TRADER JOES vs WHOLE FOODS Price Comparison

TRADER JOES vs WHOLE FOODS Price Comparison


(upbeat music) – Hey, munchies, welcome to the channel if you’re new or if you’re not. I’m Alyssia, and I’m
so excited you’re here. In the past, I’ve made videos featuring both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. I do shop at both of these stores. It seems like I actually shop at five different stores somehow. But in my $2 items Trader
Joe’s haul video last month, I put out some feelers about
a price comparison video between Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, and you guys commented yes,
that you wanted to see it, so I took on the task. Is one store more
affordable than the other? Obviously I could not
compare every single item in both stores, so what I
decided to do was make a list of items that I buy regularly and that happen to be a list
of a hundred items coming from the produce department,
as well as pantry, dairy and fridge, freezer,
and meat and seafood. I went to each store and made a note of the prices for these items, which, like I said, are
household staples for me. So please note that I don’t go and buy all of these items every week at the store. These are just things that
I tend to buy in general when I need them. So by making this video, I
definitely know where to go when I need to buy certain items now. So let me share what I learned. I won’t go through every
single item of the 100, but instead I’ll give you an overview so that you can take my general findings and use it for yourself. First of all, I will start by saying a lot of what I expected is not what I found, starting with produce. I usually buy bananas at Trader Joe’s because they’re like 19 cents per banana. Whole Foods bananas were
49 cents for a pound, and it turns out that three
bananas is about a pound, so depending on the size, which means it’s 16 cents
(cash register dings) per banana, so Whole Foods
actually won that one. Also, I was surprised for some reason that bell peppers were
all cheaper at Whole Foods regardless of their color and whether or not they were organic. You should note that I did
do my best with this project to compare organic to organic and nonorganic to
nonorganic at each store, but sometimes one store only
offered one or the other, so it’s not perfect, but I still got good information overall. Avocados are another item that I’ve always bought at Trader Joe’s, but the four-pack bag of organic avocados actually cost more than
the one at Whole Foods. That being said, not everything
was cheaper at Whole Foods. Cauliflower and shaved Brussels sprouts, while not in the same size packages, which is another thing I tried
to account for in this video, they end up being about the same price when you calculate out
the price per ounce. But every other item
of produce I looked at, which was like 15 other things, ended up being cheaper at Trader Joe’s. I went into this project thinking produce would not be cheaper at Trader Joe’s, mostly because they prepackage
a lot of their produce, and it seems like it costs
more because of that. However, when you compare the
prices per pound or ounce, it was actually cheaper, from
apples to carrots, berries, tomatoes, guacamole, spinach, et cetera. So that is a surprise. Trader Joe’s wins on produce.
(cash register dings) But what about pantry items? Well, only two items were
cheaper at Whole Foods, applesauce, which actually did cost more, but it was a pack of six applesauce cups rather than a pack of
four at Trader Joe’s, and organic pasta sauce was
also cheaper at Whole Foods. There were more items equal
in price here, though, so almonds, avocado oil, canned beans, both organic and nonorganic, broths, coconut cream, gluten-free
pasta, and maple syrup. Again, not all of these items were the exact same size package, but I accounted for that
when comparing the prices. Oats were a little bit
cheaper at Trader Joe’s, but they also came in a smaller package. However, the Whole
Foods oats were organic, and the Trader Joe’s oats weren’t. I usually do buy organic oats. So to determine where you’ll find the more affordable option
for your needs will depend on what’s worth it to you. Again, with everything else, that’s 29 other pantry
items that I compared, they were cheaper at Trader Joe’s, nut butters, nuts, almond flour, cereal, coconut milk, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, ketchup, chips, sugar, breads, gluten-free or not. They were all more
affordable at Trader Joe’s per ounce or per pound. Another thing to consider,
though, is quality. So the coconut aminos, for instance, at Trader Joe’s is almost
2 1/2 times cheaper than the Coconut Secret
brand at Whole Foods. That being said, the Coconut Secret brand is
a better product. (laughs) I use the Trader Joe’s coconut
aminos too, don’t get wrong. That price can’t be beat, and sometimes I do choose
that over the quality, but every time I do use
the Coconut Secret one, I’m reminded, oh yeah, this is better. So you’ve got to determine
