I’m so happy this new series has received such a positive response. I love good food and I love saving money so sharing how to shop sales and optimize your weekly grocery haul at Whole Foods fills my heart.My hope is to not only share “recipes” and shopping lists but my process, so that you can learn how to feel confident creating meals specific to your tastes too.
The first thing I do is look through the weekly deals & sales. Each week Whole Foods has dozens of sale items throughout the store, but also special “Prime Member Deals” which are typically priced lower than you can find anywhere else. Prime members also save an additional 10% off all regular sale items so if you aren't already a Prime Member, sign up for a free trial and see for yourself.
When scanning the Prime Deals, pay special attention to proteins and produce. This week, Sustainable Wild-Caught Fresh Halibut Fillets and Made In-House Pork Sausages jumped out at me. They also continued the $2 off Rotisserie Chicken deal. To save money, I tend to stick to protein priced at $5-6/pound or less. The halibut is higher than I'd normally pay, but the lower cost of the pork and chicken offset it and I think it's worth it to treat yourself, especially when there is a deal like this. I then decide which fruits and vegetables suit my taste and start thinking about how I can pair them with protein for tasty meals.I then scan the rest of the sale items (or if in store, I walk down the aisles looking for yellow tags) and see if any of my pantry staples are on special.
This week, one of my very favorite products is on super sale. If you haven't tried Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauces, you are in for a treat. I don't know how they do it, but it's incomparable. It's a premium product normally priced at $8.99, but they really hook it up when sale rolls around as it's discounted to $4.49! If you take anything away from this weeks post, stock up on Rao's sauce. My favorite is the spicy Arrabbiata, but all the flavors are delicious. If you're keto, the sensitive formula omits onions which lends itself to a lower carb count. Bolognese made with ground beef is one of my favorite staples in regular rotation so I will definitely be making that this week.
As I continue this series, you'll learn that I always stock up on 1lb increments of ground beef when it's on sale. It's a lower-priced cut at regular price so don't hesitate to buy it for meals this week, but definitely stock up when pasture raised is a Prime Deal at $3-4/lb.
On the Menu this week:
- Mediterranean Halibut with Tomatoes, Artichokes, & Capers
- Tomato, Asparagus, & Feta Salad + Rotisserie Chicken
- Ground Beef Bolognese with Noodles + Zucchini
- Spicy Italian Sausage “Egg Roll in a Bowl”
- Yogurt with Peaches & Raspberries
I cook for myself so the quantities I buy and discuss are based on meals for one person. I typically prepare 1 pound of protein and split into 4 portions, roughly 4oz each. With the Halibut, I am only buying 1/2 pound because leftover fish ain't exactly my jam. I will also cook them in the order listed above to optimize for what keeps longest. The beef and sausages can be kept in the freezer until ready to cook.
In my Cart this week:PRODUCE
- Tomato Cherry Grape Organic, 1 Basket / Sunset Produce, Wild Wonder Tomatoes, 24 Oz is on Prime special for a larger quantity of conventional tomatoes at the same price. WF has standards for all products which means no pesticides are used, but because I often don't finish all tomatoes before they go bad and tomatoes are better organic, I'm opting for the smaller quantity that's not on sale at the same price point.
- Asparagus Green Conventional
- Squash Zucchini Organic Whole Trade
- Green Cabbage Organic, 1 Each
- Organic Yellow Peaches and Nectarines
- Raspberry Red Organic
- Kenter Canyon, Herb Basil Organic
- Red Onion
- Sausage Pork Link Italian Spicy
- Rotisserie Chicken
- Sustainable Wild-Caught Fresh Halibut Fillets
- 365 Everyday Value, Feta Cheese Crumbles, 6 oz
- Rao's Homemade Arrabbiata Sauce
- Modern Table Complete Protein Beet Rotini
- Maile Dijon Mustard
- Mediterranean Organic Capers
- 365 Everyday Value, Marinated Artichoke Quarters
- 365 Everyday Value, Organic Kalamata Olives Pitted
- Chocolove, Chocolate Bar Salted Almond Butter
- Lundberg Family Farms Organic Wild Rice Cakes
- Sausage Pork Link Chorizo
- Rao's Homemade Arrabbiata Sauce
- Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement, 40% off
Mediterranean Halibut with Tomatoes, Olives, Artichokes, & CapersI haven't made this exact recipe or combination before, but I stumbled upon it when googling to look for a baked halibut, tomato, and zucchini recipe I used to make. It was tasty, but this sounds better. I only have a stovetop these days, so I will be attempting to make this in my cast iron skillet. I really like to keep things simple for a variety of reasons and so I typically only glance at recipes for general timing or flavor guidelines. I haven't made this yet but I'll update with details when I do. Most people have an oven so if you aren't an adventures cook yet, I'd recommend following along the recipe linked above.
Tomato, Asparagus, & Feta Salad + Rotisserie ChickenSummer is when you'll find the most flavorful tomatoes and we are just kicking off the season. Different varieties will continue to be on sale throughout the summer and I dreamt up this combination to pair with Asparagus, which is also on sale this week. I love to keep feta crumbles and shredded parmesan in the refrigerator. They last a long time and a little goes a long way in amplifying a simple dish.
- Whisk together dijon mustard, avocado oil, and lemon juice
- Add asparagus to salted boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes (A good friend recommends peeling asparagus to improve texture. I've never tried, but probably will this week and I'll report back!)
- Chop grape tomatoes into halves while the asparagus cooks
- Drain asparagus and rinse with cold running water
- Toss tomatoes, asparagus, dressing, and feta
Ground Beef Bolognese with Noodles + ZucchiniI've made this so many times that I could probably make it in my sleep. It's my number one go-to meal and using Rao's Homemade Arrabbiata Sauce is my favorite way to do it. Spaghetti and meat sauce is mega comfort food for me and I've poured this sauce over all kinds of vegetables and pasta with equal delight. It's great with zoodles and lately, I have been experimenting with different types of noodles mixed with zoodles. The base recipe couldn't be easier:
- Brown ground beef in large skillet or pot
- Feel free to drain excess fat (I don't) or add spices (sometimes I add Simply Organic Italian Seasoning — If you use Rao's, it doesn't really need it.)
- Optional step: Add chopped mushrooms or vegetables and saute for a few minutes. You can also do this after the next step. There really is no wrong way to do this.
- Add a jar of marinara sauce. Again, you know what I use and I'd suggest you do the same. Other sauces are fine too, but once you use Rao's I doubt you'll go back.
- Add a little water to the jar and shake it around to clean the jar and use all the sauce. I typically reduce the heat to a simmer and leave it on the back burner for half an hour or more. It's not necessary, I just think it infuses the meat and vegetables with the sauce. This could be totally in my mind, but this is what I do.