Stephanie Nelson | 

13 Best Things to Buy at Whole Foods

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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.

And if you haven’t already heard, you can now pay for your Whole Foods groceries with just the palm of your hand, via Amazon One (a free identity service run by Amazon). Not all stores across the country have activated this new payment system yet, but all stores will by the end of the year. More than 200 stores already offer this payment ability.

Download the KCL app and we’ll tell you when we see something that’s worth a trip to Whole Foods!


1. Olive oil in such a large can you might not ever run out.

Mediterranean Blend olive oil on a Whole Foods shelf.

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.


2. Berry Chantilly Cakes as close to “natural” as cake gets.

Whole Foods berry chantilly cake in the case.

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.

Whole Foods 365 gummy multivitamins on a shelf.

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.


4. Organic ground coffee that’ll save you $0.80 per cup.

Whole Foods 365 organic coffee on a shelf.

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.


5. Potent essential oils you can actually afford.

Whole Foods 365 lavender essential oil on the shelf.

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.


6. Hand sanitizer that doesn’t use parabens or animal testing.

Whole Foods 365 brand hand sanitizer on the shelf.

Not only that, but it’s affordable. The huge bottles cost around the same price per ounce as Purell on Amazon.



7. Ice cream for any and every diet on the planet.

Whole Foods 365 cookies and cream and mint chip ice cream.

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 organic protein powder.

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.

9. Salmon so sustainably caught or farmed that it ranks #1 on Greenpeace’s list.

Whole Foods salmon on ice inside the store.

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.


10. Vegan 365-brand cheese that tastes like the more expensive brand.

Whole Foods 365 vegan shredded cheddar alternative

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.



11. Chicken bone broth with no added sugar (that’s also cheaper than name-brand).

Whole Foods 365 chicken bone broth.

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.


12. Chicken breasts that are packaged differently to save you more money.

Whole Foods 365 value packs of chicken.

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.


13. Finally, apple cider vinegar that’s cheaper than Bragg brand.

Whole Foods 365 brand apple cider vinegar.

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.

Related: Curious about the Whole Foods bulk bin aisle? We did the digging to find out which items are actually cheaper when you buy by the pound.

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.


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