Saturday, September 12, 2009

5 tricks to saving money at Whole Foods>>>

It's expensive...Just face it. Don't get caught up in there beautiful fields of green produce or there brands you have never heard of but you assume its good because you have never heard of it. Be wise. Remember when we used to cut coupons with our parents before we went to (un)Safeway or Giant Food(lie)? What ever happenned to saving money? We are shopping beyond our means. One hundred dollars used to fill the fridge back in the 80's nd 90's and now its only 3 pounds at the salad bar. So here are my five tricks for saving money while grocery shopping at Whole Foods:

1. Stick to the perimeter
2. Buy in season and on sale
3. Look for in-store coupons
4. Avoid processed foods
5. Buy in bulk

When I go into my local Whole Foods store, I do a big circle, starting in produce and working my way around the perimeter of the store. In the produce section, I look for what is on sale, what is seasonal and what is local. We don’t eat blueberries in the middle of January anymore, because they come from South America, don’t taste as good, and are super expensive. This week, Organic Gala Apples from Washington and Organic Avocados from California, are on sale, I will probably buy both.

How do I know all this sale information? Well, Whole Foods has a great website and they have their sale fliers available online, so you can check out the specials before you shop. Does anyone do that? Click HERE to check them out. Also, for my third recommendation, pick up the in-store circular, usually available at the information desk in the front of the store. I have found great coupons in there for cereals, dairy products and other middle-of-the-store items.

This brings me to my 4th recommendation - when you go into the middle of the store, you will find that items are more expensive. And processed. So, my 4th recommendation is to stay away from as much of the processed foods as you can, unless you can buy them with coupons. Those boxes of crackers and cookies can really add up.

And finally, check out the bulk aisle. You can buy organic oatmeal for $1.39 a pound, loads of specialty flours in small amounts for whatever recipe I am making, and more whole grains than I can shake a stick at. My friends Israeli couscous, but in the box, it costs about $3.50. If I buy it in bulk, it is $3.99 a pound. Savings of about $.50. Hey, every penny counts!

And before I start sounding holier-than-thou, let me explain that some weeks my shopping receipt gets up there. If you stick to my 5 rules of shopping at Whole Foods, you can buy healthy, organic, local foods(?) and maintain a decent bank balance.

Honestly though, Whole Foods is the last resort for my shopping needs. I shop at GLUT Food Co-op and TPSS in Takoma park. Look them up...Be Well>>>>

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