Years ago, when I was living in New York City on a shoe-string student budget, Whole Foods was my neighborhood grocery store. My options were to schlep my groceries from the cheaper supermarket 10 blocks away or to figure out how to make shopping at Whole Foods affordable. I opted for the latter most of the time. And, despite the grocery store chain’s reputation for being rather pricey, I did actually find ways to save money at Whole Foods. I shopped the sales, ate more plant-based foods, and was generally very mindful of what I was tossing in my cart.
These days, it’s even easier to be a smart Whole Foods shopper. And, despite the fact that I no longer live in an extra-expensive city with next-to-no income, I still take advantage of a few smart tips and tricks save me money every time I shop.
1. Download the Whole Foods app.
The Whole Foods app is the only grocery-store app I have on my phone, even though I go to a handful of different grocery stores. Every week, there’s a curated list of what’s on sale and I can honestly say I look forward to browsing before I head to the store. If I’m lucky, they’ll be something on there that I already have on my list.
If there’s something I don’t need right away but know I’ll cook and eat, I’ll add them to my list and toss them in the freezer. This is especially true when it comes to fish. I typically cook fish once a week and usually base what type of fish to make on which one is on sale at Whole Foods. There’s always at least one type — often salmon, cod, or swordfish — on sale.
Pro tip: Even if you don’t see something on the app, look for yellow sale tags at the store. Or use the website search feature to find great deals.
2. Become a Prime member.
Amazon Prime costs a little over $100 a year for membership, but it comes with a slew of benefits. One of those is that you’ll get double the amount of weekly sales at Whole Foods. There’s a whole host of sales that are exclusive to Prime members. And, for sales that are available to everyone, Prime members get an additional 10% off the sale price. If you shop at Whole Foods frequently, the membership cost will easily pay for itself and then some — especially since it comes with plenty of Amazon perks, too.
Pro tip: Did you know you can also share your Prime membership with one other adult? Consider going in on it with a family member or close friend and split the cost. (I share mine with my dad).
3. Go on Saturdays (for the rotisserie chicken).
You may already been going to Whole Foods on Saturday, but you may not know that their rotisserie chickens are $2 off every Saturday for Prime members. Even if a rotisserie chicken is not usually on your grocery list, I suggest you grab one. Shred the meat and use it for tacos, grain bowls, salads, and even soups all through the week.