How to Prepare a One Week Organic Meal Plan at Whole Foods Market for $100

As someone who shops regularly and saves money at Whole Foods Market, I feel continually frustrated when people complain about organic food prices and tell me it’s hard to save on healthy foods. It’s like a walled fortress of misconceptions that I’m constantly trying to tear down and show people that yes, you can save money and prepare healthy, wholesome foods for your family – even at Whole Foods Market!

I was on a mission: With using some great coupons and shopping the sales, was it possible to create a meal plan at Whole Foods for a family of four for $100? The lovely people at Whole Foods gave me a value tour (anyone can have one – just ask about it at your store), and gave me a free gift card to see if I could plan a week’s worth of meals for a family of four for around $100.  Watch my video below to see what happened:

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Whole Foods Market One Week Meal Plan

Breakfast:

  • Organic Yogurt and Apples/Pears
  • Organic Oatmeal (bought a previous week*)
  • Organic Toast with Jelly (bought a previous week*)
  • Organic Cereal with Almond Milk
  • Smoothies

Lunches:

  • Organic Apple and Arugula Salad
  • Organic Tofu and Chia Seed Spinach Salad
  • Organic Scrambled Eggs and Spinach With Toast
  • Leftovers
  • Corn and Fish Soup in the Crock Pot

Dinners:

  • Organic Spinach Ravioli and Salad
  • Organic Spaghetti and Mixed Veggies
  • Annie’s Organic Frozen Pizza and Salad
  • Healthy Homemade Chili with Beans and Tofu
  • Organic Spaghetti Squash Primavera
  • Organic Spinach and Feta Chicken Sausage with Couscous and Veggies (recipe below – keep scrolling down)
  • Whole Foods Value Meal (Chicken, veggies and salad)

Results:

Most all items that I bought were organic. My total for a week’s worth of food from Whole Foods Market came to $111.35 total after tax.

By the end of the week we had so many leftovers and I didn’t even get to make some of the meals, either because we had so much food!

Quick Tips & Savings Methods I Use for Organic Shopping at Whole Foods Market

Checking out at Whole Foods Market

1. Avoid the convenience foods as much as possible. These are the most expensive items in pretty much any store you shop at. Some convenience is still okay (ie. I still got a pizza and the value meal), but just know that these can tend to eat up your budget.

2. Shop the bulk section at the store. Grains, Beans, Fruits and Veggies are cheaper in the bulk section vs. buying them in the pre-packaged forms.

3. Use coupons whenever possible. The coupon booklet at the front of the store is always available, and you can print coupons online. Check my weekly Whole Foods Deals and Coupon Match-Ups to help you save time hunting the bargains.

4. Get the case discounts. You automatically get a 10% discount when you buy a case of anything in the store! Case sizes vary – ie. buying six bottles of any wine is automatically considered a case and gets you a 10% discount. Case sizes are found on the price labels. The nice thing about the case discounts is that you can combine them with coupons and sales!

5. Bring your reusable bags. Each bag gets you 10 cents off your order, so 10 bags means a $1 off! Don’t be like me and forget to bring your bags with you…. :/

Easy Organic Chicken and Veggie Couscous Recipe

Chicken and Couscous

This is one of my go-to meals when I need something really quick to prepare that is inexpensive, and my kids will actually eat it!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups couscous
  • 1 quart of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 stick of butter or  1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 pack of steamed mixed veggies
  • 2 pieces of cut up and sautéed chicken sausage

Directions:

1. Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan and add couscous.

2. Reduce heat and simmer for about 12 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed all the broth.

3. Add in your butter, mixed veggies, and cooked sausage.

And voila! It’s a simple, yet healthy recipe that is a snap to make on the fly! 

So are you ready to shop at save while getting healthier foods for your family? You can find my weekly list of Whole Foods Market coupon match-ups and sales here. What would be some of your questions you would have for me or someone from Whole Foods Market?

25 Comments:
  1. I didn’t really know you could use coupons at Whole Foods. I’m excited to hear about that. I like to go to Whole Foods for lunch here in Nashville. You know what? One of the reasons I go there is because their lunch deal is so good. I can get a huge piece of pizza and a bottled water for under $3. It’s fantastic. Healthy, Yummy and affordable. :)

    • Awesome deal Dan! I’ll have to see if the WF here has similar lunch deals!

      Erin

      • They don’t always let you it depends on who is at the register. Some times they will work with you other times they work against you. be careful.

  2. Great Job Crystal!! Goes to show that you can save if you just take a minute to look at the prices and have a plan. I love shopping at Whole Foods! I especially love to use coupons to get FREE name brand organic products from WF.

