If you’re trying to eat better, Whole Foods is a great place to begin your health food journey. The Texas-based grocery chain prides itself on its sustainability initiatives and its commitment to selling quality food that’s free from hydrogenated fats and artificial ingredients.
However, the store is affectionately called “Whole Paycheck” for a reason. Pretty much everything it sells is pricey.
It’s possible to save money while shopping at Whole Foods, but some items are so expensive, they should always be purchased elsewhere. Here are five from CheatSheet.
Whole Foods’ beef, chicken and seafood, while organic, cost far more than the meat at other grocery stores. (However, if animal welfare is important to you, you should know that Whole Foods adheres to strict standards for the meat it sells.)
Go here instead: If you’re lucky enough to live near one, Trader Joe’s is a great place to buy meat. It also sells organic products, but for lower prices.
And if you’re craving rotisserie chicken, don’t forget about Costco! Their chickens are only $5 and last for several meals.
2. Salad bar and prepared foods
It’s delicious, it’s healthy — and it’ll leave you a lot lighter in the wallet. The chain’s salad bar options are sold by weight so, depending on where you live, you could pay as much as $9 per pound of food.
Go here instead: Pack a lunch to save time and, more importantly, money; it’s easy to spend less than $2 a day on lunch if you make it yourself. But if that isn’t an option, here are some tips from Thrillist for hacking the Whole Foods salad bar.
3. Certain name-brand products
A long time ago, Whole Foods was the only place that sold certain organic, gluten-free and specialty foods. But now, more and more grocery chains are meeting that demand and offering the same products, sometimes for several dollars less.
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Supplements are ridiculously expensive at Whole Foods, sometimes selling for as much as $70 a bottle.
Go here instead: Stock up on vitamins at Costco, where bottles are larger and cheaper. (CheatSheet also recommends checking with your health insurance company, as some products, like prenatal vitamins, may be covered.)
5. Specialty food
Go here instead: Honestly, do you really need them?