Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Trip to Whole Foods...

Well, we decided that since we are making all of these changes, we ought to go to Whole Foods and check it out to get an idea of the cost of "healthier foods".
Only 2 of the boys wanted to tag along (thankfully) so the 4 of us set out after dinner. It took us about 30 minutes to get there, but we were expecting that.
I was excited when we pulled up into the parking lot, but reminded myself to stay calm and sensible and stick to the purpose. (Sometimes I get a little carried away when I go to a new store, especially book stores! It's weird, I know!)
Overall, the store was a little smaller than I expected when you look at how much of it is an actual grocery store. Once you subtract the restaurant part, coffee bar, and bakery, it wasn't overly large. Of course, I am used to Sam's Club, so it may be big to other people.
We began in the produce section and noticed that a few of the things they sell we also see at Sam's, like the brand of clementines...mental note: buy them at Sam's.
The produce all looked great, but I noticed that some is organic and some is not, which was a surprise to me. I thought everything they sold was organic, but I guess not. We bought organic bananas ($0.88 a lb), organic apples (a little over $1.00 a lb), organic tomatoes & onions and salad mix($1.99 bag).
Next was the dairy and meats section - The vanilla soy milk (Silk brand) is definetly cheaper at Sam's. However, I bought yogurt at Whole Foods 2 for $1.00 and at Kroger the same brand was $0.89 each, so that was a better buy. We bought the Brown Cow organic brand. I also bought a huge "roll" of butter made by the Amish (organic) for about $5.00. It was a BIG roll of butter and I felt a good price. Plus I have this thing for Amish people, so I loved buying their butter. Jason always tells me that one day he's gonna come home as my dream man in a top hat and long beard and move me to a farm!!! Can't wait for that day!!!
Anyways, I saw a couple tubs of tofu for around $2.00, but since I still don't know what it is, I didn't buy any yet. The meats were expensive, but of course, free range. I noticed a med. sized turkey was about $20.00 and the same size I usually pay about $14.00 for around Thanksgiving. I checked Kroger this afternoon and their free range turkey was a little over $30.00!!! Wow - I am in the wrong business!
I refrained from meat purchases at the moment as I am still researching free range meats and farms and looking for a better way to handle that.
In the snack section, we bought chips (2 pks for $3.00) and cold salsa ($3.50 a carton, but buy one get one free and it was fresh and delicious!) We also bought crackers. Cereal was outrageous and so I bought it at Sam's (Kashi cinnamon squares - around $6.88 there for 2 bags.)
In the canned foods, we bought organic black beans and they were $0.99 per can - which is the same price at Kroger. We have recently been making this veggie stir-fry with black beans that is delicious so we bought 4 cans of those. We also bought salad dressing and trail mix.
Before we hit the checkout I saw bottles of green tea on sale (BOGOF) so I bought those just as a treat for me. They were Green Tea and Honey and Green Tea and Mango flavored. The thing I liked was that when I asked the sales clerk about them, she volunteered to let me taste one without me asking to. Apparently, that is their policy: if you wanna sample something, just ask and they'll let you. Jason also sampled grapefruit. That was a nice added touch!
Altogether we ended up spending $60.20, which wasn't that bad considering what we bought.
I'm not sure that I will have to shop there regularly, though, because Sam's is offering an increasingly larger organic selection and then coupled with Kroger, I feel like most of what I need, I can get between the two. There is a certain element at Whole Foods that these two stores don't have, which makes shopping at Whole Foods a little more fun. (Like the all natural soaps and lotions in the bathroom that smell like you're at the spa). But for practical purposes, I think it'll be a treat for us to go there instead of a bi-weekly experience.
A definite benefit to going there is to see what brands and items they do sell. Since their policy is nothing "unnatural", I assumed everything in the store is on the safer list. So, now I know what brands to buy at Kroger and Sam's and I know they are legitimately "all-natural" since Whole Foods carries them.
Overall, it was a great experience and Jason and I both enjoyed ourselves. One of the best things was that my husband was truly supportive and on board instead of giving me a hard time about what I was buying. It's nice to know we are headed in the same direction!


The Timms Family said...

I don't know how many blogs you have time to read, but you might enjoy this one:

If you scroll down on the home page, you'll see a series of posts where she is describing how her family got into healthy eating.

She is big into natural/whole foods and has a lot of recipes on her website. She makes a lot of her stuff (sour cream, buttermilk, etc.), purchases from co-ops, and grows a lot of her own produce. But yet she still makes food that sounds good-- that probably wouldn't be a big stretch from things you are used to eating.

She's also a Christian and has a quirky sense of humor (that I think is funny)... and the kicker-- she has 4 boys (so I'm sure you have lots in common with her!)

Lynn said...

Tofu is simply soybean curds. Pretty much tasteless, so you have to season it. The only thing I've ever tried it in was stir-fry. I cubed it into small bite sized pieces and marinated it in soy sauce. Then add to stir-fry veggies at the end of frying them. Not too bad at all. I think I also put some into a smoothie before, but I don't think I liked it much.
Great source of protein.