July 28, 2015

A little background before you read Part 6 in my Insider’s Series to Shopping at Whole Foods: I started working for Whole Foods Market in 2007. I worked off and on for the company at multiple stores throughout California until last year. I’m sharing all the tips, tricks, and strategies I learned during my time at the grocery store so you can learn to shop and save there, too.

Not long from now, Whole Foods will be opening their new store, 365 by Whole Foods Market. President of the new venture, Jeff Turnas, said on their blog it will not only be a scaled down version of the current Whole Foods model, but they will also emphasize the 365 store brand that so many consumers already know and love.

It is and has been one of my favorite things about Whole Foods for a long time. Not only do I not have to worry about the quality of the products that I am buying, but I also don’t have to worry as much about the cost.

Working on and off for the company over the course of seven years, I definitely cherished the times when I was able to use my team member discount. However, even when I did not have a discount to use, I would find myself still shopping at Whole Foods and filling my basket with 365 brands. Oftentimes, I would only have $25 that week for groceries.

So, I took $25 to Whole Foods and bought only 365 brand items just to show you what you can do. Now, I understand that many people have dietary restrictions that might not be included in this shopping trip, but hopefully, it inspires you a little to see what you can find at your own Whole Foods. If you need it, Whole Foods probably has it.

What's in My Grocery BasketEggs $2.49Corn Tortillas $1.39Monterey Jack Cheese $2.39Salsa $2.99Brown Rice $3.99Mediterranean Blend $2.69Cauliflower $1.99Chopped Spinach $2.69Sparkling Water $1.39$24.53

Meals I Can Make from This Basket

BreakfastBreakfast is my favorite meal, so it’s important that I have a variety of options. With all meals, I like to mix and match veggies to make things more fun. Sometimes, I will pick certain ones from the bag such as peppers and squash from the Mediterranean Blend for an omelette.

Breakfast options from this basket:Egg and Cheese OmeletteCheese and Veggie FrittataEgg, Cheese, and Salsa TacoEgg and Veggie OmeletteScrambled Eggs with Salsa on TopBrown Rice Topped with Egg

Lunch and DinnerI could easily apply some of the above to this list, but here are some ways that I would use my week’s food selections for lunches and dinners:

Veggie, Cheese, Brown Rice, and Salsa TacosVeggie, Cheese, Brown Rice, and Salsa Taco BowlCheese Quesadilla with Salsa on TopBrown Rice and VeggiesBrown Rice, Egg, and Veggies

BeveragesI am a huge lover of beverages—coffee, tea, sparkling water, and the list goes on and on. Something that can be a struggle when on a budget is trying to still enjoy some tiny luxuries. So I will treat myself to something like 365’s Italian Sparkling Water because you can’t really beat it for $1.39. It makes whatever meal I am having a little more exciting.

You might have noticed that I originally had another bottle of sparkling water on my receipt that I had to remove. Apparently, the state of Alabama taxes all food, and having just moved from California where there is no tax on food, I was a little surprised. Thus I had to make an adjustment to my shopping trip. If you live in a state where there is no tax on food, you are in luck! You would still have an extra $2.49 that you could spend!

All things considered, this was a successful shopping trip and hopefully inspired you to see what you can find at your local Whole Foods.

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