Wegmans is a dietitian’s dream! Here you’ll find everything you could possibly think of, from farm-fresh produce, to a robust gluten-free aisle, to hard to find international products. Their stores are typically BIG, so put your walking shoes on when venturing to Wegmans for a shopping trip.
Rather than breaking down each section at Wegmans (we’d be here all day!), I’ll try to present a dietitian’s point of view on a few of my favorites. For starters, all Wegmans locations have a prepared foods section, where you are able to sit down and have a meal. I occasionally begin my trip by having lunch or dinner here, as shopping on an empty stomach can often lead to impulse purchases you don’t truly need. There are many healthy options to choose from in the prepared foods section, such as salad, a sub shop, or sushi.
Moving on to the actual grocery shopping; at Wegmans, you’ll find no shortage of healthy options to choose from. The produce section is huge, offers a tremendous variety and the fruits and vegetables you’ll find here are typically very fresh. In addition, most of the time you’ll find that Wegmans stocks locally grown fruits and vegetables; supporting food growers here in western New York is always a plus.
You may notice, in the produce and meat departments in particular, what may be called “convenience” foods. These include vegetables, meats, fish, etc. which have been prepared, seasoned, sliced, diced, riced (yes, riced) for you. Keep in mind that you’re going to pay more for this convenience, however many people do find this to be worth the cost, as it can be very helpful in providing a healthy meal for your family.
Next, I’d like to discuss the natural and organic section. If you prefer to eat organic, you’ll have plenty to choose from in these aisles. Typically nearby, you’ll also find sections catering to vegan diets, or restricted diets such as gluten-free. Speaking of dietary restrictions, Wegmans brand products make it very easy to find food products that are right for you. You’ll find “Wellness Keys” on their foods, which indicate if they are gluten free, lactose free, low sodium, etc. This is significantly easier to understand than trying to decipher the ingredients list on products.
The Wegmans website and app are great tools to utilize in your grocery shopping. Here you can review prices, create your grocery list and find recipes. You can also search for a specific product to find where in the store it’s located.
Let’s talk about one of my favorite topics, savings. Of course, Wegmans takes manufacturer’s coupons for starters, and they’ll double the value of any coupon less than $1. In addition, if you sign up for their “Shopper’s Club” card, you’ll begin getting fliers and mailers which contain additional coupons to use in their stores. The Wegmans website and mobile app also provides digital coupons for you to clip. When selected, these coupons will be saved to your Shopper’s Club account, and redeemed when you swipe your member’s card at checkout.
Even though I think Wegmans is a great store, there are some things I find that I'm not crazy about. There are often multiple locations for different products. For example, dried herbs and spices can be found in the baking section, the natural section and there is also another section near frozen foods. I was looking for quinoa recently and it can be found in the natural section, the bulk section and with the rice. It’s hard to compare items when they’re all over the store!
A tale of caution when shopping at Wegmans: just because something is organic doesn’t mean it’s healthy. They carry a lot of organic products including lemonade and gummy bears- these are not healthy! Of course, any sweet treats in moderation can be a part of a healthy diet, but a common misconception is that since something is organic it’s good for you. Organic sugar is processed by the body the same way as any other sugar. Keep this in mind when choosing foods for you and your family.
Some people don’t like Wegmans because they carry a lot of their store brand products, rather than name brand items. I personally prefer this because I save money buying the store brand, but some brand loyal customers find this frustrating. I would say keep an open mind and try store brands at Wegmans and other stores as well!
I hope you find this information helpful for your next grocery trip at Wegmans! Stay tuned next month when I review food shopping at Target.