Saturday, May 25, 2013

Whole Foods- Cheaper than Raley's?!!


We've been spending a lot on groceries lately.  Unfortunately, our government doesn't subsidize fruits and veggies the way it does tobacco, and we are one produce loving household.  We also try to buy organic when possible, which comes with it's own price tag.  The two main stores we shop at are Whole Foods and Raley's.  There is a Vons nearby, but the shabby produce section and lack of bulk bins spells n-o-p-e for this family of vegetarians.

All that to say this:  my roots are 4 inches long.  Sad face.  Now, I'm not the type to frequent salons often.  I tend to wait until things are ridiculously out of hand and hair stylists I've never met are handing me their business cards (happened.  Twice.)  But when I reach my breaking point, I want to do something about it.  Pronto.  And when I can't, well, it irks me.

"Well, we'll stop shopping at Whole Paycheck," says hubs.  "Then you can get your hair done again."

Is that the problem?  Is Whole Foods really as expensive as it's made out to be?

We did a little experiment this month and saved all of our grocery receipts, something that we really should have been doing all along.  It was a bit tough to compare- sometimes we'd buy name brand items at Raley's and off brand at Whole Foods, or vice versa.  But there were a few things that could be directly compared, and these I've listed below.

                                                      Raley's       Whole Foods
Organic Lemons-                          .89 ea            .50 ea                               
Organic Carrots-                          .69/lb             .58/lb
Organic Cucumber-                      $1.49             $1.29
Organic baby spinach-                  $2.99             $2.99
Cage Free Eggs-                           $4.99             $3.29
White Corn-                                 .79 ea            .50 ea

Wow!  Who'd have thunk Whole Foods would be the winner?  By $2.69, or an average of 45 cents per item!  Of course, the cage free eggs were a huge deciding factor here, but with the amount that my kids are eating these days, that really adds up.   Still, if you're counting only produce, you've got a savings of 99 cents on only 5 items, or an average of 20 cents saved on each item.  Not bad!

This experiment is far from over.  I'll be posting more direct comparisons as they come.  Stay tuned!

Still here?  Have time for a quick conspiracy theory?  Here goes.  One week into this experiment, our Raley's location rolled out their new rewards program.  It sounds really great- but.  After seeing how outrageously high their prices are, it made me think- what if they raised their prices so they could introduce this rewards program without it costing them anything?  So people think they're saving all of this money, when in reality, they're spending the same amount they were before?  Who knows!  Anyways, I'm off to attend a wedding.  With my four inch roots.  Grrrr.  Wishing you a gorgeous day.


  1. Jenny, that's absolutely mind boggling! I shop at Raley's almost exclusively. It's a local chain and has a lot of low sodium products. The Whole Foods is a half hour drive away from me and is new. I would have never guessed the difference in produce prices. You're quite the sleuth!

    I'll be looking forward to more of your investigations. Maybe I'll need to make the trip down the hill more often. The Whole Foods is just a couple of blocks away from a Trader Joe's & World Market, both good sources for low sodium products.

    1. Yes, check it out! And I'll have to check out World Market- there's one nearby, but I've never really browsed their food section.

    2. Jenny, I discovered, quite by accident, that World Market has a good selection of no-salt-added spice blends. My favorites are the Greek Mediterranean and Chicago Chop & Steak. And it was the first place I found salt-free Asian noodles like Udon & Soba.

      I think I'll make a trip to Whole Foods next week and drop by TJs & World Market too.

      I think it's great that we can each focus on different needs (vegetarian - low sodium), yet, at the same time, share useful information.