Healthy food stores are not on every corner, unfortunately, herding you into the less desirable choices for health and wellness. Most all of the conventional store choices charge you the same or more and include heavy pesticides and synthetics on their fruit and produce, as well as many undesirable preservatives and chemicals.
Your best bet is find a way that conveniently works for your health, schedule, budget and time and then the shopping is fun and easy. See if you have any of the stores below listed near you. If you do you can choose the one that fits your needs best.
If you have a Farmer’s Market in your town it would be smart to visit and see what is available so you can save on the items that run less. If you are on a tight budget and have the choice of Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, I would recommend Trader Joe’s as you are going to get more food, for less money. The top store I find everything I need in is Whole Foods. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the store branded products with the 365 brand on it as it is the Whole Foods brand and runs considerably less then the name brands for the same items and high end ingredients. Where I save the most, is Trader Joe’s getting food for less, where Whole Foods, everything is the best and it runs higher. On the items that are at both stores I pick up the same item for less at Trader Joe’s and make two trips one to Trader Joe’s and one to Whole Foods. Whole Foods is a relatively large chain so you should be able to locate one near by. Trader Joe’s also has many locations and does offer Organic Items, kefir, eggs, deli foods, meat, organic boneless, skinless, hormone free, antibiotic free chicken, healthy snacks, nuts, dried fruit, coffees and some household items. They also carry juices, water, wine and liquor. Most locations have daily fresh organic artisan bread delivery which runs much less then the other stores. It goes fast so you are better off going in earlier then later in the day. They also carry cheeses as well as, dairy free options, supplements and main stream vitamins, protein shake etc.
If you are unable to find a local whole foods see if any of the other listed top health food stores are near by.
1. Whole Foods
Whole Foods has wonderfully amazing organic produce both fruits and vegetables, a variety of many healthy hard to find brands, as well as their own brands. Whether you need bulk items, standard items, hard to find grains, fresh, lean grain fed buffalo, organic meats and poultry, organic produce, wild salmon, dairy free options, fresh breads and desserts, supplements, green cleaning products, organic wine, a healthy deli option, organic flowers, supplements, gluten free options, your local whole foods store supplies endless options for all families. Be sure to check the schedule of events running at your local store, they have so many informative and learning events that go on and it is very helpful to find out which ones you would enjoy most. Get involved and support your community.
**The 365 store brand is an excellent affordable alternative to brand names, and comes with the highest quality whole foods standard. This store brand allows you and your family to save while eating healthy today!**
2. Wild Oats
This chain is also slowly being gobbled up by Whole Foods. If you saw the location and now its gone it could be a good sign that Whole Foods just opened up another location that will soon be a Whole Foods Brand Store near you. Eventually Whole Foods plans to take over all the smaller chains to be everywhere just like Starbucks, Barnes & Noble or any other successful chain store.
You can find all the same items whole foods carries at wild oats, Trader Joe’s, Sunflower or Mothers Market we just find some parts of the country have wild oats and others whole foods, so find the choice that works best for you, your location, budget and family preferences.
3. Trader Joe’s
If you are looking to eat relatively healthy and most of the time, organic, for a lower cost then the Trader Joe’s nearest you is your best bet. While some of the other high end chains carry only wonderful choices you will have to navigate around in your Trader Joe’s Store to find the organic options available. They have half the amount of organic items but carry your standard staples like organic milk, cage free eggs, steel cut oats, wild salmon, frozen and non frozen items, pizza, pasta, fresh artisan breads, nuts, cereals, healthy snack foods and more. They have a beautiful array of inexpensive plants including orchids and herb plants like rosemary and more. The great thing about this store is you really get more food for the money. With everything in the $2-3 range you are bound to find everything you need at a price you can afford. The spices are also very well priced here, as well as the tea, coffee, supplements, plants and more. This store prides itself on working with small artisans who craft great foods and other items coming to you at the most affordable price available. The fresh artisan breads are out of this world. If you are currently frequenting the main national chain conventional stores you will be surprised at the better food you can buy and how much you will save.
Another smaller natural food store that carries all the great products at a fraction of the larger chain stores. Expect to get great value for the smaller locally owned locations. Each location carries a little different stuff so be sure to see if you have one of these local to you.
With 7 locations in the southern California area this amazing grocery, deli, juice bar, and restaurant is sure to impress. This is a wonderful spot where you can find fresh organic produce, fruits, dairy, meats, and dry goods, along with a deli section that makes some incredible selections. One of my favorite dressings is the home made poppy seed dressing. Some locations have a wonderful restaurant attached with some incredibly healthy vegan/vegetarian fare, fresh teas, and juices made to order. If you get the chance be sure to stop in. They also carry wonderful beauty and supplement sections with lovely cards, gifts and fresh organic flowers.
6. Local Farmer’s Market
You will need to inquire about what your area has to offer many cities have a local weekly farmer’s market where the fresh fruit and vegetables are brought out straight from the farm. Avoiding the middle man, unnecessary packaging and advertising allows these smaller farms to offer some incredibly priced items without the high retail costs. The items tend to be more fresh as they have not been driven around and sitting in your local store to be put on the shelves.
7. Local C.S.A.
You are going to want to look into your area to see if you have a local C.S.A. option available. These are community supported agriculture groups comprised of small farms who take in a limited number of supporters each year who through the support of the farm reap a piece of the local and fresh harvest. Typically the farms only take care of 100-200 people providing a weekly, monthly or seasonal boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables depending on what their farms have growing. Get involved and you will see the incredible savings available by participating in supporting your local farmers. The foods are fresher and less costly then conventional grocery chain stores. They typically all come in a box and also do not include the heavy waste of packaging and advertising.
Look into your community to see what other locally owned health food stores are around. Many times you may find that the local health food store to you is a great option. Not all towns have these but of course if your town does have one stop in and check out their selection as well as pricing. You will also need to look into local organic delivery options such as Spud.com which was previously organic express, and or Diamond Organics. These type of locations offer delivery to your door. Spud.com only services a couple states with plans to expand offering local organic produce and fruits along with other healthy organic items. Diamond Organics has a wonderful selection straight from the farm and ships anywhere in the US which is also a great option, pricey but great high end food options.