A few weeks ago I purchased a gift certificate for Whole Foods from Living Social. I spent $10.00 for a $20.00 gift certificate which I thought was a pretty exciting deal. And honestly, it really was a good deal. However, the trick about shopping at Whole Foods is to purchase the foods with real value which isn’t always what your tummy wants.
My only goal during this Whole Foods expedition was to spend the $20.00 and only the $20.00. If you’ve been to Whole Foods, you know that it would be miraculous if that actually happened. If you like food, and I do like food, this place can be quite intoxicating. Whole Foods is like crack to foodies.
When you first walk into Whole Foods, the first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful produce. Bright reds, greens, and vibrant yellows greet you as you walk through the doors. I swear you feel healthier just by walking through their produce department. Yes, some of this is due to priming, but I have to tell you that it’s effective. Some of the produce is reasonable, but most of it’s inflated.
One of the advantages of shopping at Whole Foods is that you can find produce items that you might not be able to find in your corner grocery store. If you need a Scotch Bonnet pepper or if you want blue potatoes, this is where you’re going to find them. However, you will pay a price. Whole Foods knows their produce is special. And I think they figure if you know how to cook with these ingredients, you can afford to pay full price for them.
Another nice thing about Whole Foods is that it can be a fun family outing. How often do you get to see octopus at the grocery store? It’s almost as good as going to the aquarium but much less expensive. It’s all about the way you look at things people.
Actually, I’m glad my little ones weren’t with me for this trip because I’m sure they’d be asking whether or not octopus eat with that opening above or pro-create. And that is not a conversation I want to have at Whole Foods. However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious myself.
Their meat counter is equally impressive with a wide selection of beef, pork, and chicken. They also had dry aged steaks hanging from hooks which made me really hungry just by looking at them. Honestly, this whole store makes me hungry. You know how they say not to shop on an empty stomach? That’s very sage advice for this store. Shop stuffed. Your wallet will thank you.
My biggest challenge was to make it through the cheese and olives section without stopping. Two wedges of cheese and a tablespoon of imported olives would pretty much send me over my $20.00 budget.
So, how did I spend my gift certificate? I bought some romaine lettuce, eggs, the chicken parm that you see above that was marked 50% off, the loaf of bread you see below and a bottle of chimichurri sauce that I can’t find in my gringo grocery store.
As soon as I got home tonight, we tossed the chicken in the oven for a quick re-heat while we boiled a pot of pasta for the side dish. I have to tell you, it was delicious. The chicken was coated in Panko breadcrumbs which made it extra crispy and the chicken itself was moist and flavorful. The San Francisco sourdough was pretty killer too.
I didn’t keep to my plan of only spending the $20.00. I spent $28.00 which is still pretty good for this foodie who really just wanted to pull up a chair to the cheese/olive section with a bottle of wine and eat my way from there to the gelato counter and then to the bakery for an overpriced cake pop.
And as much as I poke fun at Whole Foods, I really do enjoy shopping there. There’s so much to see and so many new foods to discover. No, I can’t shop there on a regular basis because it’s out of our budget, but for a special occasion it sure is a worthwhile place to explore.
How about you? Did you buy the Living Social Whole Foods deal? Are you a Whole Foods shopper or is it too rich for your blood?