Which is Better: Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?

Which is better: Whole Foods or Trader Joes? A price comparison

What would you say if I asked you, “Which is better: Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?”

Most likely, you have an opinion. Perhaps you like Whole Food’s bulk bin selection. Or maybe you are a fan of Trader Joe’s marinated meat selection.

But at the end of the day, how does each store compare on price?

While both stores are known for having healthy, organic food, Trader Joe’s is known as a budget retailer, whereas Whole Foods Market is known as the “Whole Paycheck.”

An investigation into how their prices compare was in order.

I wanted to take a look at prices on the foods commonly found on everyone’s healthy shopping list.

To make the comparison fair, I shopped exclusively for the store brands: Whole Foods 365 or Trader Joe’s. I also purchased everything organic – with the exception of the oranges and bananas.

Whole Foods vs Trader Joes

Which is Better: Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?

Organic Old Fashioned Oatmeal
Whole Foods 365 $3.00
Trader Joe’s $2.49

Organic Coffee
Whole Foods 365 $5.99
Trader Joe’s $7.99

Organic Large Eggs
Whole Foods 365 $4.49
Trader Joe’s $4.19

Organic Plain Yogurt
Whole Foods 365 $3.39
Trader Joe’s $3.69

Whole Wheat Bread
Whole Foods 365 $2.99
Trader Joe’s $2.49

Organic Unsweetened Applesauce

Whole Foods 365 $2.99
Trader Joe’s $2.79

Organic Peanut Butter
Whole Foods 365 $4.99
Trader Joe’s $3.49

Organic Frozen Strawberries
Whole Foods 365 $2.99
Trader Joe’s $2.69

Organic Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Whole Foods 365 $7.99
Trader Joe’s $7.49

Organic Milk
Whole Foods 365 $6.99
Trader Joe’s $5.99

Which is better: Whole Foods or Trader Joe's?

Produce was difficult to compare. Trader Joe’s prices are per piece of fruit. Whole Foods is by the pound. It’s hard to compare since I don’t have the weight of the produce I bought at Trader Joe’s.

I bought 5 bananas, 4 apples, and 4 oranges at each store so I included the total I paid.

Bananas
Whole Foods 365 $0.69/lb. I paid $1.09/5
Trader Joe’s $0.19 ea. I paid $0.95

Oranges
Whole Foods 365 $0.78/lb. I paid $1.64
Trader Joe’s $0.59 ea. I paid $2.36

Apples
Whole Foods 365 $1.68/lb. I paid $2.28/4
Trader Joe’s $0.79 ea. I paid $3.16/4

My Whole Foods bill came to $51.22. My Trader Joe’s bill came to $51.27.

I paid ALMOST THE SAME!

Now if I was just running in for milk and eggs, I’d pick Trader Joe’s every time and be a $1.30 richer. But those gains would almost all be lost if I picked up 4 apples for lunches.

I’ll admit I expected Trader Joe’s to offer significant savings. However, on these items, it simply wasn’t the case.

Are you surprised?

Do some more sleuthing and check out Costco versus Walmart: Who has the best organic prices?

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Comments

  1. Based on my calculations with the prices you posted Whole foods was $55.81 while Trader Joe’s was $49.77.

  2. Hmmm. Not sure where your calculations are off. I pulled my totals off my receipts.

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