By blog team member, Kiran. Check out our team page to learn more about her!
Long-time readers know that I’m a huge fan of Whole Foods Market (WFM). The closest store is 20 minutes away, but I’m counting down the days until one opens just minutes away from me. I’m sure my husband is counting down the days in the opposite way, for fear of me spending all our paychecks there. :) Lucky for all of us, I have some strategies for saving money at the store. And please know this post is not at all sponsored – just for fun!
I recently put together “Part 1” of what I buy at Whole Foods Market, and below I’m covering the areas of the store I didn’t include last time. Also be sure to check out the recipe at the end of this post. It is super fast, super easy, and pretty economical to boot. The ingredients are all foods that you can get at (you guessed it) Whole Foods Market!
I’ve come to find that buying in bulk is a love/hate thing. I personally love it, but if you have allergies in your family, cross-contamination may be a concern. If you haven’t tried buying in bulk, I highly suggest it. Here are items I make sure to purchase:
It’s not organic, but the price is reasonable. Also, their high-powered blender works better than mine, and I don’t have any of the cleanup.
Our WFM has local wildflower honey.
I always have pinto and black beans on hand. Buying dried beans is a big cost saver, and my family LOVES various homemade bean recipes. This price is for organic pinto beans; other bean prices vary.
|per lb.||$2.69 (prices vary)|
Red, green, black, French, etc., many choices are available.
|per lb.||$1.99 (prices vary)|
|Organic Rolled Oats
Like the rest of the bulk items, get as much or as little as you need.
Red? Black? Tri-color? Whatever your fancy, you can definitely find quinoa to suit.
|per lb.||$6.99 (tri-color)|
This is a treat, but it is an organic dried mango that is available with no added sugar. And it is worth it. Yum. My kids eat it up, and so do I. The only negative is the price. We only buy a little tasting of it but absolutely love it.
My family goes through a LOT of nuts. So due to price, I can’t always get raw organic nuts, which is why you’ll see another option below. But if you can swing it here and there, these are great options to look at.
|per lb.||prices vary|
Meat and Seafood
Lisa always touts buying local, so one thing I like about WFM is that you can definitely find some local options. You can also find in-house made sausages. And their staff is always (at least in my experience) very helpful and knowledgeable about their products. This is definitely not an all-inclusive list, as I know that stores will vary by region. But here are a few of the finds at my local store:
|Meat and Seafood Items||Quantity||Price|
|Wild Caught Atlantic White Shrimp
Peeled and deveined, these babies are ready to cook up (after thawing, of course).
|Local Hickory Smoked Bacon
We generally look for the Applegate name but always appreciate a local option, as well.
|Local Pork Breakfast Patties||per lb.||$6.99|
|Local and Grass Fed Cuts of Beef
NY strip, skirt steak, London broil, sirloin steak, and flank steak are just a few of the offerings that I find at our WFM. Selections and prices will vary per cut. Again, I shop the sales and stock up on whatever’s on sale. You’ll often find a few of these in my freezer.
|per lb.||prices vary|
I don’t have a ton to report in this area. But there are a few items that I look for religiously.
|365 Brand Frozen Vegetables
If I’m not at WFM, I’ll look for the Cascadian Farms label for organic frozen fruits and veggies. But WFM has a decent selection, as well, including a 1 lb. bag of organic frozen cauliflower (yum) for just $1.99.
|per lb.||prices vary|
My youngest daughter is dairy free, and I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that this is a big change from normal cheese. But Daiya is the best option that we have found, ingredient-wise. We buy the cheddar-style shreds.
|365 Brand Organic Tofu
Once in a blue moon I’ll cook tofu. Believe it or not, my kids love it. This price is for the 365 Brand of extra firm tofu.
I always hunt for the Organic Valley brand when it comes to eggs, because I trust their values and farming principles. But WFM has a good selection in the case that is not OV. This price is for organic fresh brown eggs.
Ditto on above. Either seek out Organic Valley or seek out the 365 brand, depending on your preferences. This price is for 365 brand.
|Purity Farms Organic Ghee
Pasture raised and certified organic, this is an alternative to butter.
Hold on to that wallet! Prepared foods can look and smell so good, it’s tempting to try a little bit of everything!
- Cakes/cupcakes – Yes, this is a treat, and yes they contain sugar. But cakes created at WFM don’t contain food coloring. Instead, they are colored with natural dyes. Custom creations are available and the prices rival other grocery stores.
- Health Starts Here – Health Starts Here is a term used at WFM that indicates foods created without oils, sugars, or dairy. They have a number of prepared foods with this symbol on them. In fact, at our store, they have a 4/$4 deal where you can get a container of 4 of these items for, you guessed it, $4. Look for Health Starts Here recipes around the store also.
- Chicken Fried Tofu – Okay, this is a total rule breaker, but let me tell you that one time a few years ago, my kids had a taste of this and fell in love. Apparently they are not the only ones, since staff has told me that it’s one of their most popular items. Please don’t judge or comment on this one, as I know there is nothing redeeming about it. But once in a while, I’m okay with my kids getting it, and so are they. :)
Click the button below for a printable version of my Go-To Whole Foods Shopping List Part 2 (may not be visible on mobile devices).
Recipe: Whole Wheat Pasta with Meat, Spinach, Tomatoes and Cheese
I promise you, it doesn’t get any easier than this. This recipe has been a go-to for me for years. It’s simple, quick, economical, and it’s made with ingredients I generally have on hand. It’s no wonder I go back to it!
Sometimes I make it with sausage, and sometimes I make it with ground beef. Feel free to add in 1 teaspoon of oregano if you use ground beef.
Meat and Spinach Pasta
Cook pasta according to directions on package; drain when finished cooking.
While pasta is cooking, brown meat. Once meat is cooked through, drain.
Mix in spinach with the meat. The heat will begin to wilt the spinach.
Add in cheese and continue to stir to melt it.
Add cooked pasta to the mix and combine.
Add in tomatoes.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.