Whole Foods gets a bad rap sometimes for being too expensive, thus the nickname, "Whole Paycheck." So, I wanted to see just how expensive Whole Foods was compared to a regular US chain grocery store like a Safeway, Vons, Lucky, or Ralphs.
For the comparison, I picked 10 staple type foods like ketchup, apples, pasta sauce, milk, and a loaf of bread. I even threw in Tater Tots as a kid thing. I chose house brands, almost entirely organic, and regular pricing. This was to give a baseline apples-to-apples comparison. Of course, stores always have sales, and you can save even more money. I also included two examples of the same brand (Odwalla and VitaminWater) to show how pricing can differ at each store.
As you can see, the Whole Foods list actually came out cheaper by $3.40. Now, that is basically the price of a Starbucks Mocha which is not a huge difference, but it does show that Whole Foods is not always outrageously expensive especially when you stick to their 365 Brand. The pricing is based on stores in San Mateo County, CA, so pricing in your area will differ.
The best deal to me is the 24 oz. 365 Organic ketchup for $1.99 which I buy all the time along with the organic Tater Tots. Even Heinz and Del Monte do not have organic ketchup versions that cheap, at least in my area. So, if you haven't been to a Whole Foods store because you assume it would shrink your wallet, revisit that decision and check it out.