How to Shop at Whole Foods on a Budget

Use your Amazon Prime membership to score exclusive discounts and shop the store's 365 brand to save money at Whole Foods.
Lauren Schwahn
Kelsey Sheehy
By Kelsey Sheehy and  Lauren Schwahn 
Edited by Rick VanderKnyff

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Whole Foods has an array of natural, organic foods, but the prices aren’t always so appealing. However, you can have your vegan-chocolate cake and eat it, too, if you follow a few simple strategies.

Try out these money-saving tips while shopping at Whole Foods.

Find out what’s on sale — and when

Time shopping trips around your store’s sale schedule to maximize savings. New weekly sales typically begin on Wednesdays. Check the Whole Foods website for sale information by location. Call your local store and ask if there are any promotions or markdowns not featured in the ads.

Download the app and link your Amazon Prime account

The Whole Foods app puts sale details at your fingertips. Amazon Prime members can link their account and scan the Prime code at checkout to get an extra 10% off most sale items. Prime members also gain access to exclusive deals every week. Recent Prime Member Deals have included sirloin steaks for $5.99 per pound (regular price is $9.99 per pound) and 30% off Pacha soaps.

Don’t have Amazon Prime? You can try it free for 30 days. After that, it's $12.99 per month or $119 per year. Discounted rates are available for college students and families that qualify for government assistance programs like Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Follow your local store on social media

Some sales will pop up unexpectedly. Follow the company’s social media accounts and subscribe to the Whole Foods email newsletter to receive timely updates. Scroll to the bottom of the page to access the social media links.

Shop the bulk containers

Get goods like beans, pasta, spices and nuts from the store’s bulk containers to choose the exact amount you want without having to pay for packaging or name-brand labels. Need a large quantity? You can get a 10% discount on wine and other eligible items when you buy by the case.

Buy part of an item

With certain goods, you can pay for the portion you want instead of buying the whole thing. For example, if you’re making a vegetable soup and the recipe calls for half a head of cabbage, ask an employee to split a head. You don’t have to waste money buying more than you need.

Do a taste test

You risk throwing money away by purchasing a new product out of curiosity, because you might not like it. Whole Foods has a generous “try before you buy” policy that lets you taste items like cheese or cookies even if you grabbed them off the shelf rather than a sample table. Ask for assistance if something in the aisle piques your interest.

Look for store-brand items

Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value brand items are comparable in quality and often lower in price than competitor brands. Keep your eyes peeled for packages with the 365 Everyday Value label and compare price tags with surrounding items on the shelf.