Obviously you will spend a small fortune at Whole Foods if you buy the prepared foods, the exotic cheeses and the yuppie produce (like the belgian endive).
When I go to Whole Foods, I get eggs, yogurt, raisins, nuts, basic produce like salad mix, apples, blueberries, squash, etc. I basically stick the perimeter of the market and avoid all the high priced processed stuff in the middle. Therefore I get high quality food at reasonable prices.
Good post, I agree. I've been shopping there for years, the key is to know how to shop there, esp using their bulk section. Whole Foods also has its own discount brand and good sales across the board. For example, a large brick oven pizza with natural ingredients straight out of the oven for 10 bucks. I got a great deal on a ton of shrimp over the weekend. The specialty stuff is pricey but it's pricey anywhere. I did a price comparison on shelf items with another mainstream grocery store and there was no difference.
It's amazing that any parent (or anyone) would feed their kid or themselves milk, dairy and meat pumped full of recombinant growth hormone and antibiotics. Those products cost more for good reason and Whole Foods has the best selection and offered them at a time when you couldn't get them anywhere else. They also provide a market for farmers to get higher prices for their goods and support local farms. If you're content with large factory farms, more power to you but I'll support locals farm whenever and wherever I can. I have yet to meet a liberal local farmer.
It's funny that people here seem to think it's some hippie or liberal refuge. The is a reason why mainstream stores started carrying natural products and created organic/natural foods sections. There is huge demand for it and it ain't just liberals. I'll take it over a lifeless grocery store full of low quality processed foods any day.
What you said!