Is the New 365 by Whole Foods Actually Cheaper? One PEOPLE Reporter Investigates
Thank you, Whole Foods, our hearts are now whole—and our paychecks!
The über healthy, yet genuinely pricey grocery chain has finally opened the doors to its millennial-focused, more down to earth store 365 by Whole Foodsin the hipster California neighborhood Silver Lake.
I know you're jealous, but don't be because they're bound to expand. This location is just the first of three locations—Lake Oswego, Oregon, and Bellevue, Washington—set to open within the next month, and one of 19 stores that the chain plans to open by 2017.
While doing my morning grocery shopping, I couldn't help but feel the urge to venture from one store to the other to see really how much I could potentially be saving shopping at 365. So—thanks to my super cool boss—I did!
One thing I noticed, in particular, when stepping foot into the Costco-resembling warehouse store was the fact that the produce is priced per piece, as opposed to per pound. Now, you don't really realized just how much you're saving until you pick up one stinking grapefruit and it's already exceeded one pound, making the price on that little plastic label all but a dream. All in all, produce wise—for everything except the bananas—it is definitely beneficial to shop at 365, especially if you only eat organic.
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While the produce, meat, dairy and bread deals are ideal for whipping up the perfect money-saving lunch, visiting the hot bar and salad bar on a lazy day is even more cost-effective. Back at it again with the price per pound, your typical Whole Foods will put a hole in your wallet at $8.99 per pound (let's be honest, we all tend to fill up those little paper containers to at least two pounds anyway). However at 365, you have three sizing options (even the largest isn'tas large as the large size at Whole Foods—hello, portion control!): $5.50 for a small, $7.50 for a medium and $9.50 for a large. You know what this means? You can fill your container up to the brim without having to predict how much your meal will set you back. Genius!
And everybody loves a sale, and while it's very hard to find actual “sale” items at a normal Whole Foods, the new My 365 rewards program allows you to save ten percent on your groceries each time you shop, as well as $5 off your next $25 purchase when you sign up. If you shop using your rewards often you can rack up points through the Digital Punch Buddy Card, which will earn you all sorts of free goodies.
Here's the breakdown of my receipts from Whole Foods Market versus 365 by Whole Foods:
365 Sourdough Bread
Whole Foods: $2.99
365 by Whole Foods: $2.99
365 Fat Free Milk
Whole Foods: $6.49
365 by Whole Foods: $5.99
365 Large Organic Brown Eggs
Whole Foods: $4.69
365 by Whole Foods: $2.99
Whole Foods: one bundle is 1.41 lbs at $2.49 per pound=$3.51
365 by Whole Foods: one bundle is $2.00 each=$2.00
Organic Russet Potatoes
Whole Foods: two at 1.35 lbs at $1.29 per pound=$1.74
365 by Whole Foods: two potatoes at 1.36 lbs at $1.25 per pound=$1.70
Whole Foods: one at 1.27 lbs at $1.19 per pound=$1.51
365 by Whole Foods: one at $1.00 each=$1.00
Whole Foods: four bananas at 1.03 lbs at $0.99 per pound=$1.02
365 by Whole Foods: four bananas at $0.29 each=$1.16
Pink Lady Apples
Whole Foods: two apples at 0.96 lbs at $1.99 per pound=$1.91
365 by Whole Foods: two apples at $0.70 each = $1.40
Whole Foods: $23.86
365 by Whole Foods: $19.23
Yes, I saved $4.63 today! But considering I stop off at Whole Foods at least once a day, whether it's for groceries or prepared meals, a tab like this could save me $32.41 per week. Okay, done being a mathematician and back to being a writer.