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Before I started working on the #PathToFit campaign my opinion of Whole Foods Market was GREAT food but expensive prices. I had this opinion without ever trying to shop for all my groceries there. It was a store I went shopping at when I wanted to splurge.

What I learned by trying to shop Whole Foods on a budget is that YES there are foods that are pricey, but it comes down to how you shop. Expensive products can be found anywhere. When I shop for my groceries at Target out of convenience{read laziness} my bill is always at or over $100 and the food doesn’t seem as fresh.

I already had some of the staples, most of us do, so I wasn’t starting from scratch with buying groceries, but I was able to get all our groceries for a week and keep the bill right at $100.

Here are my tips for shopping at Whole Foods and not breaking the bank!

  • 365 Whole Foods Brand: When trying to save money shop generic is one of the tips. It’s the same here only Whole Foods has it’s own brand that is just as tasty as any of the name brand products they carry.
  • Frozen Veggies: Frozen vegetables are typically less expensive than fresh ones. We know that manufactures freeze them at their peak freshness so you aren’t loosing out on the key vitamins and nutrients from frozen! My freezer is full of bags of frozen spinach, Brussels Sprouts and other veggies that we enjoy eating alone with a little coconut butter, or ones that are great when you mix them up with meat and grains.

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    • Bulk Foods: If you are purchasing nuts grains, or beans – head to the bulk foods section. The prices in this section are less expensive that buying a bag of nuts that can often cost you upwards of $11 dollars.
    • Shop Seasonal:
    • Shop The Sales: My 26Strong Cadet Danielle works at her local Whole Foods in Florida and suggested this tip. She isn’t picky when it comes to produce – when a certain type of apple goes on sale for the week she stocks up. There are plenty of items on sale each week and if you make it a habit to shop whatever it on sale that week you can cut down considerably on the cost of your produce and other items. She also stays away from pre-packaged items, that aren’t as nutrient dense as produce – these items leave you hungry before the next meal and often cause you to eat more than you would if you were sticking to whole foods.

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  • Grab The Whole Deal Flyer When You Walk In: When you walk in to Whole Foods there are usually flyers by the door. Grab that and check out what in the store is on sale that week, so you don’t spend precious time searching. Want to see your flyer ahead of time? Sign up for the Whole Foods Newsletters – http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/newsletters
  • Use Coupons: Did you know that you can search for coupons for your Whole Foods store at your house? I didn’t! Saving money at any grocery store requires planning. Plan your meals for the week at home and print your coupons out ahead of time!! http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/coupons
  • Check Expiration Dates: I’m a big fan of salads and can go through a couple of small tubs of greens in a week. Now I purchase one large one container and check the expiration date to make sure it’s going to still be good at the end of the week. Iceburg lettuce is often the cheapest of the greens, so I buy a head, chop it finely and then mix it in with other more expensive greens like kale, to stretch my salad budget for the week.
  • Meal Plan: This is a no brainer. If you walk in to any grocery store with no plan of attack for the week and throw items in your cart as they draw you in, you are going to go over your budget. This wasn’t an issue when I was a young single woman, or even when I first got married and we were a two full-time income family. We are a family of five now and I don’t work full time out of the house anymore. As my kids get older, they eat more, so planning things out becomes more important as time marches on.

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I follow Whole Foods both on twitter and facebook. They post healthy meal options, recipes, money saving tips and more. I suggest that you give them both a follow if you like Whole Foods as much as I do!

Still don’t believe me that you can shop Whole Foods on a budget? Check out this article from Today Money – 25 Items That Are Cheaper Than Whole Foods

Gluten Free?: Check out Lindsay’s post on shopping Gluten Free on a budget!

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Yesterday’s run was a wet and cold 14 miles with my mom and some new friends. When I went to bed and saw that I was almost at 25,000 steps for the day I may have done a little happy dance. Yes that includes a longer run, but I didn’t go home and sit around, I kept moving and the steps kept adding up. I love how my Garmin vívofit is keeping me accountable to moving and being active ALL day long.

Today has become an unplanned rest day because I slipped and fell yesterday on some ice and my hip is bruised pretty bad. I plan on doing some grocery shopping to get in some extra steps. I may even make the trek to the Whole Foods in Fair Lakes Shopping center – I’m basically a kid in a candy shop in that store – 65,000 square feet of health :)

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And in case you we were wondering if I really do like my vívofit {sponsored posts always leave me wondering – but do they really like the product?}  I went and bought more bands because I love mixing up the colors each day! I think that should tell you that I plan on wearing this guy for a long time. 2015 is already shaping up to be much better than 2014!

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Want to win an $100 Gift Card to Whole Foods? Hop over to my instagram page – the last day to enter the giveaway is tomorrow! http://instagram.com/mileposts

Comments

  1. Oh dear, so sorry to hear about your fall. I hope you heal up fast!

  2. slipping on ice has been an issue for many. I almost fell walking my dog yesterday and opted to skip my run. There was black ice on sidewalks and roads so I didn’t want to chance driving to the gym either. Feel better! I’m loving my vivify too! It’s so nice to have a gadget that doesn’t need to be charged. =)

  3. Do you have to swing your arms in order for the vivofit to count steps? I have a nike fuel band, and it won’t count steps if I run or walk with the stroller, and it’s super frustrating (I know I did the steps but I need to see the numbers)

  4. i’m diggin mine too! helps me to keep moving! love your tips friend!

  5. These are great and they are pretty much exactly what I do. We are a family of 4 and a 1 income family being that I home school my kids so I try to use all the savings tips I can find! I have that same Saucony running vest by the way and it is my FAVORITE!!!!!!

  6. jealous of the size of your whole foods. ours in DC are not nearly that size! :)

  7. Really great tips–thank you for sharing! I’ll definitely be signing up for the newsletter and scoping out the coupons. :)

  8. Great tips…Where I live there is absolutely no whole foods stores…too rural I guess :( Nut, I do appreciate frozen veges for sure :)

  9. I do what Danielle does – buy what is on sale at Whole Foods that week plus a lot of the 365 stuff. We are vegan and try to eat organic so go through a TON of produce. By buying the feature/sale each week we also mix up our nutrients (i.e. rather than go for spinach each time we might grab the organic collard greens on sale!)

    I got a fitbit for Christmas and am absolutely OBSESSED! My record so far is 21K steps (that included a 5 mile run). Your 26K is awesome!

  10. Have you tried some other device before Garmin vivofit?

  11. Sorry about your fall- I hope your hip feels better soon. I don’t shop at Whole Foods very much at all because it’s pretty far from my house, but we have a store here called Earth Fare that is similar. They do run a lot of good sales and have a text message club you can sign up for as well as a rewards card. The savings do add up.

  12. Thanks so much for this, I didn’t think this was possible.

  13. I also had no idea you could save so much – what great strategies, thanks very much.

  14. Eat clean , think clean, these are good nutrition plans, check more about sports nutrition at testozilla.com

I love a good comment!

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