Hacking Whole Foods: How to Save and What to Buy

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

20110317 Wholefoodsshowcase 0009 1 | Hacking Whole Foods: How To Save And What To Buy

Whole Foods + Saving Money? Possible? 

Sundays are for meal prepping and grocery shopping. And if you’re like me, you love to hack both time and money the best you can–budget-friendly grocery shopping and simple, quick and easy meal prep. How I save at my favorite store in town: Whole Foods, and what to do with the “goods.”

Hacking Whole Foods

Sundays = Grocery stock up days! I’m super spoiled here in Austin with the international Whole Foods headquarters in my backyard. And although lots of people give the store flack for being “Whole Paycheck”, I actually have found that my final grocery bill is pretty comparable to the other stores in town (especially considering the quality is tremendous).

Produce from my Whole Foods trips, for instance, seem to last twice as long throughout the week, compared to the berries or greens from the local HEB grocery store–that often shrivel up or go bad within a few days. And you can’t beat the selection of grass-fed and pasture-raised meats compared to any other chain in town (the next best thing to a Farmer’s Market).

I love conducting walk throughs and grocery store tours for clients getting started with healthier eating habits, and 9 times out of 10, when I take them to Whole Foods, they are shocked at the actual savings and selection available at the “big scary, pricey” health foods chain.

While I do shop other places as well, here are some of my favorite finds at Whole Foods for spicing meals up (that you really can’t find anywhere else) and also NOT spending as much money as you think!

  • Strawberries (Fresh and in-season for only $3!)
  • Sweet Potatoes (The most varieties of anywhere: Japanese, Hannah Jane, Garnet, Purple)
  • Avocados (5 for $1 today!)
  • Super Greens (Great for morning greens. Throw in a pan with ghee or coconut oil, add sea salt, pepper, a splash of water and cover for 3-4 minutes on medium heat)
  • Bunches of Greens: Rainbow Chard, Collards, Dino Kale (Buy a mix to mix it up. Also great as ‘lettuce wraps’ for chicken or tuna salad)
  • Lemons (Large fresh lemons for squeezing in warm water with sea salt in the mornings, or flavoring your food for 79-cents each)
  • Cherries (Natural Sweet tarts)
  • Summer Squash (Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper; Roast at 400-degrees for 30-40 minutes with other veggies of choice)
  • Zucchini, Butternut Squash, Beet AND Sweet Potato Noodles (Veggie Co’s pre-spiralized noodles saves me a step for my homemade ‘spaghetti’)Whole Foods

Meat & Fish
  • Sockeye Salmon (It’s FINALLY FRESH salmon season! Get some for less than $8 for an 8 oz. portion)
  • Arctic Char (Salmon’s half-sister with a buttery, delectable taste)
  • Grass-fed Bison (Can’t find this anywhere else in town. Everything else is pre-packaged. Stock up on sirloin steaks or ground varieties for steaks, taco meat and burgers)
  • Organic boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs. (I used to be ‘terrified’ of dark meat, until I discovered…it tastes amazing and has quality fat that is actually imperative for good digestion, brain function and metabolic function. I bake these at 400-degrees with dijon mustard, Balsamic vinegar, sea salt, garlic powder and pepper for about 40-50 minutes)
  • Canned Wild Alaskan Salmon & Canned Organic Roasted Chicken (by Pacific Foods). (Perfect for making your own salmon or chicken salad for meals on the go)
  • Nitrate-free Turkey Bacon & Bacon (Wellshire Farms, Pederson’s Natural Farms, Applegate Farms). (Bacon makes everything better and all the varieties I’ve seen at Whole Foods are FREE of nitrates)
  • Pasture-Raised Eggs (Vital Farms). (There is a DISTINCT difference in the quality of a pasture-raised egg vs. a conventional, or even ‘organic’ egg. See for yourself: One yolk will be a vibrant, yellow-orange color; the other, a paler yellow, sometimes even milky white color. Get your nutrients on).Whole Foods
Breads & Grains
  • Mikey’s Muffins (English Muffin made with coconut flour + almond flour blend; In frozen bread section)
  • Siete Tortillas (Cassava + Coconut Flour OR Almond Flour)
  • Capello’s “Pasta” ( Grain-free, gluten-free lasagna, gnoshi, fettuccine, cookie dough and even pizza crust)
  • Simple Mills (bread mix, cookie mix, muffin mix, pancake mix, pizza crust)

Whole Foods


Whole Foods

Seasonings & Extras
  • Coconut Aminos (I use to season meat, burgers, stir fry-everything! Great worcestershire sauce substitute)
  • Coconut Vinegar (for salads)
  • Ghee
  • Grassfed Butter (Vital Farms, Kerrygold)
  • Artisana Coconut Butter (Nature’s candy. Spread on sweet potatoes, veggies or eat by the spoon!)
  • MCT Oil (Great in coffee or smoothies)
  • Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil (not cold-processed)
  • Primal Kitchen Primal Mayo (The base of all my tuna and chicken salads, as well as homemade dips)
  • Primal Kitchen Honey Mustard
  • Tessemae’s Salad DressingsWhole Foods
Gut Healing Foods
  • Epic Foods Bone Broth (Jar)
  • Farmhouse Culture’s Sauerkraut
  • Health Ade Kombucha (low sugar)
  • “Energize Me” Whole Foods Fresh Green Juice (fresh-greens + lemon)
  • Fresh Juice with Beets & Greens
  • Yogi Herbal Ginger & Lemon Ginger Tea
  • Inner Eco Probiotic

Whole Foods


Boom. Just SOME ideas to get you started. Savings happen naturally as you shop for what you need–and you find the QUALITY of the eats far out last many of the groceries you may typically find elsewhere. Seasonal foods will be ON SALE, so take advantage of eating the freshest produce in season, and don’t cut yourself short on investing in QUALITY meat (one of the best things Whole Foods has to offer).

I wish I could be there to shop with you, but if you’d like support in creating an individualized nutrition plan OR making “healthy eating” work for you with Thrive’s 80/20, non-diet mentality, book a free Spark session today and let’s connect!


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