Whole Foods Market + Instacart
Grocery shopping in Manhattan is no joke my friends. It is a complete 180 of how you grocery shop in the suburbs and it was a bit of a culture shock for us when J and I moved into NYC a few years ago.
Our first apartment was in Chelsea and it was 2 blocks away from the Whole Foods Market on 7th avenue. Basically a dream come true for someone who literally gets giddy at the thought of Whole Foods Market. When I stumble upon a one on vacation, I ask my family or J to take me there right off the plane and it literally gives me a sense of zen.
Then last year, we moved downtown and I have about a 12 minute walk to our nearest Whole Foods Market. Needless to say, it isn’t as convenient as it once was loading up on groceries everyday. And as some of you may know, you don’t drive to the grocery store in NYC like you do in other areas. We have our legs, subway, cab or you can get a rolling cart to get all your goods home (my Mom is still pushing this cart idea on me..).
Whole Foods Market is my sanctuary, my happy place. I can get lost in the granola aisle and easily occupy myself in the chocolate section for hours. I love hand picking my perfectly round apples and picking through the kombuchas to see which have the most fizz in them (don’t act like you don’t do this too…). I am the nerd who looks forward to going grocery shopping in the morning, but I am also a “meal preper” and it is not easy being both living in Manhattan.
I have walked down the West Side Highway with over 20lbs of groceries, stopping every few feet to re-adjust my bag situation. Carrying glass bottles, cans, pounds of produce and more. I always joke that everyone downtown has a baby they carry home, and I have my Whole Foods Market bags 😉
But all joking aside, meal prepping and grocery shopping is HARD when you don’t have a car to drive all your groceries home. With the amount of food I need each week for recipe testing + actual food we are eating (think triple what you likely buy), it is not always easy for me to get to the grocery store, carry everything home, etc.
I kept seeing the same people in the grocery store every time I was there and noticed they were wearing these necklace lanyards that had a carrot on them. It was like I was left out of the cool kids grocery shopping club. Then I finally found out that these people worked for Instacart.
I finally tried Whole Foods Market delivery with Instacart and it is a game changer. It has made my life 100x easier and my grocery shopping more efficient over the past few weeks.
So how does Instacart work you may be wondering? You place your Whole Foods Market order via Instacart on their website and your groceries are delivered straight to your door. Think online shopping but for food. You don’t even need to move from your couch, desk, bed, anything. It is a dream come true when it comes to meal prepping, doing a huge grocery haul or even just for someone who has zero time to get to the grocery store.
You can order anything you wish from Whole Foods Market and it will be delivered right to your door, front stoop, wherever! And you can specify the delivery time. They even text you during the process too so you have an idea of what is happening and what the status is. It is legit my friends.
Plus you can get $10 off AND free delivery (um, AMAZING) with the promo code: wfmrachlmansfield. This isn’t an affiliate link, just a sweet deal for ya when you use Whole Foods Market delivery with Instacart for the first time (see details at bottom of post!!). Grocery shopping made e-a-s-y.
My Meal Prep Tips
So I am not just the nerd who enjoys grocery shopping, but I also LIVE to meal prep. It is a dream of mine to go to people’s homes and help them meal prep and teach them how to make simple and delicious recipes right in their kitchen and turn into professional “meal preppers”.
Meal prepping is definitely intimidating for anyone who has never done it before so I am sharing a few of my tips and tricks for you guys to hopefully help make your meal prep experience a bit easier and more seamless.
1. Pick a few versatile items from each food group
Each week when I meal prep, I have found it to be much easier for me to pick a few foods I want and mix and match them throughout the week. Start by making a list of the items you want to buy. Typically I get 2 types of protein and alternate it each day. I load up on veggies and prep them however I am craving, fruits, dips, grains etc. I like to make a big batch of random things that are versatile and basically toss them into a bowl for lunch and dinner with no specific recipe. Here is an example list of what I’d get to prep (for specific brands see my clean eating grocery guide) and keep in mind we likely have many non-perishable things like nuts, granolas, nut butter, etc. in my pantry since we don’t need to stock up on those weekly for breakfast and snacks too. With this list I can make a handful of different of meals out of it without getting bored and switch up the exact items week over week. I use them in anything from breakfast to lunch to dinner.
