Saturday, April 25, 2009

Roommates Budget Shopping at Whole Foods

This past week I've been blogging about single roommates, Julie and Lisa, and their shopping trip to Whole Foods.

The girls wanted to learn how to stick to a grocery budget and I was only too happy to help them accomplish their goal.

Whole Foods' nickname "Whole Paycheck" made both Julie and Lisa wary of shopping at the beautifully merchandised grocer; they believed it would be impossible to exit the store without breaking their budget.

Yet by applying a few simple tricks the girls were pleasantly surprised by the volume of groceries they were able to buy with the budget they'd set for themselves.

However, they did have trouble avoiding purchasing a number of items on impulse, and when gently challenged, they were both resistant to feedback -- some items were simply non-negotiable.

When they arrived at Whole Foods, Julie had a stash of plastic bags she wanted to drop in WFs' plastic bag Recycle Bin. I suggested they hang onto those bags and use them to collect their bulk items, since I'd noted they had food on their grocery list that could be purchased in bulk rather than as pre-packaged items.

You'll see in the video that Lisa is using one of those plastic carry bags to collect her trail mix. I prompted the girls to bring their own recycled smaller plastic bags, like Ziploc, when they next shopped.

I had also suggested they bring their own plastic containers and glass jars to collect other bulk items like olives for the olive bar, and honey and ground nut butter from the bulk section.

Re-using plastic and glass is so easy -- why not adopt a minimal-waste approach when grocery shopping.

The video above is a quick glimpse into the girl's shopping experience. At the end of the day, it was loads of fun because they learned a great deal about their shopping habits, i.e. where they could save money, and where they were likely to break their budget -- and ultimately, Lisa and Julie learned they could shop at Whole Foods without spending their whole paycheck.

This coming week, I'll be focusing more on meal suggestions using the groceries they purchased.
Plus, I have some updates on how the girls have, and haven't managed their grocery purchases, including several impulse trips back to Whole Foods.

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