Whole Foods, whole paycheck: You've probably heard that comparison before, right? Whole Foods is known for their wonderful selection of high-quality health foods, but also their steep prices. However, if you know what to look for, you can find some great deals on groceries.

By Tina Haupert
October 23, 2013
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279 stores in 38 states and Washington, D.C.We figured this natural-foods chain would make the list, but who knew it would hands-down top it? “It’s the Rolls Royce of healthy eating,” says Kate Geagan, a nutritionist in Park City, Utah, and one of our judges. Whole Foods has the whole package—from an extraordinary selection of fresh conventional and organic fruit and vegetables to delicious prepared foods with healthy ingredients and clear labeling. (Most other stores offer mystery meals that may very well be loaded with butter.) And Whole Foods puts a premium on products that are grown or produced locally (read: superfresh). There’s also hard-to-find grass-fed meats, ready-to-cook organic and free-range chicken, and a well-stocked selection of just-caught seafood. The desserts are pretty good for you: Every item in the bakery is free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, and trans fats. Our judges also raved about Whole Foods’s snacks, singling out the store’s own dark chocolate, fresh-cut veggies, and nut and seed mixes. Alan Greene, MD, a Palo Alto, California–based pediatrician and one of our panelists sums it up best: “The store celebrates great, healthy food from start to finish.”

Whole Foods, whole paycheck: You've probably heard that comparison before, right? Whole Foods is known for their wonderful selection of high-quality health foods, but also their steep prices.

However, if you know what to look for, you can find some great deals on groceries. That said, here are six of my favorite Whole Foods finds that won't break the bank!

365 Wasabi Rice Crackers - $1.99: I love these crackers and buy them all the time. They have just the right amount of spicy flavor and crunch, and they make a fantastic snack when dipped into hummus or guacamole. You've got to try them! (The 365 Everyday Value products are a Whole Foods' in-house brand.)

Freshly ground almond butter - $6.99/pound: I love almond butter, so I often buy the freshly ground stuff from Whole Foods. It's thick, rich, and flavorful (you grind it right there) and quite a bit cheaper than other almond butters on the market, which typically retail for $8.99 to $10.99 per pound. Basically, for what you get, the freshly ground almond butter at Whole Foods is an amazing deal!

365 Honey Almond Flax Protein & Fiber Crunch - $3.29: Boxed cereal, especially the healthy kind, is expensive, right? This box of 365 Honey Almond Flax Protein & Fiber Crunch is nutritious, delicious, and wallet-friendly. For a little more than $3 per box, this slightly sweet, fiber-rich, and protein-packed (there's 9g of protein per serving) cereal is worth every penny.

365 Goat Cheese (11 oz ) - $5.99: This goat cheese is an awesome product and a great value. It's incredible fresh and creamy and makes a delicious addition to a salad, spread on crackers or topped on warm, creamy soup. Be sure to pick up this product on your next trip to Whole Foods!

365 Thin Crust Frozen Pizza - $3.99: At just $3.99 per pizza, the 365 Thin Crust Frozen Pizza is an awesome budget find. Made with wholesome ingredients (none of that fake stuff), these frozen pizzas are healthier, cheaper, and portion-friendly compared with traditional delivery or take-out pizza.

365 Organic Marinara Sauce - $2.29: The 365 Organic Marinara Sauce comes in a variety of different flavors (Italian herb, mushroom, eggplant, four cheese, and tomato basil), so it's incredibly versatile and can be used in all kinds of recipes. The 25-ounce jar is a great value at just $2.29.

Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.