I Tried to Shop at Whole Foods But I Just Couldn't Make Myself Do It

Last Sunday I stopped by a Whole Foods.  I think I’ve been in one maybe once or twice before. I was there mainly because I was looking for fish heads to make fish stock.  You know, chicken for chicken stock, beef bones for beef stock?  On a list I’m on, several people said they were able to get organic fish heads for $1/pound from the butcher at Whole Foods. So I thought I’d give it a shot.

They had just sold the one and only fish head they’d had in the store just a few minutes earlier.  So I thought I may as well look around at some other items and see if there was anything I might need to buy.

The thing that still makes my stomach tighten and my eyes water was to see the price of the red and yellow bell peppers. FIVE DOLLARS AND NINETY-NINE CENTS EACH. Yes, I’m sorry for shouting, but this was $5.99 each!!

The green bell peppers were slightly more affordable at $4.99. WHAT?!

English: Red bell peppers. Suomi: Punaisia pap...

English: Red bell peppers. Suomi: Punaisia paprikoita. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My goodness… I can’t even IMAGINE spending that much on a bell pepper. Now Mr. A will buy me a large red bell pepper as a little gift, but he won’t spend more than a dollar on one.

No wonder they call that place “Whole Paycheck”.

Have you ever shopped Whole Foods?   Really? Wow. Tell me what you bought there, I’m so curious.

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36 comments to I Tried to Shop at Whole Foods But I Just Couldn’t Make Myself Do It

  • And to think I was annoyed when grocery stores charged $2 a pop…

    I bought protein powder there once. That’s about all I would buy there, I think. It’s a lovely place but the prices make me jumpy.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Abigail, lol, talk about jumpy. Mr. A about had a fit. LOL. Since he does most of the grocery shopping he thought it was hilarious to imagine people actually shopping there. Plain old bones were $3.79 pound. Goodness!

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  • I do shop at Whole Foods but only for specific items I can’t find anywhere else. I’m fragrance sensitive so I buy my liters of Fragrance Free Shampoo and Conditioner there (for about 5.99 it’s not bad) and herbal remedies that I can’t find anywhere else. Even then, I price check on amazon and ebay first. In Vegas we shopped there pretty regularly, but that’s because we didn’t have decent co-ops or farmer’s markets there. Now that I have access to CSA’s and regular farmer’s markets, I just don’t find myself there more than once every few months.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi a.b., you know I guess if I were closer to Whole Foods, I would probably shop there a bit more often, just to see if they had anything on sale I could use. It’s so far away though, and unfortunately we don’t have any farmer’s markets or CSAs out in my area. Wish they did! Actually, I wish *I* could start one!! I would love to have people come help me garden and take home veggies in exchange.

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  • Guilty! 🙂 I am more of a looker than a spender there though. I would not pay that much for bell peppers ever!

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Mrs. Money, don’t the prices freak you out a little bit? LOL. It was fun looking. I was there for a couple other things that they didn’t have. So I was actually kind of disappointed. The prices were just ridiculous.

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  • When I thought I wanted to do the Makers Diet I tried my hands at Whole Foods….first, the closest one is too far from me to shop their own the regular…and second….expensive. There are pretty large organic sections at the commissary and other local markets and so I don’t miss Whole Foods.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Lakita, I have read the Maker’s Diet. It is closely in line with Nourishing Traditions and in fact many of his recipes come directly from Sally Fallon’s book. That is awesome that you can get organic from the commissary. My sister used to be able to shop at the commissary and saved a lot of money. Thanks for stopping by!

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  • There is a price to be paid for “organic”…more care has to be taken of the crops since you do not use any chemicals and stuff on a mass scale to “protect the crops”…

    But I suggest you bite the bullet on some items and see if it “taste better” and the common GM crops.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Mr. Credit Card: Are you saying you shop at Whole Food? 😉 I do know that “organic” tastes better, since I am lucky enough to be able to have a garden. I have been picking peas every few days from my pea plants and hope to have enough for a family serving soon. Fresh peas are sooooo delicious. I also have Swiss Chard, lettuce, cabbage, carrots and spinach. Not a lot though. I am hoping to get my squash and cucumbers planted soon, if the weather will warm up a little!