what’s right for you. But it is fascinating that so many of the pantry items were cheaper at Trader Joe’s than Whole Foods. Dairy and fridge is next. It wasn’t particularly
predictable or consistent here when it came to organic
and nonorganic items. Nonorganic whipped cream cheese
was cheaper at Whole Foods, as was organic orange
juice and organic eggs. Who would’ve thought? But then there’s so back and forth. So organic sour cream was cheaper at Whole Foods
(cash register dings) than it was Trader Joe’s,
so if you’re buying organic, Whole Foods is the way
to go for sour cream. Almond milk was cheaper at
Trader Joe’s but was not organic, which it is at Whole Foods. And the brick of cream cheese
was cheaper at Trader Joe’s but is not organic, while the Whole Foods variety is organic. Organic dairy milk, though, was equal in price at both places. Everything else, that’s 10
other items I looked at, including feta and goat cheeses, Greek yogurts, both large and small, and nut cheese, string
cheese, and Parmesan cheese, were all cheaper at Trader Joe’s. So, again, more items overall
(cash register dings) were cheaper at Trader Joe’s. And it is more of the same
with the freezer goods. So frozen bell peppers were
the same price at both stores, both Whole Foods had a larger
bag, and they were organic. But frozen acai, frozen berries, both organic and nonorganic, and veggies like cauliflower rice stir fry were all cheaper at Trader Joe’s. The last section may be
the most important, though, meat and seafood, Because protein is usually
the most expensive part of our grocery shopping, it is good to know where to
get the most affordable option. This was a surprise for me. I have read tons of articles
that say meat and seafood at Trader Joe’s are not
the most affordable option, but I did not find that to be the case. The one meat I have always purchased from Trader Joe’s was the
85/15 organic ground beef. I thought 5.99
(cash register dings) was a great price, but I didn’t
realize Whole Foods sells a free range 85/15 for a tad cheaper. It’s not organic but still not bad. Now, everything else was
cheaper at Trader Joe’s when it comes to meat and protein, so whole organic chicken,
tilapia, wild-caught salmon, organic and nonorganic lunch meat, organic chicken breasts, bacon, and even plant-based patties
were more affordable. The only item worth considering at Whole Foods is the
chicken apple sausage. It is organic at Whole Foods, but it is also almost twice
(cash register dings) as expensive as the Trader Joe’s option. At the end of the day, it
is up to you to determine what is worth it to you
with the organic goods. So what did we find? It seems at a glance that
Trader Joe’s is the winner, but as I said, it’s
hard to compare organic and nonorganic items, and not all things come
in the same size packages, so I decided to take
a more macro approach. If I bought every one of
these items at each store, all 100 items at each
store, what would it cost? Hmm, I did my best to even them out for the size differences
in the comparison, and when I added it up, it was (palms drum) a hundred dollars more expensive to buy all of those items at
Whole Foods than Trader Joe’s. It was about 400 bucks to
get it all at Trader Joe’s and 500 bucks to get
it all at Whole Foods. So this means in general, it was about 20% more expensive to get these items at Whole Foods. I also decided to see how the
two stores’ prices stacked up within each category, so comparing items to see
if there was one department of each grocery store that was more affordable, for instance. So if meat and produce
was significantly more or less affordable at
one store or another. And when I did that, the
calculation stayed true. Whole Foods was about 20% more expensive. Some departments were a little bit more, and some were a little bit less. The freezer section
was the only department where Whole Foods was
only 10% more expensive rather than 20%, but this
was a tiny sample compared to all of the other
departments that I looked at. Ultimately, I compared 100
items that are staples for me. Your staples could be
drastically different. But it seems safe to say
that Whole Foods is overall around 20% more expensive, although there are some
things I will continue to get at Whole Foods because I prefer the items or the quality. So what does this mean for shopping? I will likely continue
to shop at both, (laughs) but if I only have time to hit one store and I need a ton of stuff,
I will go to Trader Joe’s because I know it will
likely save me money. If I have time to go to both, then I’ll get what I want
or need from Whole Foods and then the rest from Trader Joe’s. We should also consider sale items. Trader Joe’s doesn’t do
sales, but Whole Foods does, and sometimes the produce and the meat or protein prices will
equal those of Trader Joe’s. It just really depends on
the sales week to week. Okay, I hope you found this interesting. Let me know if you wanna
see more videos like this. And let me know in the comments, where do you prefer to shop, Whole Foods or Trader
Joe’s or somewhere else? I will see you next week
with a brand new video. And remember, it’s all a
matter of mind over munch.

