11 Little Luxuries (for $5 or Less!) to Pick Up at Whole Foods This Summer

published Jul 13, 2022
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Woman holding Whole Foods bag filled with groceries while walking down the street
Credit: Joe Lingeman

I love little grocery store treats. For me, they fall into a few different categories: dinner upgrades (little helpers I lean on at mealtime), just for fun (something sweet and/or a little indulgent), and just for me (a small little something that I don’t have to share).

Those seemingly innocent “treat yoself” moments are a pleasure, but can add up quickly. Budgeting, however, can also mean including a few discretionary dollars to play around with. With that in mind, I recently stopped at a Whole Foods to see what little splurges I could find.

Typically, just the idea of shopping at Whole Foods is luxury to me. I don’t have one in my neighborhood, so perusing the shelves already feels like a gift to myself because it’s so outside the norm. I wandered up and down the aisles and found 11 little luxuries, including easy meal starters, fun snacks, drinks, and treats — and more. Bonus: They all came in under $5. 

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

1. Plenty Mizuna Mix, $3.99 for 4.5 ounces

Paying extra for pre-washed greens irks me. I’m a firm believer in buying whole heads of lettuce and prepping them myself. However, I make an exception for this unique blend. The mustardy mix of mizuna and bok choy isn’t available in too many places, so when I saw it I immediately tossed it in my cart. Easy vegetable dishes are my absolute favorite thing this time of year, and this box of greens made for a super-simple weekday side dish that still feels kind of special.

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

2. Mi Rancho Organic Artisan Corn Tortillas, $2.89 for 8.46 ounces

I am picky about my tortillas, and Mi Rancho makes some of my favorites. These are a blend of corn and wheat and are a little spendier than most of the other tortillas on the shelf. One morning after I came home from summer camp drop-off, I charred one over my gas burner and stuffed it with scrambled eggs, sautéed zucchini, and hot sauce for a quick and absolutely delicious breakfast. Sure, I could have used any ol’ corn tortilla, but building my breakfast on these extra-tasty tortillas really felt like a treat.

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

3. Lamonica’s Pizza Dough, $2.50 for 16 ounces

Pizza’s always in the rotation at our house, and it’s an especially easy meal during the summer. I prefer to make my own dough because it’s so easy and costs pennies, but I don’t always plan ahead in time. Coming in at half my $5 budget, this pizza dough is a really great compromise between convenience and cost.

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

4. 365 by Whole Foods Market Sweet Potato Puffs, $2.99 for 24 ounces

Tots are a classic family-friendly snack and side, and they’re just plain fun. I love the sweet potato variety, but rarely buy them — the brand name often costs more than twice the 365 version. These were a no-brainer for me when I saw them. They’re perfect for snack time when the kids are starving after an afternoon swim.

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

5. Casa Manca Toasted Fregola, $4.99 for 17.6 ounces

Fregola is a toasted Sardinian pasta that I adore. It don’t buy it often because it can cost more than $10 a pound in specialty shops. While $5 for a pound of pasta is still a little pricey, it’s well-priced for this particular variety. I’m planning on serving it with shellfish and summer tomatoes for a light, summery dinner that feels restaurant-fancy.

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

6. 365 by Whole Foods Market Two-Bite Coconut Macaroons, $4.99 for 10.5 ounces

I love a coconut dessert! These little cookies are perfect for tucking into camp lunch boxes, or for a little 3 p.m. pick-me-up with a cold brew.

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

7. Apple-a-Day 100% Apple Juice, $3.39 for 32 ounces

Okay, this one isn’t exactly summery. Still, I was super excited when I saw this apple juice. Our family visits this orchard every fall, and we always grab a gallon of the stuff. I had no idea it was available outside of the farm in the middle of summer. My kids were so excited when I showed them. I like to serve the juice over ice with a spicy ginger beer and a squeeze of lime for an alcohol-free drink that’s still fun.

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

8. 365 by Whole Foods Market Caribbean Mix Fruit Bars, $2.89 for 16 ounces

I’m a fan of tropical fruit, which is what intrigued me most about these frozen treats. I was a little disappointed with my first nibble — it mostly tasted of strawberry. But. But! As I kept going, I found chunks of pineapple and coconut chips. Popsicles tend to be a one-flavor experience, but this one was so fun to eat! 

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

9. 365 by Whole Foods Market Chocolate Chip Puffy Dutch Pancake Bites, $2.37

These were a surprise hit! Honestly I wasn’t expecting much other than something my kids can make for themselves as a fun mid-morning snack while lounging and watching cartoons. But these are legitimately good. These are basically little chocolate chip Ebelskivers. They definitely had a good dose of chocolate chips, but weren’t overly sweet, and have soft, custardy insides. 

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

10. Brooklyn Delhi Guntur Sanna Pepper Hot Sauce, $4.99 for 5 ounces

I pretty much require hot sauce when I’m eating eggs of any kind, and that’s exactly what I had in mind for this hot sauce. Made with Diaspora’s guntur sannam chiles, it’s more flavorful than super spicy. I poured it over those breakfast tacos I made with the Mi Rancho tortillas for a perfect summer breakfast. 

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

11. Minna Sparkling Tea, $2.70 for 12 ounces

Whole Foods never disappoints on the trendy drink front and I knew this trip had to include at least one. These sparkling teas immediately caught my eye with their cool, modern can design. When I looked closer and noticed the fun flavors, like green tea with pineapple and passion fruit and rooibos with lime and hibiscus, I was even more intrigued. (Like I said, tropical fruit flavors are my jam!) They were two for $5 when I visited, so I grabbed a couple and still stayed within budget. They’re unsweetened and really light. A perfect summer sipper!

What little luxuries are you stocking up on at Whole Foods this summer?