You can be savvy with Whole Foods grocery shopping if you know the tricks of the trade. People are loving organic food, especially with documentaries such as Food Inc. shedding light on unhealthy farming practices. But going organic can be more expensive, so I turned to Ashley Hawkins, spokesperson of the supermarket chain, for some tips on how to save. She says:
- Follow the guide: Pick up the Whole Deal value guide that highlights deals, contains coupons, budget-friendly recipes under $4, and money-saving tips. It's also available online!
- Be a tourist: Take a value tour. There are in-store value gurus lead tours to show shoppers how to find the best deals and enjoy savings.
- Save with social media: Most stores or metro areas have their own Twitter and Facebook pages, and they definitely list deals and specials there. Additionally, many stores have deals for the "mayor" of a particular store via Foursquare check-ins.
- Scoop your herbs and spices: Buy only what you need, usually for less than 15 cents per teaspoon
- Bring your bags: Bring your own bags and get money back at the register. You'll get five or 10 cents per bag depending upon the store or region.
- In-store goodies: Watch for in-store sampling demonstrations. You can get a taste to see if you like it before you buy it. Coupons will be handed out at the same time, or the sampled item is usually on sale.
- Freeze your meat: Buy meat and fish when on sale and freeze in one-pound portions.
- Buy the Whole Foods brand: Look for 365 Everyday Value items, the company's private label brand.
- Sign up for deals: Check out weekly promotions and deals. Sign up for the free e-newsletter for the latest on local deals, coupons, and store tasting events.
- Buy what you need: Buy only what you need from the bulk bins, which saves money and limits waste.
- Remember volume discounts: Get discounted pricing when you buy a full case at once. Most stores offer volume discounts when you buy more than a certain amount (on meat, seafood, cheese, and more) or a full case of boxes or bottles, including wine.
- IQF is your budget friend: Choose Individually Quick Frozen shrimp or chicken pieces in value-size packaging and thaw only what you need.
- Sales galore: It has more than 1,000 items on sale in the store at any given time
- Good ol' home cooking: The store has lots of simple recipes (in store and online) and cooking classes so you can learn to cook. Preparing more meals at home saves money!
- Happy to help: Ask the team members to show you the best deal. They always know what's on sale and what the best deal is for your dollar.
- Sample freebies: Whole Foods has samples all the time. From cheese to wine to meat to fruits, there's always something to taste.
- Check out the website: Troll the Whole Deal website and read tips on how to enjoy quality organic and natural foods while stretching your food dollar.
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