Recent newspaper articles have referred to Whole Foods beginning to earn a bit of a bad reputation as an elitist supermarket, thereby earning the monicker "Whole Paycheck."
Hogwash! I wholeheartedly challenge that simplistic label -- and I come prepared with proof.
Yesterday afternoon I stopped by a local (New York City) Whole Foods to purchase a few dinner ingredients.
Upon scanning my receipt, I was actually surprised at the good deals I got -- on items that weren't even on sale!
Let's start with a 16 oz (1 lb.) bag of Whole Foods' 365 brand whole wheat fusilli.
Name brands sell their 16 oz. boxes for anywhere from $2.49 to $3.99, even at conventional supermarkets.
This particular product? $1.49! Certainly one of the most affordable prices for whole wheat fusilli I have come across in MONTHS.
Lara bars, meanwhile, are a delicious staple of mine that can be rather costly if you buy them at the wrong store.
I have been charged as much as $2.49 for one of these bars in the past (upon learning of that price, my thoughts screamed out "Hell to the no!" and I promptly returned the bar to its display case) .
Whole Foods sells each one for $1.29.
That's actually forty cents cheaper than what Lara herself charges on her website (where a 16-bar box retails for $27.00, thereby making each bar worth $1.67)!
One of my other favorite snack bars is Gnu Food's Flavor & Fiber bars, which the manufacturer -- and most other stores -- sells for $1.99.
Well, today at Whole Foods I bought several 5-count at $6.99 per box.
Some simple division reveals that, thereby, each individual bar cost me $1.40.
I also bought fresh broccoli that was available for $1.99/pound.
Conventional supermarkets in New York City are selling that same amount of the flowery vegetable for $2.99.
If anything, my trip to Whole Foods proved to be a money saver.
Of course, there are some items at Whole Foods -- mainly cuts of meat -- that are certainly pricier than at other grocery stores, but this notion that they do not provide any affordable choices is ludicrous.
For more "nutriconomic" information, I highly recommend you take a look at this link, which shows how prices have changed for a variety of common foods -- and fuel! -- between July 2007 and July 2008 (NOTE: The left-hand column displays U.S. city averages, while the right-hand column particularly focuses on the Midwest region of the country.)
Some of the standouts:
White flour increased 54.1%
Long-grain white rice increased 45.3%
Eggs have shot up 33.9%
Sweet peppers rose 34.6%
If these increases don't make sense to you, scroll down to the very bottom and look at what has happened to fuel costs in the past 12 months.