Whole Foods Items That Give You the Best Bang for Your Buck

Los Angeles, USA - May 9, 2013: Whole Foods Market, Venice, California.
anouchka / Getty Images

If you’re a fan of Whole Foods, you know that while expensive items indeed line its aisles, you can also find some good bargains.

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“Whole Foods is like any other store in that it has regular sales, so stock up when it makes sense to — i.e., the items are nonperishable and you have room to store the excess,” said consumer analyst Julie Ramhold with DealNews. “Additionally, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you should be ensuring you get the extra perks by scanning the app during checkout. You save an extra 10% off sale items, and there are also select offers that are only for Prime members scattered throughout the store.”

Although it’s a plus to be able to snag your favorite items at Whole Foods for a discount, the store also offers regular-priced items that are always a good bargain, so you don’t have to wait for a sale. Here are 10 Whole Foods items that give you the best bang for your buck.

Hot Bar Items

“Whole Foods has a pretty extensive hot bar so if you’re looking for something healthier than a standard fast-food pickup outside the salad realm, the hot bar at Whole Foods is a good place to start,” said Ramhold.

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“The price may be determined by per pound of food, though, so be sure to make it count! But even if it’s slightly pricier than a combo meal with a burger and fries, you’re still getting more choices and healthier options.”

365 by Whole Foods Market Cut & Peeled Baby Carrots

You can pick up a 16-ounce bag of cut and peeled baby carrots for snacking, roasting or steaming for just $1.29. At Safeway, that same quantity of baby carrots will cost you over twice as much at $2.99.

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365 by Whole Foods Market Dish Soap

Whole Foods’ house brand of dish soap comes in 24-ounce bottles and has two scent options — unscented and grapefruit. It sells for $3.19, which is 30 cents cheaper than Safeway’s house brand, Signature Select. Additionally, it’s over $1 cheaper than name brands such as Dawn.

365 by Whole Foods Market Mediterranean Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil

You can get a great deal on extra virgin olive oil at $8.49 for 33.8 ounces, which averages out to about 25 cents per ounce. You’ll pay at least 39 cents per ounce for Safeway’s house brand of extra virgin olive oil.

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365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Almond Milk 

“A 64-ounce carton of organic almond milk is around $3.39 or so; you may pay less for a store-brand elsewhere but it won’t be organic, and if you pay for name-brand, it’s definitely not going to be that cheap and still might not be organic,” said Ramhold.

365 by Whole Foods Market Broccoli Florets

Fresh broccoli florets that are packaged in a steamable, 12-ounce bag are just $2.99 at Whole Foods. You’ll pay $3.49 or 50 cents more for Safeway’s Signature Farms Broccoli Florets packaged in a steamable bag.

365 Everyday Value Organic Grade A Dark Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup isn’t just for pancakes and waffles. You can add it to yogurt, stir it into oatmeal or use it when baking. Whole Foods offers its 365 Everyday Value Organic Grade A Dark Maple Syrup in a 32-ounce jug for $20.49.

At Kroger, a 32-ounce jug of NOW Foods Organic Grade A Maple Syrup is $2.50 more at $22.99.

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365 by Whole Foods Market Low-Sodium Organic Chicken Broth

Besides being used as a soup base, chicken broth can be added to pasta, rice dishes and meats to add a flavorful boost. And because it’s shelf-stable, you can stock up and save.

A 32-ounce box is just $2.29 at Whole Foods, whereas at Safeway you’ll pay $1.20 more, or $3.49, for its organic, low-sodium house brand in the same quantity.

365 by Whole Foods Market Jumbo Rolls of Paper Towel

Another way you get the best bang for your buck at Whole Foods is to stock up on its three-count jumbo rolls of paper towels for $4.99, which average out to a little more than 1 cent per sheet — about the cheapest price you’ll find among other store or name brands.

If you do happen to see a comparable item for a little less at another store, keep in mind that these are full-sheet, two-ply paper towels that will save you from making a separate trip to another grocery store or Walmart.

Bulk Items

“If you have the opportunity to shop for bulk items at Whole Foods, you may find you can save versus shopping for the same items in regular packaging,” said Ramhold.

“For instance, the price on items like organic beans, rice, and nutritional yeast is usually far better than if you were to buy prepackaged amounts of them. It’s also a good way to save as you can literally buy just what you need, rather than having to buy multiple smaller packages or a large package of something you only need a little of.”

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