Whole Foods, the upscale grocery store I used to visit only occasionally, opened new location in my neighborhood about a year ago. Now that I drive by its inviting faÃ§ade every day, I’m forced to think wisely about how I use this resource, known for its photogenic food and high prices.
Last week, a debate broke out on a neighborhood message board to which I subscribe.Â One side citedÂ this Daily Kos article titled “Think Whole Foods Is A Ripoff? It’s Worse Than You Thought!” The other side retorted, “How about I shop where I want and no one judges me. K Thanks Bye.” Both sides have a point.
Here are the range of emotions I’ve feltÂ since becoming a Whole Foodie.
1. GRATITUDE: A lazy mom’s best friend, the prepared foods such as mac & cheese, sushi and wood-fired pizza allow you to use Whole Foods as a healthy take-out restaurant. Swing by after soccer practice and feed everyone on the spot. Plus, grab some milk and (earth-friendly) coffee filters while you’re there so no one’s morning is ruined.
2. RESENTMENT: A lazy mom’s worst enemy, the neatly cut-up fruit and veggies are soooo tempting, but those little plastic containers are marked up to reflect the labor of a salaried employee with benefits, so don’t do it. You can make a pretty combo bowl of strawberries and blueberries by yourself. It’s not that hard. Promise.
3. RELIEF: The house brand is actually affordable, so buy everything called 365 Everyday Value. If you get the basics from sandwich bread to shredded cheese with the 365 brand on it, your bill won’t be any higher than your average store. You’re welcome.
4. CONFIDENCE: There are no evil ingredients in the entire store. They’ve done all the work for us and simply don’t carry anything with artificial colors, aspartame, partially hydrogenated oil, and a huge list of other things that are better avoided. Get it? You don’t even have to be an informed consumer. Just shop at Whole Foods and you’ll be healthier!
5. IRRITATION: They don’t carry some basic items my family relies on. Tampax. Life cereal. Cheap kitty litter. You get the idea.
6. DELIGHT: Catering, ordered in advance. For about $20, you can pick up a plate of 30 bacon-wrapped dates or 25 potato samosas. This will make you look very good at Book Club. My BFF orders half of her Thanksgiving meal at Whole Foods and picks it up that morning. #lifehacks
7. ANGER: The parking lot is a well-documented horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad experience for busy parents. Watch this video to get a laugh out of it.
8. LOVE: The Kids Club. Spend more than $20 and your kid can pick out a snack item free ”“ as long as the value doesn’t exceed a couple dollars. So let them have fruit leather, a bagel, or a bag of Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies. Stop at the service desk to ask about it.
Do you have any tips for navigating the beautiful aisles of Whole Foods market?