When Amazon purchased Whole Foods back in August 2017, it looked like the days of “Whole Paycheck” — a nickname long used to criticize the supermarket chain for its high prices — were over. And, given Amazon’s reputation, they very well may be. But for now the acquisition has been a bit of a mixed bag. Some prices have gone up; other have gone down. And changes Amazon has made at the ground-level are upending the smartest way to shop at the health food emporium.
Here are nine ways to save money at Whole Foods now that Amazon is in charge.
1. Get Amazon Prime
The online retailer has promised special savings and in-store benefits to its Prime members. So far, It’s made good on this pledge in spurts. Notably, Prime members have been eligible for special prices on holiday-centric items, like turkey in November and roses around Valentine’s Day.
Amazon’s Prime membership, which includes free two-day shipping, streaming and exclusive deals, costs $12.99 a month or $99 a year — a good deal already for anyone who frequently buys stuff from the retail giant.
2. Consider an Amazon rewards credit card
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature cardholders now get 5% back on purchases at Whole Foods, in addition to 5% back at Amazon, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% back everywhere else.
If you don’t want to spring for a Prime membership, there’s a standard version of the Visa rewards credit card that offers 3% back at Whole Foods and Amazon, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% back everywhere else.
3. Download the Whole Foods app
Whole Foods has a free app offering online coupons and sales at the stores nearest to you. Since Amazon did away with Whole Foods Market Rewards, the grocery’s chain loyalty program in November, the app is now one of the best ways to stay on top of sales and score up-to-date digital coupons.
4. Take advantage of free delivery via AmazonFresh
Prime members in select zip codes are now eligible for free two-hour delivery when they order from their local Whole Foods via AmazonFresh. AmazonFresh delivers groceries right to your door. It’s perfect for people on the go, especially now that Prime members can skip the delivery charge.
5. Follow your store on social media
Amazon has been rolling out programs at different Whole Foods locations around the country, not nationwide. Notice only Prime members in certain states can get free two-hour delivery via AmazonFresh. To see if your store is participating in any special programs, follow their dedicated Facebook or Twitter page.
6. Shop generic
While Amazon lowered prices on fresh produce and some packaged foods, you can save even more by shopping generic. That means opting for 365 Everyday Value, Whole Foods’ store brand, as you go down your grocery list. Bonus: 365 Everyday Value and Whole Paws, the chain’s pet food brand, are now available through Amazon.com and AmazonFresh.
7. Bring your own bags
Whole Foods offers a $0.10 discount for each bag you bring in yourself. If you shop there through the year, you’ll save a few dollars (not to mention help the environment) by BYOB-ing.
Always forgetting the bags? Leave a few in your trunk as extra. When you unpack your food inside the house, put the bags next to the door to take with you the next time you head for your car.
8. Skip single-sized & prepackaged goods
While single-sized servings are convenient, you pay more for them, so buy, where you can, in bulk(ish). Whole Foods offers a bountiful array of pre-packaged produce, but that’ll cost extra, too. Fresh produce is one of the areas Amazon slashed prices, so there’s more savings to be had by opting for non-cut, non-packaged fruits and veggies.
9. Stack your coupons
Whole Foods allows coupon-stacking, where you can use a Whole Foods coupon and a manufacturer coupon on the same item. Double coupons means double the discounts.
When you’re stacking, make sure to hand the cashier your coupons as the individual items ring up, and not all at once at the end. The coupons have to be entered in a specific order to get the double savings.
Want more grocery-savings tips? We’ve got 12 things to do before you hit the supermarket here.