I realize I may be crazy but I bet there are some people out there wondering what is the big deal about Whole Paycheck and what do people buy there? I have seen many people comment on blogs asking “I have a chance to go to a WF, what should I get?”. And I totally understand that question. Most of us are on some kind of a budget and it is so very easy to blow your whole month’s food budget in one trip and it fits into 2 environmentally friendly bags. So what most people are asking are suggestions for items that may be hard to find in regular stores, items that will give you the most bang for your buck, etc. The worst feeling is when you are travelling and finally get to walk through a WF, get some things, and get home and realize you forgot something that you usually have to buy online (and pay shipping). So here are my go-to things I buy on my WF trips. I’m very fortunate that my drive is only 1.5 hours to Birmingham and there are a few other places that I go when I make a trip about every 2-3 weeks.
1. Local produce. More specifically, local produce that I can’t buy at the farmer’s market or at my local Publix (they are bringing more and more local vendors to their produce section!). I look for high quality produce. I won’t buy onions or potatoes. I will buy greens, berries, seasonal fruit, more greens, anything that is on the superfoods list.
2. Nut butter. I can’t believe I have to drive 1.5 hours to find simple peanut and almond butter. I want the jars that do NOT have added sugar.
3. Gluten Free items. This is a new way of living for me and I have to balance the buying. I don’t need to buy GF stuff that I really don’t use just because its GF. I mean..most pasta sauce is GF. No need to pay more (because almost all GF products cost more) for a bottle labeled GF when a great bottle of Newman’s Own is just fine. I read the labels carefully. What am I buying? Granola. Pasta. Alternative flours. And the very best GF brownie mix EVER. Better than regular brownies for normal folks.
4. Speaking of Granola….my latest greatest find just in time for fall!
5. Local oil. Sweetwater Growers from Atlanta. My bottles are dark. But the flavor is so rich! I use it more for sautéing vegetables and for salad dressing. Now that fall is back (!!!!), I will use it on my vegetables before roasting.
6. Amazing Grass. Did you know that WHEAT grass is gluten free? Believe me, I almost had a crying fit in the doctor’s office because the first thing I thought about after thinking no cupcakes, pasta, pizza, was no more Amazing Grass. But tons of evidence, including my own experiment shows it is indeed gluten free.
7. Great meat. Stuff that is animal friendly. Yes, I’m one of those people that still think about the Chipotle commercial and the scandal at the Stonyfield Farms pig farm after a hurricane hit North Carolina and blew the processing plant to the 4 winds. I’m not 100% local, organic, PETA. I do buy the better brands at Publix when my WF meat stash is used up. We do not eat a ton of meat anymore but I am very selective at WF.
8. The random stuff. Hard cider, hot bar soups, hot bar food!, good coffee, Siggis yogurt, PUMPKIN BUTTER, pumpkin salsa, great cheeses, wine, protein powder etc.
So that’s the list. I do not buy this every trip, but this is usually what is in my cart. And tomorrow, we are off on another Birmingham run and that will include a great time exploring the Whole Foods Market.