Whole Foods shoppers on TikTok use extreme couponing at the grocery once known as ‘whole paycheck’

Whole Foods shoppers on TikTok use extreme couponing  at the grocery once known as ‘whole paycheck’

Whole Foods may seem like a surprising place for extreme couponers, but the company has spent years cutting prices.
Associated Press

  • Extreme couponers are posting tips on TikTok for saving money at Whole Foods.
  • One user said she cut her bill from about $58 to less than $13 using discounts.
  • Whole Foods has spent years cutting prices, but some customers still view it as pricey.

Extreme couponers are looking for deals at Whole Foods, a supermarket known for high-end groceries and prices to match.

Several TikTok users have posted videos to the platform in recent weeks demonstrating how to combine savings from their Amazon Prime accounts with coupons from third parties, such as Ibotta, an app that features cash-back offers and discounts. The results often involve cutting the cost of the groceries they pick to a fraction of the on-shelf prices.

Discount retailers like Dollar General and Walmart are frequent targets for extreme couponers. But the discounts can make an even bigger difference at Whole Foods.

TikTok user M_adisen posted a video on Aug. 8 about one trip to a Whole Foods store. In the video, she buys items that add up to $57.59 before tax, including fresh kiwis, a dairy-free ice cream sandwich, and peach-flavored hot sauce.

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While she saved a few dollars using a Prime membership, M_adisen saved $23.49 using discounts from Ibotta and another $18.71 from Aisle, another company that offers discounts on specific products. Her final cost for the shopping trip was $12.51, according to the video.

“These are low-cost items you can pair with what you have on hand/additions to other things to make a complete meal/snacks!” she writes in the caption of the video.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

User doonydoesstuff takes a more systematic approach. His video tells viewers to find items at Whole Foods that are on sale. Then, according to the video, shoppers can use the Whole Foods credit card and Ibotta to get discounts.

Some third-party companies that offer discounts require users to upload their receipts to an app in order to get money back after they’ve purchased an item. Discounts for Prime members, on the other hand, are taken off at the register.

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“This is a three-step program I developed,” he explains in the video. “It’s called ‘the system.'”

A video from user fitwithshelle highlights products that she purchased using discounts at Whole Foods, including vegan ice cream and a coconut smoothie.

“Yes, Whole Foods is expensive, but I love it so I just coupon to get what I want!” her video caption reads.

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Amazon bought the Austin-based grocery chain in 2017. Since then, Whole Foods has cut prices several times. The cuts have primarily targeted often-purchased grocery items such as produce. More recently, Whole Foods has tried to keep prices low by asking its suppliers for better deals, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Whole Foods raised prices on some local and startup brands last year. And it told suppliers at the end of 2022 that it would run more sales this year, the Journal reported, a sign that the company still feels it needs to compete with rivals on price. Customers have called Whole Foods “whole paycheck” for years in a jab at the grocer’s prices, and it has proven hard to shake off that reputation.

Despite cutting prices on many items, Whole Foods’ share of the US grocery market hasn’t changed much over the last few years. Amazon’s entire grocery business, which includes Whole Foods as well as its Amazon Fresh chain, makes up just 1.2% of grocery sales, Insider reported last year.

Are you a couponer who has shopped at Whole Foods and has a story to share? Reach out to this reporter at [email protected]

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