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  • i’m a shopper there. i buy a lot of soy items there that can’t really be found in other places. i also buy their freshly made pizza (honestly comes out cheaper than most places since it’s sold by the pound) and on occasion i treat myself to one of their pumpkin raisin tamales. YUM. i also purchase some desserts there and oftentimes our organic meats. i’m sorry, but while many people will complain that the prices of the meat is so much more, i have to disagree. for what you are getting, at often only a dollar or two more, you simply cannot beat it. they label where the meat comes from. they sell products that are superb. and so on. for the longest time i thought chicken breasts tasted so bland (especially without a lot of saucing or seasoning) – we used to joke that they were giant tumors, which is totally horrifying. but now that i’ve had ‘good chicken’ i look at it in a whole new way. seriously. are you certain that it wasn’t $4.99 and %5.99 per pound, not each?

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Susan: I looked closely at the labels, and it didn’t seem to indicate the price was per pound. That would have been a little better, since they were pretty big bell peppers but were probably 6-8 ounces if that. Thanks for your input. If I ever go there again and the chicken breasts are not too expensive, I think I’ll try them. Thanks!

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  • No way. Whole Foods is INSANE. In Oregon all the grocery stores carried organic bulk stuff for way way cheaper.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Wifeish: Like I said, now I know why it’s called Whole Paycheck. I just used to think that was an extreme exaggeration. Now I see that’s really true. 😉

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  • Last time I stopped into a Whole Foods was because I had a $25 gift certificate. I literally walked out of there with 6 items. That’s it, only 6 because I wasn’t about to spend a dollar of my own money. That’s all that gift certificate covered. I haven’t been back since.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Little House: That’s what I would have done with a gift certificate. Or hit the clearance section maybe.

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  • I’ve never even been in a Whole Foods store. They have one in La Jolla which is one of the most expensive areas of San Diego.

    Who would pay $4.99 for a green pepper? I actually buy the frozen pepper trio at Trader Joes and use that whenever I need peppers for a recipe.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Bucksome: I don’t know who would pay that much for a bell pepper. I can only imagine it would be someone who didn’t care at all about how much the food cost that they were buying. I have known a couple of people like that.

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  • I was in a Whole Foods once. That was plenty. I don’t think I bought anything, that’s for sure.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    RainyDaySaver: I have to confess… I did buy one thing there… I bought an apple mint plant. It was $2.99. I don’t think that was too bad. I was tempted by the preying mantis eggs, and the lady bug larvae and the earth worms! But I didn’t buy any.

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  • oregonsun

    I have been in the store a couple of times. Things look wonderful and are displayed to look their best. I am was too cheap…er…frugal to shop there. I do know people that do and are quite happy! I guess that is why there are a lot of different stores. lol

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Oregonsun: One thing I found myself thinking as I saw the prices was “It must be nice.” You know, to have THAT kind of money to allocate to food? On the other hand, maybe they are putting it all onto credit cards.

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  • I’m coming to this post late, but I think the argument that organic foods cost more doesn’t quite make up for the price of whole foods (uh, especially not the bell pepper, that would make me mad too). You can get organic CSA veggies–about a week’s worth for a small family for 25-35 a week. (And that’s for people who like a lot of veggies). Much cheaper than whole foods.

    That said, DH and I shopped at Whole Foods when we lived in the States: on a Friday night, we’d occasionally grab a catered dish there–sort of like a cheap-o version of eating out–usually for about $15-20 for two. (But you have to watch that because sometimes it can cost more than eating out if you’re not careful!!)

