8 insider tips to shop smarter at Whole Foods

Whole Foods Posts 71 Percent Increase In Quarterly Profits
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

The internet lost its mind back in August when news broke that Amazon had bought the organic-foods mecca, Whole Foods. For any lover of healthy groceries, this was huge news. To put it in perspective, Amazon cut the grocer’s normally astronomical prices by as much as 43 percent on its very first day as owner!

But even with the reduced prices, there are ways you can save even more at Whole Foods. To help you navigate the aisles on your next shopping adventure, we’ve rounded up the very best pro tips on how to get the most bang for your buck at Whole Foods.

1. You Can Use Coupons

Most people are surprised to learn that a grocery store with a high-brow reputation like Whole Foods offers coupons. But indeed they do! Forget clipping anything, because all you need is is the Whole Foods App. Once you arrive at the check out line, whip out the app and let the cashier scan the handy coupon barcode. Any and all eligible coupons will be applied to your haul. Like magic.

Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

2. Double-Check Your Receipt

While this should be something you do at all stores, it can be particularly lucrative at Whole Foods. Once you’ve paid for your items, be sure to double-check your receipt to make sure you not only received all the correct sale prices but also the right prices in general. See an issue? Take it to customer service, where they almost always give you the mispriced item for free (yes, free!). 

Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

3. Eat Light (Literally) At The Hot Bar

Sure, it all looks homemade and tasty. But at $8.99 per pound, racking up an embarrassingly high bill at the hot bar is super easy to do. Next time you get your to-go box, avoid bone-in meat and instead choose meats like pulled pork or shredded chicken. Skip the heavy sides (we’re looking at you mashed potatoes) and opt for the lighter leafy greens.

Flickr | Shoshanah

4. Try Before You Buy

Try before you buy” is a policy that Whole Foods stands by, so do it. Simply ask an employee to sample something and your wish is granted. Literally, take your pick of both the perishable and nonperishable items. You should never end up paying for a product you don’t like.

Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

5. Ask For Discounts

Looking for the deals? Don’t be afraid to ask. Specials aren’t always advertised front and center, so ask a friendly store employee if they can point you in the direction of any special sales. 

Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

6. Outsource Your Meal Prep

Need a whole chicken chopped in sections? Or a steak tenderized? How about a de-boned fish? Well, the butchers and fishmongers at Whole Foods have your back. Let them know what you need, even if that’s just a killer seasoning rub, and they’ll handle it—for free!

Getty Images | Joe Raedle

7. Don’t Overlook Non-Food Items

Whole Foods bath and body products are high-quality items that follow strict organic guidelines. Anything marked “organic” must have at least 95 percent ingredients certified organic by the USDA National Organic Standards. Whole Foods does its due diligence, so you can slather on their lotions and balms with confidence.

Flickr | Ruth and Dave

8. Buy Wine In Bulk

When you buy wine at Whole Foods, you get 10 percent off. And you can mix and match! Grab a full-bodied red to go with that grass-fed beef, and a nice crisp white to pair with your wild-caught salmon—plus a few more for good measure. 

Getty Images | Dan Kitwood

About the Author

Chelsea Davis

Chelsea is a freelance journalist based in New York City whose passion revolves around exploring the world, immersing herself in foreign cultures, and of course, eating and drinking everything delicious. She covers all things food, drink and travel and is always up for an adventure, whether that means an adrenaline-pumping excursion or trying a new cuisine. Follow her on Instagram at @cheycheyfromthebay and keep up with her latest work at www.chelseadavis.com and at her blog www.cheycheyfromthebay.com. More.

More to explore