Lily's Health Pad  |  February 18, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I love Whole Foods. But I ONLY buy things there that I can’t buy anywhere else. (as you suggested.) I find that most items are marked up considerably. But there are rare times when I can find a steal.

  • 18. Red Carpet Banana Bread « with a Side of Sneakers  |  March 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    […] iHerb order! I figured out during my last trip to Whole Foods that some of the ingredients I wanted were actually cheaper on iHerb, so I went ahead and placed an […]


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Welcome! This blog is all about food & fitness, and trying to find balance after an injury. Read along as I train for a half-marathon, triathlon, & have FUN while staying healthy!

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