100 comments

  1. I appreciate the hard work. You deserve every single one of your views, likes and subscribers. Hope YouTube properly compensates you for your time and effort.

  2. Whole food $$$$$$$$$ for no reason!
    Joes 👎👎👎👇👇👇👇👇👇👇 food that’s not good for you on the shelf. They were on the news a lot because of that. Peanut butter with bad food they had a pull it off the shelf.

  3. Hi thanks for the information. I love Trader Joes. My go to spot for the past couple of years is Aldi's prices are great for me and I have young boys. Have you ever been there.

  4. Does anyone else find it it
    Ironic that this video is out right now as Now the shelves are empty every where??
    Still love your content!! I just hope that is doesn't stay that way.

  5. I shop at Trader Joe's every week and at Whole foods every other week. I buy more produce and snacks from Trader Joe's but I prefer buying dairy products at Whole Foods as I find their dairy quality to be better

  6. Can you do a video on the "organic' label? I've read that there aren't real regulations in terms of what items can be called organic.

  7. Closest Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are about 40-45 minutes away (not in the same direction either!), unfortunately. I love both, but not practical to drive so far so I go to Aldi & Walmart, and order organic through Thrive Market. Thanks for the comparison though, helpful for if I am going to make the drive!

  8. Trader Joes is new to our city; but we are LOVING it, just need to find a time to go when it isn't packed; it's a rather small store and aisles can stack up quickly. We also do a lot of shopping at Dillons (Kroger for other states) and even Walmart.

  9. Wow! Can you do this video with trader joe's vs. Aldi. This would be interesting since they're owned by the same parent company. Thank you for the informative and helpful content!!

  10. The gluten free pastas are the same price but at trader joes, they are 12 ounces and at whole foods they are 8 ounces.

  11. I prefer Trader Joes but I shop at Whole Foods because it's closer to my available public transit. I miss Trader Joes.

  12. It would be interesting to compare Trader Joe’s to a big grocer like safeway or Harris teeter. While they aren’t as focused on organic they do tend to carry some higher quality items and the stores overall are generally cheaper

  13. You look great, girl! Thanks for putting in this time and effort for us.
    This video reminds me, that I'd love to see a video educating us about when to buy organic and when it's not needed.

  14. I also like both stores. I do really like the prepared foods at Whole Foods tho. Aldi has quite a few organic products and good pricing.

  15. Lucky me – I have a Whole Foods directly across the street from a Trader Joe’s! So I usually hit both in one shop. I buy certain things at one store and certain things at the other. It also means if something is sold out I can go to the other usually to get it. For instance – I cook with a lot of bell peppers so I get them frozen at WF because they’re organic. And if I want a fresh one then WF again because I can buy just one whereas at TJs they come in a package of three usually. But I didn’t realize bananas were cheaper at Whole Foods and I had been buying them at Safeway which is more expensive than either WF or TJs! So that will change!

    Thanks for all the hard work. I can see that I really need to do some of my own for comparisons.

