Tag Archives: cheapskate

The total cheapskate’s guide to lunch at Whole Foods

Sometimes I wonder if the other people I see at whole foods have budgets, or even jobs. Working by the store is both a blessing and a curse. For me, it is the most convenient place in town to get lunch but I always spend more money than I intend too (it is way too easy!) and buy things I probably shouldn’t (Big John cookies!).  I am also not a fan of the vegan/raw bar there and often end up getting a premade salad or wrap in an attempt to not break the bank. If I am really hungry or indecisive then I lose all willpower and I end up at the super bar (like most people seem to at lunch) and I spend at least 10 dollars, usually a lot more. Which is way too much for me. Also, since I’m a total cheapskate and it is priced by the pound it takes me forever to decide what is worth the weight.

This biryani, steamed kale & sesame tofu with peanut sauce, samosa & fruit cost about 9 dollars and was considered a victory

Usually, when I don’t have a lot of money I get rice and beans in a cup from the taco bar for a dollar (grab a little free cup of salsa, if you ask them add salsa it will be considered a “taco in a cup” and double the price). If I am really hungry I get a double layer of beans and rice for 2 dollars, or dump it on top of some mixed greens to up the healthiness factor and eat fairly cheap. I also always cruise through the produce aisle since they have fresh fruit samples and enjoy those as well. If you are going to get fruit it is cheaper to get it here in the prepared cups then to add it in at the salad bar too where everything is the same price.

When making a plate at the salad bar I used to always put a layer of spinach at the bottom since it is so light and healthy, but it’s still 7.99 a pound for anything on the bar so it always adds up more than I think it will. The other day, I was talking to someone who gave me this awesome tip; after you are done filling up on fruit samples, get your mixed greens for your lunch from the produce aisle where they are only 5.99 a pound. Put it in a produce bag and add it to your plate after you pay. It is the exact same greens for 2 dollars less!There is actually a whole wall now of precut and washed salad ready food right behind the vegan bar and it is even less at 4.99 a pound. It is all the same stuff from the big super bar and on a recent trip they had kale and asparagus and other expensive vegetables that weren’t on the salad bar. What a great deal! If you mix the precut vegetables with the rice and beans from the taco bar you can have an amazingly healthy lunch for less then 5 dollars. And if you are reading this whole foods, don’t worry I still spend plenty of money at your dang store on açaí smoothies, coffee, food for lover’s queso, delicious beer, and vegan ice cream.

What do you get at Whole Foods?