For many shoppers, Whole Foods is a beloved destination for sourcing the freshest and most delectable local and global culinary delights. However, the moniker “Whole Paycheck” suggests that while some products warrant a splurge, not everything in the store provides great value.
Unfortunately, your Whole Foods shopping list may contain items that don’t quite match their price tags. But fear not, we’re here to present alternative options that strike a balance between quality and affordability, empowering you to make well-informed (and tasty) shopping choices.
The Hot Bar and Salad Bar Items Are Overpriced for What You Get
According to Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, “Hot bar and salad bar meals [at Whole Foods] are priced per pound and while the cost may vary based on your area, it’s pretty much never going to be worth it if you’re on a budget. I’ve seen anecdotal reports of $8.99 per pound up to $13.99 per pound, and if you opt for heavier foods (which in some cases you might not be able to avoid, particularly with the hot bar selections), you can easily rack up a box of one meal that will cost $20-$30 or more.”
She notes that while the ready-to-go meals may seem tasty and convenient, “Your money will be better spent making your own meals or shopping at other places for ready-made meals.”
Eggs Are Significantly Cheaper at Other Grocery Stores
Ramhold points out that eggs at Whole Foods can “range from roughly $5 per dozen to more than $10 for 18 eggs depending on if you want cage-free or organic.” She highlighted, “You can buy 2 dozen cage-free eggs from Costco for less than $6, and even 2-dozen organic eggs for less than $9.”
She calls Whole Foods’ prices “ridiculous” in comparison. For non-Costco members, she suggested Target, which “has excellent prices on eggs, with a dozen cage-free coming in under $3 and a dozen organic cage-free eggs topping out at $4.”
I Flip Thrift Store Finds: Here Are the 14 Things I Always Make a Profit On
The Pre-Made Meals Are Overpriced Compared To Alternatives
According to Ramhold, Whole Foods’ grab-and-go meals like their $8 rotisserie chickens, “are going to be pricey at pretty much any grocery store and likely won’t have the same satisfaction as making something yourself.” She shared that “Publix, Kroger, Star Market, and of course Costco and Sam’s Club all have more affordable rotisserie chickens.”
Buy Annie’s Mac & Cheese Elsewhere for Big Savings
“To be clear, this product isn’t a waste — in fact, it’s my go-to and I love it — but the prices at Whole Foods are way more than what you’ll pay elsewhere,” said Ramhold about Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese. She pointed out that “at Whole Foods, a 6 oz. box will set you back at least $2.39, but you can get the exact same product at Target stores for $1.59.” Ramhold also notes potential savings from bulk purchases at Costco and Sam’s Club.
Buy Your Butter Elsewhere, Too
According to David Bakke, a shopping expert at DollarSanity, “I’m a die-hard Whole Foods shopper but sometimes their products just don’t match up well against the competition when you compare. Butter is one of those products.” He shared that for the Organic Valley brand of butter, “you can save about $3 per pound by buying at Trader Joe’s instead.”
Raw Honey Is Cheaper and Better Quality at Costco
According to Bakke, honey is a product that’s not priced competitively at Whole Foods compared to other stores. He explains that raw, unfiltered honey is cheaper at Costco versus Whole Foods. You can save roughly $2.50 on a 16 oz. jar of honey at Costco.
Not only is Costco’s raw honey cheaper, but Bakke notes the quality is better as well. Raw, unfiltered honey retains more of the natural enzymes, antioxidants, and beneficial phytonutrients found in honey. The filtering process used for most commercial honey removes these valuable components. Costco’s raw honey skips the filtering, meaning you get a more nutritious, higher quality product.
More From GOBankingRates