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  • Most of us have probably heard of Whole Foods, but maybe you haven't been there.

  • Whether you're a frequent shopper or a first-timer, there are some tips you can use to make your

  • shopping experience better.

  • Here's what you need to know before you head to Whole Foods.

  • If you're looking for both unique dry goods and pantry staples at a bargain price, the

  • bulk bin aisle should be your first stop at Whole Foods, especially when trying out a

  • new recipe or a new ingredient.

  • If you head here instead of the more traditional shelves, you can buy exactly the amount you

  • need.

  • That's great for you, because if it turns out you actually hate eating massive amounts

  • of quinoa for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you won't be left with a ton of it to throw

  • away, let go to waste, or a lot to try to guilt yourself into eating.

  • On the other end of the spectrum, it's a good way to stock up on pantry items you know you'll

  • use often.

  • Ingredients as diverse as pink Himalayan salt, nutritional yeast, black lentils, and dried

  • mulberry can all be found in the Whole Foods bulk bins along with all kinds of grains and

  • seeds.

  • And while they're usually much less expensive compared to the items sold on the shelf, availability

  • can vary by location.

  • Another advantage of buying bulk is doing away with all the extra packaging that pre-packaged

  • goods come in.

  • Not only does it save you money on the product itself, but it's also better for the environment.

  • You can even bring reusable containers in from home, and all you'll need to do is have

  • the cashier zero out the weight before you fill your containers up.

  • The one ingredient you might want to skip getting from the Whole Foods bulk bins?

  • Nuts, which you can find for almost 50 percent less elsewhere.

  • If there's a product you already know you love, that you use often, and doesn't show

  • up in the bulk area, consider buying it by the case.

  • Whole Foods offers case discounts of 10 percent on most items, and you can see how many units

  • are included in a case on the shelf tag for most products.

  • This is a great way to save on things like pet food, canned goods, and paper products

  • that you know you'll end up using and which won't go bad if they linger for awhile in

  • the pantry.

  • You can get the 10 percent discount for buying large quantities of other items, too.

  • Take "Wine Down Wednesdays."

  • That's when you can get 10 percent off your first 1-5 bottles, and another 10 percent

  • off when you buy six or more.

  • There's a 10 percent discount to be had at the bulk bins too, for shoppers who load up

  • on 25 pounds or more.

  • As long as it's not going to go to waste, it's worth it, and that's where you may have

  • to do some serious meal planning before taking advantage of these offers.

  • This depends on location, but inside many of the chain's stores you can find a coffee

  • shop, a juice bar, and even a wine and beer bar.

  • But things there are changing.

  • In the past, when you ordered an iced beverage at the coffee bar or a cold juice or smoothie

  • at the juice bar, you would also receive a plastic straw.

  • That will no longer be the case as of July 2019, as Whole Foods became the first major

  • grocery store in the U.S. to ban plastic straws.

  • Whole Foods estimates that banning the straws and making other changes in their packaging

  • will eliminate more than 800,000 pounds of plastic waste each and every year.

  • In lieu of plastic straws, the company says it will offer Forest Stewardship Council-certified,

  • recyclable, and compostable paper straws, but they will have plastic straws available

  • on request for customers with disabilities.

  • Want to go one step further?

  • Bring your own reusable straw with you if you're going to grab a cold drink while you

  • shop, and help reduce waste even more.

  • Nothing at Whole Foods is more tantalizing than their salad bar, hot bar, and prepared

  • foods counter.

  • But there's a huge downside to giving in to your cravings at the food barit gets

  • expensive.

  • "I love shopping at Whole Foods.

  • Because I love organic produce and I can't stand having money.”

  • Though price varies by location, you'll usually find the salad and hot bar items priced at

  • about $8.99 a pound.

  • This is much more expensive per pound than most of the ingredients you'd find in a salad,

  • so you need to be careful about what you add to your bowl if you want to make the most

  • of your money.

  • Some tips?

  • Don't take the biggest container, or you might find yourself mindlessly loading it until

  • it weighs four pounds more than you were intending.

  • If you're making a salad, base your bowl around a lighter item, like spring mix or fluffy

  • couscous, and use heavier ingredients sparingly.

  • Weigh your bowl as you go using the scales in the produce section, and it'll help you

  • avoid sticker shock.

  • Use salad dressing you already have at home, or pour your dressing into one of the small

  • containers they have on offer, as they don't cost extra, and it won't be counted as part

  • of the salad's overall weight.

  • At the hot bar, choose boneless meats over bone-in, and consider skipping the side dishes

  • in favor of a salad-from-a-bag, steamable frozen veggies, or another simple side that

  • costs less per weight than what Whole Foods has on offer in the prepared food section.

  • Whole Foods sells thousands of exclusive brands, which means that if there's a specific brand

  • or product you're used to buying at a different grocery store chain, you might not be able

  • to find the same exact products at Whole Foods.

  • Once you do start throwing things in your cart, you might also notice that prices at

  • Whole Foods can be a little highabout 15 percent more expensive than other grocery

  • chains, including Kroger, Wegmans, and Safeway.

  • That's why you should keep your eyes out for the affordable 365 Everyday Value store brand.

  • Like most store brands, these products tend to be less expensive than their more traditional

  • and widely available name brand counterparts by about 23 percent, and you'll save more

  • on some products than others.

