I have often thought of how cool it would be to do ALL my shopping at Whole Foods. How much time would be saved going to just one store where I can get all my food, body care and specialty items. We have all heard the phrase “Whole Paycheck” and like many others Whole Foods just seems so pricey to me. It seems like it would be impossible to do my normal grocery shopping there. Before this experiment I would only go to Whole Foods for the body care section or if I needed some unusual ingredient for a gluten free vegan dessert or dish I wanted to make. Tyler and I cook 95% percent of the time breakfast, lunch and dinner so we do a LOT of shopping. I feel like I think Whole Foods is so expensive because when I go there I’m buying a few items that are higher priced, things that get use over a month(s) like lotion or raw cacao powder, not everyday things like rice, beans and broccoli.
The opportunity came my way to test and see if the “Whole Paycheck” phrase was true for me. Tyler and I headed to Whole Foods on a normal Tuesday evening with our typical shopping list, debit and credit cards, just in case, with the intention of doing a weeks worth of normal shopping. The experience was fun because it was something new and we only had to go to one place to get everything we needed. I think this last piece is a BIG reason why I really wanted to do this.
You see, we do a hodge podge of shopping, going to Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Vons, Whole Foods and the farmers markets depending on what we are making that week. There is never less than 2 stops on any given shopping trip. I’ve read many articles about other plant based diet eaters enjoying going to the store to pick up fresh ingredients multiple times a week and maybe this would be the case for me if I lived in Europe or a city with much better public transportation (this is a whole other topic). If I could walk to the train each day to get to work and on my way home stop at the market I might enjoy it as well. Sadly that is not the case, I would rather come home from work and spend the evening cooking, hanging out with loved ones, blogging, working in the yard and relaxing, not running yet another grocery errand. Sadly grocery shopping often just turns into a task, something else to do like laundry. I’m all about having enjoyment in my life and finding simple ways to infuse more joy into it. As we filled the cart I found myself getting very nervous that our bill would break the bank but we did not hold back, we bought all our normal items.
Once we were done we headed to the check out line and held our breaths. The total was $174. Although it was more than we typically spend it did not make me want to faint. We typically spend $90 to $120 at Trader Joe’s then another $20 to $50 at the other store(s) that we go to that week. I’m not waving a flag boasting about the great deals at Whole Foods I’m just sharing that maybe though it’s pricey it stops me from impulse buying at more than one store (but those berries just look so good!), saves time and my sanity. Even after this experiment Tyler and I are still racing around San Diego to multiple places for our food each week. I feel better actually knowing what it costs to shop there rather than just assuming it will be my Whole Paycheck.
As I work towards finding my way while living a fun filled eco-lifestyle I know eating local and organic food is a part of it. In sharing my experience I would love to know what your shopping routines look like? Do you go all the time? Once a week? Visit multiple places? Seriously I want to know! Also if you love grocery shopping share your tips with me…I need them.