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You Could Be Saving Money at Whole Foods—Yes, Really

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Photo by Brian Harkin
Photo by Brian Harkin

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Stay away from Whole Foods! everyone has told you. With the do-gooder grocer having earned the moniker "Whole Paycheck" a long time ago, you always figured you'd be better off hitting up the local store—or ordering online—than browsing their (relatively) wide aisles of organic and local products. But with a triple-digit number regularly showing up at the bottom of your grocery receipts, you couldn't help but wonder if you actually had saved anything.

Now, a Bloomberg Intelligence report answers that nagging thought: Whole Foods is cheaper than some other common city grocers. It details that an order of 97 items from the Austin, Texas-based grocery chain was cheaper than the same purchase at Gristedes and Fresh Direct, among others.

That haul from Whole Foods cost $391.39, which is a small savings from the $398.44 you'd pay at Fresh Direct—plus, the latter would be delivered right to your door. But it's a huge price cut from the $458.84 you'd be paying at Gristedes (and carrying all the way home by your lonesome).

And you're still not safe at other popular New York City chains: The bill at D'Agostino would be $428.64, while Food Emporium would set you back $429.66.

Whole Foods has been slashing prices to make itself more competitive with other grocers who are expanding into organic offerings, especially in the produce section. So does that mean you can finally shop there guilt-free?

Only if you're not near a Fairway Market—the same 97 items there was only $347.10, a savings of $44.29 from Whole Foods and a whopping 24% less than Gristedes. The report attributes that to more sales here, plus regular-priced items that are on average 8% cheaper than the same ones at Whole Foods.
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