9 Whole Foods hacks, price hike edition

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Updated Feb. 13, 2019: Whole Foods can't quite shake its "Whole Paycheck" image. The popular grocery chain is upping prices on hundreds of products, including soap, detergents, oils, ice cream, cookies, olives and crackers. The increases, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, come in spite of Amazon's high-profile acquisition of the grocer back in 2017.

Turns out, even mega-retail behemoths can only do so much to curb inflation.

“Like all grocers, Whole Foods Market has experienced increased costs from suppliers due to materials, labor and transportation, and we’ve absorbed much of the inflation," the company said in an emailed statement. "Many prices also have decreased, and we continue to expand the number of promotions we offer to give our customers better value.”

Fortunately, there are a few ways to get your organic cake (and eat it, too). Here are ten ways to save money at Whole Foods.

1. Subscribe to Amazon Prime

Members get access to special deals (think two dozen Valentine's Day roses for $19.99) and an extra 10% off special items (marked with a yellow tag) in-stores.

Amazon’s Prime membership, which includes free two-day shipping, streaming and other perks, costs $12.99 a month or $119 a year.

2. Consider an Amazon rewards credit card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature cardholders 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 on all other purchases.

If you don't have or want a Prime membership, there’s a version of the 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 that provides coupons and promotes sales at the stores near to you. After Amazon did away with Whole Foods Market Rewards, the chain loyalty program, the app is now one of the best ways to stay on top of sales and score up-to-date digital coupons.

4. Ask Alexa

Alterately, Amazon's array of smart speakers will help you find prime prices via the prompt "Alexa, what are my Whole Foods deals?".

5. Go generic

Whole Foods' store brand 365 Everyday Value was designed specifically to cut shoppers a break on natural and organic food. Bonus: 365 Everyday Value and Whole Paws, the chain’s pet food brand, are now available through Amazon.com and AmazonFresh.

6. Sign up for Whole Foods emails

They'll tell you about upcoming in-store events and sales at your local store. You can also score cooking tips, free recipes and more. Opt into a second email list to get special offers and learn about sales on its 365 Everyday Value products.

By the way, if you like your money made easy, sign up for the Policygenius newsletter. We deliver tips, tricks and more every Friday.

7. Bring your own bags

Some Whole Foods offer a $0.10 discount for BYOB-ing — bringing your own bags. If you shop at that location often, you could save a few dollars (and help the environment) each year. A little hack for those who always forget to bring bags? Leave a few in your trunk.

8. Follow your store on social media

As we intimated above, not all Whole Foods run the same promotions. To see if your store is doing anything special, follow their specific Facebook or Twitter page.

9. Skip single-sized & prepackaged goods

While single-sized servings are convenient, you pay more for them. Ditto for pre-packaged produce. So buy in bulk(ish) where you can and opt for fresh, uncut produce. Here are some more ways to save on fruits and veggies.

10. Stack your coupons

Whole Foods allows coupon-stacking. That means you can use a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on the same item, where applicable.

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