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11 Tricks to Shopping at Amazon's Whole Foods Without Going Broke

Courtesy Whole Foods Market

With online megaretailer Amazon.com now firmly in control of Whole Foods, ways to save money at that grocer are growing exponentially.

Amazon purchased Whole Foods for $13.7 billion and, as of August 28 its first day of ownership, slashed prices on an array of items (and promised more were to come). They include organic rotisserie chicken, selling for $9.99 each, down from $13.99; organic avocados, $1.99 each from $2.79; and bananas, now selling for 49 cents per pound, down from 79 cents. And Amazon electronics are now in Whole Foods, a first: The voice-activated electronic assistant Amazon Echo was on sale for $99 and the smaller version, the Echo Dot, was $49.

But there are other tricks to saving money at the upscale grocer.

“The company is unfairly characterized as being overpriced,” says Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, a consumer industry consulting firm. “It’s becoming much more cost-competitive for consumers, particularly with [its house brand] 365 products.” A family of four would typically spend about $5,500 a year shopping at Whole Foods, estimates Flickinger. But by employing cost-cutting strategies available to any shopper, he says, that annual amount can drop by $1,000 or more.

The chain, which specializes in natural and organic foods, is giving shoppers additional reasons to drop by, even if they don’t care where their apples are grown or whether their salmon is caught in the wild. Besides carrying the usual grocery items, stores are jazzing up their fresh- and prepared-food selections with everything from customizable guacamole to beer growler refill stations. You can dine at an in-store restaurant, attend free events and meet up with friends for $1 craft brews at happy hour.

Before your next visit, check out our 11 tips for shopping at Whole Foods without busting your budget.

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