As much as we love Whole Foods (and its incredible assortment of rotisserie chickens and clean beauty products), it is not exactly the best everyday option for the shopper on a budget. After all, the nickname “Whole Paycheck” exists for a reason. That said, there are things you can do to keep your grocery bill to a minimum—and we know this to be true, because we have insights from quotidian shoppers on Reddit to prove it.
A recent thread on the site delves into all things Whole Foods budget shopping. There are tricks for saving money and shoppers’ personal favorite inexpensive items aplenty; we sifted through them all to find the best tips. Here are the ones you’ll want to keep in your back pocket for your next trip to the store.
Avoid the hot bar
According to user Hexiron, any prepared food (such as from the hot bar or salad bar) isn’t the best option for wallet-friendly shopping: “The markup is absolutely insane.”
If you’re not ready to give up your expertly prepped food just yet, here’s a helpful suggestion from another Reddit user: Shop the salad bar in bulk. “I’ll go to the salad bar with a container and fill it up with all the toppings, then go to the produce section and get a ton of greens,” writes user Cbgv. “That will last days longer than building one salad off the bar, and makes salad-making super-quick.”
Buy more up front
Speaking of buying large quantities, one of the unanimously biggest tips we garnered from Reddit was to take advantage of WF’s bulk bin section. User Lomuto recommends it for organic canned beans, tomato sauces, and grains; elsewhere, user Nefferteetee swears by the bulk section as a spot to pick up spices. “All [are] fairly cheap, and you can get a lot that will last you a while,” writes user Chodanutz, adding a secondary benefit to shopping the bulk section—you can control every ingredient you purchase: “[It’s a] good part of a whole-foods, plant-based diet!”
Take advantage of Amazon
There has been a lot of news surrounding the Amazon-Whole Foods takeover, but one of the most useful takeaways may be the fact that you can use your Prime membership for serious discounts. “If you have Amazon Prime and you download the Whole Foods app, there’s a code they scan at checkout that usually gets you [an] extra 10 percent discount on things already on sale,” shares user TheIttyBittyBadWolf. If you’re a frequent Whole Foods shopper, it may be worth the phone storage to download both apps.
See more Whole Foods news:
These Food Trends Will Be Everywhere in 2019, According to Whole Foods
A Whole Foods Home Decor Shop Officially Exists
An Amazon Pop-Up Could Be Coming to a Whole Foods Store Near You