How to be a Smart Whole Foods Shopper

Whole Foods, Whole Foods, Whole Foods. I imagine we have all traipsed down the lovely aisles browsing bougie snacks and wanting to buy them all. However, as a college student, it can be very difficult to afford to grocery shop here. Personally, I choose Whole Foods for my grocery needs because it is the grocery closest to me that has a deli counter and good produce. Thus, I have compiled a list of some of my easy hacks for being a Whole Foods shopper on a budget! Go forth and buy your affordable kombucha and gluten free snacks!


1. Avoid the organic produce at ALL costs. The prices are double, especially with produce, and it’s hard to tell the sections apart sometimes. However, it is very important that you check the crates you are selecting your avocados out of so you aren’t shocked when you get to the checkout counter.

2. Buy the Whole Foods brand whenever you can! Their generic brand is titled 365 and they sell everything from frozen peas to their own Pop Tarts. Their items tend to be much more affordable, and just as delicious! 

3. Go in knowing that certain foods, such as frozen meals and paper products, will be much more affordable elsewhere. While it can be annoying to have to go to multiple grocery stores in a week, I find there are just no cheap options for certain items at Whole Foods. It helps to go in knowing that I will need to do another trip for these items so as not to get frustrated once I get to the store. 

4. Do NOT go right as people are getting off work. One of the best parts of Whole Foods is that they have a huge selection of hot foods and containers that you can fill up for your dinner for the night. Sadly, I am not the only one who knows this so around 5 the checkout lines get very crazy and parents on their way home from work tend to be very cranky. If you can try to go late at night or early afternoon! You can also check to see if your location has an express checkout line!

5. ALWAYS buy the organic animal cookies. Trust me, they are so worth it. 

6. While it can be tempting, be careful when buying new and trendy foods. Whole Foods is very on trend with the latest fad diets which is awesome, but also means these items will be expensive. Try to limit yourself to buying only one new food or beverage each time you go. Otherwise, you may end up with a whole case of the latest overpriced  Kombucha that you may end up hating. 

7. If you have Amazon Prime be sure to keep an eye out for weekly deals! There are always savings with your prime log in and you can now use the app when you check out. 


I hope that my tips for being a smart Whole Foods Shopper have come in handy! And remember, if all else fails you can always just go browse the aisles and not buy anything. So, next time you’re bored consider heading to your local Whole Foods, grabbing your favorite Kombucha and animal cookies, and getting some homework done in the upstairs lounge!