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whole foods vs. trader joes.

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which one do you prefer? and which one is least expensive?
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I prefer Trader Joe's because I love all their frozen foods that I can't get anywhere else.  They're both about the same price.  But that depends on where you live.  Some Trader Joe's in certain parts of the country are more expensive than others.

trader joe's all the way. yeah whole foods has great food, but trader joe's is a lot cheaper, at least where i live.

Well, I have not been to a trader joe's in YEARS so WHOLE FOODS IS WHERE ITS AT FOR ME!!! That place is HEAVEN ON EARTH - my SANCTUARY! 

I love Trader Joe's!  I love his chocolate cat cookies, I love everything about that place!

Trader Joe's, definitely.  Not only are prices better, but they're closer to my house.  Getting to the "nearest" Whole Foods is a 40 minute drive.

Besides, the TJ quesadillas and olympiad pizzas are great!

Trader Joe loses because theres not one within 150 miles of home :D whereas the WF is <20 miles away

nor have I ever been to one because Ive spent most of my life in Texas......but have been within 30 miles of a WF my whole life...

both traders joes and whole foods are close to me.

trader joes is like 15 min walk and whole foods is 5. not a big difference for me. but WF is alot bigger.

tomorrow i need to go buy food. all i have is bananas, peanut butter, a bit of canned corn left over, an onion, pickles and eggs...
For everyday items, I find Trader Joe's to be significantly cheaper than Whole Foods. Both places have their own little niches (certain frozen/fresh foods only available there), but for things like fruit, veggies, milk and eggs, TJ's is much cheaper for me (I live in San Francisco) and is equal in quality.

I like whole foods because it has a deli, but I feel a strange loyalty to Trader Joe's. Not exactly sure why.

Trader Joe's. It's not so uppity about its being organic and healthy; Whole Foods tends to play it up a lot. Though they're both really awesome places. :)

Whole Foods, although I haven't been to Trader Joe's in a long time since it's not really very close to my house.
I can't pick - I love both!
Also, props to my local food co-op that's only 8 blocks from my house...  between these three, I'm a very happy camper.

If you know what you are going to buy ahead of time, then Trader Joe's is definitely cheaper.  However, they make their big bucks in impulse items or snacks.  People buy their snack foods like it's salvation.  So, you really need to be careful that you don't pick things up because "it looks so good". 

My husband has worked there for years and I only buy certain fresh staples and other things like maple syrup.  I never go to the bakery section or the produce.  I rarely ever go through the frozen aisle.  I mostly do my shopping at Fry's. 

Trader Joe's has some good bargains, and some distinctive products, particularly condiments. Whole foods has a wider variety of products overall.  In some product areas (dairy) TJs carries only its own brand.

Also Trader Joe's organic produce is reputed to be on the less sustainable side of "industrial organic" to use Michael Pollan's distinction.  Whole Foods in my area (closed is Palo Alto) carries some organic produce from local farms, and organic dairy from suppliers that have good ratings.

When it comes to buying organic produce, though, I buy 90% at the farmers market, which is cheaper than WF and better quality than TJ's.

A lot of TJ's bargains are on packaged food, and I'd rather make fresh.

At TJ's I buy:  condiments, smoked or canned fish, organic freerange chicken,  pasta

At WF I buy: cheese, yogurt, beans,pasta, grains, occasional nonlocal produce (bananas)

At farmers market I buy: fruit, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, fish

The closest supermarket to me is a Draegers which is insanely expensive but sometimes I go there for dairy / beans / pasta / grains because it is 5 min away.



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Here's the thing you need to watch out for, Trader Joe's imports from China among other places, and is commonly misinterpreted as an organic "whole foods" store, which it is not. In my opinion the two are completely different types of grocery stores. 

trader joe's. most of their organic products are inexpensive, compared to whole foods. the majority of the things i buy there are around $2 whereas whole foods can price things at least $3 +. the quality is quite comparable. they also ships items whole foods doesn't have, like baby broccoli. i like whole foods a lot, but whenever i take a break and shop at tj's, i save like 10 dollars on the same groceries.
I'm not a huge TJ's fan because they package up their produce and I can't stand that. Also, so true about the impulse items as mentioned above. Plus it's always so crowded!

We don't have a Whole Foods nearby, but I've been to the one in Santa Fe, NM. I was not overly impressed. Lots of stuff there but also a bigass prepared foods area. I'd rather make my own stuff at home.

I love to shop at WinCo. They have almost everything you could ever want sold in bulk. It's cheap, clean, and basic. Also they have my favourite brand of yogurt: Nancy's Nonfat Plain Organic, a big selection of frozen veggie burgers, veggie cheese, and Yves mock meats. They don't overprice and it's not trendy :)
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