I love Whole Foods.  It’s the closest grocery store to campus, and shopping there makes me feel like a hip college student.  The ones who drink fair-trade black coffee from fancy travel cups and who wear glasses even though they don’t need to.  But anyone in their right mind, glasses or not, knows that WF is so freakin’ expensive.  Like, crazy expensive.  $8 for a box of cereal?  $12 for a chocolate bar?  $2.50 for an apple?  Seriously?!  But never fear: there are ways around the ridiculously-overpriced groceries.  You can shop at Whole Foods without spending all your money.  Because tuition is expensive enough.

Step 1: Go in with a plan.  I only buy three things at Whole Foods: cereal, protein bars, and candy.  Sometimes oatmeal.  But that falls under the category of “cereal” so it’s okay.  As much as you’d like to, you don’t need to do all your shopping at WF.  Resist the fancy, tempting packages and avoid the sprawling aisles of exotic fruits, dairy-free ice creams and unusual drinks unless you came to WF specifically for those items.  I often come for this chocolate, which is located near the hot bar, FYI.

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over half a pound of French bittersweet chocolate

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yes!  why buy chocolate in tiny bars when you can just buy a large block that will last forever?

 

Step 2: 2 words- bulk bin!  Sure, they have rice and nuts there, but did you know they also have cereal, granola, and candy?  This large (1.5 pound) bag of High Fiber Flakes was around $5, and I love the dark chocolate-covered almonds, too.

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Step 3: do NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT ask for a bag at checkout.  Not using a bag gives you a 10-cent discount off your purchase.  And in my experience, the cashiers will give you the worst death stare imaginable if you ask for one.  Like, this stare can seriously burn holes into your soul.  I usually tell the cashier I don’t need a bag before they ring up the order, just to start things off on a good note.  And obviously, bring a reusable shopping bag to carry your groceries home.

Hope these tips help! 

 

On a side note: the gym at my school has a healthy vending machine, and I decided to be adventurous yesterday and try something from it.  I picked the Pure Organic Bar in chocolate brownie flavor.

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The nutritionals… similar to a Larabar.

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The inside… also similar to a Larabar, but with a more homogenous consistency and chunks of walnuts scattered throughout.

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The verdict?  It was pretty good, but I don’t think “brownie” is a good word to describe it.  It was chewy and dense, but not rich and fudgy like a brownie should be.  The taste was chocolatey and date-y (which is a word… I just decided) and overall decent.  I wouldn’t actively seek this bar out, but if I needed a quick snack, then I would definitely grab one of these from the vending machine again.

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