4/27/11

Whole Foods Coupon Policy

We emailed Whole Foods for their coupon policy.  They let us know that they do not have a national coupon policy yet.  Instead, local stores (or regional areas) set their own coupon rules.  However, Whole Foods corporate customer service did indicate that they are working on a coupon policy.  This is great news - so stay tuned!  In the meantime, here are a few general notes about using coupons at Whole Foods.

Whole Foods Coupon Notes

(This is not an official coupon policy, just general info gleaned from recent emails/talks with some managers, and from our personal in-store experiences.  Contact your local store for specific rules.)

  1. Whole Foods accepts manufacturer coupons.
  2. Whole Foods usually accepts internet-printed manufacturer coupons if they are valid/verifiable.
  3. Whole Foods does not double or triple manufacturer coupons.  They do not accept competitors store coupons.
  4. You can use coupons from the Whole Foods “Whole Deal” pamphlet found in stores.  Whether or not you can use both a “Whole Deal” and a manufacturer coupon on the same item differs between stores (more on this policy point below).
  5. You can also use coupons printed from the Whole Foods website.  Consider these to be the same as those in the “Whole Deal” pamphlet.  So, you cannot use both a coupon from the pamphlet and a coupon from the Whole Foods website together on the same item.
  6. The total value of coupons cannot exceed the value of the item.  At least one Whole Foods mentioned that they cannot adjust down the value of coupons, they have to use coupons at face value.
  7. A valid expiration date must be printed on the coupon.

whole_foods_whole_deal_coupons

The biggest point of confusion about Whole Foods coupon policy is whether you can use both a “Whole Deal” coupon (picture above) and a manufacturer coupon on the same item.  For one thing, it is unclear if the “Whole Deal” coupons are store or manufacturer coupons.  The coupons don’t specify a coupon type, they just say “Redeemable only at Whole Foods Markets”.  Many grocery stores allow use of both a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon together - that kind of coupon “stacking” can lead to great savings.

We asked several Whole Foods managers around the US, and about 80% said they would allow a “Whole Deal” and manufacturer coupon on the same product, unless the manufacturer coupon fine print said “coupons cannot be combined” or similar.  However, be forewarned that without a published coupon policy, you cannot be guaranteed that it will work.  For example in our local store, management let us know that they can be combined, but cashiers vary on whether they will allow it, which can lead to some frustrating store visits.

This is why we are excited that Whole Foods is working on an official coupon policy, whether it be regional or national.  We think Whole Foods is a fantastic store, and would like to shop there more often.

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