Although I tend to do most of my grocery shopping at my local Safeway and Kroger stores, I’ve recently started making a weekly trip to Whole Foods. I had always avoided Whole Foods in the past for fear that even a small trip there would be a huge budget-buster, but I’ve actually discovered quite a few items that are great deals at Whole Foods! Surprised? I was, too! Here are six of the best deals to score next time you make a trip to Whole Foods:

1. Bread

With loaves of cornbread, foccacia, baguettes and muffins filling the aisles of the Whole Foods bakery, I often don’t know what to do with my carb-loving self! Fortunately, with the price of the breads at Whole Foods, I don’t have to hold back! Many of the loaves at my WF are priced at $2.99, which is the same price that I pay for Sara Lee at my local Safeway. But unlike those pre-packaged breads that I usually buy, the breads at Whole Foods are baked fresh every day with natural butter and unbleached flour. I also love to grab their fresh baguettes, which are priced at $1.29—70 cents cheaper than the baguettes at Kroger! In addition to extremely competitive prices, the selection of breads varies from day to day and store to store, adding a little excitement to each trip!

2. Frozen foods

The frozen food section at Whole Foods is really a treasure trove filled with inexpensive finds. One of the best deals in those aisles is the selection of frozen fruits. In fact, the frozen fruits at Whole Foods are cheaper than all of the other stores in my area! My store carries frozen strawberries and mixed berries for $1.99 a bag, which is about 80 cents cheaper than the other grocers. Other great finds in the frozen food section include their store brand of veggie burgers, priced at $3.49, compared to Morningstar which is $3.99 at Target. I’ve also found that Whole Foods’ private brand of frozen pizzas and appetizers is less expensive than Kroger’s Private Selection brand by as much as a dollar!

3. Spices

One of the most expensive items that any cook keeps on hand are spices. I always dread having to shell out five or ten bucks for a small jar of spice—especially if I’m trying out a new recipe and just want a tiny amount. Fortunately, Whole Foods offers numerous spices including curry powder, ginger root, graham masala and even taco seasoning in bulk. Not only do the bulk bins allow you to get just what you need, but I’ve actually found that many of the spices are much cheaper than purchasing pre-packaged jars at other grocers. For example, I recently found cardamom in bulk for $2.79 an ounce. Compare that to the 1.75 ounce of McCormick’s brand at Safeway for $10.69. Get the same amount for about half the price at Whole Foods! I’ve also found similar savings on pepper, ginger, curry, and quite a few other spices at Whole Foods.

4. Cakes

I am a sucker for baked goods. Occasionally my trip to Whole Foods yields a slice of chocolate cheesecake, a red velvet cupcake or a cannoli from the bakery counter that I somehow manage to scarf down before I even get home! However, I’ve always avoided the whole cakes for fear that they would blow my budget out of the water. But after doing a bit of research, I discovered that their cakes are only slightly more expensive than many other grocery stores’, and the quality is well worth the added price. In fact, Whole Foods is one of the few grocery stores that actually uses real buttercream, as opposed to the more widely-used "bettercream." Whole Foods also boasts that they never allow artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or hydrogenated fats in any of their baked goods. However, my favorite aspect of Whole Foods cakes? The decorating! They will actually custom decorate your cake for any theme or occasion—for free! If you’re wondering just how much cakes at Whole Foods actually are, my local store has 6" cakes for $18, which is the same price as those at Publix and about $5 more than those at Shoprite. And let’s face it–you probably won’t find flavors such as cannoli and chocolate ganache at Shoprite!

5. Organic and non-dairy milk

If you tend to purchase organic or non-dairy milk, Whole Foods is definitely the place to pick it up. In fact, a recent survey by Cheapism.com showed that these items beat Safeway’s prices by as much as 60 cents! On my last trip to Whole Foods, I found 2-packs of Silk priced at $5.99, compared to $3.49 for one at my local Kroger. I also spotted Whole Foods organic milk priced at $4.99, which is nearly a dollar cheaper than Safeway! Before you head out, don’t forget to pack those Silk coupons—Whole Foods does accept manufacturer coupons!

6. Cheese

Although I don’t consider myself a foodie per se, I do love cheese! From Asiago to Zamorano, you can pretty much find any cheese that your heart desires at Whole Foods. And although you may be skeptical about the prices, I found several of my favorite brands priced far less than at other stores. In fact, on my last trip to Whole Foods, I found Dubliner and Kerrygold brands both priced around $6.00 per pound, compared to $7.00 at Safeway. Another great perk to the cheese department at Whole Foods is that they offer a large selection of small 4-ounce cuts, which are usually priced at $2-$3 each. This is a great way to try out new cheeses before shelling out $8 or $10 for a large block. These are also some of my favorite items to pick up when I’m entertaining!

 

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