  16. You took on a Herculean task, bless your heart. Well done. We don't call Whole Foods 'whole paycheck' for no reason. 😄

  17. Love this video! And actually whole food and Trader Joe’s are on the same street here in Tulsa.
    To be honest most of the time I go to sprouts because of the often sales (I even get coupons on my phone sometimes) but I have the time I go to the 3 stores. I normally get produce and maybe some other products that are on sale at Whole Foods and the rest at sprouts and Trader Joe’s

  18. TJ and WF are specialty trips for me. I usually hit the private owned grocery stores first. Their produce and meat prices tend to be cheaper. For pantry items, I’ll hit the franchise grocers. I get specific items from TJ (almond butter, nut milk, snack items) and WF (chia seeds, essential oil, Lily’s chocolate).

  19. The two Trader Joes I know of in my state are a ways away…but I still love to go to them on occassion. If there was one closer, it would hands down be my go to.

  20. I appreciate this video and how detailed it is. I’m not surprised Whole Foods is more expensive. I always just assumed Whole Foods was the most expensive grocery store.

  21. I’m not surprised by your findings. I shop more at TJ than WF. However, I love the delicious ready made soups at WF.

  22. I've only ever been inside a Trader Joe's once, but I had already assumed that Trader Joe's was going to be cheaper than Whole Foods so I was surprised frankly that anything was cheaper at Whole Foods. Although also with the prices you compared many of them were within a 50 cent difference so you also have to consider if it's worth the time and travel to go to another store, obviously for the bigger price difference it's most likely worth it. All that being said I need to give Trader Joe's another try. Thanks for doing this comparison it was very eye opening for me!

  23. as someone who works for whole foods full time (and did before Amazon bought us), if you have Amazon Prime and shop according to what's on sale, it really cuts the costs. some prices are higher at Whole Foods because a lot of our items are fair trade, and to fairly pay the people who grow those products we in turn have to make said products more expensive on the shelves. it's like saying thank you to our farmers 🙂

  24. Thanks. I rarely shop at either since i have both a Harris Teeter and Wal-Mart Marketplace across the street from me. Someone in the Comments mentioned Thrive. Can you do a video on it? I checked it once. Seemed very expensive to me.

  25. Forgot to note my preferences. Whole Foods for bulk organic rolled oats and 365 flatbread crackers, and not much else. Traders Joes for meats, frozen french green beans, canned salmon, almond butter and the best sea salt brownies ever. Harris Teeter for produce. Walmart Marketplace for 80% of my groceries.

  26. This is why I love your channel! Everything is done so meticulously. The amount of work that must've went into this

  27. Yes I like these kind of videos. I shop at Trader Joe’s , Whole Foods , and grocery outlet, and Santa Fe. Tj for dates and cacao powder and nuts. Whole Foods for. Plant patty’s grocery outlet and Santa Fe for other staples and produce.

  28. We don't have either of those. My favorites are either Asian grocery store and our year round farmer's market. Where we usually shop at is Kroger, Save A Lot, or Aldi which are closer to where we live.

  29. This is such a thorough comparison! Such good information! Also…I meant to comment a few videos ago, but I am loving the bright red hair!

  30. Thanks for all the work that went into this video! For myself, I am a Trader Joes kinda gal. I love the experience, the employees, the yummy items and just the whole thing better than Whole Foods.

  31. Whole Foods is often referred to as "Whole Paycheck" as they are known for their higher prices, even after the Amazon acquisition. Sprouts and Trader Joe's might be a better comparison.

  32. We don’t have either store near us. What is weird is that Trader Joe’s has their warehouse in our town, but they refuse to open a store here no matter how many petitions we have sent to them.

  33. YES! Please do more of these. I love comparison shopping. My overall favorite store is Trader Joe's but for right now I'm staying out of both TJ's and WF .Social distancing is not possible in either store:(( Just for right now I'm shopping at Walmart. It's very open and I can easily socially distance from others. Gawd, I hope this virus thing is behind us soon. It's very isolating. Hope you're doing well Alyssia:))

  34. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are both more expensive than my local grocery chain. I find that many more stores are carrying more organic and higher quality foods.

