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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, just curious as to how your experiences shopping at health food stores are (i.e. Wild Oats, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's). I'm getting tired of having to shift through bruised produce at Stop and Shop, and reading the ingredients to boxes, etc. I want to be able to know that *most* things that I pick up are good for you and not hiding any artificial garbage. My husband though is worried that the cost of the groceries is going to sky rocket. Did that happen to any of you?<br><br><br><br>
Thanks!<br><br><br><br>
Nikki <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sunny.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":sunny:">
 

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I love going to HFS, but because of the cost, I only get a few things there like nutritional yeast and bulk foods (pasta, rice, cereal, almonds). Shopping there exclusively would run up the grocery bills and fast.<br><br>
I actually go to about 4-5 different places to shop over the course of a month, depending on what I need, how much time I have and what I feel like.<br><br><br><br>
In the summer and fall, farmer's markets are the way to go for produce. I can get organic stuff there for the cost of convential produce at Safeway (or cheaper). I know several different stores carry many of the same products as the HFS at more reasonable prices too.<br><br><br><br>
Go to the HFS, but I would not recommend using it exclusively unless $$ is no object.
 

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It is generally more expensive, but it really depends on the store and what you're buying. All I have is a local co-op, so the prices are higher than they would be at a Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, ect. But, I do buy a lot of bulk and some things like baby carrots are almost the same price. I don't spend money much, so food is affordable for me because of that.<br><br><br><br>
You'll get the feel after shopping there a few times as to what you want to spend more money on and what you think is reasonable. Some things I just buy every other week or only when they're on sale, so little things like that can help save some $$.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I should clarify that this is strickly just for food. I usually go to BJ's or target's to get house hold things, toiletries, etc. I definately don't want to spend a fortune, but I want to have the option to buy health foods, and I don't feel that way about the commercial supermarkets.
 

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If you're buying veg*an staples such as produce, whole grains, beans (dried and canned), nut butters, etc., then it shouldn't be outrageously expensive. Remember, pound for pound, meats cost more than veg*an staples. Throw in frozen and processed foods, including meat replacers, and then your tab gets bigger.
 

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Trader Joe's saves me so much money, I think they have great prices, especially for oils and spices and nuts. I think it is worth it to buy better quality food and pay a little more. Also I am not spending more since becoming vegetarian and I only buy produce at farmers markets that saves a ton of money.
 

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Trader Joe's has really good prices. I spend a lot at Whole Foods, but that could be because of the cut up fruits and processed stuff that my kids throw in the cart. I tend to frequent different stores like Synergy.
 

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Could you try going to the farmers markets on the weekend? You could get really nice produce and still not pay a lot of money. Your grocery bill hopefully would not skyrocket this way.<br><br><br><br>
As far as HFSs, I could recommend Wild Oats as being a good medium-priced place and as generally a place that does not carry a lot of "junk". At least the junk they carry is decent for junk. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"> Ive heard Trader Joes is good. Theyre far from me and I am not exactly their market anyway.
 

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At my health food store (Henry's, which.is owned my Wild Oats), I've found that is you shop carefully, almost all the food is cheaper than the grocery store. They have a lot of local produce which is WAY cheaper and the rest of the produce is sometimes cheaper. The bulk foods (grains and such) are also much cheaper. the packaged stuff kind of depends on what's on sale that day. I usually stock up on canned beans at the HFS cuz they have a lot more variety and they usually cost less (the store brand does anyway). I buy some my hair product there. Sometime I'll buy paper towels and stuff if I'm out that day. Their store brand stuff is good and not expensive.
 

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Buying bulk beans, nuts, grains at Wild Oats and Whole Foods is a great way to save also, I do that a lot. Also I check what is on sale for produce that week and buy it there along with farmers market produce. I am really into saving money, I have none and I like to eat well. Great thread!
 

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I sometimes wish I had access to places like Wild Oats and Whole Foods, but I know my grocery bill WOULD skyrocket. In the end, I prefer the places I shop, I'm WAY too darn cheap to shop at HFS much, they're definitely a "special-occasion" luxury for me.<br><br><br><br>
I can get plenty of organic and whole, natural, unprocessed "good-for-me" things at my local supermarket, the farmers markets, several "scratch-and-dent" outlets and the bread store, etc...<br><br><br><br>
Yes, I have to read labels, but I still do that at Whole Foods or Wild Oats too, just because they're "health-food" stores does not mean they're vegetarian or vegan - or even "healthy" for that matter!<br><br><br><br>
My local discount grocer <i>usually</i> sells rice milk, bulk beans and nuts, organic tofu and a limited amount of organic produce, and it's CHEAP. I will shop at the co-op (about 40 miles away) for Silk Creamer, nutritional yeast and a 'few' specialty items.<br><br><br><br>
I think unless you really 'need' certain items (gluten free, or vegan "junk" food, or special treats, or exotic stuff) then you can do just FINE at your local markets, you may not get as huge or exotic a variety, and you may just have to travel to several to get the choices you'd like, and you WILL have to read labels.<br><br><br><br>
Vegetarianism isn't always quick or convenient.
 

