The other day I mentioned how I’m cutting even more food out of my already limited diet. For those of you keeping track, that means that I am now not eating gluten, dairy, corn, soy, red meat, and eggs. The problem isn’t necessarily cutting out those foods individually – it’s when those foods sneak into other foods that problems arise. Do you have any idea how many processed foods have soy or corn randomly in them? It’s a lot.
This means that I eat a lot of whole foods and foods from brands who commit to less processing. Which means that Whole Foods is my happy place. I did this when I lived in Nashville on my own and was paying for everything myself (remember how I live with my parents now?), so I know the argument that it’s too expensive or what not. But today I’m addressing this head on. That’s right: I’m sharing my secrets for shopping at Whole Foods without breaking the bank.
1. Plan ahead
Two parts to this. One: grocery list. It sounds simple, but it makes a huge difference. If you know exactly what you need to buy, you’re less likely to browse and buy a whole bunch of food that you didn’t need and/or won’t eat. Two: plan at least three meals ahead of time so you know exactly what you need to get for them. If you’re not eating a whole bunch of ingredients like I am, then it takes a bit of time to adjust and get used to buying the other ingredients you need to replace those that aren’t in your diet any more.
2. Food prep
Either the day you go to Whole Foods or the day after, take some time to prepare some snacks. How many times do you want to just graze on food but you don’t want to take the time to cut up some carrots or what not? If you already have these foods ready to go, you’re less likely to waste food by not eating something before it goes bad, and you’re also more likely to eat healthy. This also saves you money because you won’t need to buy as much extra food like potato chips to snack on. Or, if you still buy those chips, you will go through them slower and won’t need to buy a bag a week.
3. Get food in bulk to stock up when you can
Whole Foods has their own brand – 365 – to provide you with good food at a low price. The Whole Foods in the South End of Boston also has a bulk aisle! What I suggest you do in general is stock up when you can and get foods in bulk, which will save you money in the long run and lower your weekly grocery bill. Some foods you may want to do this with is chips and snacks in general, but also buy meat, shellfish, frozen berries, etc. and freeze them. If you buy more than 3 pounds of meat at Whole Foods, you get $0.50 off every extra pound!
4. If you get nothing else there, get their organic produce.
So many stores now have organic food. But many of them have high prices for their organic produce, and (in my experience) Whole Foods has lower prices and more available. That’s why my weekly grocery bill at Publix was so high for just one person!