  35. I like both depending on what I need: the majority of my shopping is generally Kroger or HEB. Sprouts is my favorite but all 3 stores are at least an hour to an hour and a half (sprouts) for me. I’m gluten free so it’s all expensive lol. Trader Joe’s is cheaper on GF oats and pasta and I really love Whole Foods mushroom spaghetti sauce.

  36. what about costco vs sams club? sprouts vs bj's? walmart vs target? aldis vs save a lot. publix vs winn dixie? thank you for the video. great comparison to btw. keep up these great videos. we sure appreciate them.

  37. СПАСИБО ЗА РЕЦЕПТИК

    ДРУЗЬЯ, ПОДДЕРЖИМ КАНАЛ ЛАЙКАМИ !

  38. Very interesting. It's been a hot minute since I've been to Whole Foods because it's just not convenient. I always thought it would be less expensive than Trader Joe's. I generally shop at Walmart, or Publix if I just need a few items. I have found some things at Trader Joe's that I wouldn't find at either of my regular spots. Being on a very limited income, I don't buy organic.

  39. Trader Joe's is just better for alot of items and snacks and sweets! BUT trader Joe's items prices rarely change, whole foods prices change and have sometimes lil sales.

  40. I like shopping at Stater Bros. They have the variety of foods I like. If I had a Vons near me I would shop there as well. I haven't checked out Albertsons recently since they are connected with Vons but I might soon. I like to shop at Vons because they also have a variety of foods. Ethnic foods is what I'm mainly talking about.

  41. Also I forgot to mention I like Stater Bros. for their fresh produce. It might cost a little more but it's worth it in my opinion.

  42. Can you please make your spreadsheet of price comparisons available to download? I would love to look at it. Thanks so much for this video and all of the hard work that went into it!

  43. Great video, great representative list. I find I have to know my prices, wherever I shop. Also consider how fresh everything is. I shop both stores and like both. WF has some great sales, especially now that Amazon Prime members get deals at WF and using an Amazon VISA credit card gets an additional 5% back. The WF canned coconut milk cans are BPA free and TJ are not. WF has organic whole chickens for $2.29/pound a few times a year, but TJ has great price on frozen organic chicken breasts. I actually prefer the whole chicken. TJ has good price on uncurled bacon. WF has great bulk bins especially if you buy on sale, which I do. Fresh greens seem better at WF, a huge bunch of chard or kale tends to be around $1.99 which is awesome. I tend to go to TJ first then go to WF if I have time. Not sure if they still do it, but WF has in the past done a bulk discount, buy 10 (12?) of the same item and get another 10% off, you have to ask for the discount at the register. I got Annie’s organic Mac and cheese for $1/box then another 10% off meant $9 for 10 boxes. Boxed tea on sale at WF can be great value. If someone no buys food week to week, harder to use sales. I tend to buy stuff on sale then figure out what to cook from what I have.

  44. Omg I haven been wanting to do something like this (with the price comparison) for a long time, but I never did because it was too much work. Thank you for this!

  45. I loved this video SO much!! Thanks for taking all the effort and research that went into it. Would love to see this same comparison with WF and Sprouts, particularly with organic items! Stay safe!

  46. Thanks so much for all of the work you did to make this video. I only purchase dairy, produce, and protein from either of these stores. That being said, only 50% (if not less) of my grocery bill comes from these stores. I’ve shopped at both and time and time again I’m much more impressed with the quality of Whole Foods than I am with Trader Joe’s. I still appreciate the video though because now I know when I don’t want to spend a lot of money, I can still go to Trader Joe’s and not sacrifice buying the things that I like to buy organic.

  47. Let's all take a moment to thank grocery store workers everywhere for being on the front lines during this crisis.

  48. Thanks for confirming my feeling that TJ's is way more affordable 🙂 And thanks for the hard work in this specific video!!!!

  49. Amazing effort!! Our trader joes in las vegas have cheeper prices than what was shown.but i like the info keep it up!!

  50. You should do a price comparison on frozen food vs. fresh produce, and some opinion on what to buy. Thx! (Ps. I also only shop at tradejoes and Whole Foods)

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