Yes, it is possible to shop at Whole Foods without spending your whole paycheck – if you learn the tricks to saving money at the upscale grocer.
“The company is unfairly characterized as being overpriced,” says Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, a consumer industry consulting firm. “It’s becoming much more cost-competitive for consumers, particularly with [its house brand] 365 products.” A family of four would typically spend about $5,500 a year shopping at Whole Foods, estimates Flickinger. But by employing cost-cutting strategies available to any shopper, he says, that annual amount can drop by $1,000 or more.
The chain, which specializes in natural and organic foods, is giving shoppers additional reasons to drop by, even if they don’t care where their apples are grown or whether their salmon is caught in the wild. Besides carrying the usual grocery items, stores are jazzing up their fresh- and prepared-food selections with everything from customizable guacamole to beer growler refill stations. You can dine at an in-store restaurant, attend free events and meet up with friends for $1 craft brews at happy hour. And even more changes may be in store after Amazon announced in June 2017 that it is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.
Before your next visit, check out our 11 tips for shopping at Whole Foods without busting your budget.