  • To get the biggest bang for your buck, consider the 365 brand for staples like sandwich bread,

  • eggs, ground beef, pasta sauce, yogurt, and more.

  • For the steepest discounts, look ahead for the Whole Foods 365 brand products that are

  • on sale.

  • Build your grocery list for the week around these items and you could end up spending

  • less than you expected the next time you shop.

  • Whole Foods may have started as a relatively small grocery store with less than 20 employees,

  • but these days the natural grocer is owned by Amazon, meaning it's run by one of the

  • most powerful companies in the country.

  • This is a very good thing for bargain seekers, because shoppers who have an Amazon Prime

  • account can actually get special discounts and deals at Whole Foods locations and on

  • Whole Food items online.

  • Prime members will get special deals throughout the store, just look for the blue signs that

  • denote those deals.

  • They'll also get an additional 10 percent off many items that are already on sale, which

  • are marked with yellow signs.

  • Other deals available for Prime members only will also be marked throughout the store.

  • To redeem your deals before you pay, you can simply give the phone number associated with

  • your Amazon account at the register, or download the Whole Foods app, which will be scanned

  • at the register so you can get your discount.

  • Here you go.

  • Thank you, please come again, we have a whole lot of groceries."

  • Even better?

  • In April 2019, the chain started giving out even more exclusive weekly deals for Prime

  • members, and slashed prices on hundreds of other items throughout the store.

  • Sometimes you'll come across a great deal at the store, only to realize that the package

  • size is just too big.

  • Other times, you just need a little bit of an extra-special cheese to make a dish sing,

  • but you don't want to fork over big bucks for more than you'll use.

  • Remember, food waste is a huge problem.

  • That's where Whole Foods' customer service comes in handy.

  • Head to the cheese counter, produce section, the butcher, or the deli section, and ask

  • the associate from the corresponding department if they can cut the item you need down to

  • size.

  • For instance, if you only need a half of a standing rib roast or a few slices of bacon,

  • the butcher can re-cut and repackage them for you; you can get large wedges of cheese

  • cut into much smaller pieces; you can ask for loaves of bread to be sliced; you can

  • even ask someone to cut a particularly large cabbage, squash, or jackfruit into a smaller

  • piece for you.

  • They'll often use the remainder in salad and hot bar item prep, or pre-cut and put back

  • on the shelf.

  • No waste!

  • It's also a great way to sample new products in a more affordable quantity before deciding

  • to go all in, but remember, this is all done at employee discretion.

  • When Whole Foods opened its doors in 1978, it was a lot like a typical grocery store,

  • just with healthier, specialty ingredients.

  • Since then, a lot has changed, including the opening of their very first in-store bar in

  • 2009.

  • As of 2017, there were more than 200 bars operating in Whole Foods stores across the

  • country, and a couple of Whole Foods stores, one in Houston and one in San Jose, actually

  • brew beer at the store itself.

  • Whole Foods pours wines and beers that are actually for sale in the store, from a selection

  • that varies by location.

  • That means you can try one of the bottles they're pouring from at the bar, then decide

  • whether or not you like it before springing for an entire bottle or six-pack, or picking

  • it up for your next dinner party.

  • Sitting at the bar at Whole Foods is also a good opportunity to chat with the bartender

  • about the best values in the beer and wine department, too, and they could very well

  • have a few budget favorites that didn't make it into any promotional literature.

  • Many of the bars within Whole Foods have specials that run throughout the week.

  • Look for events like local beer specials, different promotions, and special events.

  • Every weekday is a busy day, but it just might be worth it to carve some extra time out of

  • your schedule for a mid-week shopping trip because a lot of grocery stores, Whole Foods

  • included, turn over their weekly sale items on Wednesday.

  • A new batch of discounted items goes up for sale, and last week's items usually go back

  • to standard pricing.

  • Wednesday is the day of the week when the store will have the highest stock of their

  • weekly sale items, and, even better, Wednesday morning is actually the best time to shop,

  • too, with great deals and less crowded aisles.

  • We all know how uncomfortable a busy grocery store can get.

  • "Sarah…”

  • Claire…."

  • Also keep an eye out for your store's Friday One-Day Sale, which features, quote, "a different

  • item from a different department at an exceptionally low price."

  • You can usually find them listed in your store's weekly flyer and by the signage in the store,

  • or you can call your local store for more details and to find out if they participate.

  • The thought of downloading yet another store-specific app might make you want to take some drastic

  • action against technology as a whole, but the Whole Foods app can help you save money

  • the next time you go shopping.

  • There are a couple of different ways that the Whole Foods app can help you make the

  • most out of your trip.

  • First, you can use the app to get exclusive coupons, or to see what items are on sale

  • for the current week, then build your shopping list based on those items to help save money.

  • The app will also show you which products are on sale exclusively for Prime members

  • that week.

  • By building your meals around the discounted items, you could lower your grocery bill more

  • than you might expect.

  • On top of the weekly sales, you can also see special events and offers at your local store.

  • Second, it's one of the ways that you can redeem your Prime benefits at the store.

  • Just download the Whole Foods app, connect it to your Amazon Prime account, and have

  • the cashier scan the QR code in your app so you can get your deals.

  • Check out one of our newest videos right here!

  • Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite stores are coming soon.

  • Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell so you don't miss a single one.

Most of us have probably heard of Whole Foods, but maybe you haven't been there.

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The Truth About Shopping At Whole Foods

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/28
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