I’m not gonna lie. I never used to shop at Whole Foods. I’m a die-hard farmers market/Trader Joe’s/Costco/Berkeley Bowl/occasionally Sprouts kinda gal. My grocery routine usually involves going to at least two to three of these locations per week and scouting out the deals.
Then the pandemic happened. And quite honestly that meant that Whole Foods had a shorter line. Seriously. My Trader Joe’s still has a 30-minute wait. At my Whole Foods, you can walk right in. This is appealing because I can’t stand waiting in those long grocery store lines, especially because if I had a dollar for everyone wearing a mask as a chin guard I’d be rich.
But rich enough to shop at the infamous Whole Paycheck? That’s actually what I want to talk about. With a little due diligence, I’ve been able to scout out some meals at Whole Foods that give Trader Joe’s a run for its money. Each of these gems is less than $5 per serving.
Before you keep scrolling, a couple of notes:
Across the board, the Whole Foods 365 brand was the best bang for my buck. I tried to find a variety of different brands to highlight, but Whole Foods’ own brand seemed to beat all of the other prices. Intentional? Probably.
Frozen fruit and veggies didn’t necessarily seem that much cheaper than their fresh counterparts, which is why I didn’t use frozen produce. I’ll stick to Costco for frozen produce in bulk and Trader Joe’s for the frozen produce in smaller sizes. Besides, if you shop in season, fresh produce is often comparable to prices I may find at my local grocer.
It is still very much possible to spend your whole paycheck here, so always go with a plan for exactly what you want to buy. There are things that I noticed were more expensive at Whole Foods than at other stores (for example, fresh bread). And there were items that were pretty much on par with my local prices (beans, some produce, oatmeal, frozen TV dinners, eggs, yogurt, pasta, etc).