Recently I shared my love for my local health food store. You can read more about my love affair here.

Over the past couple years, I’ve learned I can shop at a health food store and save money.

This was not always true in my shopping experience.  When I first started shopping at my health food store, I spent way too much money, around $250 a week. I was out of control with credit card statements to prove it. Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks to getting the most out of our family money without compromising the food we eat.

Today, I am going share my tips for saving money while shopping for real food at a health food store.

1. Shop around: While I love my main health food store, I have found that I can save money by shopping around at a few different health food stores in my area. Visit all the health food stores in your area and make a list of the prices on food you regularly stock. Personally, most of the prices at the three stores in my area are very similar, however, there are a couple items with a significant price difference.

2. Buy food with multiple uses:  Packaged organic and natural granola bars, pop tarts, cereal, dips, chips, and cookies can be a tempting, but also very costly! These products are highly processed and most lack very little nutrients, leaving you hungry, and only allow for a single enjoyment. Stick to buying real food that can be used in multiple ways.  Rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, butter, coconut oil, and honey can be used to make cereal, granola bars, oatmeal, a quick trail mix for snacks, as well as to cook with and use in baked goods and cooking.

Shop the bulk bins

3. Shop the bulk bins: The bulk section of the health food store is your friend. Anything you buy in a package can be found here: sucanat (sugar), dried fruit, flours, beans, rice, pasta, oats, chocolate chips, popcorn kernels etc. These items are purchased in bulk and sold at bulk prices to the customers. Without the cost of pricey packaging and advertising, you can save a significant amount of money by purchasing items from this section. You will not get a fancy bag or box, but you will be saving a few pennies.


4. Create a price list and stock up: While the produce I purchase changes with season (which I buy through my co-op), most of my basic freezer and pantry stock remains the same. Because of this, I keep a list of these items and the best prices. Butter is one of the items which our family uses a lot.  I purchase pastured Organic Valley or Kerrgold at my health food store, stocking up when it goes on sale ensuring I am getting the best price.  I don’t mind paying top dollar for good nourishing food, but since starting this list I have noticed sale trends.

By shopping smart, I am able to shop at a health food store, nourish my family with real food, and keep within our family food budget.

What are your tips to getting the most out of your money at a health food store?

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