Yes, There Is an Affordable Way to Shop at Whole Foods — Here's How
They call it "the splurgiest way to save."
Whole Foods Market is known for having an amazing array of healthful products and for being a terrific place to shop when you care about things like organic, sustainable, and fair-trade products. If you have a dietary restriction, like gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian or vegan, perhaps no other shop will have as wide an array of options that accommodate your needs, from packaged goods to fresh prepared foods, as the Austin-based, Amazon-owned market.
But all this exceptional sourcing and attention to quality comes with a price, and people jokingly refer to the store as Whole Paycheck for a reason. It can get very expensive to do your full shopping there, and many have to pick and choose certain specialty items to purchase at Whole Foods, leaving the staples to the other stores.
But with their in-house brand 365 by Whole Foods Market, you can expand your shopping affordably. Not only can you match the price point of your regular store on items like snack foods and household goods, but you can also swap in 365-branded items for many of the luxury brands they carry for even more savings. They call it "the splurgiest way to save," and we have found that the 365 brand quality is indistinguishable from the more expensive brands they carry. Our recommendation is while you are shopping, if there is a 365 option in the category you are looking for, give it a try.
The Best 365 by Whole Foods Market Buys
Stock up on the 365 Everyday Value items in the produce section, especially for things like carrots, lettuces, and bagged ready-to-cook things like Brussels sprouts. Keep a particular eye out for their peeled garlic, which you can freeze right in the resealable bag so you can grab a clove or two whenever you need one.
If you buy 365 brand dairy staples like milk, butter, cream, cream cheese, snacking cheeses and eggs, you'll save enough to splurge on something decadent from their amazing cheese counter, like clothbound Cheddar or a ripe Camembert. We particularly like their crumbled feta and whipped cream cheese.
When it comes to frozen seafood, fruits, and vegetables, we have never found a difference in quality between the 365 house brand and other more expensive versions, and those things add up if you are trying to get more fish in your diet, make smoothies, or are doing a lot of plant-based cooking. Load in all your favorites but keep an eye out for specialty items like edamame and frozen brown rice, which are both a great value. We also love their salmon filets and jumbo white shrimp.
Stick with 365 brand for breakfast meats like sausage and bacon, and sandwich meats like turkey and ham, so that you can choose a great steak or chop from the butcher counter. We really like their reduced-sodium smokehouse bacon and pork breakfast sausage.
Canned beans, condiments, pastas and sauces, snack foods, pickles, and preserves will all give you great value and quality. We are big fans of their thick and chunky salsa, veggie straws, rolled oats, and chickpeas, just to name a few.
Things like paper towels, plastic bags, and cleansers can be hard to source in versions you can feel good about, like recycled/recyclable products or natural cleaners, and when you can find them, they are often insanely pricy. 365 brand has a full line of great household products that you can feel good about using and afford to purchase. We especially like their 100-percent recycled jumbo paper towels and their Lemon Peel liquid dish soap.