Leave it to kids to turn your once-favorite errand into a sweaty, frantic tantrum-fest! Tooling around the market with one gurgling infant was manageable enough, but as soon as no one wants to sit in the cart anymore, sh*t gets REAL.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Let my arsenal of Whole Foods hacks majorly transform your grocery shopping game:
1. Free snacks, yo!
Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Head straight to customer service for a complimentary “Whole Kids Club” kid snack. (Which is always nut-free and nutritious, because Whole Foods.) Keep the free buffet rolling with samples from the cheese department, deli, and (shockingly) produce department. Just ask!
2. Delegate menu planning.
Whether you’re bored of your weekly meal plan (YES) or want to strike menu planning from your to-do list, check out the Whole Foods website for weekly meal plans and recipes with grocery lists all done for you!
And before you’re all, Dummy, that’s how they sell you more food!, check out the grocery list: much of what Whole Foods recommends is either bulk or 365 brand, the two most value-oriented products in the whole store. So there.
3. Wash produce IN THE STORE.
We’ve all been there: Your kid whines “I want those blueberries nowwww!” and then you’re left doing the cost-benefit analysis of feeding her dirty blueberries vs. a hanger meltdown. There’s a better way: the floral department has a sink and will happily rinse fruit for you to snack on while you shop. Right?!
4. Let the butcher do the work for you.
Do not waste your precious time breaking down whole chickens and pounding out veal cutlets, because Whole Foods pays people to do that sh*t for you. You like doing everything yourself (you know I know) but efficiencies like this are how you find time to do other more awesome stuff with your day.
5. Free swag at the register.
It varies by store, but most have free Whole Foods stickers and (at the Upper Haight location in San Francisco, of course) free Whole Foods temporary tattoos.
6. Say it with me: Instacart.
Remember than one time (errrr, every week) when you were trapped in your house during nap time and couldn’t prep dinner because you needed just three more ingredients?
For a small fee and tip, Instacart will do the shopping for you in under two hours. It’s wildly convenient, and even with the delivery surcharges I still spend less on groceries than when I shop in-store because 1) Coupons! I just can’t with paper coupons, but I am 100% down with the virtual ones on the Instacart app; and 2) It’s easy to stick to a menu plan when you’re shopping in the app vs. in-store, which means saying adios to impulse shopping. YOU’RE WELCOME.