    @Dan YES isn’t it wonderful that you can use coupons at Whole Foods. You can use ONE Store Coupon and ONE manufacturers coupon on each item you buy. And if you buy a case you can get 10% off before coupons! Crystal does a coupon match-up for WF that will help you save money. I do a WF coupon match-up too.

  3. Love this! It’s a great reminder that meal planning for a week always saves you money…regardless of where you shop. Also that eating organic items doesn’t mean you have to have a garage sale to do so!

    And really….Whole Foods is one of my happy places. If I’m in a bad mood, I head to Whole Foods. :)

  4. Great job Crystal! I don’t usually shop at Whole Foods because it’s so much further to drive and I always forget you can use coupons at their stores. Thanks for the reminder!

    On a happy note…we are getting a Whole Foods closer to the house and I think it’s going to be my new home! :) Can’t wait for early 2013 when the store opens!

    • That’s awesome! Mine is a little farther away, too, so I always make sure I have a plan in place before heading out there. It totally makes it worth the trip!

  5. Thank you for this post! I am also someone who didn’t think that I could shop at a Whole Foods and stay within my budget. I will definitely be giving this some thought and even though the store is a bit of a drive from where I live it will be worth it. Now the struggle will be to not blow my budget in their amazing cheese section. :)

  6. Love the proof that you can buy organic (yes, even at Whole Foods!) for a great price when you have a plan and use sales and coupons! Thanks for taking the time to document it for us. And, some of your recipe ideas sound delish! :)

  7. You’ve created a convert. I normally steer clear of Whole Foods because I always heard they were over priced, but I’d be willing to give them a try, based on the results from your trip!

  8. I love this! People are always surprised when they find out that I’m a grad student who shops primarily at WF. I get some funny looks for that one. ;)

    Also, I’m incredibly jealous of your store…the Baltimore ones are not very big and not nearly as pretty. And that price for dates? And you get $0.10 off/bag instead of $0.05? *sigh* #jealous :D

  9. Which Whole Foods were you at. I live in the Seattle area and the stores around here won’t let us match manufacturer coupons with the Whole Deal coupons. I’ve tried and they say it’s up to the store and I’ve tried at every single store in the region and it’s a no go. It really annoys me to because I’ve done it in other states and saved a fortune!

    • I spoke with the marketing manager from Whole Foods about their coupon policy while in the store, and was told that the coupon policy is not up to the individual stores. It is a nationwide policy that you can match MFG coupons with the store coupons (I’ll have a post on this coming up shortly). Have you tried talking to the manager at your store Cynthia?

      • I haven’t tried recently. I will try again because I’ll be shopping there in the few days. I was trying to pair Whole Deal coupons with Mambo Sprouts coupons. Whole Deal coupons say Store coupons on them and Mambo Sprouts coupons say manufacturer coupons on them and they fought me and said it was a no go because they’re processed at the same place.

        Do they have that policy up on the website? I’d love to make them go look it up on their website I’m usually shopping during non-business hours.

  10. That was great! I would love to see more of this kind of shopping instead of the “crazy extreme couponers” who come out of the store with cat food and mustard! I was just at whole foods and since I don’t go often enough, I forgot the coupons!

    One thing I find such a great deal at Whole Foods is their bulk spices! I just bought about 10 cinnamon sticks for .99! I always get my spices here for literally pennies.

  11. Wow, what an awesome comprehensive post! I live right next to a Whole Foods and hardly ever go inside. Maybe it is time to give it another try with these tips! :)

  12. Great post, Crystal! I love to shop at Whole Foods, too, but we shop there a lot less now that we have to drive into the city to the nearest one.

    When I lived in IL, we’d shop there regularly, and I love that they take one of their coupons plus one manufacturer’s coupon! :) Now is GA, my husband makes the drive around once a month. He’ll also stop at Trader Joes (also in the city) and do a BIG stock up of frozen organic vegetables.

  13. My husband and I were just discussing how many people waste so much money on per-prepared foods thinking it saves them money. So I think it is very fitting that you put the #1 tip as avoid the convenience foods.

    Great list!

  14. Excellent job! I am curious do you think they have a value tour for people who are restricting grains and flour from their diets? Or maybe do you have any ideas? I think that will be my own personal challenge to see if I can do as well as you did but without the pastas and cereals.

  15. I love posts like these! It shows you are feeding your family practically and so healthy and yet is isn’t out of reach for most families. I have documented my spending on my blog before for others to see it may take a little effort but in the end it is totally worth it! Kudo to you!

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