- Ground turkey (make burgers or meatballs or tacos!)
- Whole chicken (endless options with this)
- Cauliflower (for smoothies too!)
- Brussels Sprouts
- Nut-based cheese
- Nut milk
- Chickpea pasta
- Nut milk
- Kombucha (duh)
2. Prep for 4-5 days at a time
Don’t go overboard thinking you have to prep for 7 straight days! I have found it to be helpful to prep for the weekdays, so Monday through Friday. When you are typically at work, schedules are crazy, etc. Plus food will stay good for about 5 days at a time (give or take) after prepping so you don’t want to go too crazy. If you make grilled salmon burgers and store them in the fridge, they will be good for about 4-5 days. My mother-in-law always jokes about the “5 day rule” with food. Then on weeks you have more time, likely go out more, etc.
3. Buy in bulk when on sale to save money in the long run
When you have a service like Instacart delivering your Whole Foods Market groceries to you, it makes it SO much easier to stock up when items are on sale. You don’t have to carry them home now 😉 A lot of people ask me how to save money when buying organic/healthy foods. And to be honest, there is really no way to save that much money, but buying on sale is a huge helper. You are investing in your health by buying good-for-you foods, but when there is a sale on something like grass-fed beef or your favorite almond milk, load up on it! My favorite turkey is $8.99 for just one pound and it has been on sale for as low as $5. When it is, I buy a few packages and store them in the freezer.
4. Don’t be afraid of buying store brand products
Meal prepping does require more groceries than usual, so don’t be afraid to buy the store brand products. I purchase the 365 brand from Whole Foods Market for so much. I love getting their organic frozen veggies, fruit, beans, applesauce, etc. They are usually cheaper than other brands and just as good!
5. Cook/prep everything at once
One of the most tedious parts of meal prepping is the prepping itself. Since Whole Foods Market delivery with Instacart makes it 100x easier to get the groceries, you really just need to do the prepping after that. Dedicate 3-4 hours on a Sunday and get on it. It is so much more efficient to prep it all at the same time so you only have to cook and clean once. Have an idea of how you want to prepare everything and cook/prepare it. Just make sure you have enough Pyrex containers because true life we have run out before mid prep, HA!
6. Look for shortcuts with the food you buy
Whole Foods Market and many other grocery stores sell pre-cut veggies, spiralized vegetable noodles, rotisserie chickens, etc. to make our lives easier. Don’t feel like it is cheating if you splurge a bit on those. If you are limited for time, this can be really key!
7. Find favorite recipes/go-to ideas that you love and enjoy and use them as inspiration for your meal prep
Some of my favorite things to make when I meal prep:
- Super Doughy Nut Pulp Bites
- Vegetarian Bolognese Zoodles
- Nutty Coconut Bliss Balls
- Garlic Cream Sauce Sweet Potato Noodles
- Healthy Bakery Style Banana Spice Muffins
- Crispy Whole30 Carrot Fries
- Vegetarian Fried Forbidden Rice
- Turmeric Falafel
- Pad Thai Zoodles
- Paleo Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Soba Noodle Spring Rolls
- Turmeric “Golden Milk” Oatmeal Bake
- Almond Butter & Jelly Breakfast Bars
- Chia seed pudding
Happy meal prepping and grocery shopping friends. Let me know if YOU have any tips for meal prepping you’d like to share too with everyone 🙂
Don’t forget to use the promo code: wfmrachlmansfield when you use Whole Foods Market delivery with Instacart! (code is only valid for first-time Whole Foods market ordered made through Instacart.com or delivery.wholefoodsmarket.com of $35 or more (more terms here). Code expires 5/19/17 at 11:59pm PST
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Whole Foods Market. The opinions and text are all mine.