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It’s kind of an open secret that nobody shops Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck) if they want to save money. So, the best things to buy at Whole Foods may not be the cheapest option on the planet, but they’re the most affordable at Whole Foods. Plus, I’m including a few must-buy items because they’re straight-up awesome.
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1. Olive oil in such a large can you might not ever run out.
Whole Foods has loads of olive oil options, but if you stick with their 365 brand, you’ll get the best price overall. They offer Italian, Greek, and Mediterranean. But if you’re OK with Mediterranean, get the huge cans of olive oil and refill your bottles at home to save the most money.
- Whole Foods 365 Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 101 ounces: $0.20 per ounce
- Whole Foods 365 Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 33 ounces: $0.23 per ounce
2. Berry Chantilly Cakes as close to “natural” as cake gets.
Who can walk by these beauties without giving in? The only possible solution is to avoid walking by. But why would you do that to yourself?
Whole Foods Berry Chantilly cakes are the stuff of legend. They were created by a Whole Foods team member in New Orleans, based off her grandmother’s recipe. Plus, it’s made with no artificial colors, uses cage-free eggs, and as far as cakes go, it’s the closest to healthy you can get. Plus, people have been known to stand in line even during natural disasters and power outages to get a cake.
3. Whole Foods 365 Vitamins that put SmartyPants brand to shame.
Multivitamins can be spendy, but you can cut costs by going with the Whole Foods 365 brand. They’re as much as $0.07 cheaper per vitamin than brand-name Smarty Pants. Not only that, but you only need to take two per day instead of six per day with SmartyPants.
- Whole Foods 365 Multivitamin Gummies: $0.10 per vitamin
- SmartyPants Multivitamin Gummies: $0.17 per vitamin
4. Organic ground coffee that’ll save you $0.80 per cup.
Whole Foods 365 coffee is ethically sourced and organic. Compared to Allegro brand, you’ll save $0.10 per ounce of coffee and since 8 ounces equal a cup, think of it as $0.80 savings per cup of coffee you drink.
- Whole Foods 365 Organic Pacific Rim Coffee: $0.50 per ounce
- Allegro Organic Vienna Roast: $0.60 per ounce
5. Potent essential oils you can actually afford.
Whole Foods’ 365 brand of essential oil is where the savings live. And overall, they have great reviews on Amazon. Lavender essential oil has 4.8 stars out of 5 with most of the positive reviews noting that the scent is potent and they can’t tell the difference between 365 essential oils and more expensive brands like Aura Cacia. You’ll save a minimum of $4 when you go for the 365 version, if you buy the most expensive 365 oil and the least expensive Aura Cacia oil.
- Whole Foods 365 Lavender Essential Oil: $11 per fluid ounce
- Aura Cacia Lavender Essential Oil: $23.92 per ounce
6. Hand sanitizer that doesn’t use parabens or animal testing.
Not only that, but it’s affordable. The huge bottles cost around the same price per ounce as Purell on Amazon.
- Whole Foods 365 Hand Sanitizer: $0.31 per ounce
- Purell Hand Sanitizer: $0.32 per ounce
7. Ice cream for any and every diet on the planet.
Whole Foods is the one-stop shop for ice cream, because they sell coconut ice cream, cashew milk ice cream, almond milk ice cream, oat milk ice cream, and milk-based ice cream, too.
8. Protein powder that’ll save you almost three dollars per shake you make.
Whole Foods 365 Pea Protein Powder is organic and it’s unflavored, so you can add whatever berries you want in order to tweak it to your taste. Since you’re saving $0.17 per ounce over the Orgain brand, every time you mix up a 16-ounce shake, you’re saving $2.72.
- Whole Foods 365 Organic Pea Protein Powder: $1.06 per ounce
- Orgain Pea Protein Powder: $1.23 per ounce.
9. Salmon so sustainably caught or farmed that it ranks #1 on Greenpeace’s list.
Now, Greenpeace hasn’t updated this list in a few years, but as of 2018 when it was last done, Whole Foods had ranked #1 that year and the five years prior for sustainability and social responsibility in their seafood practices.
Not only are their seafood practices sustainable, but the Whole Foods fishmongers will cut or debone your fish for you if you can’t find what you want.
- Whole Foods Salmon: $10.79 – $32.99 per pound
10. Vegan 365-brand cheese that tastes like the more expensive brand.
I’m not vegan, so this comes from my friends who are. Whole Foods 365 brand “plant-based” cheeses taste just as good as (some of them say better than) Daiya, a vegan brand. And of course, in true 365 fashion, you’ll pay less for it than you would for Daiya.
- Whole Foods 365 Shredded Cheddar Cheese Alternative: $0.50 per ounce
- Daiya Shredded Cheddar Cheese Alternative: $0.70 per ounce
11. Chicken bone broth with no added sugar (that’s also cheaper than name-brand).
Whole Foods 365 brand of chicken broth offers what few chicken bone broth/stock options offer: no added sugar at all. And the fact that it’s cheaper than Pacific brand (which includes sugar!) just sweetens the deal. To get the best value while shopping at Whole Foods, plan to buy in bulk. Grab the box of six cartons to save an extra penny per ounce.
- Whole Foods 365 Organic Chicken Broth, pack of six 32 ounce cartons: $0.05 per ounce
- Pacific Organic Chicken Broth, 32 ounces: $0.10 per ounce
12. Chicken breasts that are packaged differently to save you more money.
Stay with me here. Whole Foods 365 brand chicken breasts come in traditional packages of a couple breasts. These are more expensive per pound than Whole Foods 365 brand chicken breasts that are in plastic, attached with multiple tear-off packages. Same brand. Same chicken. You’ll save a dollar per pound if you grab the right packaging.
- Whole Foods 365 Chicken Breasts in the value packs: $3.99 per pound
- Whole Foods 365 Chicken Breasts in the traditional packs: $4.99 per pound
13. Finally, apple cider vinegar that’s cheaper than Bragg brand.
Bragg brand apple cider vinegar has cornered the market for a while, but you can save a few cents per ounce when you opt for the Whole Foods 365 version.
- Whole Foods Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: $0.20 per ounce
- Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: $0.23 per ounce
Here’s to finding exactly what you need at a price you feel good about while shopping at Whole Foods! What are your favorite Whole Foods items to buy? Tell me in the comments.