Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Before I go into detail about today's post I have to tell you I have been loving grilling pizzas and using BBQ sauce instead of marinara! I added some goat cheese, mozz, parm and carmelized onions and peppers to last nights! I also made a vegetarian version with broccoli for my sister and half with TJ meatless meatballs! It was great!

Those of you who follow me on my Facebook Page already know that we made a trip to Wegmans last night. Usually I get the bulk of our groceries at Trader Joes and pick up simple things like pizza dough mix and last minute items at our regular grocery store.

A lot of people have a conception that shopping organically can make a huge dent in your wallet. But this isn't the case!! Let me explain how normal grocery stores AND Wegmans are fakers.

The common grocery store jacks up their prices on organic items. For example, Barbara's GF Peanut Butter puffins (can you tell it's my favorite) at a normal grocery store costs between $4.50 and $5.50. BUT at Trader Joes or Whole Foods you can find the same cereal for $2.50-$3.00. 

Milk at your regular grocery store will cost you upwards of $4 for a gallon of milk. BUT at Trader Joes or Whole Foods you can find a gallon of milk for $1.99. 

Yesterday at Wegman's we saw a 6 pack of red peppers for $5.49. This looks like a great deal since a normal grocery store usually sells them for $1.50-$2.00 PER pepper. BUT at Trader Joes just last week I picked up local red peppers for $.69 per pepper.

Wegmans seems great to many because they offer more aisles of natural and organic products, but they do not compare to Whole Foods. Let me tell you why.

Whole Foods offers more options for local produce, and most of the time you can buy the local produce for cheaper. Helping your farmers = helping your community. Do it. It's best for the whole!!

Whole Foods also has bulk bins throughout their store where you can stock up on nuts, dried fruits, protein bars, grains, etc for cheaper than the normal grocery store. The great thing about bulk bins is you can buy as much or as little of an item you need! I always grab a few dates when I am there for cchheeaaapp to make protein balls! Wegmans has bulk bins, but only a handful of them and the variety does not compete with Whole Foods - but you feel great because hey this is a grocery store and they offer what Whole Foods does!

Another thing that attracts people to Wegmans are the prepared foods in the market place. A sushi chef preparing the packaged sushi in front of you, get out! While this is great, have you ever checked out the nutritional facts on those hot food items you pile into your container? That tofu wrap you grabbed at the burrito bar (because you thought you were making the healthy choice) is 960 calories. About half of your daily intake. You can find all their nutritional facts here.

My favorite Aunt Mary (well she is actually CL's great aunt, but I have claimed her as my own) told me to check out the Greek Turkey burgers Wegmans offers. These things look delicious, but once I was reading down the ingredient list I saw high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient. In my burger? No thanks. Not to worry Mar, I bought everything needed to make some homemade Greek Turkey Burgers this week that you can whip up!

All in all, I think it is great that grocery stores are jumping on the local and organic bandwagon, but don't be fooled by the "fakers" out there. Do your research, check out Whole Food's coupons, and read ingredients!

Do you shop at Trader Joes or Whole Foods and agree? Disagree? I would love to hear your opinions!


  1. I agree with you 100%. TJs and WFs have a bad rap for being expensive, but when you go to purchase the same products at the regular grocery store, they are $1-$2 more. I always want to slap myself when I don't grab something (esp. produce) at TJs and then head to the reg. store and find that's it's even more expensive! Great post!

  2. TJ's is SO cheap. I'm glad you posted this i'm going to share it with some peeps in my family :)

  3. I had no idea the price differences were that big! My closest whole foods is an hour away and unfortunately canada doesn't have Trader Joes (insert sad face here!)
    It pays to shop around and yay for home made greek turkey burgers :o)

  4. Very interesting post! The way that food prices are manipulated really gets me up in arms if I let it. I'm in Canada, so before I started reading blogs I'd never really heard of Trader Joes or Whole Foods.

  5. YOU TELL EM GIRL!!!!! This is 100% tah-rue =) and I am so glad I picked up on the shenanigans early on b/c I've saved sooo much doing this! add in some farmer's market shenanigans and the savings multiply! ooh! and our GARDENS! <3

  6. I totally agree which is why I make special trips to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods to get my favorite organic foods! It's worth the drive for the amount of money I save! :)

  7. @Jenn definitely with our gardens! fresh veggies and fruit definitely help the wallet!!

  8. I don't have a Trader Joes here =/ You have no idea how much I envy you...I can't even find Puffins!! And When I do it's like $5!! :(

  9. I <3 TJ's, but I find I can't really get my week's worth of shopping done there. I usually do produce from this farmstand, specialties from TJ's, supermarket, and the international market, plus sometimes the food co-op. The nearest WF is 37 mi away, but I usually stop while I visit the bf because I LOVEEEE it and he has two within walking distance!

  10. I love Whole Foods! I've noticed some things are cheaper and some are more expensive. I WISH I had a trader joe's. There aren't any in FL.

  11. I agree with you COMPLETELY!
    Everyone always asks me how i shop at Whole Foods on a college budget, but it's really simple! The prices at a normal grocery store are outrageous and the product is just sad looking!

  12. Gahhh I WISH I had a TJs or a Whole Foods nearby. You're making me overflow with jealousy, girl.

  13. I love the idea of using BBQ sauce instead of marinara on a pizza!

    I've realized that shopping smartly at Whole Foods is key to not blowing the budget. Some things there are just ridiculously expensive, but a lot of things can be reasonably priced (not to mention local!)

  14. This is a GREAT post, Cara! I wholeheartedly agree with you--shopping for organic produce/meat etc. does NOT have to be expensive. In fact, sometimes it's cheaper! Today I bought organic strawberries and raspberries at WF for $2.50 each, and when I stopped by Safeway a few hours later to pick up some ice cream, I noticed that they were charging $5.99 (for non-organic) and $6.00-something for organic. Crazy!

    Your grilled barbecue pizza looks amazing! I've never tried making my own, but I used to looove ordering the BBQ chicken pizza at California Pizza Kitchen.

    Love ya! xoxo

  15. I don't have a problem with whole foods and co-ops during the summer per se, but during the winter here in MN it is CRAZY expensive to get produce there or at TJs or similar, sadly I have to rely on either frozen or imported veggies (or definitely for fruit). What to do?