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We're lucky here to have a decent quality of food in a couple of the local chain stores, but also a (very reasonable, but small) HFS literally around the corner.<br><br><br><br>
When I was in the states, I loved Trader Joe's and actually did buy some personal care stuff there, things like shampoo, toilet paper, toothpaste. It's very reasonable. However, their fruit/vegetable selection is often pretty crummy. WholeFoods tends to be more expensive, but if you only go there for certain "specialty" type items, then it's not so bad. I'd check out a local farmer's market for produce.
 

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my Stop and Shop has a great selction of natural foods.<br><br><br><br>
I would think you still have to read labels at a WF or a WO, right? it's not like they only carry natural foods.
 

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My Shaw's has a great Wild Harvest section and it is a tad cheaper then the HFS. Still I shop at so many different stores it si ridiculous, I probably hit seven different stores in the course of a week for food. I think I am a food freak to be honest, most people I realize would not do this.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, you'd obviously have to read the labels, no matter where you shopped. I wish that I was able to shop at several different stores! Unfortunately between the 3 hours I spend driving back and forth to work everyday, shopping several times a week is not an option. I go every Friday and pick up everything that I need in one swoop. It stinks, but what are you going to do?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tofu-N-Sprouts</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I sometimes wish I had access to places like Wild Oats and Whole Foods, but I know my grocery bill WOULD skyrocket. In the end, I prefer the places I shop, I'm WAY too darn cheap to shop at HFS much, they're definitely a "special-occasion" luxury for me.<br><br><br><br>
I can get plenty of organic and whole, natural, unprocessed "good-for-me" things at my local supermarket, the farmers markets, several "scratch-and-dent" outlets and the bread store, etc...<br><br><br><br>
Yes, I have to read labels, but I still do that at Whole Foods or Wild Oats too, just because they're "health-food" stores does not mean they're vegetarian or vegan - or even "healthy" for that matter!<br><br><br><br>
My local discount grocer <i>usually</i> sells rice milk, bulk beans and nuts, organic tofu and a limited amount of organic produce, and it's CHEAP. I will shop at the co-op (about 40 miles away) for Silk Creamer, nutritional yeast and a 'few' specialty items.<br><br><br><br>
I think unless you really 'need' certain items (gluten free, or vegan "junk" food, or special treats, or exotic stuff) then you can do just FINE at your local markets, you may not get as huge or exotic a variety, and you may just have to travel to several to get the choices you'd like, and you WILL have to read labels.<br><br><br><br>
Vegetarianism isn't always quick or convenient.</div>
</div>
<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:"><br><br><br><br>
I'm in much the same situation as Tofu is in.<br><br><br><br>
My local store has a wonderful HFD (health food department) where I can pick up everything I need, including just about anything in bulk I would ever want. Their produce, however, isn't the best and it's often higher than everyone else, so my husband picks that up on his way home from another place.<br><br><br><br>
I think I go to my "local" health food store about once every other year or so.<br><br><br><br>
But really, IMO, it all boils down to what one can do, what they have access to, and about a million and one other variables that can/can't be controlled. You just have to do the best you can where you're at.<br><br><br><br>
I think there's a thread round here on good things to pick up at TJs. I'll see if I can find the thread for you so you can get some ideas. Okay OP? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I found the threads. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Trader Joe's:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=54678" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=54678</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=46935" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=46935</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=39255" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=39255</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=30213" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=30213</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=15405" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=15405</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=2463" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ead.php?t=2463</a><br><br><br><br>
Wild Oats:<br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=54964" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=54964</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=46066" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=46066</a><br><br><br><br>
Sorry, there's not many threads about what people buy at WO. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/no.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":no:"><br><br><br><br>
And there's not any threads about what people buy at WF, either. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/no.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":no:"><br><br><br><br>
But I hope this helps a bit. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>4EverGrounded</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
:good things to pick up at TJs.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Hey! Get your own! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"><br><br><br><br>
Unless you meant Trader Joes in which case I <i>so</i> wish we had those in Canada. I was at one outside of Philly once and I was all, like, JACKPOT!<br><br><br><br>
I sometimes shop at a vegan owned HFS that only stocks animal free products, from food to clothes to toiletries all at prices comparable to chain stores. But then my alarm goes off and I have to get out of bed. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br><br><br>
Cheers!<br><br>
TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #19
4evergrounded - Thank you! That's great. I am going to take a look right now. TJ's in unfortunately 1/2hr - 45min away, but it's managable. Wild Oats is on my way home from work - so that's not as bad. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Thanks again for the posts.
 
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