By blog team member, Kiran. To learn more about Kiran, check out our team page!
It’s not exactly news that I’m a big fan of Whole Foods Market. Last year I wrote a few posts on them, including my shopping lists for the store (part 1 and part 2) and another post including 8 ways to save at WFM. As a matter of fact, though we have a store just 20 minutes away, they are building another one (get this) just 4 minutes away from my house. Ahhhhhh!! I may or may not be counting down the days until they open.
I love the environment at WFM, but I also love that shopping there doesn’t have to break the bank – especially if you know some cost-saving tips. To further illustrate this, I’ve put together a 5-day Whole Foods Meal Plan for a family of four showing just how easy and affordable it can be in today’s sponsored post (don’t miss the printable version at the end!). Plus WFM is giving away a $100 gift card to one lucky reader. But before I get to the meal plan and the giveaway, let me tell you a few ways that I like to save at the store – simple and doable efforts that you can use, too.
6 Ways to Save at Whole Foods Market
- Digital Coupons.
Download the App to get digital coupons, view store-specific sales, and (bonus) also find recipes to make with the foods that you buy. Score! If you like a recipe, you can even have all or specific ingredients added to your shopping list via the app.
- Look for the 365 brand.
Whole Foods Market’s 365 brand is their store brand …and you can definitely find some good savings here! Think pasta, marinara, canned beans, butter and much more. Of course you’ll need to read the label (i.e. in case you are looking for organic, etc.) – but it’s an easy way to save some dough.
- Buy in bulk.
If you’ve read this post, you’ll know why I’m a fan. Bulk is a great way to get just the quantity that you want, at a fraction of the cost. For those who have allergies, I’ve heard that the staff at some stores will open a new bag to ensure you avoid cross-contamination. It’s worth the ask!
- Consider the case.
Get 10% (or as otherwise noted) for buying foods by the case. And while wine applies, it’s not the only thing you can save on. Also think yogurt, oatmeal, milk, and more.
- Pick up the paper.
Grab The Whole Deal printed coupons/savings that you can find upon entering the store or at check out.
- Bring your bags.
Sure it’s not a ton – but for each reusable bag that you bring, you’ll save 10 cents. It adds up! And every penny counts, in my mind.
Video: Shopping (and Saving) at Whole Foods Market
5-Day Whole Foods Meal Plan for Family of Four
And now for the good stuff! Below is a 5-day Whole Foods meal plan, utilizing recipes that are doable for busy families. You’ll see that I reuse some foods from Wednesday’s meal in Friday’s meal because I’m all about cooking once and eating twice. Repurposing food is a great way to do this.
Also know that the savings mentioned are just what was on sale the week that I happened to create this – there will obviously be different sale items when you shop. Most of the savings though are due to me shopping the 365 brand and also buying bulk. Oh, and one other note – I didn’t include all of the spices or other items that I consider pantry staples in the cost. These include honey, olive oil, etc.
Lunch: Greens with Carrots, Feta Cheese and Brown Rice
Going with the “Meatless Monday” theme, I also love this recipe for the simplicity (helloo 15 minute meals) that is filling and full of good things – like greens – to get your week off to a strong start. 365 Frozen Brown Rice is a pantry, or in this case, frozen staple. Throw it in a bowl, add a splash of water, and microwave it while your veggies are cooking.
Dinner: The Easiest Spinach Lasagna with Sliced Pears
I know I had you at “easiest”, but did you know that I actually saved in a few other areas, to boot? I snagged marinara sauce, whole wheat lasagna noodles and chopped spinach in the 365 brand, and I found a digital coupon for Organic Valley mozzarella cheese on the app for $1 off. I chose to serve pears on the side since they were on sale in the Weekly Sales Flyer ($0.80 off/lb.) Since this will likely not be the food on sale if/when you utilize this meal plan, feel free to substitute with another fruit/vegetable on the side that is on sale that week.
Lunch: Potato and Cauliflower Chowder
I’m a big soup gal. Even in the summer, there’s something just easy about a bowl of soup, in my mind. This is an easy recipe that is made even more economically with the use of Whole Foods’ 365 Brand of broth and just the right amount of bacon (instead of a whole package) from WFM’s meat department.
Dinner: Lime-Cilantro Quinoa Salad served with corn tortillas topped with cheese, black beans and salsa
As mentioned above, I’m a huge fan of buying from the bulk bins, which is exactly where I got the quinoa for this meal. I also picked up the 365 brand for tortillas and black beans and found another digital coupon (via the app) for $1 off of the Organic Valley cheddar cheese.
(Top tortillas with black beans, cheese and salsa and heat in an oven, preheated to 350 degrees, for 5-7 minutes.)
Lunch: Quick Hummus and Vegetable Stuffed Pitas
I don’t know about you, but sometimes my lunch is a complete grab-and-eat. Because I work from home, I can throw things together that are in my fridge – and most of these items generally are. For those who work out of the house, this is a simple one to prep the night before. WFM 365 brand chickpeas and pita bread make this one easy on the wallet.
Dinner: Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Simple Skillet Cornbread. Remember when I said I’m a fan of cooking once, eating twice? You’re going to repurpose this chicken and cornbread on Friday, so be sure to double if need be.
I saved on this meal by buying just the right quantity of cornmeal in bulk. Also, don’t want the whole piece of fish or meat? WFM’s meat department will cut it down to the right size for you. And in my case, I haven’t eaten red meat in 23 years, but I still serve it to my family. I love that I can ask them questions on meat (like what cut of meat to purchase, quality standards or even where it is sourced from) since I am obviously not knowledgable about that!
Lunch: Leftover Lasagna and a Smoothie with Nuts on the side
In addition to being fond of soups, I also am always up for a smoothie! I love the versatility of smoothies and the fact that they pack a powerful punch. Throw in some chia or hemp seeds and use the yogurts that you already bought for dinner – see below!
Dinner: Cobb Salad with Pears and Stonyfield 100% Grassfed Yogurt.
Once again, you’ll see that I’m serving up pears since I scored a good sale on them. I also was able to get locally sourced fresh bacon from the meat department. And the reason for the yogurt on the side? There was a Weekly Sales Flyer coupon for $1.50 off of 3 yogurts, BUT I bought a case and saved an additional 10%. Yay!
Lunch: Yogurt Parfait with chia seeds, hemp seeds and frozen fruit
Remember those yogurts we got on a great sale that we had last night? Well there are more in the fridge that we can dress up easily with some chia and hemp seeds (get just the right quantity from the bulk bins) and some frozen fruit, which you already got for yesterday’s lunch (the smoothie). The 365 brand makes it affordable and easy to incorporate.
Dinner: Sour Cream and Onion Chicken Salad with leftover cornbread and veggies
I’m all about Friday’s being an easy cooking day. I mean – who isn’t tired after a long week?! So for this meal, you’re going to reuse the chicken from Wednesday to make chicken salad. Serve this up with the cornbread (also from Wednesday) along with tomato slices and cucumber (repurposed from Wednesday’s lunch) to round out your meal.
Family Meal Plan TOTAL Shopping List Cost: Approximately $175 – not too bad, right?!
I know this may be a lot for some and less for others (depending on your budget and where you live) so feel free to use this plan as a starting point and adapt to your own needs.
Printable Meal Plan
You can download a printable PDF copy of the meal plan (complete with menu, recipes, and shopping list) to make this yourself.