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  • I love the concept, but I never really shopped there. Well I did once due to convenience, and that was it for me. I love eating healthy, but sorry, that’s just outrageous. BILLIONS of other people live long healthy lives without spending extra money for organic foods. So can I

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  • Well, that’s a pretty hilarious price. Especially since you can grow peppers aplenty right here in lovely uptown Arizona.

    On the other hand, Whole Paycheck DOES carry real chicken. I mean chicken that actually tastes like chicken. It’s supposed to have a flavor, you know. WF chicken has a flavor.

    On the third hand, you can get a fair approximation of chicken with a flavor at Sprouts, for one heckuvalot less than WF charges. AJ’s has chicken that’s supposed to be organic (etc. etc.), but it costs more and has no flavor.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Funny about Money, I think I’m going to have to go back just to see if it was per pepper or by the pound. It wasn’t real clear. As for chicken having a taste… that’s interesting as well. We have processed our own chickens, and I don’t remember noticing a difference in taste. I wish there was a Sprouts closer to where we live, or at least on the way home. There is one pretty close to my job, but I would have to backtrack about 2.5 miles to get to it. I have seen some good sales going on at Sprouts before, and I love their vegetable prices.

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  • We actually shop at Whole Paycheck, I’m mean Foods, often. We have one that’s not too far away. Yes, its expensive but I think of it as paying a premium now for health care. There is a lot of food out there made with some bad stuff in it.

    You can get good deals on the Whole Foods 365 brand, which is their sort of generic. Like any other store you get a feel for their prices and what is a good deal once you have shopped there a few times.

    Have you seen Food, Inc? Or read Fast Food Nation? Eye openers that will make you think twice about processed food.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Craig: I haven’t watched either of those movies, but I am a follower of Weston A. Price Foundation own the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, make water kefir and milk kefir from grains… don’t have any kombucha brewing at the moment, but just made two batches of sauerkraut (regular and Latin American style). We also own dairy goats for their raw milk. I know that using organics is also a recommendation of the WAPF, but I haven’t been able to make that leap to spending even more money on food than we already do. Maybe when I’m able to retire from my day job and do the grocery shopping, which my husband now does 95% of… if there were a Whole Foods closer to me than 45 miles away, I might check them out more often. Oh, and on the processed foods… right there with you. Since December I’ve had no processed convenience foods and am avoiding all chemicals and additives and food colorings. I think it is great that you can afford to shop there! Thanks for visiting and commenting, Craig!

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  • I tend to shop at local farmers markets for my fresh vegtables, I think that is the best way to go as far as freshness but if you are looking to save money and shop at a bigger known store then supermarkets like whole foods then you must compare. I usually buy things at whole foods markets if I can not find it in a larger supermarket.

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  • k

    Did you ever go back and check on the price? I shop at Whole Foods very regularly (but only for certain items) and can’t imagine they would have bell peppers priced at $5-6/each. I have to believe that was per pound, which isn’t bad considering Bell peppers don’t weigh that much to begin with.

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  • […] Out of Debt Again presents I Tried To Shop At Whole Foods But I Couldn’t Make Myself Do It […]

  • […] I Tried To Shop At Whole Foods But I Couldn’t Make Myself Do It @ Out of Debt Again […]

  • […] At Out of Debt again, there is a great story about Shopping at Whole Foods-not-my wife would have had the same sense of disbelief about a 6 buck pepper! […]

  • […] Of Debt Again shares I Tried Shop at Whole Foods But I Just Couldn’t Make Myself Do It! I can’t say I blame her after seeing what she discovered. I’m not sure what is worse, […]

  • […] brings to mind a similar discussion going on over at OutOfDebtAgain about shopping at whole foods.  I think the premise of this story is typical of many Americans.  […]

  • […] Anyway… let’s just be thankful I haven’t decided to go all organic.  I’d really throw us into the poor house if I felt compelled to eat $6 bell peppers. […]

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