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Great Ways to Shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes on a Budget

The bulk items at Whole Foods are some of the best buys in the store.
The bulk items at Whole Foods are some of the best buys in the store.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

So you want to shop at Whole Foods and not break your budget. There is hope as long as you follow some directions and do some planning before you walk in!

1. Make sure when you walk in that you do intend to buy things like oats, grains, and bulk at Whole Foods. "Oats—including steel-cut oats—are $1.39 a pound at Whole Foods. Those steel-cut oats that come in a tin are usually around $6 a pound.

2. Buy raisins and other dry fruits in bulk. "Thompson raisins are $2.99 a pound, which is cheaper than the $3.99 of raisins elsewhere.

3. For a party or get together, buy cakes at Whole Foods. "The quality is insanely better —Whole Foods cakes have actual buttercream, whereas other stores use something else entirely made of chemicals.

4. Whole Foods bread is amazing, fresh and cheap. They're $2.99 a loaf and fresh-baked, and they can slice it for you," the worker writes.
5. Yogurt- Greek yogurt is $5.99 for the 365 brand, compared to $7.99 for Fage anywhere else

6. Do buy soy or almond milk—but only in bulk. The 2-packs of half gallons are a good deal but the singles are 3.99 which is about normal.

7. Buy spices, which are affordable in the bulk section.

8. Don't buy nuts. "There are nuts that are about $17.99/lb. Trader Joe's is cheaper.

9. Go to Trader Joe's for produce. Especially apples which are much cheaper there.
10. Meat- go to Trader Joe's or a partly organic store, like Publix and it's still cheaper there.

In summary, Whole Foods is always one of my favorite places to shop but only if you go in knowing what you want there vs. elsewhere. Their selection of baked goods, prepared foods and groceries rivals that of any other grocer, big or small! When shopping at Whole Foods, I can easily end up spending twice my budget (or more!) but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t good deals to be had there. In fact, there are several categories of items that consistently beat other grocery stores when it comes to price and quality, just make sure you remember them!

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